I decided to write a record of what I remember about my early relationship with Tyler. I am already forgetting so much, and I want to capture as many of the memories as possible. I also want my kids to be able to read it, when and if they ever become more curious about it. I know Tyler would tell it differently, but to me, this is how we met -
part .5 here
part 1 here
part 2 here
part 3 here
part 4 here
We pulled into the Saguaro National Park visitor's center parking lot. We walked around the grounds for a few minutes and stopped at a bench, where we stood to watch as the sun set in beautiful oranges and purples. Tyler proposed to me then, simply asking me to marry him.
I said yes.
Later we talked to my parents, who were out of town, on the phone. We told them the news and then went to my roommates parents' house to welcome home her brother, who had just gotten back from his mission.
Then we told his parents. There was, shall we say, a palpable lack of enthusiasm on one of their parts.
That week Tyler's brother was leaving for the MTC. We traveled up to Mesa with his parents and brother as they went through the temple with him, and visited Tyler's grandmother and aunt. I felt in the way. It was a hard day.
Sometime that week I got a call from my mom, asking me to go visit my Nana. When she had called my Nana's care home to check in with her, she found out that she was sick with pneumonia, and that it was pretty bad. I went to visit my Nana and was surprised at how bad she was. She wasn't lucid anymore. She was skin and bones. I spent as much time with her as I could. Told her I was engaged. Told her how much I loved her. Tried to get her to drink, to talk. She didn't know me, and I didn't know what to do.
She passed away.
We set a date to be married - only about 2 months later, on September 10, 1999. It wasn't a lot of time to prepare, but I loved the process of planning. We did pretty much everything ourselves - my mom was still out of town and Tyler's mom graciously helped us with flowers and things.
I found a beautiful dress at a small bridal shop. They reassured me they could alter it to meet my needs - add sleeves and all. I ordered it, and when it came in, they told me there was nothing they could do to alter it. And they wouldn't give me a refund. I was left to pick a dress out of their small inventory, so I did. I never really liked it, but at least I didn't hate it.
Still we worked. We started school for the fall semester - me giving college classes another shot, even though I kind of hate being in a classroom. We were busy. I got bronchitis, and was so sick.
We were committed. We loved each other and had decided to be together for eternity. But this no-man's-land of engagement? It was kind of hell.
Tyler took me out to lunch at Applebee's one day. He sat across the table from me and acted differently. I knew what he was thinking. Knew what he wanted to say. But he never said it. Talked around it, didn't connect with me, but never actually said the words. Never told me that he wanted to break up with me.
We were supposed to get married in a couple of weeks. I didn't know what to do. We had so many plans, so many people changing their lives to make things happen for us. So I did nothing.