My husband proposed to me April 18, 1992. I wrote this story about the memory.
(Written in 2001)
It wasn’t too long ago I came across a piece of artwork by my husband, sitting forgotten at the bottom of a desk drawer. I said artwork, but in actuality, it was only a doodling Shawn did on the back of a pad of legal paper. To me it was a piece of art because my name, Veronica, was centered prominently in the middle of all the squiggles. I knew Shawn must have doodled it as he sat bored in school one day.
Shawn and I started dating in high school. We both got our college degrees, and then we got married. When I tell people my husband and I were high school sweethearts, the normal reply is one of surprise. This never ceases to amaze me. I don’t think about how rare it is for a seventeen-year-old girl to realize she has met her future husband.
I only dated one person in my life, and I knew he was my prince charming from the very first kiss. When I found my name written among swirls, hearts, and flowers, I knew Shawn had been certain he had found his true love as well. I shook my head as I thought about our first date. It did not coincide with our first kiss, because Shawn was afraid of how my older sisters would react if he kissed me on the first date. I remember thinking my first ever date was a dud, because the boy didn’t even give me a peck on the cheek. However, Shawn and I did go on a second date and then a third.
I’ve always loved writing and gave Shawn poems to mark all our anniversaries. Anyone who dated in high school knows one week, one month, six week marks were more important than the yearly dates. And of course your first kiss was the most important. I remember giving Shawn a poem entitled, “A Kiss”, a few days after he worked up the courage to actually give me one. We recently celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary without any fanfare and no poems. I couldn’t even remember the last time I had written my feelings down in words. Our lives had grown more hectic upon having children. These little treasures were thrown to the wayside replaced by ones who demanded more of mom and dad’s attention.
As I sat there looking at my name, written by my husband’s hand, I remembered how Shawn used to express his feelings with paint and canvas. I smiled because once again I had my very own Shawn Hosking masterpiece. The forgotten doodle was an inspiration, and I gave Shawn this poem that night.
You speak my name
and I feel a warm desire
as I look down and spy the fire
uttering my name
brings forth to your eyes.
My heart begins to race,
can you see it on my face
how I would gladly die
for a chance to hear
you speak my name
once more – so dear.
The poem expressed how I felt the day Shawn got down on his knee and proposed to me. A moment which closely paralleled our first kiss, because it almost never happened. Shawn took me to the Botanical Gardens and was going to propose among the Easter blossoms. He thought they would offer the perfect backdrop, and he was happy that Easter fell on our one year anniversary.
We walked through the beautiful tulips and lilies and were headed back to the car when Shawn put his hand in his pocket. He grasped a small box and gave me a sheepish grin. Pulling the ring out of his pocket, he got down on one knee and proposed right in the parking lot.