Yes, we expected it. My husband Michael and I knew it was coming. Yet when David Southwick asked to meet Michael for lunch, we braced ourselves.
So here’s the backstory. David, a youth pastor, moved from Birmingham to New Orleans last summer to plant One Hope Church with my niece Amber and her husband Josh Canizaro.
David and Elise met in City Park at a church social. After two months of friendship, he told her that he wanted to court, and eventually marry her. He asked her to pray about it and decide if she could see herself as a pastor’s wife. Apparently she could, for they began to date, but Elise made it clear that they would have to wait a year before becoming engaged. When I questioned her timeline she said, “I have to go through every holiday and season with him. I want to get to know him slowly.”
And one year later, David and Michael had lunch. Oh, how I wish I would have been there. I only know that David began by saying that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with Elise. Michael told him that wasn’t necessary - he could walk away and we would take care of Elise for the rest of our lives. And while that may seem strange to some, it’s the best reflection of how we feel about our children. Several days after that lunch, Michael told David that if he still wanted to marry Elise, he had our blessing.
Last Saturday, on a sunny and beautiful afternoon, David, Elise, and David’s parents met my family at a picnic table near Storyland under the pretense of an afternoon in the park with my granddaughters. My daughter Monique asked Elise and David to return to her car to get the wagon. When they reached the exact spot where Elise was when David saw her for the first time, Monique called out to Elise. Elise turned around and saw her nieces Adeline and Olivia holding a sign, “Look at Uncle David!” Elise turned back to David, who was on one knee.
The photographer popped out from behind a large oak tree and captured the moment when Elise said, “Yes.”
Later, David commented that Elise didn’t seem to listen to his prepared speech. She said, “Look, when you see a guy on one knee, holding out a diamond ring, you already know what he’s going to ask.”
Now I just have one question for them. “Would y’all wait until I lose twenty pounds before getting married?”Ronny may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org