My birthday has always felt magical, even into my adult years. No matter how I’ve chosen to celebrate, it’s always my day, filled with love and laughter. This year seemed different though. I was afraid to be around town, not wanting any special attention or limelight, as this year has been a constant spotlight on me naturally. So, here we are, on a mini vacation, trying to escape it all, get some rest and recharge our batteries yet again.
I’ve never been a patient person when it comes to gifts. If you’ve been reading along this week then you know Nicks been torturing me with the vague knowledge that “the best gift he’s ever given me” was awaiting me this morning. I can’t believe I made it until today without going absolutely insane, but I did. And it was worth the wait.
All of his hints made me think I was getting an electronic device of sorts. My first choice is a MacBook Pro (extravagant and ambitious thinking, I know), or maybe a PlayStation to have RockBand and NetFlix. I was pretty sure I was getting a gaming station. He led me on about it! Driving away from home yesterday he said he forgot to grab the gift and didn’t want to turn around to get it. Of course I came out of my skin! How could he forget MY present? I didn’t load it into the car, so he couldn’t possibly have it with him. Yet he assured me he would simply tell me what it was. Oh, and I couldn’t use it on vacation, so why give it to me here? My blood was boiling! I’ve wanted my damn present since Tuesday. Why couldn’t he give it to me a day early? And yes, for the better part of a week my entire world was sadly revolving around the excitement of getting a silly birthday present from my boyfriend.
This morning I woke around 8:30 and discovered that Nick was in terrible pain and had hardly slept all night due to the pain. “Yeah, okay, hope you feel better, but it’s my birthday. Where’s my damn present? You promised I wouldn’t have to wait any longer.” Definitely not my finest moment, I’ll admit. But there was a present, the best he’s ever given me, waiting, just waiting for me.
Laying in bed in our hotel room, he said ok, he’d give it to me now. But I’d better open the curtains for some light because I need to see this thing clearly. I handed him the Man Purse as he instructed. “Great,” I thought, he got me a gift card for a Play Station. That’s hardly the best gift ever!
The next thing I know he’s opening a small square box and showing me a beautiful diamond ring.
“WILL YOU BE MY WIFE?”
I’m not sure what happened after that. Somewhere between my tears and my confusion, I guess I had an angry look on my face while I tried to make sense of the weirdest moment of my life. Nick just asked me to marry him! He went out and bought me a ring and surprised the shit out of me.
I said yes. Of course. I never thought we’d get married, especially since we decided six years ago that we wouldn’t. I wanted to though, and he knew it. He would say things like, “maybe in another ten years” or “yeah right!” So I really was blind sided by this out-of-the-blue proposal.
Engagements, weddings and marriage have always seemed silly to me. It’s about the bond, the commitment, the relationship. I have felt ‘good as married’ since the very beginning. So I am shocked at how special this gesture is to me. Something changed between us this morning at 9AM. Yet at the same time, nothing changed. I’ve known for years that he loves me, and ditto for him, but now, with this expensive and sparkling symbol, the love we share is somehow immortalized. It’s tangible now, I feel it on my finger, glistening with every movement I make.
I tease Nick all the time about what a softy he’s become since his accident. And today it’s come to a head. Maybe over the last six months I’ve proven myself as truly loyal and worthy of a marital commitment, or maybe he sees life differently after his brush with death. Either way, we couldn’t be happier and more in love than ever before. It’s true when they say that whatever doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger. And maybe it can make you a little softer too!