The crisp November night air bites at our noses and cheeks. The large open sky manifests the beauty and majesty of the universe. The stars above us light the darkening sky, providing hope, peace, and warmth. Even though it’s a cool fall night, Ryan and I manage to stay warm cuddled together under a soft cozy blanket. We lay on a large bean bag nestled in the back of his grey Dodge Ram truck watching the movie “Cars”. I savor every moment and I smile each time I hear Ryan laugh. My head rests against his chest and I listen to his heart…a heart I have grown to love more than I thought possible over the last four months. I loved Ryan’s sense of humor…I loved his sincerity…I loved his enthusiasm…but what I loved most about him…was how he loved me.
“How did I get so lucky?” I think to myself.
Soon after getting lost in my thoughts, I realize the movie credits are scrolling down the small TV screen in front of us, signaling the end of the movie. Ryan quickly jumps up from our cozy spot and leaps over the side of the truck.
“You ready for that surprise I’ve been telling you about all week?” He eagerly asks.
“Are you kidding me?” I reply anxiously, “I’ve been thinking about this ‘surprise’ all week! Please don’t make me wait any longer.”
“Ok” Ryan responds, “But you have to close your eyes first.”
I immediately clamp my eyes shut…
“K I’m ready…” I playfully reply. In my heart I hope the ‘surprise’ will be an engagement ring. We had been talking about marriage for the las several weeks and I had a feeling that tonight was the night he was going to pop the question. I hear the truck door slam shut and Ryan walk up next to me.
“I’ve wanted to give you this for a long time.” He begins, “Ok now you can open your eyes.”
As I open my eyes my enthusiasm is soon extinguished. I stare at Ryan’s smiling face as he happily offers me his high school Letterman’s jacket.
“Lyss, it would make me so happy if you would wear this for me,” He asks.
“Oooh…yeah….of course…that would be great…” I respond in shock, “You want me to have your Letterman’s jacket…from high school? But sure…of course…I’d be happy to wear it.”
“You are awesome Lyss. This means so much to me. Oh and I want to get a picture of you wearing it too!” He replies in even more excitement.
“Alright…that sounds great… what do you want me to?” I say half-heartedly.
“How about we stand back to back and both of us put our hands in our pockets?” he suggests.
“Sounds perfect,” I smile. Even though I feel kind of silly in his old high school jacket, his happiness is worth the awkward moment. In fact…the whole situation kind of makes me laugh. I shrug my shoulders and follow Ryan over to take the picture.
“Ok on the count of three we’ll both put our hands in our pockets and then take the picture. One…two…three….”
I put both of my hands in my pockets. And in my left pocket I feel a small velvety box… my heart beings to race…
“It’s a ring!” I think to myself, “Should I pull it out or wait for Ryan to say something?”
After what seems like an eternity…I finally decide to pull the ring box out of Ryan’s jacket pocket. I turn around to see Ryan’s cute grin…that mischievous grin…
He grabs both of my hands in his then gets down on one knee.
“Alyssa, will you marry me?” he asks sincerely.
“Yes! Of course I will marry you!” I reply with tear streaked cheeks.
Ryan slips the sparkling ring onto my finger… then spins me around in a tight hug.
A couple of years ago, I thought I had lost my wedding ring. I was devastated. I tore the house upside down looking for it with no luck. After nearly a week of it missing…I had finally come to terms that it was gone for good…until one day when I came home from work. I walked into the kitchen and saw it sitting on top of the microwave…right in plain view.
“Ryan!! You found my ring!” I screamed as I raced over to him. He picked me up then he spun me around in a tight hug.
“I knew we would find it,” he coolly responded.
Now…today…when I look down at my wedding ring it gives me hope. I know one day Ryan will spin me around in a tight hug after our seemingly long separation. I will look into those smiling eyes and at that mischievous grin…
“I knew you could do it babe.”
He will take my hands in his and we will have eternity to make up for lost time here on earth.
I’m so thankful for a Savior who allows us to have forever families. Because he willingly sacrificed his life…we all will receive the gift of eternal life. I’m thankful for the amazing plan of happiness and the knowledge that death is not permanent. I hope and pray every day that I can become what God wants me to become. I look forward to the day when the Lord will call me by name and say…
“Well done thou good and faithful servant.”