It was an ordinary Wednesday morning. I was sleeping later than I can imagine now as a mother of two because it was my day off. As an editorial assistant at The Associated Press who took sports scores, wrote some stories and answered the phone, I worked 4 p.m. to midnight with Wednesdays and Sundays.
My landline phone rang, waking me up. It was Greg, who was a law school student about 77 miles away. [Side note: I did have a cell phone, but I used my landline more often. Greg didn’t even have a cell phone, just for the record.] We had known each other four years and had dated the majority of that time, which began the second semester of my college freshman year. We chatted for a few minutes before he said something was supposed to be delivered to my apartment and I should check to see if it was there.
I did. And, lucky me had a box of flowers waiting for me.
Of course, I discovered these flowers after I decided that even though Greg sounded weird on the phone that whatever he was talking about would be worth getting out of bed for.
Tulips are better than any alarm clock. That’s for sure. So I picked up the box and was nearly back inside my apartment when Greg walked around the corner. He called me on a cell phone that he borrowed from his roommate. And he skipped class to bring me flowers, which I had to put in a blender because I didn’t have a vase.
My heart was beating fast. Like it knew more than my head knew. I hugged Greg for a long time. I didn’t say much. Plus, it was the morning, and I don’t talk too much in the morning. Plus, I was pleasantly surprised Greg was there because we generally saw each other on Sundays at that point.
Then he gave me a handwritten letter. It was amazing, really.
As I write this I am overwhelmed by all that you mean to me. You are my best friend, the one who knows me better than any other, my confidante, and normally the only person I talk to when things are especially bad or good. I love you more than I knew a person could love another …
He went on to talk about how our relationship had developed and God was in it with us.
And then I realized what was going on …
Kristin, I want to be with you more than anything else. … More than anything else, I want to look back on the life I’ve lived and rejoice because I got to spend it with my favorite person in the world. …
I hurried through the last half, not truly retaining what I was reading but thankful that I could re-read the beautiful words later, when my heart wasn’t racing. I noticed Greg was watching me.
And then he knelt down. I didn’t give him time to say anything and hugged him. Leave it to my impatience to rush the moment. “Wait, I have something to ask,” he said.
He asked me to marry him when I finally gave him room to breathe.
I said yes.
Well, actually I paused and just looked at him, fell more in love with him, and then said yes.
We spent that Wednesday together. It wasn’t Christmas, which we had just celebrated. It wasn’t Valentine’s Day, when we went on our first date. It wasn’t even Feb. 7, when we met four years earlier. No. It was Wednesday, Jan. 23.
And we were married 192 days later.
This is the third in a five-part series about how various events in January changed my life.