Yes, you read it right: Derek popped the question and (big surprise) -- I said yes. Actually it was more like YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! Want the full story? I’ll tell you how it went down just in case the Enquirer gets it wrong.
So we went to Chico this past Thursday to visit Derek’s Grammy. I know I’ve told you about her before -- sweet, feisty lady, nearing 102 years old, golfs like it’s going out of style, can whip up a mean peach cobbler, I could go on and on. I love the woman something fierce. Anyhoo, Derek and I went to lunch at his fave cheesesteak place which has now opened up a location in Chico. We stuffed our faces and decided to go for a walk in Bidwell Park to work off the stuffage. Bidwell Park is one of the largest municipal parks in the country and quite beautiful. We were meandering around on a trail that looked quite like this:
The park was deserted since it was a Friday, and we found ourselves wandering deeper into the foliage. It got deathly quiet. The squeals from the nearby swimming hole were now long gone.
Me: Are you taking me somewhere to kill me?
Derek: Heh heh.
Me: No, seriously.
Derek: Actually, quite the opposite. I have something for you.
Me (confused, thinking): Is it a shank? Or is it that Tastycake thingy he saw me eyeballing at the cheesesteak place by the cash register?
Just about then we arrived at this beautiful little pond, all green and mossy with stones in it -- the sun glinting through the tree overhead just so. It was quite a sight.
Derek: Here, I want to give you something. (turning his back)
Me: Here it comes, he’s gonna cut me, or he’s gonna give me a tasty treat for being such a nice girlfriend. Either way, I better be prepared. Let’s see, how does that go? Over the teeth and past the gums, look out stomach here it---
Derek turned around and handed me a little box. Every girl knows what that little box is. It is THE box. My heart started pounding and my hands started to shake. Holy crap, that is THE box! I opened the box slowly and sitting in its little cushion was the most beautiful ring I’ve ever seen in my life, swear to God and Jesus and all the saints. Like it was made for me. Just perfect.
Derek: It was Grammy’s engagement ring.
Me: (choking up)
He got down on one knee. In the dirt. And it was scruffy dirt too, not nice hard-packed dirt. Seriously dirty dirt. Normally a thing that Derek would avoid at all costs. He and dirt are not friends.
Derek: Punkin, will you marry me?
Me: YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES!
He slid the ring on my finger. And it fit perfectly. Then the real crying started. Was this really happening to me? I couldn't believe it.
I’ve never been much of a jewelry person, but I couldn’t believe how much sentimental feeling was wrapped up in this little ring. I couldn’t stop staring at it. So many loved ones had been touched by this ring -- an adored husband, children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, friends. And now the man who will be my husband was giving it to me. And the more I looked at it, the more it made me cry. Tears of joy. Tears of gratitude.
We hurried home to tell Grammy. She said she hopes we will have as many happy years as she had with her beloved husband. And I believe we definitely will.