Ron and I met while he was in the army and stationed in Georgia. My best friend had just married a soldier on the same post, and my fiancé Ron and I had become pen pals while he was deployed to Iraq. I was his first call when he got back a few days after Christmas. I invited him up to Atlanta to celebrate his homecoming and New Year's. I had plans with my family to have dinner at a Japanese steakhouse and invited him to come along. We later had our engagement party at that same restaurant. He met my entire family, and I knew he was really nervous.
We spent the countdown that night in front of the fireplace at my house, sipping on champagne. He had found a place in my heart that night, but it still took us a little while to figure it out. We had spent several years getting to know each other, falling in love and building a life together. When I lost my father last summer, Ron was my rock. I would not have survived it all without him. My father had mentioned a few times that we should go ahead and get married. So with our loss, we knew we had to honor his last wishes. We got engaged that night, something we should have done long before.