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.