Several years ago my fiancé and I decided to take a trip to Charleston. It was a place that we absolutely loved due to the history of the city as well as the beauty that you can feast your eyes upon in that holy city. From views at Battery Park of the harbor where you can watch the dolphins at play, to the cobblestone streets, to historic churches and even places like the haunted jail that has a story to tell. There is never a dull moment in this city! The beaches are so close that we have to hop on over to Folly Beach, Sullivan’s Island, or Isle of Palms when we’re in the area. It’s always worth the trip!
This wasn’t just any ole trip, though. On this trip, my fiancé intended to propose to me. I could tell several days leading up to this trip by the way he was acting and the things he was saying. Sure, we had talked about getting married “one day,” but he was Mr. Five-Year-Plan. I can laugh at that now. At the moment, though, I was not amused. Five years? Really? You want me to wait FIVE years? Hmmmm … my biological clock was ticking as I certainly wasn’t getting any younger, and he talked of wanting three children … and yet, he was saying he had a five year plan. Hmmmpht!
My daughter, from a previous marriage, was with us the day that he intended to pop the question. He wanted to be sure that she was present because she would very much be a part of our family. He wasn’t just marrying me. He was accepting my daughter into his heart and life as his very own daughter as well. This was huge for us! This little blonde haired, blue eyed girl was bouncing around every where. She had so much energy bottled up inside of her little five year old body.
My fiancé picked us up at our house and drove ever so nervously to Charleston. He did not have a lot to say on the way there as I later learned that he had butterflies in his stomach. He was a bundle of nerves for sure as halfway there, I rolled my window down somewhat and had my fingers still on top of the glass when he accidentally hit the button causing the window to roll up on my fingers. Ouch!!
Yep, this is a true story, bro!
He apologized profusely, but he just knew that wasn’t in his favor and that this proposal thing wasn’t going to go as he had originally planned. However, I got over the window incident and was determined that we were going to have a great day together.
It was just after Valentine’s Day in 2002, and the weather was perfect that afternoon. It wasn’t too cold, and it wasn’t too hot. It was JUST right!
We arrived at the Battery Park, and we started walking along the Charleston Harbor. We love looking at the houses on Rainbow Row also. As you can tell by the name, they are a variety of colors, and it just makes for a beautiful setting.
As we strolled along, I could sense him getting more nervous by the minute.
We walked further around the Battery Park and then over by the cannons that line the park. I climbed on the cannons with my daughter as we laughed and played. After that, we climbed the steps of the giant gazebo which was centered in the middle of the park. There is something so magical about this gazebo. While I have always loved the looks of a gazebo, this was the perfect setting under the mighty oak trees where many a weddings had taken place. I looked out over the harbor at the ocean lapping at the concrete wall while my daughter went up and down the gazebo steps about a million times. When I turned around, my fiancé was on his knee in front of me with his arms outstretched holding a little tiny black velvet box in his hand. I looked into his eyes, and about that time, my daughter had reached the final step, saw what was taking place, and let out a big gasp, then a squeal! Even at age five years old, she knew what this meant! He called her over to take her place beside me, and he asked for us to be his family.
Of course, I said YES!!! Swollen fingers and all. Just kidding on the swollen fingers part!
As we approach Valentine’s Day each year, my thoughts always go back to the day he proposed to … us. My daughter has been very much a part of us from the very beginning. He knew when we were dating that my daughter was my heart, and there was no way he was even meeting her until I knew for sure that he was going to be in my life for a long time. I did not believe in introducing my daughter to men that didn’t intend to stay. So, she would only meet him if he was to be a part of our future. When we grew serious in our relationship and I could see the direction this would take, I introduced them at that time. He has been a great father to her all of these years. My daughter is now 18 years old, and she still calls him “Daddy.” We were blessed with another daughter ten years ago, and she has completed our little family unit. We love both of our girls with all of our heart and soul. We thank God for sending his angels from Heaven for us to love and care for here on this earth. We are truly blessed!
This Valentine’s Day, think of something romantic that you can do with your spouse. Is there a special place that he took you when you were dating? Do you have a story like we do that will warm your heart and also make you laugh in the middle some where? If so, reminisce with your sweetie this Valentine’s Day. OR, better yet, pack a picnic and go back to that spot where he proposed to you to reflect on the memories that you hold near and dear to your heart. We have done this a few times through the years. It might be time for us to revisit with picnic basket in hand and our two darling daughters in tow.
Love. It is a beautiful thing!