Monday, December 27, 2004

a sparkly night to remember

Well, our little girlie is engaged! Oh my - this is a Christmas season we won’t soon forget.

It had its tense moments, though. Like yesterday noonish. We’re sitting in Mom’s apartment watching TV while cooking the food for the one o’clock lunch.

Matt, who by this time is en route from Kamloops, is in frequent touch with Sonia by cell phone. She has it always within reach. As soon as it gives it tinkle/jangle ring, she grabs it and leaps up to go talk in another room. After one of these conversations, she comes back to where we’re watching the news of the Indonesian earthquake, looking grave.

"I think his car broke down," she says. "He said, ‘Oh no, oh no - I’ve got to go,’ and then hung up."

Oh no indeed! I go immediately into silent prayer mode and I’m sure Ernie does the same...But about four hours later, just as we’re about to pass out the gifts, there he is at the door. Hallelujah!

"It’s a miracle," he says as he comes into the room, Sonia hanging onto his arm, having met him downstairs to let him into the building. "The car jerked and sputtered so I couldn’t handle the phone. There I was, stopped on the other side of Merritt with trucks whistling by me. And I was thinking, do I just try to get to Merritt so I can hop a bus the rest of the way? And I was praying – as hard as I’ve ever prayed in my life.

"So I tried starting the car again. It started, and now it drove just fine. As I passed Merritt it seemed I should just keep going. It drove the rest of the way without any problems. It’s amazing. You hear people describing things like this but it’s altogether different when you’re living it!"

The party at Mom’s breaks up at six. We leave for Surrey (45 minute drive) after the kids. When we get home they still haven’t arrived.

But someone else pops up from the lighted Japanese spruce at the front door. It’s Jeff, Matt’s friend. It seems THE PLAN is going ahead.

A little back story here. Two weeks ago on a Sunday afternoon, we get a call from Matt. Can he pay us a visit the next day. (It doesn’t take a lively imagination to guess why this kid would make a three-and a half-hour trip to the coast to visit us oldsters!) He arrives Monday in time for lunch. Finally, after exhausting all small talk in sight, he gets to the point - does he have our permission and blessing to ask for Sonia’s hand in marriage. Some gentle - and of course appropriate - father-of-the-bride grilling follows (one can’t make these things too easy after all!) and then Ernie and I happily give our consent.

Shortly after our discussion ends that day, Jeff is at the front door. It turns out Matt has asked his good friend to pray during our conversation. And it’s Jeff who is going to help him set up the proposal staging which he has planned for the 26th. Matt has in mind something to do with a canopy complete with twinkle lights set up in the park behind our place where Sonia used to play.

Now this selfsame Jeff is in our yard and, yes, the whole thing has been set up in the park. We go up to look out our bedroom window and sure enough. There, beside the snake tree is this twinkly bower.

It’s another twenty minutes or so before Sonia and Matt arrive. He has her blindfolded. He leads her out of the car and down the path out of our cul-de-sac, to the place.

About fifteen minutes later there’s a knock at the door. It’s a girl I’ve never met who introduces herself as Kate. "I videotaped the whole thing," she says, waving a camcorder. Needless to say, she’s wet and shivery, having been in on the whole hours-long set-up-and-wait with Jeff.

(You see, they met Matt at one of the Chilliwack exits of the No.1 Hwy. where he gave them the stuff - canopy, lights, a cord, a little table, rose petals and a couple of long-stemmed roses to put on top - OH MY!)

A few minutes later while I’m mixing Kate a hot chocolate, Jeff arrives to collect the boxes and cartons and pack away the props.

Then Sonia comes in, glowing. "I’m engaged!" She’s sporting a lovely diamond solitaire, set in white gold.

Hugs all around, and more hugs when Matt and Jeff finally come in, their cleanup complete, and more hot chocolate and turkey sandwiches and laughter and stories and comparing Sonia’s solitaire with mine and phone calls to girlfriends - whose shrieks manage to come through those tiny cell phone speakers to be audible to the whole room (but rats - I forgot to take any pictures)!

Ah yes, it’s a sparkly night we will always remember!

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Again Nell, you capture the moment. But- the choice moments you capture, this is also one of your benchmarks. It is always a pleasure to read your contributions that grasp and hold such marvelous little treasures. JamesB

violet said...

James, thanks for dropping by! Frankly, I'm sure I didn't capture that memorable night as well as I could -- but I tried. You are always such an encouragement!

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