I was asked once again to be the reader of the prompt for our fourth grade writing camp, and promised to use that same prompt for my next blog post. My writing assignment this morning : Think of an item that is important to you.
I received a very unexpected gift twenty-eight years ago, one that I thought I would never get from anyone. Many of my friends had received similar gifts, and their lives were much different than mine as a result. Since I truly did not anticipate ever getting such a gift, I was content in enjoying their good fortune.
What's funny is that I picked out my own present, without knowing it. My boyfriend had taken me shopping early in the fall. We walked into a jewelry store, and he suggested that we look at the emerald jewelry section. My favorite color has always been green, so I happily obliged, looking at necklaces and trying on rings. We left without purchasing anything.
With Christmas around the corner, I thought I might receive a piece of emerald jewelry as a gift. But Christmas came and went--no jewelry. My early March birthday arrived--still no jewelry. I put the thought of our window shopping out of my head.
St. Patrick's Day fell on a Friday that year. It was also the last day of school before Spring Break, and my students had been a bit rowdy. I was feeling grumpy by the time I got home and needed some time to decompress. The phone rang almost as soon as I closed the front door, interrupting the quiet space I craved.
My boyfriend was calling, telling me I needed to be ready to leave in an hour. He refused to answer questions about where we were going, which made me mad because I didn't know what to wear. I finally settled on some white shorts and a green top--it was Saint Patrick's Day, after all.
He picked me up in his car and drove to Mount Bonnell, a scenic park in Austin overlooking Lake Travis. We climbed the stairs and walked a bit along the path, not saying much because I was still ill-tempered from my school day. Coming to a spot with a chair-sized boulder, he asked me to sit with him; I refused to sit on the rock, because I was wearing white shorts! So I sat on his lap, and we looked at the water below for a few quiet moments.
Out of the blue, he prefaced his next question by stating my full name--first, middle, confirmation, and last--and ended with a marriage proposal. I said yes without a thought, feeling the weight of the question after my reply. My boyfriend presented a beautiful emerald ring, and slipped it on my finger. I was in a much better mood walking out of that park!
Years later, my husband told me that he almost didn't propose that day, because I was so grouchy. I'm so glad he did! My engagement ring is a very important item. I admire it every day, thankful for my husband's proposal and the wonderful life we have made together.