Andy proposed on Christmas morning while we were with his family in Austin, TX. It was one of the happiest moments of my life, right up there with the birth of my babies and every time I’ve become an aunt. We started talking in 2015 (he lived in AL, I lived in MN) and met a few months later when he was in Minneapolis for a conference (a writer’s conference because, if you don’t know already, he’s a brilliant and kick-as writer). I have never been married before and, trust me (I won’t bore you with the details), there are a lot of lonely years and awful dates when you are still unmarried in your early 40’s. But this is also true. It’s worth waiting for the right person. Andy is everything I barely dared to hope for.
He worked for months with our wonderful friend Sarah Chapman to design the ring that Sarah eventually made. It’s a 14K gold, hand carved and fabricated lost-wax cast ring with aquamarine, amethyst, tanzanite, and diamond. The ring itself is a feather, for Ayrie, my son who passed away in 2010. His name means eagle’s nest and he visits people he loves from time to time in the form of an eagle. I still tear up when I look at the ring, the feather, and think about the fact that Andy, who never know Ayrie, cares enough to include him in our commitment to each other. There are four stones. The larger stones are diamond for me (representing marriage and my birth stone) and tanzanite for Andy (representing Zanzibar, his favorite place on earth). The two smaller stones represent our kids, Nozomi and Shiya. It’s pure love that I get to wear on my finger, that I get to see every day, that reminds me how lucky I am. Many of you reading this have known me for years and have seen the struggles and dark times. I am standing in the light now, loved by a gorgeous person who cares about family as much as I do, and I don’t one bit of it for granted.
PS. If you didn’t see the link in the blog post, you can learn more about Sarah and her work here: