Last month when I flew to Los Angeles to visit my son and his girlfriend, I carried a secret.
We referred to it in code, "the four-letter word."
"It" was a diamond an old family friend had given to me years ago, after I found him after we had lost touch with him for over twenty years and helped reunite him with my family. It was a very beautiful, and good quality diamond. I had it appraised, set in a solitaire ring setting and kept it insured. I wore it for many years on my right hand, and got compliments on it all the time.
Arthritis stopped me from wearing it, and I kept it locked away. That was silly. When my son turned 30, I brought it out and showed it to him. "When you find The One," I said, "I will give you this ring." His mouth fell open and he asked if I was sure.
"I can't wear it," I told him, "and it does me no good hiding away. Sure you'd inherit it after I die, but why wait? It's beautiful, and it deserves to be worn."
When he introduced me to his ladylove (Millie calls her "Rubylocks"), I knew he had found "The One." Earlier this year, we started talking about "the four-letter word," and getting it from one side of the country to the other. Again I had it appraised and cleaned, learned how to ship it safely across the US, and got advice about where to get the ring re-sized if it didn't fit.
This summer he insisted I visit him in California. We agreed I would bring the "four-letter word." I kept it on my person the entire trip. Remember I couldn't wear it.
In preparation of the trip, I purchased a box for the ring. You know, those little hinged velvet boxes with the satin inside? The one the guys open and show their intended as they kneel down to propose? I found it online and paid $2.50 for it. Shipping cost me an additional $10.99!
When I got to California, my son and Rubylocks both met me at the airport. We spent virtually my entire visit all together. I had only a very short time alone with my son to give him the ring, the box and the appraisal paperwork without Rubylocks suspecting anything was going on.
He had a very specific plan to propose. He knew exactly when, where and how he would do it. I didn't know how he could keep the ring a secret from her, or how he would keep it secure.
They spent the last few days in Yosemite Valley. Saturday afternoon they went for a hike, the ring in its box, and a small split of champagne in his backpack. When they reached a location near a waterfall, with a view of the whole Yosemite Valley before them, my son asked the question.
The answer was "Yes."
And by the way, the ring fits perfectly!
My son tells me I'll have photos soon, and I'll add them here when I get them.