I'm not going to lie- when Palmettos and Pearls was created a few months ago, I hoped that I would eventually be able to use the blog as a venue to share my and Richard's engagement story. I have known for sometime (i.e. since he was my date to my freshman year college sorority formal...jk...kind of) that he was the boy I wanted to marry, but we had to make it through the hurdles of med school and law school and residency and long-distance dating first. I had hoped that we could get married sometime during Richard's research year, but Richard had been intentionally vague on when he thought he might propose. Little did I know he had been contemplating his proposal for quite a while!
Richard had planned to come into town this weekend for the Clemson-Florida State football game, and I went to Charlotte Friday afternoon to pick him up from the airport. It took me over 2 hours to get there because of traffic, and I grew increasingly frustrated when I realized it was the fifth time in six weeks that I had made that drive. When poor Richard finally got into the car, I dissolved into tears over the long drive and long distance and perceived unending back and forth. Richard was just sweet as could be while I was upset and encouraged me to just trust him. We had made plans earlier to go to dinner in Greenville, but once I dropped him off at his parents' house, I texted him to ask that we just stay in Spartanburg and run to Target to pick up gloves for the game Clemson game Saturday. He agreed to this and asked that I just come back by his house when I was ready. When I arrived however, he walked out in nice pants and a dress shirt and insisted that we go out in his mom's car. I started to wonder at that point, and when I got in the car, I noticed that there was a candle and a lighter at the base of his seat and knew that he had something up his sleeves!
I reminded him of needing to go to Target, but he gave me a look and told me that was not happening tonight! Oh to have been able to photograph that look- the look that said, see I told you so! You had no reason to be upset! He started to drive further back in his parent's neighborhood and turned on the CD player, where a CD that he had made just for us began playing. There is a little lake (a.k.a big pond :)) in the neighborhood, and we pulled into the access area and parked. It was fairly dark (and cold!), but as we walked to the dock, I saw that there was a table set up with candles, flowers, champagne flutes and an ice bucket with champagne. I had butterflies in my stomach as he led me to the table and pulled out my chair.
He told me he loved me and pulled out some thoughts that he had written on love, ending with 1 John 4:7-8, "Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love." He then said that if he were not on night float at the hospital and had an unlimited budget, he would take me back to all the places that our relationship had grown and developed. Since he could not physically do that, he wrote a poem about our journey and read the title- simply "A Proposal, November 6, 2009." I think I was in tears from that moment on, once I knew for certain that my hopes had been confirmed! It was absolutely the most perfect collection of words that I have ever heard, and once he finished, he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I said yes, of course, and we went to dinner at the Piedmont Club. After dinner, Richard had arranged to have my whole family and his family over to his parents' house for dessert. It was the perfect night and the start to an amazing weekend and new life together! I am so thankful for such a wonderful fiance who was able to plan everything, get my parents' blessing and pick out a perfect ring, all the while spending 5 out of 7 nights a week at the hospital. We cannot wait to get married!
table down by the water that Richard had set-up
self-portrait right after it happened
dinner at the Piedmont Club
Suzanne definitely told me I was a hot mess when I walked in the door!
She was right!