While we were near the reflecting pool, there was a fairly large group of people cheering. It was apparent that someone had just proposed to their new bride-to-be. I smiled at Scott and shared with him what I observed. He asked me if I wanted him to propose to me again, and I (laughing) responded that I probably deserved a decent proposal at some point.
Let’s go back 13 and a half years to the actual proposal…
Actually, let’s go back 14 and a half years. (This might end up as 2 posts.) Scott was on his mission, I was attending college. I was a math major at a small college, so most of my math and science classes consisted of me, sometimes one other girl, and about 15 guys that were all engineering majors and also mostly returned missionaries. They were my buddies. They told me about the girls they liked, they asked for advice on their relationships. They even asked me for ideas on ways to propose to their girlfriends. It was a fun way to think about love and romance while my own love was away for 2 years.
I became close friends with a few of them, and one in particular. We will call him Ted. Ted and I started spending a lot of time together: a couple of classes, and then hanging out at his apartment or my dorm doing homework or just talking. I would always talk about Scott, he would always talk about his crushes. People started thinking we were going out, but really we were just the best of friends.
Or were we?
My roommates began telling me that he really liked me, more than a friend. He gave me a really sappy valentine card. One night come spring we were on a group date, and he was my roommate's date. My date and most of the others had gone across a swinging bridge that my anxiety would not let me go on. Ted stayed behind with me because I was having a panic attack. Next thing I knew, he was kissing me. I was his first kiss, even though he was an R.M. I cannot believe how oblivious I was, but I was still in denial. He just kissed me to distract me, not because he liked me, right? I wrote Scott a letter and told him that I was kind of dating someone and wanted to give him a heads up. (We have always been pathetically honest with each other.)
The year was nearly over and I was graduating. I had never become a "true ______", (by kissing by the bell tower with the light of a full moon at midnight.) Ted and I decided we should do it just for fun. We had already kissed. Why not? We started to practice for the event (because we had to kiss for 12 seconds while the clock struck 12, and he wasn't very experienced). The night of the May full moon came. He called me and told me he had shaved just for me. Something suddenly clicked in my head. He REALLY liked me. This was not just for fun, this was EVERYTHING to him. I panicked. I called him and told him that I could not go through with it. He was crushed. We met up the next night and talked about everything. He told me that I had all of the qualities that he wanted in his future wife. I told him that I loved Scott too much to betray him at this time, and I needed to wait until he got home from his mission to see what would happen with us. I'm afraid that I truly broke his heart.
Sometime through all of this, I was praying like crazy about everything. One day I was reading a letter from Scott. It started out typical, about the great experiences he was having as a missionary, etc. Then...
...I hope this doesn't sound bad, but to tell you the truth, I'm not entirely sure what I think of the rest of your letter. I know I've been telling you all along that you should be dating, and I did mean it, but I didn't mean that you should forget about me! :) Seriously, though, I'm glad that you're having fun and not worrying about me or whatever. I do hope that I'm still a little more than a piece of paper, though. I should be at least a piece of paper and a casette tape. :)
I hate to say it, but your letter actually has made me a bit nervous. It's the first letter where you've actually said anyything about the possibility of you marrying someone else. I know I really shouldn't be thinking about these sorts of things right now, but I do picture us getting married sometime after I get home. I love you very much, and that love has only grown as I've been away from you.
But I do believe you when you say that if anything happens it will have been a matter of prayer, so I'm not too worried that anything against God's will will happen...
He goes on to describe day-to-day events, like teaching discussions, getting beat up ( he was in down-down Philadelphia at the time), etc., but then the letter ended really mushy with the words to a song by Michael McLean.
...but compared to how I love you now, it's almost like it wasn't love before.
As I was reading, the song on my CD player was Air Supply, and the answer to my prayer came loud and clear:
Just when I thought I was over you, just when I thought I could stand on my own, oh, baby, those memories come crashing through, and I just can’t survive without you.
The next week, after graduation, I wrote him a LONG letter and told him everything.
The rest of Scott's mission, I didn’t question anymore. I moved on to a university while Ted stayed at the junior college for another year. Ted and I remained friends and talked on the phone frequently. (Does this saga remind anyone of Bella and Jacob in New Moon and Eclipse?) I still went on a few dates, but never more than once with the same guy, and I knew that I would not waiver again. Scott more or less proposed to me a couple of times through his letters and cards.
The first "proposal" was a month or so later. A little past the one-year mark and all of the events described above, I received a letter in response to my letter telling Scott everything. He talked about how he didn't believe that God would tell him who to marry while he was still on his mission. He talked about how he prayed about it anyway, asking to know if he was to marry me or at least for help to get me out of his mind if it wasn't right for him to know right then. He said his feelings of love for me were greater than ever, and he desperately wanted an answer to his prayers so that he could continue to focus on his mission for another year. Then he got my letter that detailed my entire experience, and he felt it was the answer he was waiting for. He wrote:
I'm still not sure if the Lord will answer prayers of this nature while I'm on a mission, and I still don't want to make any firm commitments, because I'm not 100% positive that the feelings I have aren't just my own feelings, but I think I can safely say this much:
I love you with all my heart, and I love you even more today that I did yesterday when I sent the tape. I want to spend the rest of eternity with you. I want to be able to take you to the temple. I want you to be the one who, as stated in my patriarchal blessing, I will have the privilege of calling forth from the grave on the morning of the first resurrection.
Again, I don't want to make any firm commitments, but I love you and I want to marry you in a year. I pray that I will be able to use that love and that desire to motivate me to make these next 10 months the best I can, so I will be worthy to ask you to be mine forever.
I love you!
Then for Valentines day, a few months before he came home, I received this message:
...I love you with all my heart, and though I wouldn't dare say anything is definite, I do look forward to sometime next summer when I can look across an alter into your eyes and know that I am yours and you are mine for eternity. I long for and look forward to that day...
To be continued...