This is Part III. You can read Part I and Part II to catch up.
At the airport Daniel gave me a mix cd to listen to on the plane. It was beautiful. As I flew back to Texas I knew I would give him another chance but I needed a little bit of time and a little bit of convincing that I wouldn’t get my heart broken again.
We talked on the phone almost every day and Daniel sent me letters at least once a week. In late January, Daniel met me and a couple of my friends from college in New Orleans which is close to half-way between Waco and Tallahassee. I said we weren’t officially back together but…we did hold hands all over Jackson Square. And it was a frigid weekend so Daniel HAD to put his arm around me most of the time, just to keep me warm, right?
A few weeks later he drove to Waco to visit me during his college Spring Break. Before he left, he had lunch with my Dad. After getting to know Daniel for a couple of years, my parents adored him and were rooting for us to be together. Daniel explained that he wasn’t sure he was going to make the trip in two 8 hour days of driving or just drive the whole way in one long day. He knew my Dad was in his corner when he said, “Just drive all day and get there. That’s what I would have done to see Margo.” Daniel made the 15.5 hour trip in about 13 hours. I guess he really liked me.
I can remember my excitement as I waited all day for him to arrive and even exactly what I was wearing as I raced out of my dorm to meet him in the parking lot. He had driven to Texas to see me. I was convinced he was in it for the long haul. He told me later that when he told some folks at church that he was driving to Texas to visit a girl, they said, “Must be some girl!” It seems he agreed.
After my mid-terms were over, we drove back to Florida so I could spend my Spring Break there. Daniel told me that he planned to move to Waco in the Fall after he completed his Associate of Arts that Spring. If anything would have convinced me of his commitment to me, it was this. If he was willing to move to a small town in the middle of Texas away from all his family and friends where he didn’t know a soul except for me, he was serious.
When I moved back home for the summer, Daniel and his sister, Vanessa, were in Europe. When he returned, Daniel didn’t propose yet. But, he told me that he wanted to marry me and he didn’t want to wait until we finished school. He moved into a dark and dank tiny apartment down the road from my dorm and worked at a sandwich shop that whole next year. When we came home for Christmas, he told my Dad his intention to marry me and asked for his blessing.
I was pretty sure that he was going to propose during that Christmas break but I didn’t know when. We had plans to meet Daniel’s parents for dinner one rainy December night. Daniel picked me up from my parents house and we drove over to the Stewarts’ to meet up with them. When we arrived, no one was home and Daniel said they must have gone to pick up his Grandma and were on their way back. There was a fire in the fireplace which I should have realized was odd, but I wasn’t thinking about it. A few minutes later, our friend Tom walked in the front door with a blanket and said, “It’s a cold night! Y’all might need a nice blanket,” which he left us with and then walked out the door. A minute later, our friend Brian entered carrying two mugs of hot chocolate. Other friends and my brother arrived bearing my favorite foods, pomegranates, cinnamon covered pecans, and various other treats and would leave as soon as they delivered their cargo. Last, Daniel’s sister came in with a bottle of wine.
Daniel poured the wine and told me that it was ice wine he brought back from Europe the previous summer and that he had bought for this occasion. He gave me a white gold band asked me to be his wife. I don’t remember what words he used when he proposed, but I do remember how happy I was.
We were married the following May in Tallahassee, five years ago today.
During those five years we’ve had ups and downs. Good times and difficult, painful ones. By God’s grace we have made it this far. As we begin our sixth year of marriage, it is far better than we ever imagined. We are more in love than the day we made our vows. I simply can’t WAIT to see him when he gets home from work each day. He is my best and dearest friend. As I look around at our life together: our home, our garden, our faith, our son and our baby girl on the way, I look at my husband and say, “You have made me the happiest of women.” And he has.