Brian and I have been dating for over a year. It has been amazing in many ways but also a challenge because we have a long-distance relationship. Brian lives in the San Francisco Bay area; I live in Phoenix, AZ.
One Thursday afternoon, I flew up to visit Brian for the weekend. I stayed with a family that is friends with Brian. The family—along with Brian’s help—had decorated my room. The children had created a bed sheet ‘door’ that read, "Welcome to your castle, Princess Cathie!" It was a warm-hearted welcome to my home away from home.
Brian and I had a magnificent time that weekend. We visited the Golden Gate Bridge, rode cable cars, picnicked in Napa Valley and dined at exotic restaurants. Most of all, we enjoyed each other’s company.
On Sunday afternoon we attended a friend’s wedding. I played piano during the ceremony. The wedding was beautiful and I played well – no shaking legs or any other nervous symptoms. The mood was joyful and love was certainly in the air. If only I knew what Brian was up to.
I was scheduled to fly out at 6:00am the next morning. Brian and I decided to leave the wedding reception early so that we could spend our final evening together. He told me that he had found a romantic geocache. (Geocaching is like a high-tech scavenger hunt using a GPS unit to find a cache that someone else has hidden and posted on the web www.geocaching.com) Unbeknownst to me, Brian had created this genuine-looking cache and had hidden it earlier in the week.
We had a lovely drive out to the Marin Headlands – the sun was starting to set, the bay was glistening and we were in love! We parked near the coordinates and headed down a narrow trail. We descended sharply down the hill, wound our way through brush and weaved through a patch of trees. We finally reached a lovely sheltered spot on the cliffs. The view was terrific…the Golden Gate Bridge, the lights of the city flickering, the sun setting and the ocean below!
We searched the hillside for the cache. It didn’t take long for us to find it. We spread out our blanket and sat down to open the treasure. Enclosed were 4 parts: instructions, a boyfriend’s puzzle, a girlfriend’s puzzle and a prize. It was supposed to be a friendly competition–whoever assembled their puzzle quickest won the prize. Ready-set-go! The puzzles were handmade in the shapes of hearts. Brian’s puzzle was one piece. Mine was seven! No fair! Needless to say, Brian won.
He opened the prize bag and began reading, "This is a setup. This cache was created especially for you, Catherine…" At this point, Brian says he could see me processing…"Wait a minute, something’s going on here…" What followed was an incredibly precious proposal that came as a complete surprise. I was so stunned that I didn’t even look at the ring when he first pulled it out. But not too shocked to say YES when he asked me to marry him! I was staring at him thinking, "Is this for real? Am I dreaming???" After he reassured me that this amazing surprise was indeed real, he put the beautiful ring on my finger. I was completely overwhelmed with the beauty of the moment. It was perfect.
We sat there smiling at each other. After a while, we started to hike back up the hill. Brian told me how everyone but me knew about this. I also found out that he had rearranged my flight and gotten me off work the next day. Oh, my, I was so amazed! I think I said "Oh, my!" about 4,700 times. When we got back to the car, we thanked God (that’s when I cried like a baby).
Then we headed back home. I was in for another surprise. My room was beautifully decorated with tulle and roses (DOZENS of them) and candles. There was soft music, sparkling cider and the sweetest gift basket full of precious memories and darling notes. It was just about more than I could handle.
Brian has overwhelmed me with a love that is bigger than anything I ever could have imagined?it?s just covered with the fingerprints of God! It’s been a precious story to tell and my face really hurts from smiling constantly. It?s definitely a princess story, one that I?m delighted to share with all of you.