And then, he gets down on bended knee, whips a little red jewellery box out of his pocket and asks, “Will you marry me?”
In front of 30 people no less.
Me. I am sitting in a chair in front of all these people, in front of where he kneels and I am stunned. My step-daughter and her boyfriend will later tell me my face was a picture of disbelief, shock, confusion and dismay. Seriously? In front of all these people you ask me such a deep question. And you want an answer, when? Now? You gotta be kidding!
I look at the ring glittering in the box. I look at him. I look at all the people laughing and smiling and yelling, Say yes. Say yes!
I say nothing.
I look at the ring again. It is beautiful. But I’m confused. We’d talked about how he was thinking of surprising me on my birthday by asking me to marry him, but how he thought he’d wait until ‘the right time’.
I was okay with that. Getting married again has not been on my list of “Things I must do in 2013”. Not sure I was even thinking about putting it on 2014’s list either. Though we had talked about it. Six years into our relationship, many opportunities to call it quits, to walk away and each time we’ve found ourselves standing in the broken, choosing to keep growing and learning and healing and expanding into love…
It isn’t that getting married wasn’t out of the question. It’s just… well… I don’t like surprises and I don’t like questions that need thoughtful answers needing to be answered in the moment. And… well, I don’t like surprises.
So, when I finally did find my voice, I said, heart-feltly and sincerely, “You azzhole.”
Yup. I called my beloved an azzhole (in front of 30 people no less) as he knelt before me on bended knee holding his heart out for me to reach back and take.
I know. I know. What was I thinking?
Well, mostly, I wasn’t thinking as much as panicking.
How the hell am I supposed to respond when everyone in the room is watching and yelling and clapping and I feel my throat constricting and saying yes is such a scary place to step into. Once upon a time, saying yes lead me to the depths of hell. Saying yes tore my life and the lives of those I love apart. Saying yes, almost killed me.
How the hell do I say yes when I’m so scared?
So I took the ring and said, “I’ll think about it.” And kissed him and hugged him and showed off my ring to everyone around and all the while my heart is racing and my mind is spinning in circles faster than a Jack Russell on crack.
“Mom,” my youngest daughter said in the middle of all the commotion. “Breathe.”
“How can I breathe when I’m so scared?” I asked.
“Stop being scared. It’s okay. Lex and I are with you. We love Charles. Just let it go. Allow yourself to be happy.”
Don’t you hate it when your children are more mature and wise than you?
Truth is. I am happy.
Truth is, along with happiness, fear is also present.
And as I type that the truth shimmers in the light of Love.
Truth is, my feelings are multi-faceted. and that’s okay. Yes, I’m afraid people will think I’m a fool for trusting in love again. Yes, I’m afraid I will look ridiculous for opening my heart and being so naive as to believe in True Love. And yes, I’m scared. And that’s okay.
Because the truth is, in my fear I am living in the past and holding onto my fear to keep myself safe.
One thing I know for sure, holding onto fear does not keep me safe.
Letting go, as my daughter suggested, and allowing myself to be happy is what fills me up with life. Allowing myself to feel the moment, to experience the right now, that’s what create more joy, accord, harmony, lightness of being, and a sense of feeling safe than anything else in the world.
On Saturday night, a beautiful, heartfelt man got down on bended knee and asked me to marry him In the moment, I was surprised, shocked, stunned and scared. That was real.
What was also real, and continues to be real in every moment, every breath I take is that along with the fear and confusion and shock, Love is and always will be present.
And that makes my answer easy. Yes! Yes! Yes!