As it turns out, Ben and I met on Halloween, so that made that date super easy to remember. We met at an CES Institute Halloween Party. Have I ever told that story on here? Maybe I will some time. ;)
The day Ben proposed is trickier for me to remember because he did on Martin Luther King Jr. Day fifteen years ago.
January 18th 1999
Most people have a hard time believing that we've been together that long since our kids are still fairly young. But, yes. Fifteen years ago this past Saturday, Ben proposed.
Wow. Were we young!
Ben had already asked my father for permission several days before. Old fashioned, I know, but so romantic and sweet!
I was not present for the sit-down between the two, but Ben told me later that, while it went well, he said some things he felt awkward about later.
I think the conversation went something like this:
Dad (loving this part): Just what exactly are your intentions with my daughter?
Ben: I would like to marry her and multiply and replenish the Earth.
I'm not sure how the rest of the conversation went except that Dad gave his permission gladly and Ben and I went on our merry way.
Several days later, we were at Deseret Book Store. Ben was wanting to look at an engagement ring for me but, of course, I was stuck to him like glue.
A minor miracle in his behalf occurred and my mother walked in on her own errand. Ben quickly got her to distract me (looking at wedding guest books) so that he could buy the ring. I was not suspicious in the least.
After Ben made his stealthy purchase, the two of us left to enjoy our time together. I seem to recall that we had been squabbling a bit, but I don't remember now what it was about.
Ben drove us up to the foothills in Albuquerque, parked and started hiking up the hills. I was not as quick as he and he left me in the virtual and literal dust. I remember being exasperated that he would not wait for me, but I'm fairly sure that he might have been wracked with nerves at the time.
Ben perched himself on the top of a large bolder and waited for me to arrive, gasping. By this time, I was mildly annoyed, but I let him help me climb up the bolder and sit beside him.
Ben and I sat side by side gazing out on the city. He pointed out a variety of landmarks and streets so that he could show me where the Albuquerque Temple was going to be built.
After a time, I was finally relaxing (still not suspecting a thing) and was oblivious at first to the momentous event that was occurring.
Ben looked at me and said, "Can I ask you a question?"
"Yes," I said, still unaware.
"Will you be my wife for this long?" he asked, pulling out a velvet box and opening it to reveal the Eternity ring he had just acquired.
I was completely caught by surprise, in spite of knowing he was planning on asking me!
I responded, already weeping, "Of course!"
I'm sure we must have kissed at that point, though I find I don't remember specifically.
The coming months would bring with them a whirlwind of planning and anticipation, but at that moment, we were as young as we would ever be with the intention of being together. I have to laugh now at how grown-up we felt then.
Fifteen years feels like the blink of an eye in so many ways, but looking back involves years of stories, adventures and joy.
We would make it official less than six months later... maybe I'll write about that one too. ;)