That wonderful summer eventually ended and I returned to Newman University where I had two years left until I graduated. I actually combined those two years into one so I could marry the love of my life. Although he technically had not proposed yet… But c’mon… I mean he told the bishop he would not be returning to the seminary that Fall so it was fair of me to assume.
Matt and I are made for one another. I knew this from that summer. One instance in particular told me this in a way only God knew would. So I had this habit of mooning my college roommates. I know, I know… a good catholic girl does not moon other people. BUT because of my being comfortable with my body/modesty, I truly only mooned them (only girls, btw) because it broke the ice. Seriously, if you want to take your friendship deeper, moon your newish friend. Or maybe that only works in college…
Either way, mooning was kind of my thing. I would NEVER moon random people, or guests in our dorm, it was really just reserved for my 4 roomates Well that lovely summer, I was dropping Matt off at his house during our week long break from Totus Tuus. His younger siblings came out to greet him, giving him hugs… I was watching him-imagining him as the father to my children, and our kids running to greet him when he got home from work. And as he follows his siblings into the house (knowing I was watching him), he nonchalantly pulls down his shorts to show me his bum. He had no idea this was a “classic Stacy move.” But, he mooned me and my heart swooned. Seriously folks-we are made for each other.
That Fall, while he was working as a youth minister in Muskogee, OK and I was working on my “Jun-senior” year, I knew the plans for the proposal were-a-brewin’. November came around and I was nominated for homecoming queen (we went to a very small catholic college that I guess still did this…). So I told Matt I would not be able to go home to OK and see him like we had previously planned. He was very disappointed and said, “Stacy-trust me… you’re gonna want to come home that weekend.” I tried to squeeze more out of him, but that was it, just enough to entice me. He had my attention and I knew it.
So I did go home that weekend, and honestly wondering how he could surprise me. Because I knew he only had 4 days to propose before I had to leave for college again, the clock was ticking, and I was expecting him to do it… so I was pretty much on my toes all weekend. Well, Sunday rolls around (I was going to leave on Monday) and I was starting to think that Matt just fooled me into coming to Tulsa because he wanted to see me, not because he was going to ask me to marry him. Our great priest friend, Father Mike, came in to OK from Iowa City for God’s sake! I mean, it HAD to be this weekend, right?
Well, Matt heavenly hinted that he wanted to take me to the zoo that Sunday afternoon. (We both LOVE the movie Rocky and Rocky proposed to his beloved, Adrian, at the zoo…). Well Father Mike mentioned he wanted to see the church that Matt and I wanted to get married at. This church was the parish of my family’s dear friend (and adopted uncle) Msgr. Brankin. Because of this church’s obvious beauty and it’s home-away-from-hominess, my sisters and I all wanted to get married there (and so far all of us have!). Well Matt seemed VERY perturbed that Father would ask such a thing because, “Matt had other plans” for us that day. I was delighted that this may throw a wrench in his plans because Matt bet money he would surprise me, and I hate losing bets!
So, to the displeasure of my future husband, we piled into his car and rode out to St. Therese Parish. We arrived, gave Father Mike the tour, and I got to look around and pretend walk down the aisle-glowing of course! Father Mike went to use the restroom and Matt asked me to come up to the tabernacle behind the altar. Back in that area there were beautiful stained glass windows, one of them, the betrothal of Mary and Joseph. He asked that we both kneel and spend some time with Jesus, thanking him for our relationship so far. Matt knows how boney my knees are and that I cannot kneel for a long time on hard floors, so after about 5 to 10 minutes of prayer, I get up-ready to head home. He helps me up, doesn’t let go of my hands, and says, “I am gonna stay kneeling for a little longer.” BOOM! This is happening…
He goes into this beautifully said monologue about how Christ has been the central part of our relationship and will continue to be. He said he has never met Christ so profoundly than in me. He said that with me, he knows he is the person God wants him to be. (By now I am sobbing like a first time prego watching a Hallmark commercial, so I don’t remember the rest…) Then he gets to the part, “Stacy, will you be my wife?” I gave him a hug, snot everywhere, and mumbled yes. The ring was perfect! Simple, elegant and just perfect!
Just when I thought my now fiancé had just proposed in the most perfect way, we start to head out to the back of the church where all my family start to head on in. He had planned this whole thing! And I actually had no idea! Father Mike comes out dressed in his alb, ready to celebrate the Rite of Betrothal or Rite of Blessing of the Rings or something… There was a part where each of the Dads puts his hands on us and gives us a blessing too. It. Was. Perfect.
Then we all went out to eat at an amaaaazing Italian restaurant. Seriously guys: God made us for one another.