For as long as I can remember, Matthew and I have been going to the beach. It was either for a summer getaway in high school or for Christmas breaks in college. We even made a promise that every time he came down; we were going to make sure to take a trip to South Padre, even if it was just for a day. When Thanksgiving break came around, I thought our trip to the beach was nothing more than our ritual. Matthew had mentioned that we were going to stay at the same hotel his grandmother used to stay at when he was younger (his grandmother passed away from breast cancer his plebe year at West Point and he was very close to her). I thought it was such a sweet gesture because I knew it was a little expensive for us. Little did I know, that was his little connection to having her be there with us on our special day. On Thanksgiving Day, we went through our usual routine of splitting the day between both of our families and then we were planning on heading out to South Padre that evening. When the time came to head out, I put on some random shirt that was comfy but cute and headed out (I mean, all I thought was that maybe we’d go to some late dinner). Well, we checked into the hotel, put our bags down, and he said he wanted to take a walk down to the beach. As we were going down the pathway to the sand, he seemed to be looking for the perfect/right spot but I thought nothing about it. As we got the “the right spot” we stopped. (Backstory—while he was in New York (where he goes to school) he was talking to me on the phone one day and told me that he wanted to talk to me about something. His tone was very serious and I got a pit in my stomach thinking it was something bad. He said that instead of telling me over the phone, he wanted to talk to me about it in person. Talk about nerve wracking!) So, when we got to the right spot he turned to me and said, “remember that thing I wanted to talk to you about in person?” *instant fear* I said yes quietly. He continued by saying “Melissa, you know I don’t trust many people in my life. You know the people I do trust are my closest friends. I’ve told you many times before that you are my best friend and I trust you more than anyone in this world and I thank you for that. With that being said…Baby, may I have the privilege of having you as my wife?”
And then I realized what was happening! The one thing I’d wanted to happen for a while and I actually wasn’t expecting it! I stared him in the eyes and nodded my head yes because I was so speechless. At that moment, his sister, her friend, and his best friend ran out to give us a huge hug asking, “so is that a yes”? We’d been together just about five years before he popped the question. My extremely wonderful, considerate, caring fiancé made it a point to have his friend and sister document our proposal with video and picture along with the fact that he had asked my parents for permission to marry me far in advance. He’s truly my best friend in the entire world. He knows me better than I even know myself. He loves me more and more daily, even when I don’t deserve to be loved. He’s been with me through the ups and downs and no matter how far away we have been all this time, our love has stood the test of time and distance. I fall in love with him more and more daily. I could not be more appreciative of him. If we have been able to be in a long distance relationship for all this time, anyone can do it. That’s what I want everyone to know. We will be married June 10, 2017—two weeks after he graduates from the United States Military Academy at West Point.