This is how it happened. It was Friday, September 21, 2007. I was preparing for my family to come up for the Florida vs. Ole Miss game, and Ben asked me to come with him to Square Books so he could get a book for a class. It was his birthday weekend. My roommates said they needed to go there too and asked to come along. Ben went upstairs to “look for his book” while I, Mallorie, Jennifer, Rebecca, and Josh browsed the books downstairs. Jennifer handed me a little handmade leather bound book and told me to read it. It was the story of an unlikely couple who met in college and fell in love fast. I had no idea it was about us at first. Then the couple began sounding a lot like us. Then it was us. And I was shaking all over, anticipating what was going to happen. The last page said, “Come upstairs for the rest of the story.” I looked at the stairs and realized Jennifer’s boyfriend Benji was filming me. Since some of you didn’t know us at that point in our lives, you can be there for it now:
A few days ago I sent off the little video tape of the day Ben proposed to be converted to digital media. I took that digital version (forgive the tracking lines, those dang cameras never could get it right) added music, and that simple thing makes it the most special recording of my life. The week we met, Damien Rice is all we listened to and Delicate is still our favorite song. My heart swells when I hear the first notes.
I walked up to the balcony where Ben was standing. He took my hand and tried to speak, but he began to cry and so did I. So he leaned down to my ear and whispered this: “You know how much I love you?… And you know I will always take care of you… I talked to mammaw (my grandmother)… and in the words of James Rasberry, ‘I’ve got something for you.'”
Then he got down on one knee and said:
“Will you marry me?”
And I couldn’t say yes enough or cry enough. It was the most shocking and beautiful moment of my life.
He gave me the ring I always wanted, white and rose gold with antique filigree. My very thoughtful Ben felt a regular ringbox just wouldn’t do. He found an antique ringbox to give me. There were flowers in mason jars all around the balcony and our photos were pinned to the walls and on the table.
I will never forget the way it felt.