1) A Jump From an Airplane Into Love

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It all started a year and a half ago, after a ten-year span of not seeing Blake or talking to Blake, I ran into him. We were able to get together and the next thing we knew I was flying from Minnesota to Virginia to see him the following weekend! It was obvious to us, only spending two days together, that we would spend the rest of our lives together. Blake and I had both dated different people and knew exactly what we wanted and needed in a life partner. God has been and will always be our foundation.
It was time to ask the big question and Blake was searching for a way that I would never guess. Some may say I am nosey, but I say I am a detective. Living states away from each other made it difficult for Blake to plan. I was planning a final move to Virginia in August 2002 and wondering when the ring was going to come my way.

I flew out to Virginia the last weeks in June to find a job. Blake quickly went into action planning the big surprise. Friday night, June 21st, Blake told me he had a surprise for me the following day. The first thing I thought was that we were going to the Dairy Queen, because days before that he had called me from work telling me to get ready, he had a surprise. He picked me up and we went to the Dairy Queen. I did not think this day would be any different.

On Saturday morning we went to his sister and brother-in-law’s house for breakfast. His sister and brother-in-law knew, but of course told me they had no idea what the surprise was going to be. Blake’s niece and nephew did not know, so like me were guessing every possible scenario. His nephew guessed an air show. I looked at Blake when he guessed that and knew from Blake’s face that was correct.

After the great guess, Blake asked his nephew if he wanted to come with. Now I was thrown off completely. I never thought Blake would ask me to marry him when his nephew was around. After breakfast we climbed in the truck, picked up some friends and drove to the airport. As Blake, his nephew and I were walking toward the airplanes, I said “Blake, there isn’t a lot of people here, is this the right place?” Blake then said, “Yes Honey, we are at the right air show, but YOU are in it!” I immediately jumped up and down and said, “Am I going jumping?” Blake said, “Yes Honey, you are!”

It has always been a dream of mine to jump out of an airplane and the day had finally come. Thinking that was the surprise I geared myself up for the life experience; signing forms and completing jump classes. Three hours later I was ready to fall from the sky like a bird!

I excitedly climbed into the airplane and at 13,000 feet jumped out. What an adventure, I will never forget! When I landed safety, with two feet on the ground Blake ran over to me, hugged me and asked, “What could be better than that?” Not knowing what would come next, Blake dropped to one knee and said, “How about spending the rest of your life with me, will you marry me?” I said, “YES!”

Martha Burggraff,
Norfolk, VA

The founder and president of Diamond Cutters International, is one of the world’s top diamond experts, as well as a three-time Guinness Book record holder in jewelry design.
Fred The Diamond Guy
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