Gabe was in his last year of college, his last few weeks to be exact. Lindsay was a little less than a year away from walking the same stage. They worked together, they played together, they loved together. Gabe made a decision that would change the rest of his life, but for the first time he would change the rest of someone else’s.
Gabe was managing in a retail store that he and Lindsay worked at and was saving his money to make his biggest and most meaningful purchase to date. The two had been a couple for about 6 years. The two talked about their lives together and how they would be spent together.
Several months prior on Christmas break Gabe and Lindsay walked into a jewelry store, walked to the engagement ring counters and asked to see only one. It was perfect. Lindsay knew right then it was the ring she would wear on her precious little finger. There was no reason to look anymore, it was the one.
Gabe decided it was time to purchase that ring and with the money he had been saving, he did just that. It wasn’t just about the ring though, Gabe knew he would spend the rest of his life with that little girl. He began to put the wheels in motion.
In early September 2004 he decided to plan a trip to New York City in December. It was there he would ask the question that so many had before him, but this time it would be him and her.
As they boarded the plane in a rush while running behind, they were on their way to New York for what Lindsay thought was a “Graduation Trip” for Gabe. As Gabe sat with so much anxious anticipation about the plans he had for the two, Lindsay was just enjoying the idea of going on a trip to the “big city”.
The two arrive in the city, find their way to the hotel by a cab and the wheels were in full motion. Just hours away from the question that would lead to the decision that would change the rest of their two lives.
After a day of walking, cab rides and photo taking, the two headed back to the hotel to get ready for a date in the big city. The plan was to see the Christmas Tree in Rockefeller Center and then find their way to dinner. As they dressed, Lindsay was getting herself ready in the bathroom while Gabe was transferring the symbol of his love for her into his upper left coat pocket.
As the two left the hotel, they walked in the city bearing the cold of the winter breeze. They were on their way to the spot.
As they approached Rockefeller Center, Gabe began to get more and more anxious, while Lindsay just got to enjoy the excitement of the holiday filled city. Gabe becomes quiet and has the look of a man on a mission. He sees the tree, people, and then the spot.
Gabe says “come over here, this is a good spot”. Lindsay follows. As he has his arms around her from behind, he begins to whisper in her ear. “You know I love you. We have been together since we were kids. We are still kids. You make me so happy and you know I want to spend the rest of my life with you. So I have to ask you a question.”
Gabe turns her around, gets on one knee, Lindsay says “shut up”. He pulls out the box that holds the symbol of his love for her, Lindsay says “shut up”. He opens the box, and for the last time, Lindsay says “shut up”. Gabe says “Will you marry me?”.
Lindsay’s eyes begin to tear up and she says with a heartfelt tone, “yes”. The two hug, kiss and stare at each other.
In a town of over eight million people, at that moment two of them made a decision in the presence of God that they would spend the rest of their lives together.
I love you Lindsay. 13 years ago this month we made a decision that would change the rest of our lives. That cold winter day in the big city, we merely continued that journey together, yet another step in God’s beautiful plan for our lives. I will always love you with every ounce of my heart. That heart breaks today because I know we are not connected in the way we have known for those years. I am also thankful that God has proven through his grace that you and I are indeed still continuing our journey that began with a decision in his presence.
Thank you God, thank you for an amazing love, thank you for holding me, thank you for holding my children, thank you for holding that little girl you gave me for a while.