Anniversaries and New Adventures…

Today marks exactly 3 years since my last chemotherapy infusion. I kept forgetting that – but Lara and the kids reminded me. More than once. Haha.

Part of what we did today was family portraits. The last time we did this, I had almost no hair. Since I have a ton of hair now, we thought it might be time for an update.

There’s been a vibe around here this week. I knew something was in the air, but I just couldn’t pin it down. Lara was nearly beside herself with excitement, even going so far as to get up with me at 3:00 a.m. this past Wednesday when I just couldn’t sleep any later. She’s more committed to sleeping in than I am, so this was very unusual. Our photographer is a lifelong friend of mine – she calculated today that we’ve known each other darn near our entire lives. It’s the comforting part of the small town. 🙂

Halfway through photos, Lara gave me the surprise of my life.

She handed me a bouquet of flowers for a prop (or so I thought) and then got down on one knee and proposed. She told me that she chooses me, and hopes that I choose her too.

I said yes, with tears pouring down my face, and tears pouring down her face, and little Moses was crying his head off as well. Maddie is made of sterner stuff than the rest of us, and simply complained that her huge grin was starting to hurt her face.

After she proposed to me, Lara proposed to each of the children. She had had bracelets engraved for them, and told them that they are the children she has chosen, and that she couldn’t be more proud or happy to raise them with me. The bracelets said (you guessed it) “I choose you.”

In the midst of all of this, I couldn’t help but flash back through the times we’ve shared:

— Before dating, she was with me in the hospital after my first surgery, when a nurse handed her a cup of my blood (no kidding, of all the things!) and left her holding it while she updated my chart. Lara didn’t even flinch.

— During chemo, I woke up daily at 3:00 a.m. craving cereal like there was no tomorrow. Lara would stagger to the kitchen to get me a bowl, and then we’d have our “wee hours” conversation and snack.

— Remission announcement, there she is.

— Moses and Maddie winning awards at school, she is there. Sporting events, she is there.

— She has cheered me on as I’ve become strong enough to be a middle distance runner again.

— We’ve laughed, we’ve cried, I’ve explained the finer points of Monty Python to her.

It’s been one hell of a start, with a new chapter beginning.

At our celebration dinner, Maddie toasted us with her root beer: “My biggest wish just came true, because I’ve wanted the two of you to get married.”

My cup runneth over…

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