Jen and I had been together for almost three years but I had long known that she was the girl of my dreams! While we had discussed the notion of getting married, kids and our future together, I’m not sure she could have expected what was to come and that was just how I wanted it.
A surprise of this nature required some sparkle. I can’t say that I had purchased more than a piece of jewelry or two in my life, but I had secretly filed away Jen's thoughts regarding rings at our friends weddings… of which there were many in the past few years! I went to a store I trusted and picked a ring that I hoped Jen would love.
Next on the list, I had a great chat with her Dad letting him know my intentions to marry his daughter. He gave me his families blessing which was all I needed to move forward.
I now needed a means to deliver the ring. The wheels really stated turning for me when Jen had brought home some older skates her folks had loaned us. This, just as Canada Games Oval was being completed and we had never gone skating together. Jen was currently busy working on the Canada Games as a volunteer and had worked on both the Charlottetown and Whitehorse Canada Games as well. I had learned a lot about the Games from her and felt that this might be a special way to propose. That and skating was one of the few active things we had not yet shared together.
We were both very busy with work during the Canada Games and we had been putting off skating until the games had wrapped up. Finally, a ‘date night’ was set. Armed with the loaned skates (an eclectic mix of too small figure skates and a pair of too big Micron Mega’s from the 80’s) we tried our first few circuits on the oval. My aim was to keep her on the ice long enough to ‘fake a dive’ in one of the corners and have her come to my aid. The tricky part about the whole operation was timing. I had arranged for a photographer friend whom Jen had not met to shadow us at a certain time.
The figure skates she wore that night gave her blisters. I recall having to convince her that one more lap was all I would ask of her… and I could see that Chris had pulled up a short distance behind us, skating as well. In what seemed like a very long lap, I skidded/slid to my knees on the inside of the northwest corner (rather awkwardly for such a good skater!) and luckily she came to my aid.
With many others skating around us I told her how I’d be planning this day from nearly the first day we had met and I produced my shiny treasure. She said YES!!! I then stood up with her and introduced her to Chris who had been snapping the entire time. After a few more photos, she had forgotten about her blisters and we did a few celebratory laps telling strangers that might have missed it what had just happened.
We are still happily engaged and getting married this coming May! I can’t wait.
*As told by Tim L'Esperance.