On August 11, 2006, as my boyfriend of 3 years and I were in the car driving away for our weekend getaway to my family’s lake house, we received the phone call we had been dreading. My grandfather, who had been sick for the last 9 months was getting tremendously weaker, and was given 72 hours to live. He had been fighting for bone cancer since December, and while we knew that this time would come at some point, it did not make the phone call any easier.
As we debated about turning around, or continuing to drive to the lake house, we decided that we would just go for the night, and would drive back on Saturday. The lakehouse was so important to my grandparents, it felt right to be there. On the drive, I turned to Dan, and said while I was incredibly sad that my grandfather is leaving, I felt ok with it, because you and him are so similar, and you will hopefully someday be in our family.
When we got to the lake house, we took a little walk around. It was a place that was so important to my family and specifically my grandparents; they had built their vacation home there 50 years ago, on August 12, 1956.
We then decided to go for a "night ride" in my grandfather’s canoe, and went out to a raft in the middle of the lake. We sat and looked up at the sky that was completely filled with stars, and even more beautifully, a meteor shower that Dan had heard about that morning. There was a full moon, which rose higher as we laid there and looked up at the sky.
After sitting out there for about an hour, I started to get a little chilly, and asked Dan if he wanted to head inside. He started getting fidgety, and pacing on the raft a little bit. He then said that he knew how special the lake was to my family and I, and he wanted it to be a special place for him as well. He also said he didn’t know if it was the right time to do this, but what I had said to him in the car about him joining my family made him realize that it had to be the right timing. He then got down on his knee, and proposed. Of course, I said yes. He had snuck Champagne and chocolate strawberries out to the raft. The champagne and tears equally flowed after the proposal!
On Saturday morning, we decided to drive home so that we could share the news with my grandfather, as I knew that he would love how and where Dan proposed. When we were about an hour away from home, we received another phone call that we had been dreading. My grandfather had passed away.
While our engagement story is bittersweet, we know that my grandfather gave us his blessing in his own special way. We look forward to a lifetime together, and can only hope that we live to a ripe old age like my grandfather, and an enjoy a marriage that is over 60 years, which is what my grandparents experienced.
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