Diving, rhyming and finding love later in life: Readers share proposal stories

By From page B10 | February 09, 2013

FAIRFIELD — Everyone remembers their marriage proposal.

That moment when he – or she – got down on one knee to open a tiny box with a big shiny ring in it is a memory that can never be erased.

Some Daily Republic readers shared their marriage proposal stories, from getting on one knee to deep-sea diving.

Diving for love

Sarah Lyons’ then-boyfriend, Sonny Lyons, had been learning about scuba and free diving and used his skills to teach Sarah Lyons how to dive for abalone.

One Saturday morning, right before their one-year dating anniversary, the couple went diving at the Stillwater Cove in Sonoma County.

Sonny waved her over to show her where he had found one.

“He said, ‘There’s one down there, I want you to go down and pick it up, and whatever you do, don’t drop it!’ ” Sarah Lyons wrote in an email. “I was reluctant as I wanted to be independent and show him I could do it on my own, but I followed his lead.”

She swam down about nine feet in the clear visibility of the sea water. As she reached for it, she noticed it was not attached to rock as normal abalone are and found it was empty.

As she took a closer look at it, she saw the words “Marry Me” written in gold.

“I cannot describe the overflow of love I felt at that moment,” she wrote.”It is a feeling I shared with the sea, a feeling I will always remember with great emotion.”

She held on tightly to that shell and came to the surface crying.

He said, “Sarah.” She turned to face him as he said, “Well?”

She replied, “I would be honored to be your wife.”

“Such a romantic proposal, so thoughtful and creative, and its our story,” she wrote. “We are blessed, growing blissfully in love in our life together as Mr. and Mrs. Austin Lyons II. Love is the most important word in our language.”

‘Are you ready for commitment?’

Virgil Backlund wrote this:

“My wife Delores Backlund passed away in 2008 and Dolores Herring’s husband passed away in 2009. Here we were without our mates of 50 and 60 years, respectively.

“Dolores had lived in the Fairfield area since 1970 and was in Florida for only four years. At a visit to her doctor, Dolores was asked about her significant other and Dolores replied that he had passed away. The doctor responded, ‘I know, but you need someone.’ Dolores’s daughter said to call Virgil.

“Her husband, Bill, and I worked at the golf course and, of course, played golf there also. The four of us – Dolores and Bill and (me) and Delores – also went to lunch and dinner together. We were good friends.

“Bill and Dolores moved to Florida to be close to the eldest son, who could help take care of Bill as his health was failing. I kept in touch with them via email and the telephone and kept sending encouragement and friendship cards.

“In one email, Dolores asked me if she could call me and talk with me. I responded by giving her my telephone and cellphone numbers. She called and asked if she could be brazen and I said sure. The next words out of her mouth was ‘Are you ready for a commitment?’ and I answered yes before she completed the sentence. I asked her how soon could she get to California?

“One day, I took Dolores to a jewelry store to select an engagement and wedding ring. We took them both home and I got on one knee and asked her if she would marry me. Well believe it or not Dolores said yes. We both have minister friends and asked them if they would perform the wedding ceremony. Dolores and I were married on Aug. 21, 2010, in our backyard in Rancho Solano subdivision.”

‘Will you be my Valentine . . . marry me in ’89?’

This comes from Joy Balmer:

“In late 1988, a speaker visited our Singles Circuit meeting in Fairfield, talking on the subject of ‘Would you like to get married in 1989?’

“Tom and I were officially a couple by then, but we still enjoyed the group activities of the club and we sponsored several parties at his Cordelia photo studio.

“For the 1989 Valentine party, I painted a huge pair of hearts on the dance floor, with ‘Will you be my Valentine?’ written on one.

“After the party, we left the hearts on the floor until he needed to repaint it. In the meantime, I’d sneak in and paint on another line in the second heart, as I thought of things that rhymed with ‘valentine’ (yes, some were pretty lame indeed): ‘Share with me a glass of wine?,’ ‘Pay yet another Rotary fine?,’ ‘tie me up with string and twine?’ . . . and finished it off a few days later with, ‘marry me in ’89?’

“His answer: ‘Well, except for the Rotary fine, the rest all sounds good to me!’

“We were married July 1989, coming up on 24 years.”

Reach Heather Ah San at 427-6977 or [email protected] Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/HeatherMalia.

Heather Ah San

Heather Ah San

Heather Ah San covers Rio Vista, features and general news for the Daily Republic. She received her bachelors of art degree from the University of Oregon.

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