It is the evening of December 20th and I am eagerly waiting beside the baggage claim a Seatac airport. Her bag already in hand, I scan the crowd of people milling about, desperate to lay my eyes on the woman I love. The woman I want to spend the rest of my life with.
Three long days ago, with a mixture of sadness and excitement, I watched Alix walk out of my sight and into the airport to board a plane that would take her over a thousand miles away from me to vacation with her family in Disneyland. I already missed her but as I pulled away from that curb my mind started racing with plans and I knew that I had only three days to put together a proposal that would take her breath away. The first stop, to pick up the ring.
Over the past few weeks I had worked with the fantastic Carolyn Isaacs at Robbin’s Brothers in downtown Seattle to select and set the perfect ring. The ring was ready to pick up so after dropping Alix off I headed there. I love the ring that I picked out and am confident it will look exquisite on Alix finger.
The night before the proposal was a whirlwind of activity. A friend was visiting from Canada and I was watching a friend’s two kids but my sister had made the two hour trek to help me rearrange and decorate Alix house. There were paper hearts (RaeAnn hand made these, thanks!) hanging all over the walls with electric tea candles flickering in them, additional tea candles were spread throughout the living room. Written in Hersey’s Kisses right as you walk in the door were the words “Ben + Alix”.
To get into the living room Alix had to pass through a doorway of hanging Christmas lights and into a darkened living room that was arranged in such a way to draw the eye to the center of the room where on a pedestal waited the ring and a bottle of champagne.
Thankful that I had rehearsed several times earlier, and with heart pounding and the sound of blood rushing into my ears, I took Alix hand and led her to the pedestal. As I got down on one knee Alix eyes widened with a mixture of surprise and elation. As I looked into the eyes of the woman I desire to spend the rest of my life with I wanted to give her a speech about how much I love her, about how since the day she entered my life my entire world was flipped upside down and only then did I realize I had only been living half a life, a life that now seems empty and meaningless without her. To tell her all about the amazing adventures we will have together, to let her know how excited I am to begin a life and start a family with her. But as I got down on one knee I became overwhelmed with emotion and my voice became wobbly and gained an octave. Overcome with love and thoughts of the future I asked Alixandra Akimi McCuen to become my wife and partner with me for all our lives. She squeak screamed an excited yes and Mariah jumped on us nearly knocking us over in her own excitement at becoming a new family.