Many people have asked about our engagement story. "How did he do it?" they want to know.
I used to ask that question a lot. I wanted the grand romantic story. I wanted to sit with my chin in my hands, my eyes fluttering, while imagining the scene being told to me.
So here is our story.
It begins in 1984, when two precocious and bubbly babies came into this world, 10 months apart.
Just kidding, we don't need to go back that far.
Let's start it last summer for the sake of brevity.
Last summer I did the road trip of a lifetime. I travelled exactly the way I wanted to travel, visiting exactly the people I wanted to visit. And I did it alone. I had a ball. But, I missed him, this Brett guy I'd been dating for six months.
After three weeks apart, we were both starving to be together. He flew to L.A. to join me for the last leg of the journey. I was so excited to see him, but I stood at the wrong gate, scanning the crowd of people coming off the wrong plane.
We eventually found each other, and my poor best friend, who had joined me for part of my trip and was handing me off to Brett from there, had to watch us hug for several minutes.
After those three weeks apart, I knew I didn't want to be away from him for any length of time at any point in the future. I told him so as we built a fire at our campsite in Yellowstone a few days later. I told him that I could marry him pretty much anytime, so "do with that what you will."
Fast forward to this summer. I felt a proposal might be on its way, and I wanted to make sure he knew where I stood on engagement rings. I don't care much for them, and if I were to receive one, I wanted to make sure it wasn't a "new" diamond and didn't cost a lot.
I did not want him to have to save money in order to ask me to marry him. And I didn't want to contribute to the diamond problem. You know, blood diamonds and such.
So we chose a ring together. We bought a "previously enjoyed" one online. It so tickled my Mennonite sensibilities to be getting a pretty ring at such a bargain!
So I knew he had the jewel in his possession, and it was just a matter of making it official.
Brett is a grand gesture type of guy, so I was worried he might be planning something major, and that made me nervous. But...nothing happened.
I had already told everyone we were getting engaged (because I am an over-sharer - that's just the way it is) in summer, and here summer was coming to a swift end and he still hadn't put a ring on it!
On the last weekend before I went back to school, we took a romantic trip to Regina (I know, I know) and stayed in a B&B.
Our first morning, we went for a run around this pretty lake by the parliament, and Brett said, "Let's come back here later."
So we went back to re-see the prettiness at a slower pace later in the morning. It was warm, and I was wearing a hoodie with no layers underneath. I started to get hot.
I felt like he was tugging me along like a reluctant cat on a leash, and I was getting grumpier by the second. Why was he insisting that we walk so far when we had just gone for a nice long run earlier?
We got to this overlook point, and stood there looking at the view. He had brought a book, The Tao of Pooh, and I asked if he would read to me. He said, "Sure, close your eyes."
I thought why do I have to close my eyes when there's this gorgeous view? Then he told me to turn around, and he was down on a knee.
I felt so nervous, he felt so nervous, it was crazy. I couldn't feel anything except nerves. Then we cried a bit. But it wasn't that fireworks and magic that I thought it would be....at first.
It wasn't until we were walking back, holding hands, that the joy starting bubbling. And then it bubbled and bubbled all day long. I kept looking at him and feeling intense gratitude that this guy chose me.
My favourite part of that day was when we sat in an outdoor swing together, listened to the songs that we sent to each other when we first started dating, and read to each other.
We didn't tell anyone right away. We just wanted to have a day to soak it in, just the two of us.
I've known for a long time that Brett is the man I want as my companion. We both believe that the purpose for this relationship is to walk side by side and be a witness to each other's lives. We want to give each other deep rest and a safe place to grow and self actualize.
We don't need each other, we choose each other. But like my friend Lianne Raymond said to me on my road trip last year, "Can you let yourself need him just a little bit?"