When my husband proposed to me it was a simple proposal. We went for a walk in my parents’ backyard. Beyond the sprawling walnut tree and swing and behind the tall white shed my father built, he stopped and asked, “Will you marry me?”I smiled, kissed him and said, “yes!” He then walked me over to his car, opened the door and pulled out a little box, “I have something for you.” He opened it and slipped a ruby on my finger. “Come with me” he said and we showed my family the ring.
I remember such energy, such contentment surrounding that day. Everyone was thrilled. But what I remember most is a small act of kindness- a moment of vulnerability following the initial bustle of excitement. After telling my family the news and setting a date – the earliest possible date mind you, my now fiancee sat down on the sofa, kicked up one of his boots and said, “take off my boots.” I looked at him; I had never taken his boots off before, I had never thought to, he had never asked, but I walked over, took his shod foot in my hands and began to untie them. I felt like Esther approaching the throne or Ruth lying at the feet of Boaz as I untethered the knots, tugged at the heels and set the boots on the floor by his feet. He smiled. I smiled. He kissed my forehead, “thank you.” That was it. Soon afterwards my younger siblings and parents came in to talk.
We’ve been married for a number of years now and we have a number of children but that moment stays with us. It was small but, oh, how significant! I could have easily brushed his request off with a laugh and sat down next to him, pestering him about upcoming plans and we would have never had this tender recollection. Thankfully, I took his request to heart. I followed his lead. I was bit uncomfortable and unsure about it, but I honored his request.
Now, when my husband comes home from work and he has had particularly rough day, he walks over to the sofa sits down and kicks up his foot. I walk over and take his shoes off without a word. We smile as we find sanctuary in one another and in a memory.