How We Met
At the time, we were both actually getting out of other relationships. I was interviewing her to be a part of a student organization here at Purdue University and all I can remember is her smile and how contagious her laugh was throughout the entire interview. On her way out of the interview, I actually turned to a buddy and jokingly called dibs. Little did I know that after a year of soul searching and focusing on my own faith, that we would actually date. About two months before she left for a study abroad in Colombia (great timing, I know), I took her up to the roof of the tallest building on campus and with snow coming down around us, asked her if she would be my girlfriend. Neither of us have looked back since. Although seven out of our first nine months of dating were long distance, we made it work by skyping nearly an hour a day, praying together, and writing each other a full page letter each day. We worked across time zones come that summer, with her in Michigan and myself in Utah. Fortunately, our work allowed us to take long weekends and adventure together. By the time we returned to Purdue, me for my master’s and her to finish her bachelor’s (both in mechanical engineering), we knew that we had something special. As the semester passed, I felt different about her. I wasn’t exactly sure why until we took a family trip out to Steamboat Springs, CO. It was there, in a house holding 17 people, that I realized how much I loved her. And that is when I decided I wanted to marry her.
I spent a day in late February driving up to her hometown of Dekalb, IL to ask her parents for their blessing. It’s been awhile since I have felt that nervous, but I knew how important her family was to her. After they said yes, I made sure to call her three older brothers and ask them as well. After hearing all the advice I could get, it was time to plan.
how they asked
Around sunset of April 22nd, I picked up Desa at her apartment and told her we had time to walk around campus and enjoy the weather before our dinner. She had been told to dress nice for a more formal dinner but not many additional details had been given.
As we walked around campus, I felt how weak my knees were and how difficult it was to think about conversation topics. When we arrived at the Engineering Fountain, one of the many scenic areas on campus and one in particular we’d spent a lot of time together at, I stopped walking and turned towards her.
I really don’t remember what I said. It was just a moment in time that made me so nervous yet so happy that I just forget anything else I existed. The only thing I remember saying was that I wanted to ask her to take one more leap of faith with me before I got down on one knee and asked her those four words.
What she didn’t know at the time is that not only was there a photographer in place, but I had brought in her parents from out of town. They had been watching from being a large glass window and were able to see the entire thing unfold. After wiping all of our tears away and thanking them for being a part of the event, I played a video for her on my phone. This video was the culmination of secretly reaching out to her closest friends and family members wishing her congratulations on her engagement. Honestly, I was surprised everything stayed so secret until the day of. We finished the night with a family dinner at a local steakhouse down by the Wabash River. After her track meet the following day and with the help of some of her closest friends, helped organize a surprise party for her when she got back home. All things considered, so many things could have gone wrong and didn’t. The proposal was great but more importantly, I get to marry my best friend and the love of my life!