The Proposal

Any sleep I got was restless at best.  I was nervous, that’s for sure and the wheels in my brain were running round and round, over and over, reviewing every detail of The Plan.  In my head I rehearsed the speech a hundred times with each time just a little different.  Some versions were better and some were worse but I was struggling to make it perfect.  Looking back, it is funny how I thought she’d care if I got the words exactly right.  Make no mistake, though.  The importance of the moment was clear so rehearse I did…  But silently… over and over and over.  Who needs sleep anyway?  Occasionally, but very quietly, I’d sneak a peek outside.  Yup, it was still snowing.  That was my signal.  Today was the day.

Before the sun came up I quietly slipped out of bed.  Previously that night, late, late after she fell asleep I had prepared the bathroom on the other side of the house with the necessities:  soap, shampoo, razor, toothbrush, cologne, tuxedo, and the ring.  In the fridge sat one red rose waiting for its moment to shine.

I showered, shaved and cleaned up spiffy but quietly, occasionally peeking out from my bathroom hideaway to make sure my absence went unnoticed.  Showered, hair done, tuxedo donned, and with just a hint of cologne, I was ready.  Or was I?  As if to check my sanity, I looked again outside.  Yup, it was still snowing and yup, there was snow on the ground.  Who was I to argue with Mother Nature?  It was time.

The large front doors here at the house squeak loudly.  Maggie and I had a running disagreement on whether this was a good thing or not.  She was clearly in the “not” camp; she thought it made the house sound cheap.  I, the pragmatist, thought the noise, along with one sharp-eared Niko, made for a good burglar alarm.   This morning, however, it made for a real challenge.

I grabbed one of the chairs from the dining room and placed it near the front door.  The chair at this moment was less like a chair and more like a throne.  Very, very, very slowly I unlocked and opened the front door.  Move too fast and the door would squeak and the dog-alarm would sound.  In all of my life, this moment was the most important slowest movement ever.  Thus, gently and slowly I pulled.  No squeak.  No dog-alarm.  Whew.  With the door wide open, out went the chair into the front courtyard and into the snow.

It was almost morning light now.  Snow was still falling nicely and around two inches had accumulated on the ground.  It wouldn’t last through the day, of course, but it was a perfect backdrop for The Plan.

I grabbed the single red rose from the fridge and placed it on the chair outside in the snow.  For a few moments, I stood outside in my tuxedo watching the snow fall, looking at the chair and the rose and enjoying the moment. My heart was pounding and the butterflies in my stomach were threatening an Aliens-esc escape.  Wow, this is it – THE moment of a lifetime!  This is going to happen!

It was time.

Ever so quietly I tip-toed into the bathroom and retrieved her wonderfully soft, thick robe and slippers.  I feared that Niko would hear my sneaking and sound the alarm.  Or that my cologne oddly placed in the morning air would wake my sleeping angel.  All my worry was for naught; she never even stirred.  That girl could sleep through a train.

Robe in hand, I knelt by her side and gently stroked her face with my hand.  She awoke with a look of momentary confusion.  But it didn’t take long for that wonderful smile to pop out and attach itself to her face.  (It was never far away.)  I’ll never know now what she was thinking that moment but I won’t soon forget how her eyes twinkled.  It’s a moment frozen forever in my mind.

After silently dressing her in her robe and slippers, I led her outside into the snow which was, thankfully, still falling.  (Were it not, I would have called the whole thing off for sure.)  I picked the rose up off of the chair, gently guided her to sit, presented her with the rose and smiled.  By now, no doubt, the girl knew I was up to something.

I took a moment, my hand on her shoulder, and looked at the snow-covered scene.  I’ll never forget her sitting in her robe looking up at me while smelling the rose and smiling.  She was glowing.  Or maybe just cold.  She was definitely the most beautiful girl I’d ever seen.  Overwhelmed, it took me quite a bit longer than I expected to regain my composure.  I stood there for quite some time trying to relax enough to talk.  Funny, I had rehearsed this speech laying horizontal hundreds of times in the hours preceding but this time… THIS time I had a live and very, very important audience.  THIS time was different.

And I said:

“I’ve always loved the snow.  It comes suddenly and leaves nothing untouched.  It coats everything with newness and makes everything shiny and sparkly.  Everyday things become exciting again and the things that were already great become magical. ”

“To me, you are like the snow.  You came into my life suddenly and changed everything.  Everyday life, because of you, became great.  And the parts of my life that were already great became absolutely wonderful.  Every day I’m with you is magical and I don’t want the magic to ever end.“

After wiping a tear from my angel’s face, I slowly kneeled down on one knee in the snow in front of the chair where she sat, rose in hand, snow falling silently around us both.  From my tuxedo jacket pocket I pulled the large ruby-colored candy ring I had bought from HEB a few days before and presented it to her.

“Maggie Mae Pilat, I can’t imagine my life without you.  Will you marry me?”

As more tears flowed, she took the candy ring from my hand, placed it on her finger, licked it, smiled and said “Yes, Chris Weaver, I will marry you.”

The Chair

19 thoughts on “The Proposal

  1. Amazing!You have a wonderful way with words.I’ll never look at snow in the same way.Thank you for sharing such an important memory.Take care of yourself.

  2. I never knew how “it” happend. But I can totally see you two. You sneaking around, and especially, that wonderful smile that only Maggie could have. Thank you for sharing such a wonderful morning/memory with us.
    ~L

  3. Your love for Maggie was and is palpable. I will continue to read your posts for as long as you’re willing to write them. Thank you for sharing such an amazing memory!

  4. I remember the first time I was at your house for the “I’m a Lawyer now” party Maggie’s Mom showed me around and the first thing she showed me was the picture of the chair in the snow w/ the Rose on it.What a beautiful picture, what a beautiful moment, what beautiful memories………NO ONE can ever take that away !!!!!!!!!!!!What an imprint on the snow you both must have made that day and in each others lives.

  5. You did not ask for this, however I do a great deal of research in my field, and found this intriguing. In previous posts you mentioned that you did not know the exact date of your proposal, also it had snowed twice that February. Not knowing the exact year, I ventured to guess you proposed in 2003 (based on this being your 6th anniversary), and in that year there was a snow fall on 2/8, then again on 2/25.

    I have been reading for many years, and I am deeply heartbroken at your loss. I am not sure how you manage. I appreciate the humor you inject into your blogs, and I hope that is indicative of your finding some semblance of happiness in your daily life.

    Shalom,
    Rachel

    1. Very touching. Thank you. From this, I’d say 2/8/2003 is likely the day we got engaged. Thank you.

      Funny… as I type this it’s just pouring snow from the sky here in Austin, the largest snowflakes I’ve ever seen.

  6. OMG Chris, I loved that Maggie licked the ring. Hilarious. I hope you’re o.k. Today I’m listening to sad music and thinking of Brad. This is so hard. The kids are at their grandparents tonight and that’s when I mourn. There’s no time when they’re around. I had a birthday party for myself when you wished me a happy sad birthday and over 30 friends showed up. I went cross-country skiing with a bunch of kids from school this week and it was a fun thing to do. I know you’ll understand me when I say I was doing something fun but not having fun…I know you understand. Doing something fun but not having fun. We need to come up with a shortened facebook version of this expression. No one would get it though….

  7. Fiona, I definitely understand “doing something fun but not having fun.” Thank you for the responses you make to Chris’s blog entries. I know it must be hard, but I think they help him know that he is not fighting through this sadness alone.

  8. I was working with Maggie when you two got engaged. I remember her telling this story in the office. And, I remember her dreamy expression when she did. It was romantic as hell then and still is.

  9. This story re-enforces Cinderella’s fairy tale is real and there is a Prince Charming. However long the fairy tale last, be grateful for the fact that you did live it. With a beautiful Princess that returned your love. I know she told me all the time. You could tell by the look in her eyes and that smile on her face. You were both blest.

  10. I have moved computers a few times and just changed jobs. Everytime I move computers I always take your blog with me to remind me of so many life lessons and to remember Maggie. I was moved to tears by this post and hope you keep writing. Thank you for allowing us into your private thoughts and sharing your memories of Maggie. This was truly a beautiful memory, thank you.

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