How We Met
Thomas and I met in 2014, my first year of college. It wasn’t what you would call a fairy tale story, but maybe a modern-day hallmark movie? I had just gotten out of a rocky relationship and I went off to college with the thought of me “living the young single college life.” The day prior to meeting Thomas I met Ray. As someone who was new to the city, I was open to getting to know her, and her elusive “brother and his friends.” The next day was like any other Summer pool day in Tallahassee, except this time I actually noticed someone I knew! Ray ran up to me with a big smile and proceeded to introduce me to her brother Josh, and his two friends – Steven and Thomas. We said our quick hellos and went back to our posts, soaking up the sun. Ankle deep in the water, Steven and Thomas came over. We talked, exchanged awkward laughs, and as the conversation gradually gained its substance, we proceeded into more probing questions. Somehow we got on the topic of family – something that is very important to me.
“So would you guys want to have a family one day?” I asked.
Steven was quick and confident with a, “No way!” As if he thought that’s what I would have wanted to here. Thomas gave Steven a look and said, “Absolutely. Probably about three to four kids – two sons and a daughter… Or two of each.”
This showed me so much about him. Of course, I didn’t know then that when the kids in fifth grade were asked to write where they would like to see themselves in 20 years, Thomas didn’t say “professional baseball player” or “veterinarian” (both great choices by the way) – he said something along the lines of: “Married with a beautiful wife and three kids. A big house with a big yard and a giant swimming pool.”
After hanging out for a bit longer we all agreed to meet up later to go out. We did. While out, our eyes locked for a brief moment and something came over me. I leaned in for a kiss, doubtless and sure. Our lips met and the rest is history.
how they asked
The four years Thomas and I have been together our communication skills have been amazing. We communicate everything when we’re annoyed with each other if we’ve said something to upset each other and especially how much we love each other. We’ve obviously talked about getting married “one day” when the time was right. Even if that took ten more years. Thomas and I both grew up in Christian families but as we got older we didn’t find the time to go to church unless it was a family affair. The first year of Thomas and I dating, we ended up going to a church service together in our college town… after that, we kinda knew that church and God would be a big part of our relationship.
This past year and a half, Thomas and I have made our way to church almost every Sunday. Our faith in God has grown – together. And because of this, I believe our love for each other has become more pure and stronger than ever. Thomas and I have traveled to many places- it’s something we love to do together. We plan a trip and experience new sites and food together. That’s pretty much it. So when we planned this Europe trip, I didn’t think anything crazy about it. My friends had asked me a few times if I thought Thomas was going to propose to me and every time I would laugh and say “nooo we talked about it and he said when the time was right.” (BECAUSE WE COMMUNICATE EVERYTHING AND I WOULD KNOW OR AT LEAST SUSPECT IT) Which I was more than okay with.
The one thing Thomas really wanted to do while we were in Valencia was to go to the cathedral where it is said that the Holy Grail is held. So, our third day in Europe (Valencia) – we went to the cathedral to see the Holy Grail. We did the whole tour- it was absolutely beautiful. Thomas suggested we climb the bell tower and of course I agreed. 207 spiral steps we climbed- out of breath, sweaty but it was worth it! We get to the top and you have a full 360 view of the heart of Valencia. I took some pictures of the view, Thomas took some pictures of me, then we asked a couple to take a photo of us under the bell.
After our photo, Thomas stressing that he wanted another one but without people in the background. (Which means he really wanted a good picture – because Thomas does not do pictures nor would he ever care if there were people in the background ) I knew how special this cathedral was to him, so while we “waited for the people to move from under the bell” I took more photos. Finally, the people moved and I rushed Thomas to give the camera to someone to take the picture. (I was hot and getting grumpy) Before Thomas gave the camera to these stranger teen boys, he was positioning them to “get the shot” (I still had no idea what was going on) I hollered at Thomas something like “Thomas! Just give them the camera, it doesn’t have to be perfect..”
I started posing for the photo and Thomas wasn’t putting his arm around me, so I yanked him to stand next me “what are you doing, come on!” (Still oblivious to what was happening)
He grabbed my hands and said “Danae.” I looked over at him and I thought he was going to pass out. He was pale, sweaty and shaking. He had never said my name the way he said it. “Babe? What’s wrong? Are you okay? WHAT ARE YOU DOING?” By the end of my last question, he started kneeling, then he pulled the box out..
In those two seconds, every thought went through my head “OMG. Is he proposing, no way, what is happening, could this be.. no way .. wait… HE IS PROPOSING!”
He gets down on his knee and opens the box. (The ring was upside down) I whispered “babe.. the ring.. I think it’s upside down.”
As he was flipping the ring around he spewed words like “I love you so much, you’re the one for me, etc” (honestly.. It was all a blur.) I’m pretty sure I screamed “yes!” before he was even finished talking. I just remember wanting to grab him and never let go. He eventually shared what he was trying to say to me during the actual proposal which was:
“Today I ask you to be mine forever. We climbed 207 steps, and at 50 meters above Valencia we are close to Heaven and even closer to God. I love you Danae – beyond words. You found me when I didn’t know I was lost and loved me when I didn’t know how to love myself. We take this leap in faith, knowing that God has, and will continue, to bless us as long as we live.”
In that actual moment, I thought I was dreaming. It was just him and I, no one and nothing else mattered. I felt like we were hugging and kissing for an eternity until the sound of applause from the spectators brought me back to real life. Shaking, crying, laughing, sweating and my heart beating out of my chest, the love of my life asked me to be his forever in a place where God was the one applauding the loudest.