Rachael and Brooks
How We Met
We met by chance in what would become one of our favorite Huntington hangouts and got to know each other over coffees and hush puppies, milkshakes and burritos. In the early days of our relationship, we learned quickly how to help each other through hardship: tears for the loss of a dear loved one, tea for the flu, a caring ear for work woes, and the great Huntington Blizzard of 2015. But while the rest of the city raided the canned good aisles and settles in to wait out the storm, we plowed through the powdery streets and hit the highway to spend our snow-week in Louisville, beginning what would become a pattern of travel and exploration that’s characterized and enriched our relationship.
How He Asked
Well it had been 3 long months since we had seen each other. Brooks had been in Russia working at a university there as a professional Full-bright Scholar and I was back in WV beening a teacher. So we decided to meet in Paris, France during thanksgiving break. We had been in Paris for two days and it was so wonderful to be back together again after such a long time apart. On Monday morning, Brooks had me get up super early and all he told me was to wear my red dress because he had a great day planned for us. I had a feeling something was up. So we walk outside from the hotel and make it about 1 block and it starts pouring down the rain, without an umbrella I will add. But, that didn’t stop Brooks from his special planned activity.
So he takes me a couple block from our hotel to a park which happens to be The Luxembourg Gardens, but when we get to the entrance the gate is locked. I then look to Brooks and he has a panic look on his face. We then wait a little while by the gate, me not know what the heck was going on, but are finally welcomed by a man opening the gate. So Brooks then takes me by the hand and we start to take a stroll in the park looking at all the beautiful flowers. As we walk I could tell Brooks was super nervous. We finally arrive at the beautiful castle of the the Luxembourg Gardens, right in front of the water fountain.
I look around and it is just us and one other person across from us who happens to be holding a camera. Next thing I know, Brooks is down on one knee asking me to be his wife(rain and all). I said YES of course! The man across the fountain happen to be the photographer who captured the whole moment on camera, who also happened to be Brooks’s old friend from Liverpool. Brooks flew him in the night before just to capture our moment! Chris, the photographer stayed with us all day, following us around taking picture from the Catheral of Notre Dame to the Eiffel Tower. I felt like a famous person getting their picture taken all over Paris! It was the best day and one I’ll never forget!