Ryan proposed to Amy!!!
He left for Bozeman on Friday “to visit.” He’d been preparing for months, carefully searching for just the right ring, asking for input from trusted, wise counselors (including his father), meeting with her father to ask his permission to marry her, planning out how he hoped the proposal would play out, mapping out the particular places around town that held sentiment for the two of them, inviting the people he wanted to participate, emailing the map and agenda, praying, praying, praying.
Kev, Jylle, and I left Saturday morning. It was a lovely day until we got close to Fourth of July Pass. It started raining, and I had taken over the driving at the first rest stop because Kev was exhausted from stacking six tons of hay the evening before. His eyes hurt too. I’m glad he got a little nap in before he started driving again, but I sure don't appreciate wet, windy roads.
Ryan’s plan was to have Amy’s parents, grandma, three best friends, and the two of us meet with Amy, each of us at different locations that held sentimental meaning for the two of them. Her friends were on first, and they would drive her to the different “appointments.” He set it up as a kind of scavenger hunt. He dropped off two photos and a clue at each place. One photo was of Amy and whoever she was meeting with, and the other was of the two of them and had a personal handwritten message on it from him that we were to read to her. Then we were to share our hopes and feelings with her, pray with her, and hand her the next clue. Each clue was in a 3x3 card, sealed with wax, and hand-dabbed with a heart shape.
We rolled into Bozeman with an hour to spare before our appointment. I changed at a rest stop, and we went into town to find the new place we were to be since Ryan just found out earlier in the day that the original meeting place was closed due to a fire. Our new place was only two businesses down from the other, so easy enough.
The plan went into action right on time, but then he called to say that Amy was running ahead of schedule. We were too, so that was good. Jylle was on the phone with him when he stopped talking and said, “Oh, no! Oh, nooo,” and hung up.
We arrived at Moberry’s and grabbed a table, one for Jylle to camp out at while the two of us sat with Amy. They grabbed some froyo while I sat and prayed. Ryan arrived about five minutes later, his face streaming with sweat. His “Oh, no’s” were because he was going to take her car to drive the clues around, but when he got to the first destination, he saw that she had ridden her bike. He had to run all the way back to get his own car in order to make sure he could get from one place to the next on time.
Amy came in with Megan and Libby about ten minutes later, friends snapping candids and leaving her with her future in-laws. The first thing she said when she saw us was, “You’re here…” We laughed and hugged and sat down. Her eyes were already a little red, but she was still so lovely. Her hair was the color of mine, and it looked great on her.
After asking after each other’s health and mine in particular because of my fall off Apache and subsequent trip to the ER, we got started. Amy hadn't spotted Jylle, who was seated at a table behind her. As soon as we started talking, Jylle quietly scooted her chair closer and closer to us so she could eavesdrop. I read the note that Ryan wrote to her on the back of the photo. It was about grace and how they were in His grace and that His grace is AMAZING. He thanked her for being honest and real with him and called her “Love,” which I thought was touching because that’s what Kev and I call each other. At the end, instead of reading, “Love, Ryan,” I said, “Love, Michael” just to throw her off. We all busted out laughing.
Kev went first with his own thoughts, reading from the page I’d written for him while he drove and dictated. That took about a minute, then it was my turn. As soon as I opened my mouth, I knew I had to say, “I’m not going to make it through this.” I teared up and stayed just on that edge the whole time. I was able to tell her that she is the answer to a prayer I've been praying for all of Ryan’s life. So for 23 years, even before she was born, she has been prayed for, waited for, and now welcomed. That's not perfectly verbatim, but it's really close. I didn't want it scripted, and Ryan wanted it real. And real it was.
We all met back at Amy's house and toasted this much anticipated engagement. Ryan ordered pizza for everyone, and we went around the room to tell how each of the appointments played out. I was extremely touched by how often her family's comments about Ryan were so glowing. It was obvious that their opinion of him is touch notch. Her father got choked up right away, and it always makes my throat catch when a man cries. Her grandma, "Nonny," was an absolute joy to meet, and her comments at least matched if not exceeded her parents'. They were on board with this relationship from the beginning when Ryan asked Don's permission to date his daughter. Don had never experienced that before. And Nonny was captivated by the fact that Ryan gave her flowers on their first meeting. She hadn't received flowers since she lost her husband nine years ago, and that made a huge impact on her.
They've pretty much picked out a venue, and it looks like the date will be Sunday, June 16, 2013. We'll have a reception here for them sometime afterward. Two weddings in two years. We're two for solid two as far as daughters-in-law. Like Aunt Ila said, we're not blessed--we're spoiled rotten.
Wish this was clearer. It's truly a beautiful ring, domed and studded with small diamonds and a band of two "strands" that overlap on both sides. She loves it!