The Lowest Point

In the summer of 2005, not-yet-Hubby and I had been together 1 3/4 years.  We had lived together for over a year.  But we had no plans to get married, other than knowing we would…someday.  Our timeline was based on when Hubby would finish his PhD.  That was how it was supposed to work.

But first he had to finish his second master’s degree.  And spend another couple of years on his dissertation.  It wasn’t something I was expecting to happen anytime soon.

That summer, we took a trip together, my first international trip that required flying over an ocean.  (I had been to Mexico when I was in college.)  We went to Israel for three weeks.  And we saw everything.

The first several days of our trip were spent exploring Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and cities in between.  After that, we hit the road and headed south, out of the city, through the desert.  We made some stops here and there, and ended up at our first major destination, the Dead Sea.  The road to get there was a vomit-inducing set of hairpin turns descending at an angle seemingly unfit for a motorized vehicle, or any vehicle, really.  I dug my fingernails into the armrest the whole way down.

The next day, we climbed Masada, starting from the lowest point on earth, up toward sea level.  It was over a hundred degrees, the peak of summer, and by the time we reached the top, we were both hot, sweaty, and winded.

According to Josephus, the history of Masada is not a happy one.  Let’s just say the site of a mass suicide doesn’t scream romance.  We strolled around, trying to catch our breath, and eventually found a shady spot to sit, overlooking the Dead Sea.  I was taking in the view of the desert, the sea, and Jordan beyond, when Hubby sat down next to me and said, “I have a surprise for you.”

When I turned to face him, he was holding a ring.  He didn’t ask a question, but simply stated, “I want to marry you.”

I don’t remember what I said, other than squealing “Yes!” which didn’t make a whole lot of sense because, again, he hadn’t asked a question.  I threw my arms around him, kissed him, put the ring on, examined it, kissed him again.  It was all very exciting.

I would tell the story, including the whole gory history of the setting, about 600 times in the coming months.  He had taken me completely by surprise, buying the ring when I was out of town for a conference.  It went against all our plans, but I didn’t care.  We were getting married!

We had so many amazing experiences on that trip.  We snorkelled with dolphins, we explored caves and ruins, we saw holy sites.  But the highlight was that morning at Masada.  We had gone from what was literally the lowest low to the highest high in a matter of a couple of hours.

When I said yes, I thought I knew what I was getting into.  I knew that we would need some help to have a baby.  I knew that Hubby had a long way to go before finishing his degree and getting a job.  For me, even though we’d started fertility treatments, December 2011 was my lowest low, the point when I felt hopeless, like all the hard work we were putting in–Hubby applying for job after job with nothing to show but rejection letters, injections that would take up to two years to work–was fruitless.  Like we were getting nowhere.  We’d been married more than five years, and it felt like nothing had changed.  That was when (and why) I started this blog.

We haven’t hit the highest high yet.  But good news is still good  news.  We have some sperm.  We’re that much closer to getting what we want.  And one of these days, even if no one asks the question, I am going to say yes.

22 thoughts on “The Lowest Point

  1. I am going to be completely ineloquent, but I just can’t get over it – you were in Israel! I always get psyched when I hear about people visiting Israel. You know that’s where I live, right? 🙂
    Coming back any time soon?

    • I totally approve of ineloquence. Too bad I was unaware of your lovely existence at the time. We’ll definitely have to make a return trip soon!

  2. Wow. What an incredibly symbolic proposal. That even in a moment where there can be so much despair and darkness, the light will shine through. Thank you for sharing such a beautiful story. And I hope that for more high points very soon.

    • Aw, thanks, Cristy! I’m looking forward to the day we’re all enjoying the highs and looking back on the lows with appreciation for how far we’ve come.

  3. What a great proposal story! 🙂 My fingers are always crossed for you. I hope your current climb doesn’t take too much longer before you can enjoy the next view! (I would say the next surprise, but we are probably too involved in our cycles to be surprised by a pregnancy – maybe surprised that it’s finally here, but not unaware that it’s occuring!)

    • Thank you! A surprise pregnancy for us would be one where we didn’t need IVF. We’ll see what the results of Hubby’s next SA are before I let my hopes get too high!

  4. Wow. What an amazing story! Thank you for sharing. One of these days I hope to visit Israel… So much history, so many profound and holy places!
    I don’t know if you’ve read my engagement story… Nothing really to write home about, not like yours! This is such a special post, thank you for sharing!

  5. What a fantastic trip that sounds like. I have never been to Israel. And taken by a surprise proposal 😉 must have been so special. Love it.

    • Yes, it was. I would highly recommend visiting Israel! It was much different than I had pictured, so many different landscapes packed into such a small space.

  6. A lovely story, and a lovely reminder that from the lowest point, the only way out is up. I too have seen the view from Masada into the valley below, and despite the terribly tragic history of the overlook, one of the things that struck me at the time was the heart-shaped form of the Dead Sea. It’s visible in your photo, too – did you notice? Love is all around us …

  7. I’ve just read back through your blog and found this. In addition to the lovely proposal story the rest of this post really hit home for me – I’m in the same boat of knowing what I signed up for when we got married, but things feeling really different (a lot sadder than I anticipated) when we actually got started with treatment. Good luck to you guys…

    • Thank you so much. I really appreciate finding other bloggers in a similar position, even though it sucks. We just have a very different road than most others.

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