I told him that I was leaving and that I’d see him when I returned in July.
“Have a good summer.”
He literally said “no” to me…
“Now that I have your attention I want to keep it and I would like to keep in touch, even if that means over the phone.”
“Sure we can chat.” I said.
While I was on the West Coast I spent the days at work and the nights chatting with him. The only time we physically saw each other was half way through my three month stint when we met up in Denver. He had told me he was going back to Denver for mother’s day and that he’d love to see me. When I agreed to meet him in Denver I still thought he was just a young guy having fun, but it all changed that weekend. I saw the close relationships he had with his parents. I could see the love between the parents. Strangely, Raleigh’s father is also eight years younger than his mother. It was at that point I believed in the sincerity of Raleigh’s purpose – all my doubts disappeared that weekend. Afterwards I continued my tour on the West Coast and he flew back to Philadelphia.
When I came back to Philadelphia on July 1st I thought our relationship was significant, so I wanted Raleigh to meet my family. He got to meet my mom and my dad. My parents had moved to a larger farm but they were still renting out the farm I had been born and raised on. I took Raleigh to see the farm where I grew up.
When we came over the hill and he saw the farmhouse he turned to me, “This would be an incredible place to live.”
I don’t know what made me say it, but I turned to him and said, “We totally could.”
My life motto has always been: I will have lived half my life in the city and half my life in the country. I always knew in my thirties I would leave the city and move back to the country. It was exciting that Raleigh could envision that life as well.
We went back to Philadelphia the next day. Raleigh asked me to go meet his friends on the north side of Philadelphia. We were riding our bikes to his friend’s house when Raleigh stopped and bent down. I thought a part of his bike had fallen off and he was holding the piece in his hands.
He looked at me, “Hey this is going well…I know this is out of the blue, but will you marry me? I’m completely in love with you.”
He had whittled a ring out of a piece of wood because he knew I lost every piece of jewelry.
I threw my hands up in excitement and accidentally knocked the ring out of his hands. It rolled towards the storm drain and precariously perched on the edge, but fortunately didn’t fall in. I said yes to getting married after having talked for 3.5 months and physically together for seven days. The following March we left the city to go live on the farm where I was born and raised. We have one kid and another on the way!