Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Since we're being all lovey dovey...

Here's the full engagement story we wrote out and sent via mass email to everyone we knew at the time. It's a long but hopefully enjoyable read. In case you can't tell, the white words are Geary's, the red words are my interruptions/explanations.

Subject: Jeana loves Geary and I know why- she said yes!

I knew it was going to happen Thursday. I was picking up the ring that day in Vancouver and I had it all planned out. However, I had one goal that was not going to be easy. I wanted to surprise her. Please don't misunderstand, she knew it was going to happen. We had discussed marriage thoroughly and it was a good thing. However, she didn't know the how or the when.

In fact, no one did. I couldn't let it happen. Jeana is smart. Jeana is intuitive. Jeana is... conniving. I knew. That was it.

So Thursday came with a gust and I was on my way to Vancouver accompanied with excitement and a beautiful domination of reality. Yes, commitment. But I came to the wonderful realization that I would get to love this woman forever. Yes, commitment!! The task before me now was to create a romantic, surprising, and beautiful moment that captures the heart and freezes time. No problem (insert fear here).

I knew where I wanted to propose. A year ago, before I left for Israel, I courted Jeana on her porch over some hot cups of tea. On one of those porch-engaging moments I gave her a sand dollar. You're probably thinking that's a cute gift- Jeana obviously likes shells. But that sand dollar was found one time at the coast. I was spending an afternoon alone with my journal when during that reflection I was overcome with a tangible taste of God's providential love. My first reaction was worship. My second reaction was to share it with someone like-minded. But I was alone. I wonder if one enjoys God's presence more by sharing it?

Well, Thursday night unfolded. I arrived back in Portland with the ring and promptly called Jeana to "plan" the evening. I asked her if she wanted to eat dinner with me. "No", she said she was going shopping.
Ok. She would call me after she got back. I waited impatiently.

The phone rang and Jeana was really quiet. "
Geary," she said, "I just want to run away." What did she mean? "I just want to get out of the apartment." Ok. So I arrive at the apartment and Jeana grabs her coat and we leave. "Where do you want to go?" I asked. "I don't know" Then she started to cry. Not ok. We talked and she explained that she was just having a really dumb day.

Jeana: Actually, I was having a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad day. I was being dumb and selfish and my heart was not right. And I knew it--that was the worst part. But I guess it was appropriate for Geary's plan. Since I was so wrapped up in myself, I was completely clueless about what he was doing.

And I was thinking she's not mad at me... this can still work.

Then my little mind started to whirl. Earlier I had set up a decorated table with a candle and roses at the porch, so that was ready. I just needed to get her there. I found myself starting the clever dialogue.

"I have an idea. How about we go to your old porch and play on the porch-swing, pretend that we're old people, and make fun of joggers as they pass by?"

She shook her head gently, "No."

Jeana: I think I was amused by this idea but I still wanted to be grumpy. That sounded like too much fun.

Yes, I panicked, but recovering with tenacious wit. "

Luckily she folded despite my wit.

We started walking hand-in-hand, slowly and enjoying the evening. I was surprised to find myself conversing about various subjects and having a pleasant time.

Jeana: Me, too. In fact, just sharing with Geary was redeeming my day. I was starting to feel better and I was looking forward to relaxing with him on our old porch.

The best part, however, she had no clue of that which was waiting.

We arrived within 50 feet of the porch and I could see the table's corners and adornments. Yet my face lied giving no hint of recognition. Then we started up the porch steps. Jeana stopped. I was wondering. She calmly pointed and said "There's flowers."

Jeana: I was thinking--we can't go up there! Some one is planning a surprise--I don't want to ruin it.

Amused in my head, I said, "Go see who they are for.". "No!", she asserted quickly.

Jeana: I was certain that whoever the flowers were for would come out of the house indignant because I was messing with her big surprise.

Again I panicked but I asserted "
C'mon." Jeana sighed with annoyance and approached the table. Within two feet she stopped moving and stopped communicating.

"Who are they for?"

"They say Isha." (That is my beautiful name for her).

Jeana: When I finally realized it was all for me, I still didn't have any idea what was going on. I was thinking, "Oh...Geary knew I was having a bad day and he wanted to do something nice!"

Now that she was sort of on the same page I lit the candle and took in my hand the letter sitting amongst the flowers. "Can I read it to you?" I asked.

She... stopped communicating.

Jeana: I wasn't expecting a proposal for at least another week or so. Geary had told me he was only going to a focus on a special project he was doing with his old youth pastor. I wasn't letting myself expect anything--my thoughts were frozen.

The letter spoke of the first sand dollar and my realization that Jeana was the one I wanted to share my worship, my life, and my love with for the rest of time. The letter ended saying that I wanted to give her another sand dollar.

I pulled a wrapped sand dollar from my pocket and unfolded it before her. She looked at the white shell and quietly reached to take it. As she lifted it her breath stopped. She recognized the sparkling circlet crowned with the radiance of pressurized carbon resting beneath the sand dollar.

Jeana: Finally, I realized what was happening and I noticed that I exhaled. I hadn't even realized that I was holding my breath. And now I was shaking.

I took the ring,got on one knee and tried to exclaim beautiful prose that captured the evening. Honestly, though, I have no idea what I said and I was too nervous to recognize the words.
ended with the question "So, I was wondering if you would be my wife?" And I gently placed the diamond upon her finger. "Yes please." was her answer.

Jeana: Yes PLEASE. Yes. Yes. Yes please, yes. PLEASE yes.

(I have to mention this because it's funny to me but as I was rising from my knee I was thinking... she's not crying? Isn't she supposed to be crying?)

But we embraced and then I noticed that my neck was damp and yes... she was crying. (whew)

We sat there on the porch for another half hour. We prayed for God's help and enjoyed talking as man and wife to be.

Jeana: When we got back to my apartment it was full of people of waiting to celebrate with us. Before we left Geary had cleverly faked needing to use the bathroom so that he could tell my roommate, "Jeana is getting engaged tonight!" And my roommate cleverly threw an impromptu party--it was amazing. Despite my ridiculous jogging outfit and frizzy hair.

Thanks for being excited with us and please pass the news on to people we may have missed. Like my cousin, who's decorations I used on the porch- thanks Nila... it worked.

With love,

Geary and Jeana

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for posting this! What a great memory. I love all the Jeana comments added in.


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