The Ring

Ok guys, this here is Clarke, Stef gave me control of this narrative since, well I am the only one who knows the whole story. I have to warn you, mushy stuff is about to be written by me, so…well…you are warned! Because you are warned, it means, if you proceed, then you ‘want’ to read mushy stuff. Therefore you are just guilty as I am for writing it. In the end, if you read beyond this disclaimer, you lose the right to tease :P Not that will stop any of ya…

My great friend Celso and I were walking along Newport Avenue after getting breakfast on a Wednesday morning that I had taken the day off of work, and as we took a turn on Cable Street to head back to his pad, I asked if we could go check something out real quick. I needed a bro beside me as I took the plunge and admitted publicly that I was going to get Stefanie a ring and eventually ask her to marry me.

Celso was the only person to know ahead of time before I asked her, except for her father, who I finally tracked down the day before Stef and I left for Hawaii. I say finally because he was traveling the country for a week of business meetings and I had a lot of trouble getting a hold of him. Eventually a call to his hotel room phone in Pittsburgh got through and I was able to request his blessings. After that, we were back to secrecy mode. (It should be noted, that I contemplated straying from tradition and also asking Stefanie’s mom Kay for her blessings. I know how important a role she has played to her daughter Stefanie. In the end though, I didn’t want to take away from Stefanie being able to tell her mom that I proposed to her and hearing her mom’s initial reaction. It was the right decision I think, as she was the first person excitedly Stefanie told.)

…I digress, back to the ring story…

Celso said no problem to my sudden detour request, and loyally turned the other direction with me up Newport Avenue in the direction of Ocean Beach Surf Shop. But we didn’t stop. Then towards the Hawaiian shirt store Daffodills, but we didn’t stop. Then we must be heading towards the bank or the hardware store or Rite Aid right? But no. I stopped in front of Gary Gilmore Goldsmith Jewelry store, took a deep breath, and began my ascent (note I didn’t choose the word descent) to the ultimate commitment, with Celso exclaiming in disbelief behind me, “No fricken way!!!”

I introduced myself to Gary, and explained how my entire family has come to him for years, and in turn, I was very excited to have him and his family help me design a ring for my girlfriend. Gary was amazing as he listened to my description of Stefanie, the history of our relationship, and how I wanted to create something unique, special and most importantly from the heart. Celso sat beside me giving me input on my ideas, and basically being my sponsor, throughout the morning, only occasionally leaving to smoke a cigarette, (which I was almost tempted to take a puff on myself. There was no going back now I figured. There were witnesses!) I sketched out ideas and told Gary pretty much what follows…

The Inspiration, two lovely ladies…
There are two things in this world that truly wow me every time I see them. The Ocean, and Stefanie. I was really excited at an opportunity to combine my two passions in life in one symbolic gift to Stefanie. The ocean is forever an example of constant motion. It is powerful, beautiful, and graceful. And if you turn your back on it, well ya just shouldn’t do that should you?! Stefanie certainly can be described as capturing similar qualities. Like the ocean, she is a remarkably strong person, she is beautiful, and even when camping in the dirt and snow amongst wild owls, she would have the most graceful moments :)

The Wave…
Waves travel long distances. They can travel parallel to each other at times, then slowly pull in different directions and never meet. But in special times, they can join each others path on collision courses to the same sandy destination. Waves can be graceful, powerful, and make you lose your breath upon seeing them. When we are fortunate to have two waves come from different directions and meet, the special-ness of the moment must be somehow captured. This is how I felt about me and Stef coming together in marriage. Two waves meeting and becoming one as part of the great big ocean (hey I warned you about the mushy part).

As for the wave itself, I wanted to capture that moment of anticipation, just before a wave breaks, where you find yourself lifting up onto your toes, and holding your breath. That dramatic moment where everything seems to freeze for a split second. I often get that same feeling when I see Stefanie enter a room, or I hear her say my name. It was essential, that moment somehow be captured as well. The trailing diamonds represent the foam and spray that appear on the top and trails of a perfect wave as off-shore winds hold it up that one last second longer.

In the end, with several sketch sheets, a fantastic Gilmore family and a great friend, I managed to come away with a one of a kind ring that hopefully Stefanie would see and appreciate as much as I appreciate her.

Next up, The Proposal

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