On the last day of Fall Quarter at Cedarville in 1988 (that sounds like a long time ago), I picked up a small diamond engagement ring. A short time later, I was with my girlfriend, in her car, driving home. She had finished student teaching and said her teacher was asking if she was going to get engaged over Christmas break. She said that she was not getting engaged. I had to keep a straight face as the ring sat in my pocket.
A few days later, I was standing next to her as she talked with a friend. They were talking about how guys never want to ask the dad if they can marry the daughter. Sandy explained that we were going to dinner that night and afterwards I was going to talk to her father. Again, I had to keep a straight face because I had already talked to her dad.
On December 23, 1988, we at dinner at Wanamaker's and watched their famous Christmas light show. I had a strong urge to pop the question right then. I could not keep holding the ring any more. But, that was not my plan, so I waited. After dinner, we traveled towards Independence Hall to get a carriage ride. Due to rain, no carriages were present. Sandy said the carriage ride was no big deal and we could go home. I told her that I really wanted to find some carriages. I drove to South Street and we found some carriages. As we rode along, I pulled the ring out of my pocket and told her that I have grown to love her over the last several months, I would like to spend the rest of my life with her, and asked her to marry me. Shocked and speachless, she paused. Then she said, "Yes" followed by, "when did you ask my Dad?"
Twenty three years later, I am married to my best friend. A lot has happened during these 23 years. We have four natural born children living with us, four children in heaven, and three Foster children that we hope to adopt. We started a solo law practice in the home and turned it into a partnership with real office space. She teaches our children at home. We have served many hours in our church and have mentored numerous people. Through it all, I cannot imagine my life without her. Although I cannot understand it, I love her more today that ever. Even though she is 23 years older, she looks more beautiful to me today than she did the day she said "Yes."