Jemanica and Dakota

How We Met

I, Dakota, moved to Cornwall, Ontario in the year 2000. At the time I was only 8 years old, and the first elementary school that I had gone to was St. Columbans West. I had just come from Montreal, Quebec, so I didn’t know anyone.

As the days had gone by I had met may new friends, but someone else caught my eye. There was this little blond girl with blueish/green eyes that captivated me. Her smile was absolutely gorgeous, even at that age, and it was infectious.

Back then I used to go around trying to pinch her butt, tackle her, and play around with her as a means of flirting. She was spectacular. While you are young though you do not really understand love; however, there is a moment in elementary school that I decided I had wanted to be with her forever.

We were in Grade 6 at the time, age of 12, and there was a talent show at our school. Jem, as we call her, decided to sing a song; now for the life of me I cannot remember the song, but what I do remember is ho I felt.

I looked at her on stage in a pretty white dress, with her blond hair flowing, and her beautiful smile glowing, and I said to myself at that moment: “this is the girl I need to be with forever.” At the time you do not really understand what you’re talking about, but in hindsight it is the pivotal moment when I had decided even that young that she was the woman of my dreams.

How He Asked

Me and Jem had been together for 9 years. We were high school sweethearts, we did 6 years of long distance while we were in university, and through it all there was never any question that we would be getting married.

Everyone knew it, and everyone reminded us of it. It had become a running joke of sorts that we hadn’t been engaged yet. The fact that we had been together for that long, been through everything that we had gone through, and no ring confused people.

The onus was on me to make it happen, but Jem deserved something special.Jem currently lives in London, UK, as a teacher and I had made plans to go and visit her. We were planning on visiting Italy, and everyone asked me and inquired about me asking her in Italy.

It would be incredible, and romantic, and a memory she would never forget. Everyone thought I was going to ask then, but as the days went by and I returned from my trip without being engaged people were confused, but not me.

The reason you know you’re going to marry someone is because you know what they want, you know what will make them happy.

We had been invited to be in a wedding party of two of our closest friends for a wedding that was to happen on July 9th, 2016. Jem came down to visit that Wednesday, and was now back in Canada.

My fiancee is a princess, she loves her special romantic moments. Before we ever thought about getting engaged, she had given me a run down list through just talking about how she wanted her proposal to be, the things she wanted to have no doubt. That list is as follows:

People have to be around to see it
I need to have my sisters there
My mom and dad need to be there.
I would like our friends to see it.
I want it to be photographed.
I want it to be videotaped.
I need to look pretty
I want the ring to be beautiful.

These things would not be present in Italy or the UK, but they would be present in Canada. So, I had created an elaborate plan to give her the best possible proposal.

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The day was July 7th, 2016. That morning she had joked around wondering if I was ever going to ask her to marry me, little did she know that was happening that day.

Prior to her coming home I had sat down with her family and he best friends in order to build a map and an event scenario for a scavenger hunt.

The plan was that she was to go to certain significant spots in our hometown where she would meet up with significant people in our lives and they would give her letters that would have riddles on them to go to the next location which would eventually conclude at the high school where I had initially asked her to be my girlfriend all that time ago.

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I made an excuse as to why I had to leave her for a bit that afternoon, and I would go ahead and make sure I was at the final destination where everyone would be waiting for her. The first location she was to go was her first home, the home she was born in.

I had left our first car there with the note on the car. The note read” This is the start of your journey, the first place you called home, but I am not from here, so I need you to go to the first place that I called home.”

The second location she was to go was the first house that I moved into when I moved to Cornwall. There she would meet my family and my family would give her the riddle. The riddle would read “This was the first place that I called home, but it wasn’t the first place that I saw you and how beautiful you were.

Go to the place where we first met one another.” The third location was our elementary school, the first place that we had met, and the first place I as enthralled with her.

At that location our best friends from our childhood were there to greet her and they gave her a note that read “This was the first place we met, and we had a lot of wonderful memories here, but as time went on we made a lot of wonderful memories.

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One of those memories was where people thought we looked like we were getting married. Go to the location where we took pictures and feel deeper in love.” The fourth location was down by the local water at a romantic location surrounded by a gazebo and flowers, where our prom was held.

At that location were her grandparents waiting. They gave her the riddle which read: “I hope you have had fun, but now it is time to get serious, it is time to go to the location where we have a lot of memories both good and bad.

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Our lives were changed at this location, and now it’s time to do it one more time. The last location was at her house on a street right by the high school. It was the location we had our first kiss, it’s the location that her family had experienced much stress, it is the location we became adults.

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Her mom was the one driving her around and at the last location she gave her the last note. To her surprise, the note read, “it is time to do something that I have been waiting a long time to do.”

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She had gotten to the high school where I had arranged about 50 of her family and friends in an aisle setting almost as if she was walking down the aisle.

I was at the end and had this grandiose speech prepared, but all that came out of my mouth was “It is about time”, she laughed and so did I. I said I love you with all of my heart Jemanica Lapensee, got down on one knee, and asked her to marry me.

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She said “Of course Yes!”

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In retrospect, I had checked off all of the things she had wanted and made her the happiest girl in the world.

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I also made myself the happiest man in the world.

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I am so happy that she said yes, and I cannot wait to spend the rest of my life with her.

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Special Thanks

Julie Hickman
Wanda Lapensee