Thursday, May 15, 2014

Four Years of Love: The Sweetest Proposal Story

Four years ago, on May 15th, I experienced two life-changing events: I graduated from college and got engaged to my wonderful husband. That day was especially meaningful because that was the first time we said "I love you" to each other. At that point, we had been dating for 8 months. 

Very early in our relationship, David told me that he would not say "I love you" until he had a ring to back it up. I did not necessarily agree but respected his decision. Very often, people say I love you early on, and, with time, the phrase may lose its meaning. We "love" Chinese food, cars, our spouses, dogs, shoes, that dress, our kids, cats, travelling, our families. As you see, the word love is widely used, yet it means something more significant in the phrase "I love you." Here, love is a choice, an action, a commitment.

We wanted to get married some time after my graduation in 2010. My parents were moving to Hawaii later on that summer, and we hoped that they would be present. On May 13th, I started looking for available venues and, with God's help, found a banquet hall that was available on June 19th! It is pretty incredible, since in America, you have to plan your wedding a year ahead. The couple that had reserved that day had to cancel because the groom was being deployed. You cannot plan much when you are in the Army. We went to check it out that evening and made our reservation. David texted his Dad, "I guess we are getting married in a month!" At that point, he had not proposed yet.

The following day, David called me during lunch and offered to take a quick trip to the beach. It sounded suspicious, since he had never called me from work, but I did not think he would pull off getting a ring in one day. Little did I know! David had had the ring for a while. That evening, we drove to Myrtle Beach, SC and had (to this day, in my opinion) the best sushi ever. 

The next morning, May 15th, was my graduation. We got up early to see the sunrise and then were going to hit the road. Listening to the waves and seeing the morning sun emerging from the ocean was majestic and romantic at the same time! 

Then, David got up, took of his flip flop, and started digging the sand. "I hope he did not bury the ring on the beach," I thought quickly. Of course, he did not. David wrote a big letter I and said, "I have searched over all the earth." Then, the letter L and "Looking, praying for someone of worth." One after another, O, V, E, Y, O and U appeared, and, after each letter, David read a line of the poem he had written for me. With U, he said, "Unconditionally, I love you!" I was happy and very emotional. 

He kneeled and asked me to be his wife. Before he finished, I (very enthusiastically) responded with a loud "Da! Da! Da!" (which is "yes" in Russian). I will never forget the first time we said "I love you" to each other because I had been waiting for it for a long time. The wait was well worth it!

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