How We Met
Karl and I met in university, he was a fine arts student and I was an urban planning student. We both had dreams of becoming architects and that’s how we wound up in the same Architecture 1000 class. At first I was uninterested in him, or even having a friend named Karl for that matter (I had worked with a grumpy old man by the same name), but after my friend and roommate convinced me he was in love with me I started to look for the signs myself and eventually fall in love with him too.
After dating about a year we began architecture school together and the increased pressure and workload got to me quickly. By the end of the first semester I had developed an anxiety disorder and could hardly function as a human being, let alone a professional school student. Karl stepped in to help me with even the simplest of tasks. He would sit next to me while I completed my work or even sit under my desk with me while I wept. He would put me to sleep every night stroking my hair or just holding me to get me to be calm enough to sleep. In the morning I would wake up to a hot cup of tea and a kiss, or if he had to get to school early there would be a note taped to the tea simply saying “I love you,” or “good morning beautiful.” On nights the anxiety consumed me and I could not sleep we would do the only thing we knew to do and get in the car and drive along to ocean, we would drive until we reached a parking lot on the edge of the sea. We would park the car and look out at the water until I was calm enough to just be. Then we would begin the drive back home and keep driving until I fell asleep in the car. Karl worked tirelessly to keep me alive and happy.
Many wonderful things came out of architecture school, like the ability to travel and live and work in Denmark together. We also took a trip to Cuba, and a crazy whirlwind European road trip together during those years. It was a difficult time but it also showed us we can survive any high or low together. Not long after graduation I came to a place where my anxiety was manageable and I felt much more in control of my life. I began to have time to think more about my future and the more I thought the more I knew I wanted this man in my life forever.
how they asked
Christmas 2017 was going to be a big one for us. My mother was coming all the way from the west coast to spend Christmas with us on the east coast. With Karl’s family just one province away we were, for the first time, going to be able to spend Christmas together and with our families. I could not be more thrilled to finally have a Christmas where I didn’t feel like something was missing. Suspecting a proposal was imminent I told Karl I didn’t want him to propose while my mother was staying in our tiny apartment with us. He also knew I didn’t want to be proposed to in front of a crowd or with other people around, it would have been too anxiety-inducing.
As it got closer and closer to the date of my mother’s arrival I questioned whether or not he was going to propose before Christmas. The weekend before my mom arrived came and went and I was disappointed we weren’t engaged. I told him how I felt and he replied that there was still time. I told him there wasn’t and outlined my very busy week for him. We were picking my mother up on Saturday and I was busy every day until then. I kept thinking how Friday would be perfect but I volunteered at the church on Fridays and had committed to this Friday long ago. On Thursday Karl told me he had booked Friday off for me with my supervisor at the church and that I had a few appointments lined up for the day and that’s all I could know. The next day I found myself getting my hair and nails done, and taken to my favourite restaurant. I felt totally spoiled. While sipping coffee in a nearby coffee shop Karl told me there was one more surprise: he had planned a photoshoot with a photographer we knew. We picked our outfits and bundled up as earlier that morning we had gotten the first snow of the season. We hopped in the car and drove to that small parking lot on the edge of the sea where we had spent many sleepless nights before. I am so glad we have beautiful photographs of us at our happiest in a place that had become my antidote for sadness. He could not have picked a better location.
On Saturday night we picked up my mother from the airport and I was able to tell her WE WERE ENGAGED!!! and show her the stunning ring he designed using the diamond from her engagement ring that she had sent him months before. I should have known all along she was involved. Now I get to carry a piece of my parents love and the love of my life with me wherever I go…forever.