How We Met
Andrew and I like to joke and say that we met when he taught me how to give mouth to mouth resuscitation. The summer before I started Veterinary school I planned to ocean lifeguard for my 5th summer on Long Beach Island. It was an amazing summer job that required a recertification in emergency response every two years. Walking into that class, I don’t recall dressing very well or really acting very friendly (maybe lack of coffee) but apparently I caught the eye of one of the instructors, Andrew. Andrew had also been an ocean lifeguard for 6 years but worked on the island 12 miles from where I did, so I had only ever heard his name and had never crossed paths with him. Throughout the next four days, Andrew seemed to pay particular attention to me to help me master my first aid skills.
A few weeks later, after a lot of effort on Andrew’s part, I agreed to go on a “casual” date with him but “didn’t want anything serious since I would be moving 8 hours away within a few months.” One date turned into two, and two turned into spending every day together. We complained that we hadn’t met beforehand, as I had just finished at Rowan University, while he attended Rutgers, just an hour apart. Despite both of our better judgments, and weary “distance never works” warnings from family and friends we decided to try our hand at it. A month into our distance relationship, I gave Andrew a scrapbook for his birthday, a tradition I have kept up every year since that on the inside cover reads “if we crash and burn just burn this with it”. Thankfully, no crashing or burning has occurred and after four years and over 30,000 miles of traveling back and forth, I walked across the stage as a Veterinarian last month, ending our long distance relationship.
how they asked
To celebrate my graduation my parents took Andrew and me to Maui a week later. Now, I know what you are thinking, “you were going to Maui, you really didn’t think He may propose?” And No. I really didn’t.
A little background: I have a twin sister who is my best friend who left on a mission trip to Nepal at the same time as our trip for Maui and will not be back in the US until mid-August. Andrew’s parents and older sister are leaving in late July for a trip to Italy and will not be back until late August. Andrew was adamant that when he proposed he wanted to be able to celebrate with both of our families, so he had me pretty well convinced that he would propose sometime in the Fall.
Andrew is also a twin. Which really doesn’t pertain to the story, It’s just cool that we both have twin sisters. Anyway, I didn’t suspect anything until the wonderful man started acting very strange May 23rd, the day we planned to have a date night separate from my parents. He was more quiet than normal (and quiet is not the way I have ever characterize this enthusiastic Italian man). He knows I love sunsets more than most things so he told me we would go to dinner a little early to look at the beach nearby to get a view of the sunset. I was on board with the plan, but with his odd behavior, my moms insistence on a manicure and his decision to oddly bring his backpack, I had butterflies I was trying to subdue. Convincing myself it wasn’t the time he would propose, but in the back of my head hoping the man of my dreams that I had fought for these 4 years would get down on one knee.
So as we walked on the beach, and he awkwardly pointed at the beautiful islands and showed me different parts of the beach, my heart pounded. Finally, he looked at me, took my flip flops from my hand and threw them, grabbed my shoulders and positioned me perfectly for the photographer making me giggle, and got down on one knee telling me how much he loved me. He had chosen the date because it was the date I had walked into his emergency response class, and life, 4 years prior.
I was floored and cried like a baby. He revealed his plan to me that we would be staying on the beach and taking engagement photos for the next hour. The beach is where we met and we always watch sunsets on the east coast over the bay, so having both the beach and a sunset at once captured my heart. Afterward, instead of the restaurant he had told me about, he had something special planned. As if everything he had done so far wasn’t enough, he planned a dinner in the treehouse at the Wailea hotel, a personalized private dinner with a 7-course dinner made by a tableside chef and sommelier. As a foodie and softie, it was without a doubt the most amazing night of my life. It reiterated the thousands of reasons I wanted to marry this man.
When my parents, Andrew and I arrived home 4 days later, I was surprised with my closest friends and Andrew’s family for the most thoughtful brunch. I cannot wait to see what the future holds, but I know it is bright with Andrew’s love and support in my life.