After a great year of dating long distance, Kev decided to move up to Richmond for the summer so that we could date like a normal couple. We both felt like it would be telling for the long-term future of our relationship. Kev moved in with my grandmother and I moved in with my aunt and uncle, who lived on the other side of town. It could have been a disaster waiting to happen, but it worked out for the best. 🙂
We had summer jobs, but got to spend a lot of time together during our time off. We went on some double dates with friends, spent time with my local family members, and enjoyed the simple pleasures of taking walks or jogs with the one you love. I recall a few hysterical evenings at the driving range where we laughed our heads off. It was mostly a summer of fun getting to be together as a couple.
One thing that was important to us was that we attend church together. We knew we had our faith in common, but were not able to attend church together as a couple while we were long distance. Since I had not officially joined a church in Richmond while I was at school, we church hopped. It was fun to visit around and see what churches we liked and didn’t like.
In July, I traveled to Mississippi to attend Kev’s sister’s wedding. I was honored to be invited to such a big family event and enjoyed it so much. I met all the extended family and felt so welcomed by everyone. I already loved his immediate family, but it was icing on the cake to also feel that same welcome from his extended family. I may have also caught the bride’s bouquet. 🙂
Little did I know, Kev had bought me an engagement ring earlier in the week before I flew down and spent the entire weekend showing it to his family. No wonder they were so excited to meet me!
The summer winded down and I was excited about the coming school year. Kev had applied for a transfer to Liberty University, so our long distance relationship wouldn’t be such a long distance anymore. We knew we could handle 2 hours if we had endured 13 hours the prior year!
As the school year neared, I began to think about where things were going and initiated a few conversations about our future. I knew job interviews would be on my horizon and was hoping to get some reassurance of where things were heading so I would know where I might be living upon graduation. I’m sure Kev was laughing on the inside since he already had the ring in his possession, but he assured me that he loved me and I had no need to worry. I already knew he was serious if he was willing to transfer to finish his education at a school in Virginia to be near me.
Our one year dating anniversary was in early August. Leading up to that day, he refused to tell me anything about his plans. He picked me up at my aunt and uncle’s house to take me out to dinner, but he still refused to tell me where he was taking me. He surprised me by taking me on a slight detour to the University of Richmond, where I went to college.
His gesture wasn’t totally out of the ordinary since we’d spent time walking/jogging there during the summer and during some of his visits to see me. At the center of the campus is a beautiful lake with a bridge and gazebo. We walked around the lake, over the bridge, and past the gazebo, as we had done numerous times before. As we were walking along the wooded trail, he abruptly asked if we could turn around and head back to the gazebo.
It seemed a little awkward, but I obliged. I started to suspect that something major was about to happen, though. Once I was seated on one of the benches under the gazebo, it wasn’t more than 30 seconds before he was on his knee asking me to marry him. I don’t remember many of the details, but I do know Kev did not give me a long drawn-out speech. Staying true to himself, he cut straight to the chase and I gladly accepted. 🙂
After he put the ring on and we kissed a couple of times, we ended our walk and headed frolicked to the car. We celebrated with a nice dinner and then proceeded to call our families.
That was it. In the blink of an eye, we were an engaged couple.