My toes had fallen off!! Of this I was certain, because they could no longer feel the sharp, icy sting of the rain.
The sun was nowhere to be found. The only thing shining that day was the ring he had placed on my finger 3 months prior when he’d asked me to be his wife; I stared down at it, took a deep breath, and walked into the crowded auditorium. It was much warmer there…thank God!
The auditorium was loud, but not louder than the sound of my heart, beating in anticipation. We’d been together for 4 years, so he was well aware by this point how full of surprises I could be, but no way in a million years could he have ever expected this.
Even I had been shocked when the idea initially came to me on the car ride there, but time was running out, and I refused to be without him, so I knew what we had to do….
I thought about my best friend, who I had married 12 years prior wearing a bed sheet wedding gown with a handpicked dandelion bouquet; she was supposed to be there. I thought about my family and wondered how they would take the news. I thought about the dress hanging in my closet that would never be worn, but most of all, I thought about my fiancée, and what his reaction would be.
What if he had changed his mind? What if this was all happening too fast? We were supposed to have at least another month or so, but that had all changed along with his orders; sending him straight to Germany rather than back to the arms of the girl who had been so patiently waiting for him for the last six months.
My thought jumble screeched to a halt as the band began to play and startled me back into consciousness.
One by one they began to march, until the stage filled with green uniforms. It was amazing how similar they all looked, yet mine somehow stood out from the rest. I spotted him almost instantly, because he was the most handsome in the crowd.
I don’t think I’d ever seen him look so handsome, and instantly my eyes became a pool of tears.
I was so happy to see him. I was relieved that he had made it and that this entire process was almost over, but more than anything I cried because of how amazingly proud I was of my fiancée…my soldier.
When he was finally released, I clung to him like saran wrap. I never wanted to let go, but I knew that there was a conversation to be had…a conversation that would change the rest of our lives.
He had just graduated basic training, and he needed to start packing for his move to Germany, which was taking place in less than 48 hours.
I dreaded the thought of it, and before my brain jumble had the chance to take over again, I asked him to marry me…right then and there!
I could tell by the look on his face that he was just as surprised as I thought he would be.
I waited for what seemed like an eternity for his response.
I had no clue what was going on in that head of his so I was relieved when he finally replied , “ok”.
I called my family to tell them what I was about to do, and as soon as I hung up the phone, I grabbed my man by the hand, walked into the Hardin County Courthouse, and along with 6 other military couples who had somehow gotten the same crazy idea that we had, I became Mrs. Kiesha Nicole Bowles!
It didn’t happen the way that I imagined as a child. I didn’t have my fairy tale gown, my wedding cake, music or flowers. My dad didn’t walk me down the aisle, and it wasn’t the bright, sunny, spring wedding that I’d planned.
Instead, it was a cold, rainy March afternoon…St. Patrick’s Day to be exact.
I’d never much believed in luck, but that particular March 17, 2006…
I was the luckiest girl in the world .