James and Rachel
How We Met
We met while working together. I started the job in September of 2012 and always saw him around, joking and goofing off. I never saw him without a smile and he had such an infectious laugh. It was impossible not to grin in his presence. Slowly but inexorably, he worked his way into my heart through small but thoughtful acts of kindness. If I was working in the cold, he would bring me his coat and drape it over my shoulders. He was always there if I needed help and would keep me company on breaks. In February of 2013, he finally had the courage to ask me out to the movies where we saw Warm Bodies!
How He Asked
James had been planning something he called a “family gathering” for a long time. He invited his younger sister from Urbana and another sister and brother from Dayton and we all got together at his other sister’s house in Monroe. My mom, his mom, one of his daughter’s, son-in-law, grandson, sisters, brothers, nieces and nephews… it was a big get together! He pulled me aside and said we were going to play a game. That my eyes were going to be covered and when I was allowed to see again 3 clues would be revealed and I would have to guess the answer. My only question to that was, “You’re not going to make me look stupid, are you?” Not that he ever had or ever would but having such a large audience and having to correctly guess at something was a little intimidating to me. So he had me close my eyes in the living room and everything got very, very quiet. Finally, I was told to open my eyes. There, right in front of me, was his oldest daughter with a sign she had made that read, “Will you marry my dad?” Whirling around, I saw him on bended knee, sweating bullets but with that ever present smile on his face, presenting a diamond engagement ring to me. I said yes!