Bill and Meredith, continued
The weather was chilly - with snow still on the ground from the night before - but it was quite romantic walking around the National Christmas Tree, with the White House in the background. Bill and I stopped by the Yule Log to warm up, just to enjoy the music. I remarked, "Honey, this is just like your song." His favorite song is the little-known "Christmas Eve in Washington", so, as we paused to warm ourselves by the fire, I said that it would be nice if we could hear it. Lo and behold, he pulls out a tape player with the song on it. Knowing that Bill can be romantic - and great with surprises - I thought nothing of it. It was his favorite song, on his favorite holiday, in his favorite city.
We were enjoying the moment talking about the eventual "future" when we'd be married, when Bill asked me if I'd spend the rest of my life with him, and I said "of course". Then Bill reached in his pocket, pulled out the ring, and asked me to marry him. I was completely taken by surprise and automatically said yes!
When we arrived at my parent's place, I rushed inside to tell everyone - but no one was around! My father was asleep, my mother was cleaning, and the siblings were off wrapping presents or watching television. I gently suggested with the time now 4:30, shouldn't Dad be getting ready for Mass? Mom said "no, let him sleep, he'll be up late tonight." Bill and I then agreed that rather than tell the family one-by-one, or wake Dad from his nap, we would go to Mass. Hopefully, they'd get there early enough so we could tell everyone before Mass started. Bill went home to shower and change and agreed to meet me at the church later.
Upstairs, I could hardly contain my excitement! I continually got the ring out, tried it on, and put it back in the box before anyone could see, which would ruin the surprise. But, I simply couldn't keep it a secret all through Mass, so I told my younger sister, Christie, who was also quite excited. I took the ring in my purse to Church, in the hopes of telling my family before Mass started. Unfortunately, everyone wasn't there until a few moments before six, forcing me, Bill, AND Christie to wait until we got home!
Once at home, Bill and I quickly shared the news with my family, who rushed up to congratulate us. Afterwards, we called Bill's parents from the car, wondering if they could stop by and drop off the baked goods Bill was supposed to bring for Christmas Dinner. Once they arrived, we quickly shared the news with his parents, who were also very happy!
Bill pulled the surprise off, with me having no idea it was coming. Christmas Eve, 1998 will certainly be remembered as one of our all-time favorites!