Love lost, read and found
18 years ago today on July 12th I found I could not wait a second later. I had been waiting a heck of a long time with a growing sensation that it was only myself keeping me back from the changes coming ahead of me and at last it was time to embrace the future more than it was to revel in the present.
Kath and I had been dating on and off for more than eight years and I knew in my heart that my life was going to always be built around her. But being young I guess up until this moment in time I hadn’t really thought about what that really meant.
On reaching 25 years of age though, I started to look forward and wondered really if I was at last the kind of man I had always hoped I could be and this was mainly because in Kath I knew I had found the kind of woman I always hoped I would have.
A few days before taking Katherine to Egypt for our summer holidays, I went to see her dad Ernest at his home and very nervously asked him for his blessing so that I might ask his daughter to marry me. He was a man I respected immensely, humble yet dignified and proper in every way and I knew he deserved the courtesy of being approached in such a way. Thankfully he was quick to indicate his approval and with a toast of Brandy the moment was marked and our respectful friendship continued to grow.
In Egypt with the anticipation of what I was about to do, I found myself with knots in my stomach and with worry as to how I would find the perfect moment to pop the question to Kath. I had played out the scenario in my head but now that I knew I was about to do it, nothing ever seemed to go to plan. I thought I would wait until we got to Giza in Cairo and propose to her once we were deep inside of the Great Pyramid and with that plan on July 10th I bided my time. But neither at the steps of the pyramid or at the foot of the Sphinx or inside the tomb of the pyramid could I get the moment to feel right. Either there were too many people with us or we were out of breath, sweating and in stifling heat, or just that the tour guide had us rushing from moment to moment that I never got enough time to pluck up the courage I would need, and in that vain the day passed me by. In a way perhaps this was not a bad thing, as I hadn’t even bought a ring.
The next day passed by with a similar theme and I was determined that the following day on the 12th July that the moment would not escape me a second longer. I have always believed when you want something you have to be the one to make it happen.
We woke up at 4.30am that morning and were picked up by a jeep that drove us to a place not far from the Nile close to the Valley of Kings and had an open air breakfast as we watched the sun rise over the Valley. Whilst this was going on, the Hot air balloon was being filled and prepped for our flight over the Nile, The Valley of Kings and much of Luxor. It was here, up in the air, that I was determined to ask Kath to marry me once and for all.
Just as the dawn made way for the day, we were mounted inside the basket and were lifting away watching the ground fall away and now the moment was mine to be seized. At first we took a whole load of photos and just enjoyed the marvel of the experience, but soon I started to think about if this was the right moment or not. The Balloon was carrying six other passengers and it was not exactly private but at least it was certainly romantic and of course unique. I started steeling myself and readying my nerves, even if I would have to lean forward and whisper it into her ear, I was determined to ask and then fate intervened. Kath suddenly started to feel motion sickness and then had to shut her eyes, and before a few minutes more she was sitting in the bottom of the basket no longer able to appreciate the views and regrettably another magic moment was lost.
She was back to herself for the Champagne Brunch we had after landing but the moment had indeed passed us by. I started thinking of all the amazing places I had missed the opportunity to ask her to be my wife, thinking how much I wanted it to be somewhere quite memorable and I realised what I had been doing wrong all along. Those places were magical experiences we had looked forward to sharing for as long as we could remember and they were to be enjoyed on their own merit. But the most memorable moments in our lives were always the quieter moments when we were just on our own, where there was no competing distraction for attention. I wanted Kath to marry me, because I wanted her for my own, and when we were together not doing anything much was when I knew I had it all already. That evening as we peacefully walked along the banks of the river Nile having watched the sun set over its waters with a drink in our hands I decided I would wait no more. I knew I could be the man she deserved and more than anything else I knew she was everything I believed I deserved. With nerve racking composure I asked her to marry me and was close to tears when she said yes.
If you think you are worth anything, you have to aim for the skies. I believed Kath was something special and I knew making her mine would be an achievement in life, but to achieve anything in life, you have to go out there and make it happen.
July 12th is the anniversary of Katherine saying yes and becoming my fiancée. 18 years later I still believe you have to make things happen and my daughters in life are a great testament to that.