Tuesday, June 08, 2010

A Historical Bench

This bench has history. In addition to sitting along the walkway of the ellipse, near the corner of 14th St & Constitution Ave, and a few steps away from the National Mall, this bench etched it's place in my memory exactly five years, two months, and twenty two days ago.

As Joe and I walked past this bench on that day, he reached into his pocket and handed me a book. It was this small red leather journal that I soon learned had a very important story inside. The story was ours and this version ended with a "..." - clearly our story had just begun.

By the time I got to that last page, Joe and I were standing in the middle of the ellipse - directly between the White House and the Washington Monument. I gasped as he stopped and dropped to one knee with a beautiful ring in his hands. I squeaked out a meek "Yeah" when he asked me to be his wife and tried to control those happy tears that just sneak up on you on such an occasion!

Not knowing where to go or what to do next, we turned around and retraced our steps to this very bench. We sat down and happily dialed number after number into our cell phones - telling everyone the good news! I remember my Grandmom and Grandpa's "Good-o! We're so happy for you!" and my Mom's gushing about how hard it was to keep the secret from me! I remember Amy-Beth's tears of happiness as we chatted and our friend's excitement over the now upcoming nuptials. In fact, the only family member that didn't get the news via a phone call from this bench was Nancy as she was working at the hospital and unreachable until we got home.

Five years, two months, and nineteen days later I participated in a photo walk in DC with iheartfaces.com. I joined Lolli and a fabulous group of women down by the World War II Memorial and walked all over the mall snapping photos of places that I often walk or drive by. We were heading to the restaurant after the walk that we walked through the ellipse and stopped to take a few photos of Chez Obama (and joked about the snipers' scopes pointed at us as our lenses were pointed at him)! I turned around, realizing where we were, and easily spotted this bench in the distance. I doubt the couple sitting there at that moment knew how magical that place could be, but maybe they have a bench of their own somewhere out there.

The quality of the photo is iffy at best, but the memories it brought back were priceless.

1 comment:

Colleen said...

Awww... that's sweet. And we had no idea! I enjoyed meeting you on Saturday. I think my favorite part of the day was all the socializing.