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Amber M.

Will and I met during our sophomore year at Fort Mill High School. We were friends from the very beginning. We had our first date in July of 2003. It was love from the beginning. We went to both of our proms together and shared many important events in high school together. We then went on to college. We are now at Clemson University in South Carolina studying to be teachers. We had been talking about our plans for the future. The possibility of getting engaged had only been talked about, but not very seriously. We had been dating for five and a half years, so I was thinking that he needed to propose sooner, rather than later.

Around the holidays, his mom told me that we would be going to a family party to celebrate his dad's sixtieth birthday. They invited my parents to come along as well. I did not think anything of my parents coming, because our families are very good friends. The plan was for us to drive from Fort Mill to Clemson, to go to his dad's brother's home for the big "surprise birthday" party.

That morning of December 27, 2009 it all began. Will came over to ride to Clemson with me and my parents. He told me that we had to ride with my parents so that his dad would be surprised for the party. He said that his dad only thought that we were going to Clemson for a small family lunch for his birthday. Will brought in a gift that morning, but he told me that it was a late Christmas present for his grandmother. He said, "Would you like me to put your name on the card for her gift?" I said, "Yes, that would be great!" I had no idea what the bag actually contained, but at the moment I was running late and did not really care. We got dressed and started heading toward Clemson.

When we arrived in Clemson, I noticed that a lot of Will's family and closest family friends were there. We ate lunch, but Will acted strange while eating. I thought he was mad at me because he had told me that morning to put on something cuter, and I had not listened. Little did I know that morning that I would be getting engaged that afternoon, or I would have taken his advice. After lunch, the family told us to sit down in the living room. His Uncle Troy put on a slideshow with pictures of Will's daddy. The pictures started out from when he was a small child and then traveled through his life. Toward the end of the video, I noticed that a lot of the pictures were of Will and me. I still did not think anything about what was taking place.

At the end of the slideshow, Will walked down the spiral steps in their house, and he said: "Today is about making memories. I know that today is dad's birthday, but we are also making memories in another way. Grandmother - Amber thinks this gift is for you, but it is actually something for her." He handed me the present and I started to open it. I pulled out an ornament holder and my engagement ring was dangling from the top. I looked up and Will was on one knee and he said, "Will you marry me?" I was so overcome with joy that I started crying and so did the other 32 people at the party. What made the event extra special is that the ornament holder that held my ring was actually a gift that he had received that same weekend six years ago. It was a Chinese New Year present that he had been given and he had taken it home to his mother who was dealing with his sick grandfather at the time. The year he had received this gift was the year before we started dating. I have been coming to the Chinese New Year present exchange ever since the year that gift was given. I found out after the proposal that the reason he had acted strange during lunch is because he was so nervous about the rest of the evening.

Will did such an amazing job planning out our proposal. It will always be easy for me to remember the date we got engaged because we shared it with his dad on his sixtieth birthday. I will cherish this day for years to come because I was able to share my exciting moment with both of our families!

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