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  • Katarina Garcia


Very early on in our relationship, we had talked about getting married and living the rest of our lives together. It was not a question of whether Mike was going to pop the question, but when. In early December, while visiting my family in the valley, my car keys suddenly went missing. We figured my Grandma Rosie might have gotten her hands on them, meaning they could literally be anywhere. My grandmother has Alzheimer’s disease and one of her new behaviors is moving items and placing them in strange, hidden spots. Since we were trying to get back to Corpus Christi that evening, Mike and I tore the house apart looking for the keys from top to bottom. I ended up making the mistake of going through Mike's backpack in the rare event that he might have forgotten them in there. When I opened up the front pocket, I found a black, jewelry box. It could have been anything. Perhaps it was a necklace, earrings, or maybe even a watch he had bought me as a Christmas gift like I had been hinting at. But in my heart, I knew exactly what was in the black box. I quickly zipped the backpack up and continued searching the house as if I had seen nothing. When we finally found the keys in a cup in a kitchen cabinet, we took off back to Corpus. 

Mike & I had planned on spending Christmas Eve with his family and Christmas day with my family. I had a feeling that if he was going to propose, it would be on one of these days. When Christmas Eve came and went, I figured the big question would be asked in the Valley. When we arrived at my father's house, Mike was adamant about getting each other's gifts down at the party. I knew something was definitely going to happen. So much so, that on the way down from Corpus, I made sure I had my makeup and hair done nicely in the event that the big question did get asked.

​After everyone enjoyed a nice Christmas meal, it was finally time for presents. Slowly, everyone began opening their presents until the only presents left were mine. Before I began opening my presents, Mike had been in the bathroom for quite some time. As it later turned out, he was rehearsing what he was going to say. Finally, Mike came out of the bathroom and gave me the presents he had purchased for me. I slowly unwrapped my first present and found a glass plaque engraved with words that I could not make out at the time, but as I skimmed to the bottom I saw the question that I had been waiting to be asked my whole life. I immediately started bawling, and when my stepmother asked me to read the plaque, I couldn't. Instead, I had Mike read it, probably something he hadn't expected because he was obviously nervous. He got down on one knee and I continued to cry tears of happiness. Everyone had their cameras out recording the occasion. Mike presented the jewelry box that I had seen once before and in it was a pearl ring. I had always dreamed of a pearl ring rather than the typical diamond ring. Pearls were always my favorite, in fact, my name was originally supposed to be Pearl. Mike had paid special attention to my wishes and that warmed my heart. Of course, without a single ounce of hesitation, I said YES and the rest is history.

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