He proposed to me on a Monday, Veteran’s Day of 2007. It was nothing short of spectacular, elaborate, an outpouring of love that I could have never asked for or imagined.
The entire week leading up to that amazing day, I received a unique flower, a note with a scripture and quote, and a gift each day, all set around a specific word. These 8 words made up the 8 things he wanted our marriage to be centered around…admiration, peace, contentment, passion, faith, joy, servanthood, and love.
The intentionality around it all completely overwhelmed me. How could anyone love me this much?
He arranged for my best friend Karen to unexpectedly pick me up from work (my boss Jim was “in” on it all!), drive me in her car covered in rose petels to Chateau Elan where he was waiting in a restaurant reserved completely for just the 2 of us. After dinner, he drove me down to the 18th hole in a golf cart. He had spelled out “Marry Me” with seashells we had collected on our first beach trip together. Unknown to me, my ring was in a Godiva chocolate box he had given me during dinner but would not let me open. He got down on one knee and proposed. I think his knee had barely touched the sand before I said yes! Then, for the first time, he said to me, “I love you.”
That’s the first time since Tony departed this earth that I’ve put words around that unforgettable day. It’s as if I’ve kept stories like this one packed up in a box, placed so delicately on a shelf, til I was ready to unwrap them again. It’s hard. It’s so very hard. Sure, I’m so grateful to have been so deeply loved by my Tony. I’m forever changed. I’m forever better. Still, I’m reminded of how amazingly good life was with him, I’m reminded of how deeply I’ve lost.
I found this excerpt below that Tony wrote for the “contentment” themed day of our proposal week. It is exactly what I needed tonight on this 5 year anniversary of our engagement.
Quote for theme: “Love is the greatest refreshment in life.” ~ Pablo Picasso
Bible Verse: 2 Corinthians 4:7-18
“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed— always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh… Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inwardman is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”
Melissa, my prayer for us is that we focus our hearts, minds, and bodies on glorifying the Lord. Everything else can fall away. That we be content with what God has seen fit to give us, and be hopeful of the great plans HE has for us. Through the tough spots in life, we can remain confident that God is STILL for us.
To live this life with purpose, with the eternal on our minds always.
We have air to breathe, love to share, and a great God to serve…what more could we want?
That we praise Him together in the morning, and that we thank Him together in the evening.
That we celebrate Him all the days of our lives.
May we remember that this life and all that is in it are but for a moment, simply vapors that will vanish away.
Dearly loved, forever grateful,