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The Unexpected Gift
Dedicated to My fun-loving husband Rob
Submitted by Kristen
Kristen stood at the top of the stairs as the camera lights flashed, nervously meeting the gazes on the faces of her guests below and silently reflecting on the past two and a half years. This was the day for which she had so faithfully prayed.
She had met Rob on her first day of work in 1997, and within a year they were engaged. Eager to be married, Rob was terribly disappointed when she insisted on a year 2000 wedding date.
On December 7, 1999 Rob would be thirty years old. She pondered this in the first few months of the year. She wanted to give him a very memorable gift. How about an early surprise wedding! It would fulfill his desire to be married before age thirty. Perfect. The date was set for December 5.
Planning and keeping the surprise was very difficult. She had convinced Rob to sign the marriage certificate early, which he questioned, teasingly refused, and then relented. With his feet dragging in confusion, Rob signed closing papers for a new home much earlier than he anticipated.
As the lights ceased, Kristen gathered her thoughts, and slowly descended the stairs. With her bridesmaids behind her, they entered a private room, closed the door and waited.
Rob woke early that morning ready to go fishing but remembered Kristen's objections. In frustration, he noticed his fishing poles were missing. As Kristen instructed, he drove to Jason's home where he found a tuxedo with a note attached. The note from Kristen said that she'd won a contest to a black tie event with someone famous and to cooperate with Jason, including wearing a blindfold.
After senselessly driving around, Jason led a dressed and blindfolded Rob to a quiet room. Nimble fingers removed the blinder and "Surprise!" rang out. Rob's jaw dropped, seeing family and friends at his very extravagant, he thought, birthday party.
Kristen's father spoke, congratulating Rob on his birthday and mentioning how special he'd become to the family. Then he asked for Rob's gift to be presented. Secretly hoping it was his longed-for computer, Rob's mouth again remained agape at the sight of a glowing bride entering and gracefully strolling toward him. Staring into his eyes, Kristen whispered, "Are you ready"? Pulling his jaw together, Rob could only utter, "What"?
The wedding ceremony concluded after the teary-eyed bride and groom professed their own written vows and love to each other. Rob was presented with a Hawaiian wedding ring inscribed "Ku'ulei", meaning "my beloved". Rob smiled when his fishing buddies, like soldiers with sabers, announced the newlyweds with an arch of his missing fishing poles.
The bride's family entertained the reception guests with Hawaiian dancing. Kristen and her aunt, dressed in a man's suit and wearing a mask of Rob's face, sang "From This Moment" in duet. The highlight of the evening was the traditional "Hawaiian Wedding Song" danced by Kristen to Rob.
For the final surprise, Kristen whisked Rob away to a resort on Whidbey Island.