Sorry about the late posting. Computer issues (just today I had two blue-screens and a downed server), a paper mache project, hunting for hidden treasure at the library, and my long over-due return to running all conspired against me this week. It was just too hard to tear myself away from the present. To reward you for you patience, I now present the conclusion to my whirlwind romance – on a Saturday!
If I had to sum up the next couple of weeks in one word, it would be “intense”. We were In Love on Fast Forward. W and I discussed it all: past, present and future. All of the getting-to-know-you that might unfold over the course of months and years in a normal courtship was being compressed into a short series of teeny-tiny calendar boxes.
I think we both knew that this level of intensity was nothing ordinary, but we felt compelled to literally bear our souls to one another. I may not have understood all that was happening, but I knew that God was at the helm. That faith gave me the ability to let things unfold on their own (breakneck) pace. And I not only grew to know W better over the course of those days, but I felt like I was gaining better insight into myself.
Then eighteen days after our first date, something happened that changed the very fabric of our relationship: I had a birthday and turned twenty. This was a teen-romance no longer.
W took me to an elegant Italian restaurant to celebrate. It did not escape my notice that this was the very place some good friends of ours had become engaged just a few weeks earlier. At the end of an incredibly romantic dinner, he handed me my birthday present.
It was in a little box.
From a jewelry store.
It was a new watch.
When I got home I asked my mom if she’d like to see my birthday gift and held up my left arm. Her eyes settled on my ring finger before moving down to my wrist.
“Oh. That’s nice.”
She was bitterly disappointed. I tried to tell her that we had only been dating for a couple of weeks, but she knew.
She just knew.
To tell the truth, as much as I loved that watch, I was a little disappointed as well.
The following Saturday, my boss (and friend) was getting married on a steamboat. W and I would have to drive for over an hour to get to the dock. He wanted to make sure that we left early, just in case there was traffic. In his haste, we ended up being nearly an hour ahead of schedule. We decide to stop at the LDS Portland Temple and walk in the gardens.
They are always lovely, but the late summer color was particularly stunning that day. We strolled over to a large fountain and sat down.
W faced me and said, “Heidi, I love you and I know you love me.”
My heart started to pound.
He continued, “I know we haven’t been together very long, but I feel good about the direction our relationship is going. How do you feel?”
I could hardly speak. “I feel good, too.”
“I think we should start talking about marriage. Is that where you see us heading?”
“Next week, there is a big diamond sale going on. Would you like to go look at rings? Just to see what’s out there?”
He reached into his pocket and pulled out a little velvet box. The sparkle dazzled my eyes as he pulled back the lid.
“Or I could just give you this one.”
And then he got down on one knee. He reached out and took my hand; we were both shaking. He blinked back his tears, looked me in the eye and asked, “Heidi, will you marry me?”
Once again I demonstrated my incredible articulateness as I replied, “Okay.”
We were married in that same temple right before Christmas.
It was just shy of six months from the day we met.
Remember J? He was one of W’s groomsmen.
K was not in attendance.
We have been married for thirteen years. We have built a life, a home, a family. We’ve dealt with PMS, the IRS and the PGA on TV. We have had incredible happiness, heart-breaking sorrows and a whole lot of in-between. And we have faced it all side-by-side.
After all this time, I still thank God for sending W to me.
Best friends forever.