The Proposal: May 20 2014

DSC_2525A year ago today I asked Lindsey Rae to be my wife. It was 18 days after The Kiss. I had talked to my friend Josh Stokes who is a pro photographer a few days before and he agreed to be a part of this very special day. I went to Shane Company and got simple bands for both of us. In my mind it wasn’t just a day for a ring for her but a ring for us both. I wanted to have something to show Everyone that love had reappeared in my life. I knew I could take back anything and we could choose something unique for her later. It was exciting to be at the doorstep of something so wonderful. I made a short video of myself for Lindsey that morning expressing my desire to be with her for the rest of my life and that I would marry her every day and love her every day………..We watched it together later that night.

I had asked Lindsey if she would wear a nice sundress and contacts so we could wear sunglasses and take a walk over the Stone Arch Bridge that joins NE Minneapolis with downtown. It’s a beautiful setting and the weather forecast was for a mid 70’s afternoon. Perfect for a proposal!

I asked Josh to have his Nikon digital SLR set up at a certain spot and in focus on a flower placed on the ground which I was supposed to walk over with her , pick it up, and ask her right then and there……….Well the best laid plans sometimes have to be changed and as it turns out I chickened out for a little while lol. After picking it up and giving it to her I found myself almost unable to speak ! So Josh just kept the camera rolling and even though we were too far away to capture the audio of our conversation the 10 minutes of footage is just beautiful. The language of our hearts expressed through our smiles and our embraces and kisses and touching is an expose’ of our love for one another. I have watched it many times since her passing. It is impossible to watch it and be sad, the love just overpowers all grief and I have needed that love so many times these past 5 months.

My life these days vacillates between this Present without her and the blessed time we spent together. I am left trying to make sense of something inherently senseless.

The morning of this day last year we were texting back and forth and we had been talking about getting married for 2 weeks. It was so apparent to us just a couple days after the Kiss that our lives were so intertwined, like a key fitting a certain lock and no other. We just ached when we were apart and everything was right the moment we were back together. That morning in the text conversation she actually asked me if I wanted to get married That Day. Then we discussed that we didn’t have a marriage license and decided against it for the moment. It shows that what I was planning to ask her later in the day and her own thoughts were also tracking with mine.

We met over near the Stone Arch Bridge. It was the first time we had a whole afternoon off together to just take a walk without some project or work. There was a slight breeze and it was just warm enough for her to wear a dress. I had stopped by a store that morning and got her a very nice off white shawl and I bought a big white umbrella too since I knew we might need it since Josh had agreed to video the proposal and to take engagement pictures for us later that same afternoon.

Lindsey bought some colorful full length sundresses while on a medical missions trip to Cambodia in late February of 2014 and was excited to be able to wear one of them on our walk.

She was never more beautiful than she was on that day. I was so happy to know that she was so excited to be in love with me. I was thrilled to be in love with her. To share with her all the dreams of my heart; to tell her of all my secret fears, to be completely safe.

From the beginning and especially since her death I have remarked many times to friends that I thought we were just “reckless” in our love but I have amended that now, I think it more correct to say that our love was Unrestrained.

On the bridge as we are chatting away I finally said “Lindsey, I’m trying to figure out a way to ask you to marry me but I’m a little nervous and it’s scary”. I whispered this in her ear and she then just pulls back and with the kindest of looks she smiles at me slightly looking up at me with her head tilted down and just nods that she understands.Even in that moment she is my cheerleader and then I tell her I want to marry her every day of my life and that I promise to love her better every day of my life. I said “will you marry me”? It was as if I was pleading because if she said yes, and I had no doubt that she would as we talked about getting married all the time, that I would be the happiest man on this planet. The wonder of it is I know that that is exactly how she felt about me as well. She was the mirror of my heart, my hopes, and my dreams. She was the crown of my life and I was the man she had always hoped she would find. I knelt down and looked up at her as I placed the band upon her finger and when I stood up I told her I had a matching band that I wanted her to place on my finger too. I know its not a common practice now but it used to be years ago. I wanted to be “taken” it was unthinkable to me that she be the only one to wear a band. She smiled and giggled a little at my request and said “right now”, I nodded and she said in the brightest Lindsey voice “OK”. !

The hustle of the city, the walkers, the runners, the mommas pushing strollers all passing by us yet we were the only two people on earth it seemed to me at that moment. We kissed and embraced and laughed at the wonder of each other. Then I told her i wanted to introduce her to someone and she looks quizzically at me as I point to Josh still set up a few feet away.

We turn and walk toward him and she announces, “I said Yes!”

Below is the link to a little interview Josh did and you will notice I am just a little bit happy and goofy!

I am going to highlight on FaceBook this day one year ago as well. Please feel free to comment in the blog and or on FaceBook

To say this is a bitter sweet day is a understatement. At this point all I have are photographs, memories and ashes. But I also have the limitless power of our love. It is carrying me today just as it carried me a year ago.

Love. Never. Fails.

Video Interview of John and Lindsey by Josh Stokes 05/20/2014

Engagement Pictures of John & Lindsey taken 05/20/2014

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