March 1, 2014
This morning I woke up really happy -for no apparent reason- I just had a feeling it was going to be a great day. I got ready, met up with my friend Amy for coffee, and then had plans to go to breakfast with Jesse since our guitarist Aaron had canceled worship practice (he said someone was in town he needed to meet with).
As Jesse and I were casually heading to breakfast- “a different place” he said- before I knew it he had pushed me into a taxi and we arrived at the Ritz Carlton hotel. Surprise! Jesse said he thought it would be a good day to redeem a breakfast certificate we had won from a church even. And boy was I glad, for it was the most delicious buffet breakfast, including bacon and maple syrup: a rare find in Turkey.
We walked it off afterwards by following our usual route to Bebek, stopping to rest a bit in the park. It was nothing new. A little further into the park was a guitar underneath a tree, however, Jesse distracted me with chatter about picking huckleberries and I remained oblivious. When we spotted it, Jesse again waved it off as normal, saying, “oh hey, I should play you that song I wrote you.”
For some reason, I didn’t think it odd until Jesse finished the song and began talking about how he wrote this song only 9 days after we had started dating for this purpose… about how he had dreamed of dating me which turned into his dream to marry me. Then, when he transitioned into saying how my parents had given them their blessing, my heart burst open and I was suddenly hit with a wave of more emotion than I have felt in my entire life.
The tears of joy came without warning. Jesse embraced me, then continued, humorously reminding me that where we were standing was where I had told it would be awhile before I held his hand when we first started dating, and how now he wants it to become the place where I say I’ll hold his hand forever… My sobs broke with some laughter.
He said some more sweet, sweet things, then before I knew it he was down on his knee and the words came out of his mouth. “Kimmy, will you marry me?” To which I blurted out “Of course I will! Yes!” And then we kissed.. completely losing ourselves in the moment… Then, oh, there’s a ring! Jesse asked if I wanted to wear it. I had almost forgotten about the ring!:) This was really happening!
I came to consciousness as he slipped the ring onto my finger, and from out behind the bushes emerged two of our friends who had set up the guitar and had been taking pictures and had captured the whole thing. So thoughtful!
Hand-in-hand, and floating on air, Jesse and I continued our walk to a french cafe where the two of us celebrated the moment with some wine, replaying the events and enjoying our amazing first hours of being engaged. The time flew by, and Jesse motioned it was time to go.
We stopped into our favorite Cup of Joy coffee shop, got two lattes to go, and walked along the boardwalk.
The boardwalk where we both say our relationship was built. So many conversations were had walking along this path, highs, lows, game changers; this was where we first spoke our commitment of entering a dating relationship with intentions of marriage. I felt as if we were on a “victory walk”! But then I had to use the bathroom, so we found a mosque, where bathrooms are available for only 1 TL.
Then we walked a little more, stopped, hugged, and before I knew it Jesse had pushed me into another taxi. That was the second time today I was unaware of where were going! As we drove, Jesse hinted to our location “well, there’s some people who want to celebrate with us…” Those people were waiting at a friend’s house outside of Istanbul with food and so many congratulations!
We told our story, watched a slideshow the photographer had already put together with pictures from the proposal, and celebrated ’til the late evening. Our pastor prayed a blessing over us, and I could not help but be so overwhelmed by the love felt all around us! So many emotions all at once… happiness, thankfulness, and the sheer excitement knowing that I get to marry the man I will love for the rest of my life! What a day!
As it was, this had to be the best day of my life!