The Engagement

Tuesday July 8, 2008

It’s an on going contest in our family to see who will have the biggest paragraph in Mom’s Christmas letter. The good, the bad, the traumatic will somewhere along the line get measured to all the other events that have occurred. The biggest, the worst, the most fun, it’s inevitable that you will hear someone say, “this will definitely get you the biggest paragraph”.

This year in my small family of four deserves much more than a paragraph. This past August I received a text message from my daughter’s boyfriend asking for my husband’s cell phone number. Austyn was in Colorado visiting her boyfriend Brian. She would be there for three weeks, the longest they had been together since they started dating. There could only be one reason why Brian wanted to talk to Jeff.

I text him back and immediately emailed my husband to inform him that Brian was looking for him. Hmmmm, what could this be? A short time later I happened to answer the phone at work, it was Jeff. I quickly transferred him to my office and ran back to catch it. This was it. Brian had asked permission to married Austyn.

“So what did you say?”, I asked. Jeff laughed. “I’m not sure what all I said. Except I did tell him I would ask you and if you had any objections I would call him back.” It was the first time in 27 years of marriage Jeff had ever used me as the escape goat.

We had no objections. The relationship was solid and from outsiders looking in we watched Brain watch Austyn and it was meant to be. He was everything we could wish for in a partner for her.

Austyn had taken a year out of school to attend Bible school in England. She had registered at the last minute and was accepted to Capenwrey, a Touchbears School. The plan was to be in England until spring and on to Austria for the last quarter. While in England she became friends with a young man from Colorado and had a chance to meet some of his family members as well.

Austyn called me one day to inform us that she had a change of heart. She had already been looking into the possibility of finishing the year at the Estes Park campus. Everything seemed to work and before we knew it she was on her way home to repack and head to Estes Park. The connections she had made in England gave her a family to be with on weekends and holidays. During these family visits Austyn and Brian were introduced and over the next year they relationship grew.

Brian called on a Monday but did not purpose until Wednesday. When we finally got the call from Austyn she could not get the words out fast enough. All I remember of her conversations was “Brian asked…..but you knew all that already”. Jeff and I made plans to join them in Colorado the following weekend, meet Brian’s parents and celebrate.

The wedding plans began. A date, we need a date. School was the only issue. Austyn was attending Harrington School of Design in Chicago and would finish the end of April and Brian was in an Aeromechanics program in Boulder, which would end in June. June seemed to be perfect. I emailed our oldest son, Raun. He was a senior at DePaul University in Chicago to ask when classes ended. His reply “DePaul’s graduation is June 15th.” I was shocked. His graduation was June 15. How did I forget that?

Raun had attempted collage 3 times and four years ago when he enrolled at DePaul it worked. He successfully stayed on the Dean’s List all four years. He would be graduating after 4 years with a double major; Biblical Studies and Catholic Studies. This was a huge millstone for him and it could not be over shadowed.

End of June would be perfect.

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