Monday, August 17, 2009
Will You--Ask Me To Marry You Already!
Today--well, tonight really because I'm so late posting--I want to tell you how Terry proposed. But if you missed any of the rest of the story, you can go here to read part one, part two, part three, part four, part five, or part six.
This series is a part of this carnival. Go here to read some other fantastic love stories!
About four to six weeks after I first told Terry I loved him, we got another free weekend to go visit my family. During that time Terry had been in contact with my family through phone and letters to set up something special. At his bidding, my married sister asked if we could go on a double date with her and her husband while we were home. She suggested we head into downtown Chicago, see the sights and go out to dinner. It sounded like a lot of fun, and I was looking forward to it.
I didn't really suspect anything until Saturday afternoon. My brother-in-law called and asked to speak to me. When I got on the phone he very carefully explained that he wasn't feeling well and he was going to have to cancel on us. I didn't really get too disappointed because I was busy trying to figure out why his phone call was so elaborate. It would have been more natural for my sister to call and explain that her husband wasn't feeling well. Or it would have been typical for him to call and leave a message saying he couldn't make it. To make a big deal about speaking to me personally was just out of character for him.
Terry didn't give me a chance to think things through any further. When I told him about Joe's call, he asked if I wanted to go anyway. I said sure, so we headed out. I directed him to the parking lot my family always used--just a short walk from Michigan Avenue and the John Hancock Building. We went to Watertower Place and then headed up to the observation deck of the John Hancock. I don't even remember where we had dinner--that just wasn't the highlight of the evening.
On the way back to the parking lot, we had to pass the Hyatt Regency. That is the most elegant hotel I'd ever seen. From the grand piano showing in the window to the doorman in full uniform, I always thought it was a wonderful place. There is an "L" shaped road next to the hotel--I don't know if it's actually a road or if it's just part of the hotel property, but on that road were a lot of horse-drawn carriages. As we passed, Terry stopped and asked if I wanted to go for a ride. Before I knew it we were in an enclosed horse-drawn carriage, riding through the city.
It was so wonderful, and of course by then I was seriously suspecting that something was going on. We rode and talked, but he never said anything. I was really beginning to wonder if he wasn't going to propose after all when he looked out the window and commented that we were down by the lakefront. Suddenly he sat up straight and looked at me. "Hey!" He said. "Do you remember ...?"
"Remember what?" When I turned and looked at him, he smiled and asked, "Will you marry me?"
"Yes!" I answered, and then he kissed me as we rode along. I don't know how long the ride was after that, but when we got back to the hotel, Terry told our driver that we'd gotten engaged. He smiled like he heard that story all the time.
I assume we drove back to my parents' house that night, but I think the car was probably powered more on our emotions than by gasoline. When we walked in the house at home, the whole family was there--including my sister and her husband. That's when I found out they had set the whole thing up in advance. Terry thought it would throw me off if we planned a double date.
Terry wasn't able to afford a ring until after Christmas, but we still told everyone at school that we were engaged. That Monday at chapel, the president of the college was chatting a little during announcement time. He suddenly looked up and said, "Hey, did anyone get engaged this weekend?" I don't know why he asked that--we didn't know him personally or anything. We both blushed bright red and gave our friends a good laugh.
Terry gave me a ring right after the new year, and we were married that summer. I should mention that, early in our relationship he had said he wanted to be engaged by Christmas and married the following summer. You may remember I told him there was no way I would agree to that. We were actually engaged before Christmas (October to be exact) and married the following summer. We just celebrated our twenty-third anniversary this past June and if I had to do it all over again, I would in a heartbeat.
Next week I want to tell you a little of the story from Terry's side. Why was he so persistent? Why did he have so much patience in light of the way I dragged my feet? Those of you that know Terry know that he's not a paragon of patience, so how did he manage to keep at it until I say the light? : ) Turn in next week for the final installment!