Many people were wondering how it is that I had proposed, so we decided to reenact our engagement for some of our closest family members. The problem was with the wedding not too far off being only a few months away, how we were going to be able to afford getting some of the family members to the particular location. We felt that this would be a good way for our parents to get to know each other better and for there to be a celebration of the wedding plans being completely finished for our friends and siblings. We wouldn’t be able to make it exactly as it was since the location I had picked to propose to my fiancé requires a specific reservation far in advance. So to emulate the setting that we had been in for the special occasion, we are simply going to attend a wonderful event at a nearby resort. This will also allow for everyone to be in a central location during their stay since there are discounted rates leading up to this event that is taking place. The other major factor that will be different other than having family and friends being present is the fact that I will now be able to present my beautiful fiancé with what it is she truly deserves, which is a real state of the art diamond ring. You see with the economy being how it was and coming straight out of college entering the work force I had to take a lesser paying job within my career field just to make ends meet. Being she was still in school initially when I decided to ask for her hand in marriage, I needed whatever source of income as well as field experience locally that I could acquire to lay a foundation down for the beginning of our lives together. Since that time, this particular business has taken off and allowed my superiors to offer me with a substantial raise in pay. I believe this will be the best surprise of all since currently she just wears the special designed band that I designed for a jeweler friend of ours to manufacture. This particular friend is also the one that I am working with on the new ring that I will be presenting to her within the reenactment of our engagement.

Her and I being blessed with our parents taking care of the wedding expenses we were able to take out a small loan in order to make this gathering a reality. We began working on the details of the arrangement and it just so happened that there were still enough openings within the resort to allow for everyone to stay there. My two siblings would be sharing a room, my fiancé’s two siblings would share another room, my parents their own room, her parents also their own room, and then we set up for our friends who weren’t in the area already to have a suite. This worked out wonderfully in regards to all of them being in close proximity of one another. The resort was one that had plenty to do within it and being located not too far from the city there would be a plethora of other things that each of them could do for entertainment and recreation. When we presented this to each party involved their schedules all allowed them to attend with only a few of them having to make the necessary changes to open up a day for travel. My fiancé was so excited that she would be able to physically share the memory of this moment with the rest of her family, still with no clue as to the surprise she herself would be getting during that night.

The process with the ring was going smoothly with my jeweler friend and he let me know that the ring should be ready in plenty of time for the reenactment with the loved ones. Something inside me just felt everything seemed to be going far too smoothly as sometimes I tend to worry about signature upcoming plans that make an impact upon the lives of those I care about. None the less I moved forward with my days continuing to finish projects at work so that I could fully enjoy the time off when my family arrived in town. My fiancé was so excited that she could hardly contain herself by continuing to go over the plans of the days our loved ones would be in town. She tends to be in the mode of a perfectionist having that common sense of worry much like myself for things to go well. Fortunately, she too has a good paying job that allows us to lay the worry of paying off that loan to rest in because we can do it easily and efficiently. The only real reason we had taken it out was so that we had the money up front since this idea was somewhat spur of the moment after the plans for the wedding had been finished. The overall idea behind all of this was to not only share the experience personally with loved ones, but to have it be recorded to be included within the wedding video we were going to have played at our reception. We felt that this would add a certain spark within that presentation and to easily have the questions answered. Not to mention that with the fact of me presenting a real ring as a surprise her reaction would be very similar to the first time without much if any “acting” being necessary.

The weeks went by while my fiancé and I continued to meet up after work at her place to allow for our collective worries to be eased by the time we spent together. It was only a few days away from when it was our loved ones were to arrive. Everything was still going smoothly as the conversations I was having with my jeweler friend were all going positively as he said the process was still going on as planned. The last time I had spoken to him, he informed me that I would be able to pick up the ring the day before the reenactment was to take place. The reason I didn’t mind this is because I then wouldn’t have had to worry about keeping it hidden away from her as we continued to spend time together each night after work. However, the day before it was scheduled for me to go into the store to pick it up I received a phone call telling me that the arrival of the ring was going to be delayed another day. This meant that I was going to have to try and find time to get to the store amongst the arrival of all of the loved ones and still get to the resort in plenty of time to set everything up with how the ring was to arrive in her hands. You see with the first proposal I had which involved the band, it was the standard reveal with it being in a case while I was down on one knee with her still sitting in her chair at the restaurant table. This time I am going to have it be similar, but act as if the case was forgotten prior to the servers delivering us our desserts. This is where it was I then plan for a specific song from our first time ever meeting at a dance social to be playing in the background. The song being played will be more for the essence of the video shoot as I imagine that when I pretend the case is forgotten she may be focused more on that aspect then the music playing in the background. The “server” who is to be bringing us the dessert will also be her Father as he agreed with me prior to arriving in town that as I “forget” the case he will slip over to the kitchen area to acquire the dessert plates placing the opened ring case on it. It is at that moment when he arrives back to our table to deliver the dessert decorated plate with the case in the center that he will say something along the lines of “This must be where you had left it”.

I was a bit frantic at the fact of figuring out how it was I would be able to get away from not only her but also the others without them figuring out the surprise. You see the only other person who knew about the ring surprise was indeed her Father who planned to help me out. I wanted the reactions of everyone else to be genuine for the sense of the film, so hopefully nothing crazy will end up happening. The only thing that I could think of that sounded legitimate enough to not cause suspicion was the fact of work needing me to come in for an emergency tweak to a project before it was to be sent out that same day. I went over in my head a few different scenarios for answering certain questions of people being disappointed or wondering about why work would contact me after having set up with them that I needed this time off for something of this magnitude. With the weather having been nice up to this point I didn’t see any real cause for worry in regards to getting to the jewelry store and back without problems. The only factor then would be potential traffic, but I think I figured out an alternative route that would allow for that to be avoided. With these solutions coming to my head I began to feel a little more comfortable with the delay taking place and figured it to no longer be much of an issue.

The next day, which is the day before everyone is arriving and the reenactment is to take place some bad weather had moved in causing an added essence of chaos to the jam packed day of the “party”. I began to wonder not only of how this would affect my own travel, but also that of the others scheduled to come in tomorrow. This day at work was kind of dreadful because tomorrow was the only thing I could really focus on as I wanted it to be extra special for my fiancé and our loved ones who made the special trip out to partake in this mini event. As the hours went by the work day finally came to a close and I was able to get back on track of getting everything settled for tomorrow. I talked it over with my fiancé and we decided that tonight we weren’t going to get together because there were some things each of us needed to get wrapped up before tomorrow came. Luckily this wouldn’t draw any suspicion and much like myself I knew she would be worried about everything on her side of the arrangements. I made the necessary calls to touch base with my family and friends informing them of the weather that came through. The ones that were flying made a few calls and were told that there weren’t any plans yet for delays or cancellations. The ones that were driving decided that they would take the precautionary measures of leaving earlier than they originally had planned to make sure they would arrive at a sufficient hour. Then the final call that I had to make regarding tomorrow was that to the jeweler friend of mine. It was then that he told me it was going to arrive early tomorrow morning so any time after they open it would be possible for me to obtain it from them. This was great news, but I still had to create a timeline for the day that would allow me to go get the ring. I decided it would be best that everyone would get settled into their rooms first and then break the news to them that I had to take my leave for work during the time we had planned for a family lunch.

The day finally being here the weather was still pretty ridiculous and the roads weren’t exactly the greatest. Shortly after I woke up I went to meet with my fiancé so that I could get the band from her and we could head to the airport for the next few hours awaiting the arrival of a few of the loved ones. While there we received a few phone calls from the ones that were driving letting us know they arrived at the resort and were getting situated. This was a great relief to the both of us as we again had a little bit of worry with the new changes in the weather. None of the flights looked to have been cancelled or delayed and soon enough everyone’s planes had landed. Once they finished arriving we set them in each of our cars and headed toward the resort to meet up with the others who were already there. When we had arrived it was closer to the planned lunch time than I had expected the night prior and just before arriving to the resort the visibility for driving conditions became a little suspect. I didn’t know how well it would be received let alone accepted at the fact of me saying I had to leave for work of all things during this time with these circumstances. Once I broke the news to them I had to deal with a lot of what I expected and then some. Thankfully there were a few people that understood and stepped in to help alleviate all of the tension resting on my shoulders alone. Walking out of the doors it was at this time that I made the call to the jewelry store just to make sure that the ring had indeed arrived at the store as it was planned despite being told that it would be just last night by my friend. The call went well as the engagement ring was at the store awaiting my arrival to take it back to the resort and begin my exciting night that my fiancé and I have been anxiously awaiting.

I began the journey of traveling toward the jewelry store taking the alternate route in hopes that I would avoid any traffic that may be in the way. With the weather it seemed that there were a few other people that had the same idea as it seemed this route wasn’t any less populated than some of the main roads/highways. The other downside of this route was that it was probably a little worse as far as driving conditions due to the fact of there being less attention given to them by plows or salt trucks. Given the circumstances I was comfortable with taking my sweet time during this period because I just wanted to ensure the fact that I would return to the arms of my fiancé and loved ones that were waiting for me back at the resort. I tried to focus on the positive of the excitement on her face once she saw the ring instead of the worry of the amount of time this would take because of the less than stellar elements to drive in. Finally, I was to the jewelry store and began to find my way around the parking lot for a spot. I got out of the car and met up with my friend inside to acquire the ring from him. We talked a little bit about the process and how well we thought that it had turned out. I was happy that it was finally in my possession as we both agreed she would be extremely happy to receive it tonight. As I was leaving I thanked him again for getting this taken care of for me and told him that I would talk to him again soon. Walking out of the door I felt the cold wind abruptly pass what felt like was right through me. I shivered a little bit and continued on to my car so that I could get back to the resort and finish this night out.

Driving down the road all I could feel was the nerves in relation to my earlier thoughts of how surprised she will be to get this ring and how the family will react to the festivities of it all. I remained focused on the roads though as visibility became a further issue and the roads appeared to be even slicker with this constant array of terrible weather overtaking the area. Much like when I was on my way to the jewelry store there was quite a few people driving this particular route. Looking down at the clock it was way later than I had expected it to be and felt a little panicked knowing there was still a lot I had to get settled prior to the reenactment taking place. There wasn’t much that I could do in order to speed up the trip though as all I was concerned with was just getting there no matter the time. As I remained in line with the flow of the rest of traffic I reached over to grab the case to take another look at the ring. I opened it up and held it near the wheel in front of me so that I could get a good look at it, seeing the ring put a big smile on my face. However, behind the image of the ring and the case I noticed a blurry image of shining lights of a police car with great speed appearing out of control. It was as if time was in slow motion as I gently closed the case of the ring with my hand and saw that the police car had swerved toward me to the effect of inducing a head on collision. With the weather how it was I was going of moderate speed to begin with considering the conditions, but this officer was going a much greater speed due to the response of his emergency. I braced for impact tightly gripping the ring as there was no way out of this predicament.

As the collision took place all I could feel was the warmth of memories that I had generated over the course of my lifetime and the love that was shared with me from those that I was closest with. I briefly felt the loss of the moment that I was preparing for and awaited to produce for my lovely fiancé just too then be filled with a great peace and joy that is inexplicable. God having always been with me throughout the course of my life was now with me in a greater capacity as I was entering His kingdom. I felt a great transformation take place as I felt embraced by a new reality, a new life, and a new home.

(Ambulances raced to the scene of the accident where this police officer had lost control of his vehicle resulting in the collision with an unsuspecting driver. Only those two vehicles were involved in the form of a collision where as others went off the road to avoid the chaos that the collision created. Upon arriving to the scene it was evident that neither driver was in good shape, however the police officer showed signs of life when he was checked by the paramedics. Unfortunately the man that was on his way back to participate in one of his lives greatest moments was pronounced dead at the scene. Not knowing initially who this man was or where he was headed, one of the paramedics noticed a case in his hand which contained the engagement ring. After extracting the body and finding the identity of this man they began making calls. It was then on the phone that the father of the deceased was contacted and notified of the accident that occurred and told of the loss of his son. The father then relayed the information to his wife and the rest of the family and friends that were there to celebrate this once joyous occasion they were initially all at the resort to experience. The fiancé of the deceased fell to the floor on her knees weak and in tears of what had happened being in vast disbelief. The father then said that there was an item found on his son that needed to be returned to the family urgently. Only the father of the fiancé knew what this item could have potentially been as he was going to help with the surprise of his daughter receiving the engagement ring she had no idea was even coming her way.

With all of the sadness surrounding the group of people each of them made plans to head toward the hospital where the body was being held. The parents of the deceased walked into the room where he lay and asked what the item was in which the paramedic felt the need to give back to the family so quickly. With an outstretched arm the paramedic gave the case to the father and mother as they then both looked at each other and then embraced. Outside waiting was the distraught fiancé wondering what it was that was given to the parents of her now dead fiancé. Awaiting their entry in the arms of her father the parents of the deceased walked out into the waiting room. The father of the deceased said to what was going to soon be his daughter-in-law, “I believe this was meant to be given to you”. Looking at him with a questionable look on her face he then reached into his pocket and pulled out the case containing the ring. As she held it in her hand and looked upon it her body began to shake and again more tears rolled down her face. All that she could think about was the actual event of the proposal that occurred many months prior back when she said yes to commit the rest of her life to be with her fiancé. After a brief moment she opened the case expecting to again see her band that he had custom made for her, but instead was met with the surprise of the actual gorgeous diamond ring he had acquired to be its replacement. Even with the situation surrounding her she smiled at the beauty that was before her and read the writing within the case that said, “Always together within our hearts and memories”. This made her fall back into the arms of her father as her mother and siblings also came over to hold their weeping family member.)

This was an unexpected and unplanned event that struck the lives of many people I loved and cherished. Being able to see her obtain the ring was a special gift that I was able to still enjoy. It is unknown to me now what will result with the rest of their lives, but I am glad that they were all there with each other during this time of tragedy. Everything happens for a reason and God works in mysterious ways. If my fiancé and I hadn’t planned this gathering and this accident would have still happened, the grieving process for each individual would’ve been different not being surrounded with family and friends. The ring wouldn’t have reached the hands of my fiancé because it wouldn’t have otherwise been ordered and ready until the wedding. I wouldn’t have had the chance to spend that little time with my friends and family before my passing. With the future being uncertain I can hardly wait to embrace them once again in welcoming them to this new wonderful home. Until then I will carry the memories with me of what was and continue to enjoy this around me that is the now.

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