Valentine's Day was enjoyable, just not spent with the "someone" I was crazy about.
That evening, I connected to the internet and ended up hearing from Eric. "Want to talk tonight?" he asked. Would I ever refuse that question if I could help it?? "I'd love to!!" I chatted back. "However, I'm due to visit the neighbor first, and then at ___ time, I'm going to Skype with my mom and sister." Silly me: even though we really never talked in the evening, I didn't suspect a thing. We agreed to talk in that middle slot of time, and off I floated to the neighbors.
However, that visit took much, much longer than I had anticipated. We chatted. We sipped tea. We watched some sort of soap opera/comedy. My student Anna and I helped her make tortillas. I was antsy to get home to talk with Eric, but I knew how important hospitality was in this culture, and so I resolved to enjoy the time.
At last we arrived home....just in time for my call with Anna and mom. I had completely missed the slot of time set aside for Eric! I got online and, very disappointed, apologized to him, expecting him to say he couldn't talk until the next day. "How about you talk to your sister, and then we'll talk?" He suggested. I was delighted, and still completely oblivious to anything out of the ordinary.
I enjoyed the time with my mom (who was visiting my sister), Anna, and my adorable niece Brielle. They were able to turn their video camera on without disrupting our connection- a rare treat- and I admired Anna's growing baby-bump, laughed at Brielle's antics...and wondered why my mom wouldn't sit in front of the video camera. I hadn't seen her face since leaving home a month before, and I couldn't understand why she wouldn't let me see her! Also, I wasn't sure why she was so ready to end our call...I was enjoying myself! Still, I suspected absolutely nothing out of the ordinary.
|Brielle and Anna Skyping with yours truly-Feb 18, 2013.|
Finally, I was ready to talk with my extraordinarily patient man. We started talking, and I loved hearing his voice for the second time that day. I small-talked, telling him about my day and just chatting. Nothing out of the ordinary, right?
Out of the blue, Eric asked me to look at my email. I discovered a pdf letter from him there and was touched and delighted, but still thought it was just one of his many thoughtful ways of surprising me. I was right, but boy had I underestimated the surprise. "Read the letter, and tell me when you get the end of each paragraph," he requested. I obliged and while you don't get to know the actual contents of that now-precious letter, suffice it to say, my heart was pounding and my eyes full of tears by the time I reached the end of that first paragraph. It was unlike anything I had ever read, even from him: it was tender, passionate, sincere, romantic. I thought passed through my mind: "Is this...? No." I wouldn't let myself think he was proposing if that might not turn out to be the case!
I continued to read the second, then the third paragraph. As I reached the end of the third paragraph and prepared to start the last, there was no more guessing, no more doubting. I knew. Sitting there on the other side of the world, in a quiet house, in my dim little room, on my toshak (pallet), I began to tremble, and smile and weep from the depth of my emotions. I was alone, but I felt a good God smiling down on Eric and I, His presence filling my room and making me feel closer to Eric than I ever had been, despite the miles separating us.
I had no doubt what my answer would be as I finished the last beautiful paragraph and heard Eric's voice over Skype, filled with emotion, asking me. Asking me to marry him. Saying for the very first time three words so precious, so full of meaning, "I love you."
I think my answer went something like this: "YES! Yes, yes, yes yes yes!" Laughter: tears: few words but great, great happiness. We praised God together and were well-practiced in our new favorite words ("I love you") by the time I finally laid down and tried to convince myself I was sleeping.