We’ve been talking about romance all month. What fun we’ve had approaching this topic from different angles. Each post has been fresh, interesting and passionate. But then, what else would romance writers be so passionate about? Romance is our thing, after all.
We deal with happy endings. A marriage proposal. A wedding. A heartfelt declaration of love. The birth of a baby.
Let’s talk about proposals, shall we? These are moments for our men to shine. Some guys are nervous in the spotlight. Most are busy planning, eager to witness the look of shock on the face of the woman they love when they pop the question.
We’ve all heard tales of marriage proposals on electronic scoreboards at sporting events or in hot air balloons or on banners flying behind airplanes. You have to give points to a guy who wants the moment to be something his lady will always remember.
Take my youngest son, for instance. Mike was a single dad, raising his son on his own. Ryan was 14 months old when his mother moved on for reasons of her own. And, just like Forrest Gump, that’s all I’m going to say about that. Mike, once a football captain, learned to tackle housework, career, daycare and pottie training. This body builder was the Kindergarten Room Father who baked cupcakes for special events and took time off work as a Safety Engineer to attend special events at Ryan’s daycare and, later, his school.
|Mike holding a pose at Natural Body Building Show in Maryland.
Mike asked her out to lunch one day. He told her he’d like to ask her out on a date, but felt she needed to know that his son was his first priority. Could she handle that? Tina, without batting an eye, told him her family was her first priority. And if he wanted to date her, he and his son would have to attend church every Sunday with her and her family. Could he handle that?
After a year of dating, Mike wanted to propose. He went to her father, who’s very protective of his daughters, and asked for his permission. He also asked Ron, her dad, if he’d like to go along to help pick out the diamond. Ron was thrilled. The two guys went shopping.
Mike also talked to Tina’s mom, a delightful, warm-hearted woman. He told her his idea, and with a twinkle in her eye, she reached for the telephone. You see, Mike felt if Tina’s family was important to her, he wanted her whole family present when he proposed. Naturally her parents were eager to share in the big moment.
A couple weeks later, Tina’s two aunts from Florida came for a visit and brought Grandma along. Grandma was suffering from bone cancer, but she wanted to be a part of this proposal party, as everyone was secretly calling it. Tina’s mom and her sisters began cooking a big family feast. Tina never suspected a thing as the whole family gathered. After all, her grandma and aunts had come for a visit. Her mom encouraged Tina to invite Calvin and me to meet her ailing Grandma. So we were there to witness the big moment, too.
Over wine and appetizers, laughter and conversation, Tina’s mom handed her her mail—a car insurance bill and a card. “Open the card,” Tina’s mom encouraged. “I love getting cards. Who’s it from?”
Tina sat on a barstool between the kitchen and dining room where everyone was gathered (waiting). She tugged a Happy 50th anniversary card from the envelope. “Oh, this isn’t for me.” She examined the envelope again. “It’s addressed to me, but…”
“Read it,” her mother prompted. “Maybe we can tell from the sender’s message who it’s really for.”
Tina began reading the note out loud. “Tina, thank you for fifty great years of marriage. We’ve made so many special memories. Like the way I fainted at your feet the first time I saw you. And the fun we had taking Ryan to the park every day after work. Or the cruise we went on for our honeymoon. But mostly, I remember how beautiful you were the night I proposed to you in front of your entire family.”
By now Mike was on his knee in front of her holding out a ring. The house erupted into cheers and laughter.
Tina’s dad will swear till this day that there wasn’t a dry eye in the house, except for five-year old Ryan who crawled up on Tina’s lap and said, “You’re supposed to say yes.” After she answered and Mike slipped on the ring, Ryan said, “Boy, am I glad that’s over. It was hard to keep this big secret Miz Tina. Daddy said if I told you, he’d hang me up by my peeper.”
The three became a family a year later. Tina, who cannot have children, not only got a loving husband, but an adoring son.
|Look at Ryan staring up at his new Mom.
And that, folks, is my romantic story of the day.