Recently, we met a new girl who has suddenly come into our lives. She actually has been in the picture for years, but we were never aware of her. The first time I remember spotting her was the Sunday after we got home from our trip to Taiwan, at our Son's Mission Homecoming.
This is an event where he is invited to speak in Sacrament Meeting at Church. Afterwards a celebratory dinner is provided by the family, usually in their home. We had about 60 people that day all there to celebrate S3's successful mission and safe return home.
Returned missionaries sometimes have a very hard time readjusting to civilian life. They are thrust from a totally secure environment away from worldly worries with a thoroughly planned life back into the Real World. For the previous two years, their rules were to stay with their companion 24/7, preach the Gospel, and stay an arms-length away from any member of the opposite sex. With their Mission Release comes worries about school, jobs, insurance, career, a vehicle and dating.
Because summer jobs are hard to find in our small town, most of the High School graduates, College students and Returned Missionaries have to move to larger cities located hundreds of miles away. They have to either live with relatives or rent when they DO find a job, which makes saving for college very difficult. If they find a job in the small town, it makes social life very scarce.
Because he came home from his mission so late in the summer, we felt there would not be very much opportunity for good jobs, so we hired him to paint the house and shop for us, and he has been doing an excellent job.
Because of this employment, his social life was not too active, except when his friends came back to town for Independence Day and some weekends.
Among the well-wishers who came to celebrate his Homecoming, was his long-time Best Friend, (BF) who was en route home from a cousin's wedding in a neighboring state. Tagging along with BF and his wife were a string of cute girl cousins. At our celebration, BF explained that this cousin's family was having two weddings three weeks apart. The brother had just gotten married last week, and in two weeks, the sister was getting married. They invited S3 to come help celebrate at the reception. It was to be held in a town about an hour and a half away.
So two weeks after he got home, S3 ventured out on his own for the first time to attend this wedding. While at the reception, he met, or should I say made a re-acquaintance with, BF's cousin, Cute Girl, who when they were children, used to be the younger tag-along sister the cousins used to ditch, when he would go with BF for a week at their Grandma's house in the summers.
It was Cute Girl's sister's wedding S3 was attending. For some reason, this couple held their open house/reception on Friday, got married Saturday in the temple, and came back to Grandma's for a lunch and to open presents.
Anyway back to S3 and the cute girl: She had sworn off boys in general two years ago after a traumatic experience with boys and was still in that mode when he approached her and asked her to dance. She said she found herself thinking NO but to her great surprise she heard herself saying YES.
They danced and as they talked afterward, they discovered much in common. He called home that night and said he wanted to go to the wedding the next morning, so he wouldn't be home tonight. Besides, he claimed, he had gone to visit with his friend BF who had to work Friday and wasn't actually coming until the next day. He didn't tell me this, but really he wanted to get to know Cute Girl a bit better.
The next day after the wedding, S3 and Cute Girl got even more acquainted as they walked and talked some more, and I fear BF STILL didn't get visited.
But S3 came home all smiles, and announced sweetly that he had met a girl. . .
Now as I write this, it has been a month since that first dance. Things have escalated quite a bit. Two weeks later, after several trips to her home, and many talks on the phone, he announced, was that they had talked and had decided they were "going together". He has been back to pick her up and take her to meet his now-returned Mission President and his wife. The next Thursday, she drove over here to meet us. We took her out to the West Desert to target practice on innocent cans.
On our way out to the desert, I told CG our story about how everything good that had happened to us was accompanied with rain. S3 and CG recalled that it was raining when they had decided they were "going together".
On our way home, she told us that her parents just loved S3 and had for a long time, ever since he was a small boy and came with BF to visit his cousins and grandparents. That night, we ate dinner, then retired to the porch to watch the rain storm which lasted couple of hours.
The next morning as S3 was getting ready for a job interview 100 miles away, he asked his dad what he thought of CG.
After agreeing that she was really something special, the conversation went something like this:
Sailor: So, are we going to be hearing about an upcoming EVENT soon?
S3: Huh? (Trying to appear innocent and naive).
Sailor: You know, December is really busy and a hard time to have an EVENT. Are you going to announce an EVENT in December?
S3::looking sheepish because he had known what his dad was hinting at:: "Well, we haven't discussed this"
Sailor, being well-seasoned from 5 previous children's marriages said: Well, just so you know, these things take some warning and preparation time. The other siblings need some "heads up" time in order to arrange their finances and time off, etc.
S3: We are probably going to talk about that after our first semester in school.
Sailor: Oh and April is the Outage at the Plant. I Cannot get that time off, so please Not April.
Sailor: I am pretty sure you will probably be announcing this sometime in the future, so just so you and she know these are two times that are really hard to arrange.
S3: (this time not so naive) OK, thanks for the warning, Dad.
I never would have been able to put it so simply or straight-forward as the Sailor, but I appreciate this Father-Son talk they had.
::Annie gears up mentally for yet One More special Event::
more later. . .
S3 came home for the weekend, but it turns out that he only stayed here a minute and really he said he was going to a Family Reunion for Cute Girl's family.
So I was sitting outside visiting with S3 while he was painting trim on the YET-TO-BE-FINISHED paint job.
He had told us earlier that he and CG were probably going to date others while they were attending their separate schools 2 hours from each other. This really bothered me, since I felt he already knew that she was the best thing that had ever happened to him
I said: "I don't think it is such a great idea to date anyone else." He gets the cutest grin on his face and says, OH?
I explain that he has already found such a perfect match, why would he want to get to know anyone else?
He said they had discussed this and think the same. I said, then, the next step is to ask her to marry you. Have you asked her to marry you?
::Shakes his head with a silly grin::
MOM you always know me SO WELL. How do you do it?
So? Have you set a date? Is it June?
::Incredulous:: HOW DID YOU KNOW?
I don't know, seems like a good time, what date? the 17th?
::MOUTH OPEN:: HOW DID YOU KNOW?
I listen to you. You told me the number 17 has significance for you both, it HAS to be that day.
He admits that really they already purchased the ring, and he was on his way to their house, not for a family reunion, but to ask her father for her hand. He was trying to keep it all a secret, and wouldn't have said a word, but because I asked, he felt he wanted to tell us.
Later in the evening as S3 is talking on the phone to CG, he hands me the phone and asks me to tell her about the previous conversation.
As I am recalling this conversation to her, I realize that June 17 is THE DAY I GOT MY RING all those years ago! We had purchased it on the 9th, and it was was getting resized. The next Sunday, the 17th, Sweet Friend (Sailor) asked my dad for my hand, then placed that ring on my finger in front of them. WOW. It never had significance, because he had actually asked me to marry him several weeks before on his birthday, so that is the day I counted.
And now, as Paul Harvey likes to say: Here is the Rest Of The Story: Her Story:
Ever since she was a young girl, about 12, she always had a huge crush on S3. She and her cousins have teased each other that some day one of them would marry him. She decided, at a very young age, that she would like to be The One. As she grew up and went through various boyfriend problems and breakups, she said it was thinking of him that helped her to get past these sad times.
She also told me that she had felt an urgency to make sure she came to his Mission Homecoming, but had no idea when he got back or when the Homecoming was. By pure coincidence when they were on their way home from her brother's wedding in a neighboring state, she was somehow shifted to a different car, which, by the way was going to detour through (our town) to S3's Homecoming.
Because of her long-time crush, and sweet wish to be his bride, she said she was petrified she might say something stupid and blow the whole thing, and ended up not saying a word to him while here. Then she heard her cousins inviting him to the other wedding, and again, she was terrified she would blow it and do something stupid. In her fear, she avoided him. But it all worked out, because he approached her, and asked her to dance. . .
. . .and that is The Rest Of The Story.
In retrospect, she chased him until he caught her. Isn't that how it goes much of the time? And, he asked her dad for her hand on. . .
. . .the 17th.
one more thing. . . from the time our children were tiny, we began to include their future spouses in our family prayers. We prayed they would be raised in good families, they would desire a temple marriage, and they would be kept safe. It is amazing to know she was in our perimeter from the time S3 met BF and became best friends.
SO I am getting ready for one more special EVENT to happen in this family. I am so pleased. We all LOVE Cute Girl. She is darling.
S3 and CG were here for the weekend. He had gotten the ring sized and brought it to her when he picked her up yesterday. He took her to the hill where the Temple stands, and then he got out his guitar and played
and sang it to her (which is really rare to hear him sing), then he got on one knee, and said, "(her name), will you marry me?"
She could only nod through her tears. She is such a darling girl.