Thirty years ago today… at noon… a man named Dean asked me to change my name. Because I was scared, and even though I knew what he was really asking, I said “Change my name to what?” This forced him to spell it out. He said “Lorrie, I’m asking you to marry me!” How did we suddenly get to this point?!
Dean and I had been dating and hanging out and basically spending almost every day together for 3 months, but I hadn’t seriously thought of marriage and had only recently (the week before) realized that I “loved” this dude. Yes, I enjoyed kissing him… a lot. And, it was flattering to have someone want to hold my hand and put his arm around me, but marriage means making babies together and, basically, spending the rest of eternity together! In that one moment, I realized the direction we had been heading and it scared me. Was I really someone he could love forever?
Besides, I was making other plans. I was planning to change my major to Chinese. I was making plans to go to China to teach English. I guess I thought we would write and continue our friendship, etc. I just didn’t have marriage on my immediate horizon. Before he popped the question, I had been talking and laughing and telling lots of stories; he was uncharacteristically quiet or serious and I had a strange premonition about what was about to happen. After he popped the question, our roles reversed. I suddenly clammed up and he did all the talking. I don’t really know what he said with the exception of one thing, he said I didn’t have to answer right away. We returned to my house, said good-bye to my parents and left to drive back to Provo. He listened to the radio as he drove. I just sat and thought about the possibility of marriage and what it would mean for my life.
Dean dropped me off at my apartment in Provo and reminded me that he would see me later that night for another event. I already had the car door open, but I said “OK” and then headed straight to my apartment. I walked in the front door and noticed no one else was home. I walked straight to my bed and knelt down and said, “Heavenly Father: Dean has asked me to marry him and I’m going to say yes… is that OK?” I had a sudden warm feeling in my heart that that was exactly what I should do. It is strange to think about it now, because all of my eternity hinged on that warm feeling.
Later, when Dean picked me up, I said “Do you remember that question you asked me today?” Of course he did! I said, “The answer is yes, but we can’t tell anybody yet… we need to wait a couple of weeks.” I still needed time to think and get used to the idea, and I wanted to have the opportunity to back out if needed. I can’t imagine how hurtful that was for him, except that he was probably scared as well. Every New Year’s Day for thirty years, Dean has made it a point to ask me if I would say yes again. I confess that some years I’ve made him wait while I ponder the eternities and what I’ve gotten myself into. However other years, such as today, the answer is an immediate and resounding YES!