“Once in awhile, right in the middle of an ordinary life, love gives us a fairy tale.”
I feel this is a very overused quote when it comes to love, but as of recent, it’s the most fitting quote for what happened on a Sunday morning not so long ago.
Since spinal fusion surgery, life really has been a whole lot of ordinary without an ounce of fairytale to it. I’ve spent every day in my pyjamas (an oversized tshirt dress of varying colours) and knee high compression socks. My hair is (because I only get to wash it every few days) always pulled into a messy bun with strands poking out because it’s too short to be neatly packaged and zero amounts of makeup because why bother. Definitely ordinary. Definitely no fairytale.
So on the 16th of April, Easter Sunday, 2017 I had woken up, taken my pain killers right on schedule, scrolled through social media, and then looked up as Eric came waltzing through the door with a cooked breakfast and a coffee! Anyone who knows me knows the way to my heart is always through food. And I love food so much I’m not even that fussy as to what kind of food it is that I’m being fed. Breakfast in bed is definitely not a regular occurrence but considering I am a bit of a cripple at the moment, not entirely unexpected.
As I finished breakfast and said my usual chorus of praise that comes from feeling guilty at not being able to return the favour any time soon, Eric knelt beside the bed and moved my plate away to make room for me to get up out of bed. But then he didn’t move.
“I know we talked about this last night” and I nodded (in hindsight I have no idea why I nodded because I had no idea what he was talking about) and then I looked at him, like really looked at him, kneeling there, pretty sure on one knee, I put my hands to my mouth and said “oh my god, are you…” and then he smiled and he held out a small white box tied with a black ribbon and I grabbed him and hugged him.
I cried for about 5 minutes (and shhh, don’t tell anyone but I’m pretty sure he did too) and he said into my ear as I was hugging him “ummm was that a yes?” And to be honest, I can’t even remember if he actually said the words “will you marry me?”, I’m pretty sure he did and I think it was when I was either sobbing or in disbelief this was even happening! I said YES, OF COURSE!! Oh and THEN I realised I hadn’t even opened the box yet so I am pretty lucky it was a ring and not some earrings or a bracelet 😳 oh my god… can you imagine.
Then I remembered the conversation he was referring to when he mentioned “last night”. I think it was a tester. A bit of a feelers-out conversation which I thought nothing of because we’ve spoken about marriage before and all the big life events you talk about when you’re in a long term committed relationship with someone (and when you’re our age). So when he asked if I would marry him, I said YES and he said (jokingly) “Well, it’s settled then! We’re engaged!” And I said “I see no ring mister!”, little did I know he actually DID have a ring.
He later told me, that he had all these grand plans for a proposal but that due to my recent surgery it would be a long time before those plans could come to fruition and once he had the ring he couldn’t wait to ask me because he was so excited. And, if I am honest, THAT is better than any elaborate or expensive or well-planned proposal I can think of. To be marrying someone who was so excited at the prospect of spending the rest of his life with me that he couldn’t wait another year until I was all healed to propose in another way, is all I could ask for. Not to mention the fact that he obviously loves me for me since I was looking like a right slob. We’re not fancy people, Eric is not a complex man with an extravagant nature, he is simple, kind and gentle (but manly 😉) with a beautiful soul and a bold proposal wouldn’t have been us. It was perfect.
Just like he is for me and just like the ring is that he chose for me.
I had one request “should we ever get engaged” and that was to make sure the diamond or stone/s were conflict free. Which means no land/animal/human was harmed in the process. That was my only requirement (and that the ring wasn’t too over-the-top, ok that was my second requirement). And as far as I’m concerned he absolutely nailed it.
It’s funny, when I started dating Eric 2+ years ago, I wondered if I could be any happier (honeymoon stages and all that) but then that passed and I was even MORE happy and I remember saying to him, multiple times, “I honestly don’t think I can fall more in love with you, but then I do!” and it keeps happening. I am so much more of everything right now, I don’t have the words (and nothing seems adequate) to be spending the rest of my life with this man.
We’re both aware that marriage is not a necessity or a promise of a long and happy life but it’s a step we both want to take, to make that commitment and to add to our experiences of this life, together.
2020 will be our year (make note of that!) which will give us plenty of time for me to recover (since total recovery time is 12-18 months), plenty of time to plan a wedding and simply enjoy being engaged and being a fiancé. I have never been more in love with life or another human, but as I said from the first few months we were together, “he’s my person”.
I’m so glad I was right, and I’ve never doubted it, because sometimes, you just know.