Sunday, July 8, 2012

The Engagement......

Hands on the sands of the beach they'll be married on...

They had both come out of relationships scarred and scared. One more than the other, but both still very hesitant about getting involved. They worked at the same place and she had caught his eye a few times, but he wasn’t ready to open his heart or his mind or to return to a road that once swallowed him in a sink hole. No, he was content to fly solo for a while, to stay safely in the company of his friends and roommates. And as his mother, this down time was a rather nice respite from the many painful late night phone calls from him. And yet….he kept getting a glimpse of her dashing through the office with her brilliant smile and large blue eyes. Still, he was determined to keep his guard and heart in check.

She was (is) by profession a high school teacher and works part-time where he is employed to earn some extra money. His boss, a very wise mutual acquaintance, saw potential in this coupling and knew that if she could break down his barriers, this would be a great match. So, thankfully, she made the connection and introduced them. At the time, Kat (short for Kathleen) was hobbled by a casted broken foot, and Trevor was hindered by casted emotions, so they shook hands, spoke briefly and went back to business as usual. As he walked back to his office, he turned to watch her briefly, but quickly refocused. “Nope, not going to happen”, he thought to himself. 

The next time he saw Kat was at an after-hours company event. She, still licking her own relationship wounds, bravely took the initiative to approach him and engage in conversation. By the end of the evening, he walked her to her car where they exchanged cell numbers. He watched her drive away, wondering when, and if, he could make that call.

About a year old, still one of my favorite pictures
Trevor had gone through a rough couple of  years. As parents, we raise our children hopefully armed with enough life information to make good decisions for themselves. Often, we support their decisions even when we quietly question them. And when something way out of our control hurts them, our protective instincts kick in and we are ready to strike at the cause. Their age doesn’t matter, when one of your own is crumbling, you struggle to gather up the pieces and hold them together while your own heart is breaking. I totally understood my son’s hesitation to get involved again but I so wanted him back in the game.

I mention this so you will understand the elation I felt when Trevor called me after his first official date with Kathleen and said “I think I found someone special”. Once while in Alaska, I watched a large chunk of a frozen glacier break from its mold and crash into the sea in an almost defiant means of capturing freedom. Those six words he spoke created the splash I was waiting for from him. I knew this woman had to be “someone special”……someone who had the ability to free him from a frozen wall.

He was three months into the relationship when he felt confident enough to bring her to a family Christmas gathering. It was the first time any of us had met her. Now, I was the one with my armor up. I was watching to make sure that he wasn’t repeating the patterns of his past. He wasn’t. Kat was beautiful and gracious. She even had the class to bring a gift for my younger sister who was hosting the party,  and a bottle of wine for me (smart girl)! She easily engaged in conversation and when the evening ended, she was the first to help start cleaning up. In short, she was raised right. How could Trevor not love her? We all did instantly!

His 4th of July girl!
That was three years ago. Last year, on July 5, 2011, Trevor called me early in the morning to tell me that he was going to propose to Kat on July 4th, 2012. Yes, he made me wait an entire year explaining that she was his “girl of summer and loves the 4th of July”! She grew up spending summers on the shores of Ocean City, NJ and he wanted to bring all of her favorite elements together when he popped the question.

So, this past January, my husband and I rented a beach house very close to the house Kat’s family spends their summer vacations. Our rental went from June 30th to July 7th. Smack in the middle of week was the 4th of July, the date he picked to propose on, and held to for 364 days.  Kat simply thought she was spending a week at the shore with our family. On July 3rd, the very friends who had supported him years earlier started arriving for what she thought was a big 4th celebration. Between family and friends, there were 15 people jammed into a house that slept 6, all knowing something she didn't.
Engagement dinner celebration!!!

In the early morning of July 4th, 2012, and somehow after a late night of partying, Trevor woke Kathleen (not a fan of mornings) and convinced her to go for a 7:00 am swim in the ocean. We all pretended to be asleep as they left. As she started into the waves, he called to her. When she turned around, he was on one knee with a ring in his hand as the water ebbed around him. The glacier now completely melted.

When they returned, the newly engaged couple was greeted with a standing ovation from 13 people hanging over the porch railing of our beach house, Mimosa's and Bloody Mary's were flowing, and her parents weren't far behind. I don't think it could have gone any better. 

An the summer....on the beach....on the 4th of July. All that she wanted, and all that he wanted to give to her. Good job, son!


  1. A beautiful story, beautifully told. We enjoyed reading it, and we loved seeing and feeling the joy of those wonderful children of ours on their magical day.

  2. Thanks Jean, I enjoyed writing it and couldn't agree more on sharing the joy of our kids!

  3. I love this story!!! Congratulations!!!!

  4. Absolutely amazing! Just like the couple!! xoxo

  5. Your story is too inspiring for me! May I know what dress stores on long island did you purchased your wedding gown?

  6. Thanks for reading Terrance. I didn't mention buying a dress on Long Island, but I'm glad you enjoyed the story!

  7. What a great story. Congrats to the happy couple!

  8. Thank you! And thanks for taking the time to read it!