"Its almost like I’m there isn’t it?", my boyfriends voice broke the silence of the beach at sunset. No. That’s impossible I thought. I was certain my Mark was five hours away, finishing his dinner after a day of hard work. Not here at Caroga Lake! I turned from my position facing the setting sun, to see my boyfriend not three yards behind me atop the embankment above the beach. I was the oblivious participant in a strategically organized operation-proposal, one complete with walkie-talkie transmissions, code names and precision timing.
Before leaving to join my vacationing family at our lake home in the Adirondacks, I shared a cozy dinner with Mark at local Mexican restaurant. There over the chips and salsa, he broke the news to me: he would not be joining me at Caroga Lake, as he had promised. Mark had put in his vacation request, which his new boss had denied. So the next morning I drove five hours, alone, to meet my family. I was looking forward to a week of relaxing at my favorite place in the world. As a young child whenever my father pulled a splinter from my hand or foot he would tell me to think of my favorite thing too take my mind off the pain. I always thought of Caroga Lake.
Despite my disappointment and slight annoyance that Mark would not be at Caroga Lake, I was looking forward to his letter. Since we began dating Mark and I had made a habit of exchanging notes and letters in a journal. In anticipation of being apart for a week or more wed write each other lengthy entries and pass on the journal before leaving. On occasion he would give the journal to friend or family member to give to me midway through his absence a surprise gift. So when my sister presented the journal to me at Caroga Lake, while I stretched on the porch about to leave for a run, I thought nothing of it. In fact I was expecting it.
My sister and I were about to depart on a sunset run, when suddenly Rachel remembered the journal and ran into the house to retrieve it. She handed it to me with the instruction that I must read it while sitting on the beach watching the sunset. I walked down to the beach and positioned my self, as commanded, facing the setting sun which by now was a flaming globe of mango and magenta hovering over the hills in the west.
I began to read the letter in which Mark apologized for not being there and attempted to share the romantic sunset. I finished and with a rather perturbed attitude criticized the pathetic attempt at romance. My thoughts were suddenly interrupted by the sound of Marks voice, "It’s almost like I’m there isn’t it?"
He stepped down onto the beach, we hugged-I could feel his heart pounding in his chest he paused then reached for his back pocket. I began to tremble, in his hand he held beautiful diamond ring. "You see this diamond?", He asked. I nodded, unable to utter an audible response. "This ring belonged to my grandmother and my mother, so far it has been a symbol of divorce but I want us to change that. I want us to make it symbolize what I should, which is love and commitment." He dropped to his knee and holding the ring just beyond my finger he said," Sarah Elizabeth Bressoud will you be my bride?" My heart pounding, my hand shaking, I found my voice, "Yes! With all my heart Yes!"
My sister had been a co-conspirator all along. She had timed the drive so that Mark would know when to leave New Hampshire in order to arrive at peak sunset (7:15 pm) in New York. She had found a hiding spot for Mark’s car, stalled me with the journal to prevent me from going on a run and radioed an urgent message to Mark to move from his hiding spot to the beach where in the light of a glowing sunset he made me the happiest woman alive.
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