Latham and Tom

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how we met

It all started when we met through a mutual acquaintance who gave Thomas my email. We emailed incessantly back and forth for a week, then he asked if he could text me, which he did for a week straight. Then he finally asked if he could called me and we talked for 2 hours, scheduling a date the following week before Thanksgiving. That 7 hour-long date night which included visits to 2 bars and a local Italian restaurant sealed the deal.

I had been in a committed relationship with my boyfriend when at the two-year mark, he was diagnosed with cancer. It was devastating and the months to follow were grueling, filled with days spent in the treatment center at Sloane Kettering and watching him quickly shed 60 pounds due to the medicine and pain he was in. He was a shell of himself, weak and suffering. Each day was a feat. Somehow, by the grace of God, we got through it and one of our first trips together, post treatment we went to Miami for the weekend. While we were there we checked out a new hotel that was just being finished and I knew the President of the property who he invited us for a drink and tour of the luxurious Hotel Faena. Although certain areas were still under construction we were able to visit the spa, which I fell in love with. It smelled of Palo Santo and was adorned in ornate wallpaper and in the couple’s massage room, there was a Carrara marble freestanding soaking tub in the middle of the room. I sat on the sofa in the couple’s massage room, my boyfriend took my picture and I said, I’m going to come back to this place…

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how they asked

Fast forward three months later, my man is getting his strength back and has a new lease on life. I had a pretty busy winter and it was rough emotionally with his recovery so he wanted to take me on a quick getaway just to relax and asked if I could squeeze in a quick trip to Miami. When he asked where I wanted to stay, I mentioned that I would love to check out that Faena place we visited. I cleared my calendar for the weekend of April 15-17th excited for some much needed R&R and sunshine. We flew down in the early evening and just missed the storm. When we landed there were torrential showers and the forecast showed rain for the entire weekend. Much to my surprise we pulled up to the Hotel Faena and this time it was up and running. We were greeted with their signature cocktail at check-in and taken to our room to settle in. We apparently had dinner reservations so I got dressed for that and we were seated in dining room with floor to ceiling windows with a full frontal view of the storm, lightening dancing on the ocean before our eyes. After dinner I was tired so we headed back to the room, my boyfriend seemed tense though. He was texting a lot and seemed nervous about something. We drifted off to sleep.

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The next morning the sun was shining bright and early. I wanted to head down to the beach but he made plans for couple’s massage at the Tierra Santa Spa. I asked if we could reschedule to head straight down to the beach but he was adamant that we could not move the appointment. When we changed into our robes and were taken to the room, I noticed it was the exact same oceanfront spa suite I had visited exactly 3 months prior, the one with the beautiful tub in the center. Two massage tables were set up and we drifted off to sleep for a 90 minute session. When it was complete there was lunch set up for us on the balcony. I was confused because I thought we were going to lunch in the restaurant but just figured this must be part of the spa package. We were in bathrobes sweating on the balcony and about to dive into grilled veggies and a fruit plate. The staff arrives with two crystal carafes of green juice and a bottle of champagne on ice. I still haven’t caught on that something is going on here… I am taking photos and videos and loving the scenery even the fruit cut into heart shapes.

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My guy pours each of us a glass of champagne and I lift my glass and say “to what are we toasting” and he says “to the future” and then I see a black jewelry box in his right hand. I cover my eyes and bow my head in disbelief- how was he able to pull of this surprise! He opens the box and shows me a 4 carat diamond solitaire set in platinum- it was gorgeous and so simple and elegant.

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He got out of his chair, walked over to me, placed the ring on my hand, and asked, “Will you marry me?” I squealed “yes!” Of course I want to call my mom- can’t reach her, call my friends, no one is answering the phone. Finally I get through to my friend, during the conversation she tells me to look to my left, I gaze off the edge of the balcony and I see her at the pool. She yells “Congratulations on your engagement” and the entire pool area of guests and staff applaud.

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They were all in on it. Everyone in the hotel knew. I was astounded and so overjoyed. We spent a little more time up there, I took a rose petal bubble bath then we emerged from the incredible spa experience and headed down to the pool where we got bottles of champagne for everyone and basked in the glow of the special day. He was so thoughtful. It was a magical romantic fairytale proposal and it was the first ever to happen at the Hotel Faena.

Latham blogs at Mama Glow