IT'S ABOUT TIME!
If you have ever had to keep the biggest secret in world for more than 3 weeks from the person you love, than you will know exactly that I am talking about. It is damn near impossible. You dance around the issue, you lie about the weekend plans, and you just want to shout out "IF YOU ONLY KNEW!!" I knew I would propose, I knew how I would propose and I knew exactly when. Ashley? NO CLUE. A constant question over the last few weeks: What are you waiting on? Why haven’t you proposed yet? Why why why when when when??? Inside my head? I’M WAITING ON THE RING PLEASE STOP ASKING!!! If you only knew...
What she didn’t know turned out to be the best night of our lives. It was also one of the most nerve wracking moments I’ve ever experienced. And I’ve been in some dicey situations – sneaking around my high school at midnight waiting to do a prank with the security officers roaming the halls, hitting the 1st tee shot in many big golf tournaments, skydiving, bungee jumping – nothing compared to this. Nothing.
The venue? First United Methodist Church (thanks to Patti O’Dea’s negotiating skills!!). The scene? 100% candlelight, 6 dozen roses, grand piano (thanks to my brother and wife Chris for setting up!!). The ask? A song that I wrote for Ashley. Music and lyrics, the whole shebang. She claims that she had no idea what was going on until I actually started playing, which I supposed was the intended effect. She thought we were there for a prayer vigil (believable?) with my small group. All I know is that I was incredibly nervous to sing for her, nervous that my voice would crack like a 6th grader going thru puberty, nervous that I would cry like a little baby and not be able to finish...but I was not nervous about the answer. When the song was done, she was a wreck (in a great way), I was shaking so bad the piano was wiggling, but I eventually got down on my knee and went for it. I have no idea what I actually said but I remember the response. Pretty sure you know what she said too. I do know that an incredible sense of peace came over me when we were just standing there, a newly engaged couple, talking and hugging. It was like nothing I have ever felt before, honestly.
After the 3 greatest letters I’ve heard, we had some champagne and went to dinner with “my brother and Chris and your parents”. You really think that’s all I had planned? Yeah, right. Fat chance. We showed up to The Union to have 40 of her closest friends and family yelling and screaming congratulations! It was an amazing scene. Once I get some pictures I’ll make sure to post them. But Ashley’s reaction was PRICELESS. It was unreal. She really had no idea that they were there (why would she?) and it really hit both of us the love we felt. This road has been long for us – over 4 years of dating, and all across the freaking United States of America – so for it to come to this is just the best feeling I have experienced. And we felt that from the crowd of friends too. I felt the years, I felt the distance, I felt the relief, but I felt calm and I felt loved. It was almost indescribable. But it was amazing.
We spent the rest of the night there and back at her house talking and celebrating and laughing and hugging and reacting and recalling the night. It couldn’t have been better one bit. We are so excited for what is next. Not sure of a wedding date yet, but you know what? We are going to enjoy being ENGAGED for a few days!
As one great mind once said, Engagement means Enragement! We’ll do our best to avoid that.
Bring on the next great Mrs. Casebeer!