On Tuesday May 31st, 2016, I was standing on the flight deck of the USS Midway with my boyfriend.
My family and I were spending a week and a half in California visiting relatives; we brought Andrew along with us so he could meet the extended family. I admit, I was pretty ecstatic at the thought of getting to spend 11 days with him.
The first weekend was spent visiting with various family members, which was delightful. On Tuesday, we went to the USS Midway Museum with my grandma. Everyone was pretty pumped about touring an aircraft carrier, and Andrew in particular seemed excited about the photographic opportunities that such an expedition would offer.
We boarded the ship, and Andrew and I immediately suggested that we head straight up to the flight deck – we were more interested in the view than we were in exploring the inside of the carrier. Mom agreed that starting at the top was a good idea, so we headed up.
At the far end of the deck, there were these two little ramp-like structures that extended past the end of the ship – not exactly sure what their purpose is, but they offered a nice place to get a view, and Andrew suggested that we walk out on one so that my grandma could take a picture with the water behind us.
We both walked to the edge and I leaned against the railing, taking in the view. Andrew was standing behind me, to my left. After a moment he said, “You know that question I’ve been meaning to ask you?” (all week, he’d been alluding to a question he wanted to ask in private). Before I had a chance to respond, he said, “Mariah, will you marry me?”
I quickly responded, “No.”
We were always joking about him proposing, so it didn’t even enter my mind to take him seriously. Him proposing to me while we were on a family vacation in California didn’t even register as a possibility in my brain. Of course I did want to marry him, but it seemed odd to say ‘yes’ if he wasn’t actually proposing; so I said ‘no’.
I turned around and caught my breath as I saw him down on one knee, holding an open ring box, his eyes lit up and the most adorable smile on his face. I can’t put into words all the feelings that overwhelmed me as I realized that he was actually asking me to spend the rest of my life with him.
“Oh my gosh.” My heart was pounding, and tears filled my eyes as I started laughing. “Yes!” Then, like the girl I am, I started crying as I hugged him.
Now I get to call the love of my life ‘fiancé’, and before too long, I will get to call him husband. ^_^