Last month in the wedding month of June, I received the Email in the middle of an ordinary morning, a work day filled with clients, finishing up an article and tending to the more mundane tasks of life like doing laundry, running errands and paying bills.
The Email stood out from the usual junk mail and spam that normally filled my Inbox. It caught my attention and I immediately clicked to open it with curiosity.
The Email was from a young man, a man I had grown to know and love in the past year and a half. He was my oldest daughter's boyfriend and the Email was an invitation to join him for lunch in Denver at a time that would work best for me. He told me not to worry; he just had some things he wanted to talk to me about.
Well count me in! Anyone who knows me well knows that there's nothing I delight in more than in being in relationships, in connection, in knowing and understanding another human being.
Jeremy had come into Kellie's life at a time when she was a deliberately free and unattached woman. She had had a long-term relationship in college and when that ended she made a declaration that the only person she wanted to spend time with was herself. She wanted no restraints, no ropes to tie her down.
When she graduated from college, she and a girlfriend traveled to parts of the world exotic and strange. She loved her independence and decided going "solo" was going to become a long time commitment.
She moved to San Diego to work for a sports team as a Guest Representative. The pay was paltry and to make ends meet, she took a waitressing job at a Mexican restaurant that was situated in a touristy part of town and she was miffed at the costume she had to wear and the lousy tips of loud and demanding customers.
Shortly after she began working there, she began to speak of a young man who had caught her attention and the way she described him made my ears stand up in attention like a paramedic on alert.
He was a couple of years older and like so many other others, he had been laid off from his job as a civil engineer and was doing whatever it took to make ends meet, including working at the cheesy tourist restaurant. They became friends and he told her of his plans to move to Denver where work might be more available and the call of the mountains was stronger than he cared to ignore.
When her stint with the Chargers ended, she returned to the state she was born and to the family who had missed her and to the young man who had moved there several months before her, pounding the doors until his persistence paid off and he landed a job in his profession.
I had always wondered if there was a man out there who would be strong enough for my daughter, a fiery passionate determined young woman who eschewed the attachments and commitments of coupledom and the ties that might bind.
Fast forward to this recent June morning when the Email came. Could I meet him for lunch? Hell yes I could meet him for lunch.
I was curious about his intentions for our meeting but no matter. When I arrived at the restaurant, I could see him sitting outside having procured a table on the patio. He's a gorgeous young man with a head of hair so full of dark curls you have to stop yourself from reaching out and touching them.
Lunch was ordered and I sat back in my chair waiting. He looked me right in the eyes and began to speak words of love about my daughter. He told me of her qualities, her attributes, and her beauty. He told me she made him a better man and he told me he couldn't imagine a day in his life without her.
He leaned forward meeting my gaze with intention and purpose. He confessed that he knew it might be considered old-fashioned but he wanted to ask for my blessings to ask for her hand in marriage.
And the warmth in that summer air, intensified by the look in his eyes, enveloped me and my heart was in danger of bursting right there, right there on the spot.
I reached out and hugged him tight and spoke words of love and enthusiastic approval and told him I couldn't think of anyone better to be with my daughter. Since he had come into her life, his calm quiet presence and way of speaking words clearly yet gently had melted the rough edges around my girl and I couldn't have been happier.
As I drove home with goose bumps making permanent residence on my arms, I tried not to pinch myself. I've watched the world become a ruder place, where manners and decorum are seen like artifacts from days gone by. Where marriage is drifting to the back burners of a culture who finds, for a variety of reasons, it may be better off to do anything other than to utter the words, "Till death do us part."
My future son-in-law may be considered "old-fashioned" but to me he is my Hero. And I will never forget that sweet summer day when he honored his future bride by honoring the ones who raised her.
It will always stand out as one of the most precious days of my life.
And yes, she said a resounding "YES!"