In November of 2016 April and I started discussing a future together which at that time was full of plans for Denver Comic Con and all the movies we had to watch together. Marriage was on the table, but I had convinced her that we needed to go camping first before we seriously considered combining our forces for good.
But after spending Christmas together, I knew that even if she hated camping, I didn’t want to spend my life without her. I kept talking about camping and as April still hasn’t spent the night under God’s amazing stars, I kept telling her we needed to camp so that we could see if we were really meant to be together. Fortunately for me and probably for her too, this was just a lie to keep her on her toes. Like I was going to ghost on her, (a term here meaning vanish for no good reason) after our first failed camping experience.
Instead I was planning a proposal.
First, I had to convince her to go to the Wonderful World of Disney and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter with me for my birthday. That didn’t take much convincing because she too loves theme parks.
Next, I had to ask for her father’s blessing and make sure she didn’t have a clue I was meeting with her dad. Luck was on my side when one night she left her phone at my house and I was able to snag her dad’s number. I texted him right away. We met for breakfast and with my broken Spanish I asked for his blessing. He said yes.
Later the same day I met my parents at the ring store and picked out the diamond. For the next two weeks I finally came to understand what it feels like to hold a secret and have it burn a hole in my pocket.
Finally, I was able to convince a friend of mine to join me at Harry Potter World to take pictures of the proposal. The only day he could do it was February 17th, my birthday and the day I had planned on proposing. Now, all I had to do was show up at the park on February 17th.
But when good things are happening there is resistance. We had set backs along the way, mostly with getting to California and the Harry Potter World. Travelocity messed up our tickets and my boss didn’t want to approve my time off. After five hours on the phone with Travelocity in which both our tickets were nearly canceled due to the stupidity of our agent, I felt like giving up.
Maybe God didn’t want me to go to California. What if this was a sign from him that my trip wasn’t a good idea, and then I was told by my boss I had to be at a meeting for work on my birthday.
God gave me the word of joy at the start of the year and I have felt him tell me that I would need to fight for it. So I fought through these challenges, and requested time off from my boss for my birthday. I was able secure the time off so April could take me to California over President’s Day Weekend.
As easy as it would have been to give up on a grand proposal and believe that it was not meant to be due to all of the resistance, I chose to fight for joy anyway. I did not give up when the travel agent messed up our tickets, nor when I got in an accident on my way home from work on the night of our flight. It was a fight getting to the airport and once we were in the terminal the fight didn’t stop. The flight was over booked and offering 500 dollars to wait until the next day. That money would have been amazing, especially with my smashed up car I had just left behind at my house. I could tell April wanted to wait, but I felt God give me the strength to say no and to trust him, his plan for me was to fly off to California and like Van Gogh said, start a good thing. I had to say no to the money and we flew off to California.
Once we arrived in California, tropical storm Lucifer did all it could to steal our joy.
Trusting God, I chose to find joy anyway, which meant no matter how long April took on the homework she decided to do right before leaving for the park (She had no idea I was proposing, so her procrastination on her homework is slightly excusable, even though it was my birthday and she could have skipped it as it was a ten point assignment or how hard it was raining once we reached Universal Studios). I was going to have fun because I knew God was for me, he wanted me to propose.
I was a nervous wreck. I had written my proposal the night before and as we drove to the park, I kept reading over what I was going to say. At lunch in “The Three Broomsticks” I prayed the rain would stop. It didn’t.
As we finished our food, I gave a lame excuse about needing to run off to the restroom. I dashed outside and basically swam to a prearranged location (Moaning Myrtle’s Restroom in Hogsmeade) to meet my friend who was already there to take pictures. We ran through the plan and he showed me the best location for pictures; right outside in the rain.
After having him repeat where he wanted us, I waded my way back inside and convinced April that I needed to show her the best view of the Hogwarts castle. It was a miracle she followed me into the rain.
I took off her hood to her rain coat and proposed! We were too love-struck to feel the rain anymore.
Okay, that is not true. It was raining so hard that my handwritten proposal was hard to hold onto. But April waited patiently as I drew out a wand.
Next, April freaked out when I pulled a copy of Harry Potter And The Half Blood Prince from my back pack.
“It will get wet!” she said.
To focused to care, I opened the book and dropped to one knee.
“Will you make an unbreakable vow with me?” I asked. Before she could respond I looked down at the opened book where the ring was hanging on a ribbon. However, it was raining so hard that the ring was blown off the page, out of sight. I scrambled to move it back and I said, “April Inez Hernandez, I love you. Will you marry me?”
She did not ghost me. She did not bench me. She did not bread crumb me, but she said without any hesitancy, “Yes I will!”