Jessica and Harry

How We Met

Although the story of how we met will be different depending on which of us you ask haha, basically we ran into each other at an undergrad party but had no idea that despite our accidental meeting, we were actually heading in similar directions — towards careers in medicine. We started dating from a distance after he graduated, and then I went on to medical school while he first pursued his Master’s degree. During that time, we stayed connected through daily study Skype sessions and visits whenever our exam and rotation schedules would allow. Now six and a half years later we’re still long distance, but now I’m an OBGYN resident, he’s a 3rd-year medical student pursuing Emergency medicine, and now engaged!!

How He Asked

He’s always been good at surprises, and today was no different – – I thought we were going to brunch with his classmates – a big rooftop event to celebrate them being done with a milestone med school exam, decked out with fancy outfits, and a hired photographer. He made sure I treated myself to a shopping spree and manicure to start off my vacation trip to visit him, and this brunch was the first thing on the weekend itinerary.

That morning we both got dressed up, took our Uber, and started walking to meet his friends so we could all head over to the rooftop brunch together. I had never been to the Naval Yards before, with its pretty waterside restaurants, decorative fountains, a waterfall pool, and this neat modern-style bridge. Although distracted by all the beauty around me, I couldn’t help but notice we seemed to be wandering forever and he was weirdly rambling on about the “musicality of the waterfall hitting the rocks” and the “uniqueness of the asymmetrically designed bridge.” Something seemed off…but then I saw his friends and a photographer snapping shots of us at the other end of this beautiful bridge.

I’m still completely clueless at this point…until he walked me down the bridge and off to the side, was a cobblestone path leading to the water, lined with rose petals and heart-shaped balloons swaying in the wind. As he walked ahead of me to the end of the line he explained there were 12 balloons (our favorite number) each with a photo of us and a personal message he had written. I went from balloon to balloon smiling and laughing at the wonderful memories attached to each, from our Korean BBQ picnic in the park to his first Thanksgiving with my parents.

The last balloon instructed me to turn around and there he was standing beside a heart made out of rose petals with a big smile on his face. He took my hands and finally made sense of all that rambling he had been dong. Just as a waterfall slamming the rocks can create white noise that musically drowns out the chaos of the world, so too would our love for each other, albeit not always perfect or smooth, give each other solace in the midst of our crazy lives.

Just as the asymmetrical supports of this bridge lend it both strength and uniqueness that people flock to see, so too would our imperfections make us stronger, building a truly beautiful union that others can admire. And with that he got down on one knee…and of course, I said yes! Yes to a lifetime of being perfectly imperfect together. By the way, at long last, afterward, we did end up getting brunch.