Death & Marriage

A few days ago, I learned of the death of my boyfriend’s stepfather. He really never referred to the man as his “stepfather”, but his mom’s husband or simply by his first name. It’s fairly obvious to me that they were never close and maybe were never going to be.

Anyway, the news was particularly shocking because it was sudden and unexpected. Apparently it happened while they were out of the country on vacation late last week. I remember chatting with his mom just last month about how excited she was for the upcoming island getaway. From the sound of things, it seemed like his heart just gave out (he was an older gentleman).

While dying of a heart attack is unfortunate, the news hit me like a ton of bricks as I immediately thought about his mom and what she might be going through right now. I feel absolutely terrible for her. Losing your spouse is devastating, especially during a vacation, which is supposed to be happy and relaxing.

I spent much of the other day in a funk as I thought about how much she must be hurting right now and how she probably feels really lost and so overcome with emotion that she’s unable to process everything going on around her. Not only does she have to make funeral arrangements, but she also has to make arrangements to have her husband transported back home. I would be inconsolable.

I never spent much time with her late husband (I’ve seen him maybe 3 times total), but he seemed like a nice guy and I could tell that he made my boyfriend’s mom extremely happy. It seemed like they were a were so in love and lived a very fulfilling life together (even if it wasn’t a long one). To my understanding, they just got married at the end of last year and dated a few years prior to that.

My heart is broken for his mom. To make matters worse, I believe her birthday is later on this week and then come “the holidays”. Those tend to be the roughest times of the year for those who are grieving. I want to give her all of the love in the world, but I’m not quite sure how to without overstepping.

Aside from being alerted of the news via text (I believe his mom may have contacted him from a place with limited reception), The Teacher hasn’t spoken directly to his mother, but I’m sure they’ll be in touch soon once she arrives home.

This entire situation also put a lot things into perspective for me regarding my relationship with the Teacher. He’s never been one (or at least since I’ve known him) to take his health 100% seriously. He’s the kind of guy that rarely goes to the doctor (even if he’s really sick). I believe the last time he’s been to an actual doctor was when he broke his leg several years ago while in the military and hasn’t even regularly been back for follow-ups despite having to have actual metal placed in his leg. I often kind of laugh off his refusals to go, but now more than ever, I need him to go. We’re both in our 30s now and if we’re talking about marriage, I’d like to have as long and healthy of a marriage as I can.

I’ve never been one to like going to the doctor, but as I get older, I like to be more proactive about my health. A lot of things can be managed or even prevented by simply going to the doctor. Hopefully in time, I can convenience the Teacher to take his health seriously enough to go as well.

A Pre-Proposal?

Yesterday, post some fun activities, The Teacher (as he’s been doing for a few weeks now) playfully removed my ring from my right ring finger. He jokingly pretended he was going to throw it across the room or intentionally lose it. My response to this silliness has simply been:

If you lose it, just make sure to buy me another one.

Except this time, he didn’t just hand it back.

You seem to really like this ring. Is that what you want? Another ring for Christmas?

At this point in the conversation, I wasn’t entirely sure what definition of “ring” he was really referring to. His tone seemed to be a bit more serious than previously, so was he referring to THE ring?

I nervously laughed and just said,

sure–I’d like a ring for Christmas, if that’s what you feel like buying.

He smiled and agreed to add it to his mental Christmas list for me, but then continued on to say:

…But I was planning on giving you ANOTHER type of ring around our anniversary.

OMG.gif

I remember turning over slightly to look him in the eyes to see if hew as serious (I was previously laying my head on his chest).

Oh? Is that so? And just what TYPE of ring?

He smiled and went into this explanation on how he had been planning on giving me a ring (THE ring) a few months from now because it will mark our 2 year anniversary and what better way to celebrate our commitment to one another and to move to the next level in our relationship than to get engaged.

overcome with happiness

I was admittedly a bit taken aback and apologized if I spoiled what I assumed was something he wanted to be a surprise. He claimed that the “act/event” of giving me the ring itself would still be a “surprise”, but that he wanted to inform me several months in advance because he wanted to know my ring preferences. Admittedly, outside of the fashion rings I occasionally wear, I’ve really never thought about it and I’ve especially not discussed my ring preferences with him at any point.

I’m both shocked and relieved, if that’s even possible. Lately, I’ve had a bit of the marriage mouse nipping at me and reminding me how everyone and their brother has been getting married and having babies and I’m not getting any younger (social media is to blame for that). Don’t get me wrong, I’m very happy with the state of my current relationship, but sometimes an overload of those life events can get in your head. I’ve very recently (maybe in the past few weeks) started to think about what it would be like to be married to The Teacher and now I realistically get to put real thought into it. Like, will I change my last name? Where would we get married? Who would we invite? I’m almost afraid to get excited about it, so maybe I’ll pull back on all of that for right now.

I’m also surprised that he just flat out told me that he plans to propose specifically “around” our anniversary…which is in four months! The anticipation of that moment is now going to eat away at me for the next few months. I also feel kind of weird picking out a ring (though I appreciate him considering my opinion, since he said, “you’re the one that will be wearing it after all” ). How do I even do that? Do we do that together? Do I go alone to a store? Do I just google images online and text/email them to him? Are pre-proposals even a thing? Do couples sort of alert one another that they plan to propose, but a few weeks or months down the road? Granted, we’ve discussed that we both believe in marriage and that we’d hypothetically like to be married (someday), but until last night, nothing was ever explicitly said about the specifics.

All I know is, I at least have some heads up about it and can plan accordingly–i.e. I can make sure I don’t look a raggedy mess when the time comes and I can make sure to have my nails done. Will I still be shocked though? I suppose I’d be shocked regardless.