I took a quick one-day detour to Columbus after my trip to Kentucky. We had a narrow window. Leaving Lexington Saturday evening we arrived in Columbus, Ohio after dark. We had one day to spend with my children. But, it was Aaron's birthday and since I had not seen my kids since Thanksgiving, we had to make the trip. Living states away, is difficult at best. But when your kids are in their 30s ... they've got busy lives. And, of course, I've been extremely busy, as well.
Anyway, we spent Sunday together. My daughter's one-bedroom apartment is comfy and cozy. First thing Sunday morning we walk to the coffee shop under a brilliant sunny-blue sky. Church bells rang, birds sang, and it seemed the whole city decided to get up early, get outside, and enjoy their day. (Ohio isn't blessed with many sunny days.) Columbus is a great city, however, and Jillian is within walking distance of just about anything she needs.
Aaron had left work (in Cleveland) Saturday night and drove down to spend the night with Annie, who lives in Columbus just a few blocks from Jillian. We all decided to meet for lunch. But first, Aaron and Annie drove to Jill's apartment. We were all hugging and talking at once when Aaron says, "Hey, Mama - look at Annie's watch I bought her for Christmas." So ... I'm looking at the watch, admiring it the way a mother should ... when all of a sudden ... I see it.
My eyes must have popped out of my head. I look at both of my kids who are sitting on the couch. They're smiling ear-to-ear. I look at Annie who's sitting beside me. She's smiling and boy, does she have a beautiful smile. Then, I scream. "You did it!" It was a special moment.
My mind flew back in time. To the day Aaron was born. I remember thinking ... he's going to marry someday. I recalled his first steps, his first tooth, his first words, his first day of school, his first crush, his first field goal! His whole life flashed in front of my eyes. And suddenly, just like that ... in such a short time ... he's really getting married. Time went by ... so fast.
It's official. Aaron and Annie are engaged. A July 2008 wedding is in the works. They'll marry (in the Catholic church) in her hometown of Wooster, Ohio. Can I tell you, I'm thrilled? I'm thrilled. (Can you imagine my family at a Catholic wedding? It'll be a blast! All those holy rollers won't know when to stand and when to sit. I love it!)
Two years ago, my daughter, received her Masters Degree at The Ohio State University. She now works for the University. But within her program, she had met Annie. A dark, curly-headed beauty, from an Italian family in Wooster. Immediately, Jillian set about playing cupid. And the arrow stuck. Two years later, Aaron proposed. And from what I understand ... he did it proper. He picked out and bought the ring (a nice one, I might add) ... then, he took her parents to dinner (unbeknownst to Annie) to ask for their blessing. A few days later, on their 2-yr. dating anniversary, he got down on one knee and asked her to marry him.
Annie was recently offered a teaching position at Walsh College. In a few weeks, she'll have her PhD. Aaron, spent four years in the Marine Corp. then went to college in Columbus, and now works for Continental Airlines. They are two very different people, and yet ... they are very much the same. The love I've watched blossom over the past two years, makes my heart swell.
It was also Aaron's birthday, so we took them to a nice dinner and celebrated. The picture is in front of the Columbus Fish Market Restaurant. I'm a proud mama this morning.
I'm very proud of all my kids. Chris and Nicole are having a baby in June, Aaron and Annie are engaged, and little Jilly ... she's working toward saving for her first home. They have fulfilled lives ... finally.
Michael and I are looking forward to the future. We've so much to be thankful for. It's been a long tough road for both of us. We've certainly had plenty of mountains to climb. And there may be a few more. Right now, I can only think of one.
I've got to fit into a great dress by next July. :-)
Congratulations, Annie and Aaron!