He held her arm, steadying her as they climbed the steps. They hadn’t been here for fifty years and it was a difficult climb. The steps were now moss covered and a bit slippery. The grounds were slightly overgrown, but he was not deterred.
James and Mary met fifty-one years ago at a pub nearby. Both were in university and enjoying a much needed time to relax. The semester was over and both were ready for a new adventure. Everything was ahead of them, but on that night they wanted to just “be”. Introduced by friends, James and Mary immediately felt a need to know each other better. This relationship ended up in a lasting marriage.
After combining two successful careers and children, they managed a few trips to secluded venues. Their life was nurturing and complete. James decided to surprise Mary here where they had a special memory. “I remember this place” she told him.
At the top of the stairs, Mary sat down on the stonewall. James bent down on one knee. Mary asked if he was all right. “I am more than all right, my love. I want to ask you a very important question.” Mary’s face showed a knowing smile. “Will you marry me again, love of my life?”
“This is where I proposed the first time fifty years ago today, and I want to ask you again. Will you spend the next fifty years with me?” James reached into his pocket and hesitated before placing another tiny gold band on her left hand. Mary reached down and held his face in her hands.
“I want to spend eternity with you, my dear” Mary lovingly replied, and offered her hand for the ring.