In case you want to get caught up, you can find all 4 previous parts under the page titled "Our Story"
Part 5: Of Course
As I sat on my bedroom floor waiting for Richard to come pick me up for our date, I jotted down some thoughts in my journal about how I wondered if that was the day he would ask me to be his wife. Forever. As I finished that thought, my Mom came to my door to tell me he was there. I quickly finished with:
"I hope that today is the day!! I will let you know"
And closed my journal, placing it next to my bed. I met him at the door. We walked to the car and as I got into my seat, I noticed that the back seat was filled with some of our favorite picnic food of delicious artisan bread, a block of cheese, deli sliced turkey meat and orange juice. As we drove down the main strip of our tiny town, he put his arm around me and asked me where we wanted to have our little picnic dinner. He said I should pick between our special spot along the beautiful river in our town or our special spot at the beach. I thought for a couple seconds and choose the beach. It was a beautiful summer day and I thought it would be so fun to watch the sunset at the beach. So we drove the familiar road to the beach, talking and giggling the whole way there. When we got there we walked down the shore, our toes dipping in and out of the water while we slowly walked, picnic in hand, talking as we went. We kept getting distracted talking, and I would look around sure that we had found our special place where the waterfall cascaded over the cliffs. But each time, Richard would say "no I don't think this is the place". But each time I was certain it was the place, but he would say each time "trust me. This isn't it" and we kept walking. I was impressed that he knew exactly where it was, because we hadn't been back to that special spot in a couple weeks. Little did I know. After what seemed like a long walk, we finally got there. He started walking up the cliff to our spot and I followed behind him, holding his hand. I remember looking up and peeked around him, because I thought I saw something out of the ordinary. Tons and tons of flowers. And not just wildflowers, but I thought I had seen glimpses of colorful roses. I was a little confused why there would be flowers, and as I got a better look when we got to the spot, I was in awe. There were in fact tons of flowers. 52 beautiful, long stemmed roses in every color you could imagine. They were placed along the cliff next to the gorgeous cascading natural foliage. In the middle was 2 bottles of Jones sodas (our favorite drink) and an envelope in the middle of those. It hit me. This was it. What an amazingly beautiful and sweet scene he set up for me. He picked up the note and told me to read it. I read his sweet, sweet note and my heart felt like it would burst. With love. Here is what I read:
You have been in imaginary woman to me all my life.
The kind of girl you make up on a piece of paper who has every positive quality
of every girl that you have ever heard of or had a crush on.
The incredible thing is that you aren't a figment of my imagination, you are the
love of my life and the girl standing in the center of a tangible dream
I hope you know that I do understand that I am blessed beyond measure to call
you so much more than my best friend, and by me knowing this I desire to
repay you by giving you everything that I have and am.
I will always be my best self for you, and I am always in your debt, you will never
owe me anything, you never have to do anything that you don't want to do.
McKenna, more than anything in this world I want to be the one who loves you
unconditionally, the one who comforts you when you feel pain or sorrow, the
one who supports you, lifts you and helps you accomplish your every dream or desire.
I want to be your place of security, where you know that there is
comfort, care and total acceptance, I love who you are, and I love what you are.
(this is always where the tears start)
It is impossible to find anything about you which I do not adore with all of my heart.
Many people have asked me what my life plans were, in respone I would tell
them of career, education and mission, but in the midst of these words I would
speak of a girl that I was going to marry who was the most amazing woman in the world.
I would say it with such conviction that they would laugh, but when I did
not return the laughter they could see that I was serious.
In that same state of seriousness I declare to you McKenna, you are and ever
will be the most amazing woman in the world to me, and with that, please know
that you never have to be anything except yourself, for it is yourself that I ache
to see each day, and pained to leave after dark. I love you with all of my
heart. I will marry a young lady worthy, and be blessed forever if that lady were
Completely overwhelmed with an amount of love and gratitude I had never felt, I couldn't help myself, but threw my arms around his neck and gave him a hug. As we hugged I felt something metal scrapping my back. And he was trembling. I put 2 and 2 together and realized, this really was it. This was the moment I had been waiting for my entire life. And it was more perfect than I dreamed it would be. After hugging for awhile, he finally pulled away and handed me what was scratching my back. The beautiful engagement ring we had bought a couple weeks earlier. Then he got down on one knee and said
"McKenna, will you do me the honor of being my wife?"
Let me take a break here and tell a cool story. Ever since we started to seriously talk about getting married, I obviously poured my heart out in prayer about if I should marry him. I knew with my whole heart and mind I wanted that more than anything, but I wanted to have a strong confirmation that he was the one that Heavenly Father wanted me to marry. I had told myself my whole life that I would never make that huge decision without a strong confirmation. I prayed and prayed and yet never got a big YES like I was expecting. I felt little assurances all the time, but not the earth shaking one I had hoped for. I prayed for it, and yet it hadn't come. So when he said those beautiful words, I said (or actually literally yelled because I was so excited), "OF COURSE!". (The funny thing is that I had planned to tease him and say "I will think about it and get back to you" and then say yes, but I was so excited that I had no time to remember the joke I was going to play on him before I yelled my answer). As soon as I gave him my very heartfelt answer, I was blessed with the earth shaking experience I had been praying for. I had an incredibly strong feeling rush over me like I have never felt before, assuring me that I had made the perfect decision, and the one that Heavenly Father wanted me to make. I knew right then without a shadow of a doubt that he was supposed to be the future husband I read about in my patriarchal blessing and always dreamed of. And I wouldn't have had it any other way.
|The mark in the ground where he kneeled down :)|
|Wow we were so young...I guess we were! I was barely 19 and he was 22!|
We ate our little picnik while we both giggled like little kids and kept looking at my ring! I couldn't believe that we were officially engaged. After a year of wishing he would ask me out, then a month of dating, he was officially mine. We finished our lunch and then started walking back to his car. There were some people on the sand next to the water and as we smiled, he yelled "Hi! I just asked her to marry me and she said YES!!" A little taken back by his excitedly yelled statement, they congratulated us and we started the drive back to our families to tell them our exciting news!
|I still have most of those roses, all dried and cracking with age|
|As we were walking back to the car|
As we drove up to my house to tell my family, they were all seated on the couch, waiting for us. Now knowing my family and the 7 kids 17 years old and younger, you know this is NOT common at all. They saw us driving up, knew what had just happened and all sat on the couch waiting for us! They were so excited to hear our news! We went to Richards families house, and had the same entire-family-conveniently-sitting-on-the-couch when we walked in reaction :) Everyone was so excited to hear how it went and what happened!
It was so magical.
So June 15th, my dream came true and I was engaged to the best man I had heard of, dreamed of or met. Now I just had to wait for the day we had picked that was 4 months away when he would officially and eternally become mine. This wait was the hardest.
To be continued...
p.s. I decided instead of ending here, I wanted to keep going! So I am going to write about the 4 months planning etc., our wedding day and our awesome honeymoon!