The 4th of July has always been a big deal around here. There are a lot of reasons why - we love a good barbecue, we love having family & friends over, and we love the fireworks. The 4th is always a celebration and a lot of fun, but the biggest reason is that it’s the day we got engaged. July 4, 2007 was a pretty big deal in our family.
That day was the day that we became “us.”
In fact, that’s the spot.
It was eleven years ago - and Beth and I had driven down to Monterey, CA to have a picnic and watch the fireworks. Every few minutes, I'd stick my hand in my pocket and make sure it was still there.
I had been carrying it around in my pocket all day, and never before had I been more nervous about losing anything. After lunch, we went for a walk along the boardwalk, and I was so scared I couldn't even hold her hand. I needed to be able to continuously check my pocket. I needed to be sure that it was still there. Afterall, it had arrived just the day before - a few hours before Beth arrived from Michigan. It had been flown in just for this occasion, and there was no way I was going to lose it.
I wanted to give it to Beth more than I've wanted anything... ever. But I needed the perfect setting - the perfect moment. Of course, the longer I waited for the perfect moment, and the longer I looked for the perfect spot, the more I worried about checking my pocket.
Then we found this bench.
I probably made up something lame like - let's just sit here for a few minutes. I had this whole "speech" planned, and as soon as we sat down, I forgot every word. Instead, I reached in my pocket, and pulled out Beth's ring.
I don't remember much of what happened next. I don’t even remember what I said. Something happens to a boy sitting on a bench with a beautiful girl and a ring in his pocket. He loses all sense of composure and the world around begins to spin just a little faster as he realizes his life is about to change - exponentially for the better
I don’t remember much except I'm pretty sure I asked my best friend to marry me.
"Yes, of course yes, YES!" Those were her exact words. Sitting there on that bench, she said yes. Sitting there on that bench, eleven years ago, I asked my best friend to be my best friend forever, and she said yes.
Just another reason I love the 4th of July.