(To get full effect choose "Somewhere" in song selection )
It was a beautiful September day that finally convinced me adolescent dreams can come true. Dave had been planning a surprise for me and as the word spread around the neighborhood he ended up with much needed help. Location, china, crystal, linen, silver and seating were all donated to his plan. Dave lived an hour and a half away and he knew what he wanted but it took a neighborhood collaboration to make it happen. He had not met but one neighbor in the area but romance was in the air. They all managed to keep me totally clueless to the plan.
On the big day it was nearing dinner time and Dave suggested we go for a drive up a nearby street leading to the top of a hill. I said "I'm hungry, lets go eat instead." He anxiously replied " I'll pick something up on our way back" so I reluctantly agreed. We drove up the hill overlooking my neighborhood and canyon. Dave pulled into an old apple orchard and I was so in awe of the view I hardly noticed the table. He helped me out of the car and asked me to give him a minute. I yelled after him "is this someones land, are we allowed to be here?" He looked over his shoulder while lighting a candle and said with a wink "I made a reservation." I was shocked into silence as I began to take in the details of what he had done. He helped me over to my chair, he it the CD player and joined me. Barbra Streisand was belting out "Somewhere" as Dave poured chilled sparkling cider into two champagne flutes. It was intoxicating and surreal sitting in my shorts at this elegant table watching a deer nibble at the apples, undisturbed.
Dave was shaking as he took a folded piece of paper out of his pocket. He unfolded it and began to read a poem written from his heart. He poured out all his feelings in this poem and wrote somethings he had never said out loud. I was overwhelmed by the depth of this man as I hung on every word. I had no idea he could write poetry but I knew he was a romantic. When we had stayed at an historic hotel, on a much earlier date, he had written in the guestbook (kept in each room) that he would return with me as his wife. It melted my heart but at that time I was not even considering marriage.
We had talked about marriage but with ALS I had mixed emotions. Dave's love had convinced me that he knew what he was walking into and his poem said it all. I knew what was coming as he fumbled in his pocket and I was overcome with a wave of love. He then got down on bended knee and opened a little black box. He asked "Tammy, will you be my wife?" I was so emotional but I managed to not go into the "ugly cry" and said "yes!" We kissed, we ate, we laughed and watched an amazing sunset.
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Photo taken from the hood of the car on auto shoot.