Friday, August 15, 2008

Coral and Ryan

It all started two years ago really. I remember the first time I met Ryan. I had heard his name a few times in the past (like the time we were standing in Winco, and he called and invited Coral to a scary movie), but then I met him one afternoon at a mutual friend's funeral. Coral said she didn't like him, but he obviously liked her. The very first thing I ever heard him say was, "Where is Coral" to a friend of hers that was standing by me. He didn't know who I was.

Then he and a friend of his started hanging around doing odd jobs around the house for us just so they could breath the same air as Coral. They shoveled loads of gravel into the wheelbarrow to put under the play structure for the boys. Like a friend of mine once said, "It pays to have girls." Ryan started hanging out more. Coral said things like "I love him as a friend" which always caused him to stab a pretend sword in his heart. It was getting dramatic.

Things started to change a bit. Coral knew what had to happen if she started liking this boy, and Ryan followed these directions to a T. He asked if he could talk to me and asked us if he and Coral could be a couple. Of course Steve asked him, "A couple of what," but we let him stick around. The rules were firm, and they worked hard to follow them. Basically, Ryan became a part of our family. Most days we had to kick him out because he was here so much. He did everything with us. He wrestled with the boys, did dishes, laid sod in the pouring rain. He has been a blessing to everyone in our family. He treats all of us with respect and has a relationship with each of us. He treats my daughter with respect, and he won her heart. She loves this man.

Then one day, I was running around doing what I do when Ryan walked in the door. Their two-year anniversary was coming up on the 31st. He is always up to something grand for these occasions. We use to joke with him that if he kept up these grand events there would be nothing left when he asked her to marry him. Coral was in California with her best friend, Sara. They went on a road trip they had been planning for over 5 years. So for Ryan to show up on my doorstep was not a surprise. We are her family, so when she is gone we seem to fill a portion of that gap he has without her. The only difference this time was that he looked guilty and giddy. All smiles. As I was running around doing my thing that I do most days, he looked at me and asked for my little girl's hand in marriage. That night he came and asked Steve. We love Ryan, and after a few tears, we gave him our full blessing. He spoke with each of his parents, and they are supportive of Coral and Ryan. He also took the time to ask Coral's dad. I am sure you can image the advice he was given on the subject of marriage in that 3-4 hour encounter. It was fantastic! He looked like he had been run over by a freight train by the time he was done with that encounter, but it speaks of his heart. He did the right thing for Coral.

He went and bought the ring with his mama's help. They picked the perfect ring for Coral. It is beautiful.

Then his creative imagination started planning the event.

On July 31st my family left "early" for our family reunion in California. Little did Coral know that we were going to Rockaway Beach for the big event. We arrived there. It was starting to rain. Tiffani and Lindsey were also there. We went to the hotel we were staying at and went down to the beach. Steve built a fire, we set up a blanket with lanterns, sparkling cider, champagne glasses, and ice cream. The ice cream seems to be something he does for her on their anniversary.

At the same time, Coral and Ryan were driving to the beach. Coral thought he was taking her to the Stephanie Inn for dinner where they had been before. Then he started pulling into various hotels. At that moment she started to panic somewhat, thinking he had finally lost his willpower. But only for a moment, then she thought maybe he was having a party with her friends. Finally he stopped and asked for directions, with Coral's prompting, and found the right hotel. It was dark by now, but he found the place. The girls were hiding in the bushes. Coral could kind of see them, but she thought it was her friends, not her sisters. I made my way down to the beach just in time to see them start to walk towards the water. All I could see was a very faint light from the lantern, but somehow I caught a glimpse of him going down on his knee. Then in the pitch black, with tears in my eyes, I heard a blood curdling scream. The police should have been called. Apparently she tackled him, and I think she may have said yes.

Lindsey raised her arms and let out a victory scream. Then we went down to the beach to congratulate them. She had no idea we were there.

I am blessed Ryan included us. It was perfect for Coral. It was what Ryan imagined it should be, Coral surrounded by the people she loves the most. We talked late into the night. It was really simple and nice.

Thank you Ryan for including us.

We believe in Ryan and Coral. Yes, they are young, etc. etc., but we believe in them. They deserve the recognition for the steps they have taken to stand for purity. They have done everything we have asked up to this point. As children they made wise choices, so we believe they will make the right choices as adults. Life is full of bumps in the road that they will encounter, but I believe they will get over these bumps best together. They have worked through some pretty tough things in the last two years. There were days that I couldn't believe Ryan was standing on my doorstep once again, because I thought it had to be over, but they both believe in commitment, and they both believe they will have one spouse. That is why they have waited for each other. Can you imagine what it speaks to a woman's heart that has been broken by unfaithfulness, to have the man she is going to marry stay pure even when it is the most difficult time for him to do so? I believe it heals her heart and creates a trust that most of us will never experience. If he can do it at 18, he can stay pure in his heart for his wife at 40 etc. Good Job, Ryan and Coral. I am proud of you guys, and I can't wait to see what the future holds for you. I love you both.


Adrienne said...

Oh Shellie...
So happy for Ryan and Coral. They are an amazing and beautiful couple that stands for everything that is right and pure. I love the way their special moment became a family blessing. Something they will understand as they have a family of their own.

Wonderful news...Can't wait to get home and hug you all for real!!!
Love you guys,
Pass on our love and congrats to the "fiance's"...

Marianne said...

Hi Guys,

How exciting for you all! Congrats to Coral and Ryan, and welcome to the family. Coral, I remember when you first learned to walk,and you took your first step. And now your about to take another first awesome! You are such a blessing to your family Coral and God is blessing you in return with a husband he created just for you.

We Love You!
The Hyatt's

Melissa said...

Wahooo!!! Congratulations Coral!!! (you too Shellie!) That's fantastic!! When's the wedding!?!?! :D I wish Coral and Ryan all the best!! (they are the cutest couple in all the pictures I've seen! hopefully I'll get to meet Ryan someday!)