Downing and Michael

How We Met

Michael had just been discharged from the military, was living in Florida, and was best friends with another recently disabled veteran, who happened to be dating my friend. They insisted we would love each other, so we started messaging back and forth. Then, we were FaceTiming six and seven times a day. One day, he decided he was coming to Tennessee “to hang out with his friend.” After that trip, he moved to Tennessee two months later.

Downing and Michael's Engagement in Brooklyn Heights Promenade

I was insisting we were just friends. I was in my third year of being single and free. I didn’t think I wanted a relationship. He agreed to just be my friend, and we moved in together. I fell hard, immediately. Here I was, “just friends” with the kindest, genuine, and joyful man I’ve met. I spent months dropping hints, trying to go on dates, getting to know his interests. Nothing. He was clueless. Finally, I had to shoot my shot, so I kissed his cheek. Then, I kissed him, and I told him if he wanted to kiss me again, he had to be my boyfriend. The rest is history…

Marriage Proposal Ideas in Brooklyn Heights Promenade

How They Asked

We were spending his birthday week in New Jersey with Michael’s mother and step-father. On Thursday, we went into New York City to do some sight-seeing. We’d spent a long day doing all the tourist type activities, ground zero, Empire State Building, museums. Last stop: Brooklyn Heights Promenade. This park built on docks, across the water from Manhattan, is so out of place and unique. In the middle of this concrete jungle, there’s a small, green park with a perfect view of the Statue of Liberty and Manhattan.

As we were taking pictures with his mother and my sister, he gets on one knee behind me. When I turn around, he says, “It’s been two years and a long time coming. I’ve asked your dad, and he said yes. Your mom obviously loves me.” At this moment, I couldn’t stand still, and I just hugged his neck. He finally said,” Will you marry me?” “Of course.” It was the most beautiful place in NYC, and the most perfect way to begin our engagement.