It was a trying week in Kansas City. We were just blanketed with the largest ice storm in decades and my girlfriend Sarah and I were among the 275,000 people in the city without power.
The storm had come in the middle of the week and had covered everything in a couple of inches of ice which took down tree limbs and power lines throughout the city. Suddenly, everything was a chore. It was cold, we had no heat or lights, and I could barely drive from my house to her loft apartment downtown. I was beginning to doubt if I would be able to pull off the engagement ceremony that I had planned for months.
Sarah and I are in our early thirties, neither of us previously married. We had both patiently waited, while watching our friends marry and start families of their own, to find that perfect person to spend our lives with. We had fallen in love with each other from the beginning and had been dating for two years becoming the best of friends.
I had decided long ago that I would ask her to be my bride, and, over the holidays, had already asked for her parents blessing and let our families in on my engagement plans.
My plan was to ask Sarah to marry me on Feb 2nd, 2002. I thought it was a meaningful date because of the fact that two people would be coming together on the second day of the second month of the second year of the second millennium. Plus, since I was a small boy, my luck number has always been 2! It also didn’t hurt that it fell on a Saturday.
I had planned on cooking a nice meal for her that evening and retiring by a warm fire in the living room of my house. I knew it wouldn’t be a surprise if it was too out of the ordinary. I was going to tell her, in so many words, that she was my best friend, that I could no longer live without her and that I would love for her to marry me. However, three days without power, and with every hotel room in the city booked solid, I was really wondering how I was going to pull this off.
We woke up in her cold apartment on the morning of Feb 2nd, and I was already consumed by the thought of our possible engagement. We needed to make our way to my house to see how it survived the cold night without power. Walking out of her building we were greeted by a pleasant surprise. The sun had finally come out after days of gray and our city looked like a crystal covered fantasy land. We drove to my house in absolute awe at the beauty that had come from such a devastating storm.We opened the door to my house and I quickly went about checking things.
I had limbs throughout the yard, lines down in the driveway, and still had no power. I came back to see her standing in the doorway with the sun shining in. I asked if she would mind if we stayed for a while and worked on getting the house back in order. She replied, "Of course not, I’d do anything with you." All of a sudden, like a wave, this feeling of pure joy came over me. I grabbed her by the shoulders and looked her straight in the eye and asked, "Anything?" She, now realizing the urgency in my voice, softly replied, "Yes…anything."
I told her to wait right there because I had something for her. I went and got the ring from the dining room hutch, returned to the living room, got down on my knees, and said, "Okay then, I’m asking you to marry me." She said Yes!
The storm was gone, and we began working on the house that we’d both be living in soon. The plan didn’t go as I thought, but I know now what people mean when they say, "You’ll just know when the time is right." And that day, that moment, when she so willingly displayed her commitment to me, to our relationship, I knew the time was right, and that I had to ask her to be with me forever.
Kansas City, MO