I’m Going to Be a Mother-in-Law!

Our daughter, Ali, has been dating her soul mate, Justin, for more than three years now. Shortly after they started dating, they were in a bad car accident together and they subsequently recovered together at our house. They’ve been deeply in love ever since.

Early Saturday morning, Frank came into our room, looking for my good camera. He said he needed to take some pictures of his medical records for his new job. I told him to just scan them. He said no, that was too much trouble, and left. I didn’t really think much about it.

Saturday was Justin’s birthday and he and Ali had plans to visit a very nice restaurant in Sarasota. They came here first so they could share the beautiful birthday cake Ali made. It was strawberry almond with chocolate covered strawberries on top! Yum! I wanted to take a picture of the cake with my good camera so I went to Frank’s room.

“Frank, I need my camera.”
“You can’t have it.”
What do you mean I can’t have it?”
“I don’t have it.”
“What do you mean YOU don’t have it?”
“It’s not here.”
“What do you mean it’s NOT HERE?!”
“Like I said, you…can’t…have…it…”

He had a crooked smile on his face during the entire short conversation. Something told me to just let it go so I gave up, went back to the kitchen, and snapped this photo with my phone:

Their reservation was at 8:00 p.m. and they didn’t have time to open presents so Justin said he’d open them after dinner. That was just fine with us. We were far more concerned about diving into that yummy CAKE but we agreed to wait for them to return.

Justin had notified the manager of his plans prior to their arrival. Richard and I didn’t know it was going to happen that night (but we had our suspicions). The “cue” for the restaurant staff was when Justin opened his birthday present from Ali. After he opened it, the manager approached, and said, “How about a birthday picture?!”

Ali later said she briefly thought, ‘This is weird. They have a birthday wall at a place like this? And, gee, he has the same camera as my mom…’

Justin then got down on his knee, and told Ali he didn’t want anything more for his birthday than for her to be his wife. He was crying, she was crying. Some other restaurant patrons were crying. Ali accepted, of course, and the band started playing. Then, they danced together. Oh, I wish we could have been there to watch but, if Ali had seen us hiding in the wings, she’d have figured it out for sure!

She said later that a woman approached them, and said, “You have both made me believe in true love again.”

I get teary eyed just thinking about it, and looking at the pictures they took. Justin then took Ali on a surprise trip to Sanibel Island and they had a magical romantic weekend. Justin had two suitcases packed in the back of the truck. I asked him, “How did you know what to pack for Ali?”

He responded, “I didn’t! So, I packed everything! I only had 10 minutes to pack and put the stuff in the back of the truck before she got home from work!!”

Ali said she opened her suitcase and it almost burst from everything he’d shoved in there.

Just before they left for dinner, I snapped this photo of them. I’m so glad I did! It’s perfect!

And this is one of their engagement photos, which was taken by a friend (also with my camera – ha ha!).

Justin later said he and Ali both overheard my camera conversation with Frank that evening and he was getting sooooo nervous that Frank might be forced to let the cat out of the bag…but he didn’t. Good thing I had the instinct to “let it go.” Frank later explained he’d driven to the store that morning, gotten a new memory card, inserted it, gone to Ali and Justin’s, and left the camera for Justin while he and Ali were at work.

Oh, and we eventually got to cut into the cake…after they got back into town on Monday evening. It was DELICIOUS!!!

This Week’s Masonism:

“Grampa, you’re the smartest man in the world because old people know everything!”

Angela Hoy lives on a mountain in North Georgia. She is the publisher of WritersWeekly.com, the President and CEO of BookLocker.com and AbuzzPress, and the author of 24 books.

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