Roxanne and Daniel

n the 15th March 2013 I celebrated my 26th Birthday. It is a tradition in our family that when it’s your birthday, you start the day with singing and opening your gifts. This my mother and brother proceeded to do and I opened their presents. Daniel however told me that my gifts were in his car and I had to work for it. I didn’t understand why he did this and thought maybe he didn’t buy me anything. My mother tried to cover up and said I’m too big for presents now, she had a funny look on her face but I didn’t take too much notice of it at the time. It was a Friday and as per normal, Daniel and I had taken the day off to celebrate. He told me he would be planning the day; he is naturally romantic so this wasn’t out of the ordinary. I didn’t know what we were going to do other than go out for supper with my friends the evening. The day before he told me I need to be to up early and dressed comfortably preferably flat shoes. I said I hope he wasn’t going to make me hike or do anything strenuous! I got ready and he insisted that I be done by 8am, I negotiated to leave a bit later but he started to get anxious and said we on a tight time limit.

When we got to the car he opened the boot and showed me all my gifts which were nicely wrapped in gift bags. I felt more at ease haha! He told me we were going on an Amazing Race: Great Memories. He explained there were 10 clues and I had to guess one at a time which would take us to a different place where we had a special memory. At each place we needed to take a picture together (we both love photography ) and if there was a task, I needed to complete it. At each destination I would receive the clue to our next location, every clue had an arrival and departure time which we had to stick to and I would get my presents at the end of the Race. I was very excited and couldn’t wait to begin. Seeing as it was my birthday my phone kept ringing and receiving messages, Daniel decided to put a status on Facebook to let everyone know that I was on an Amazing Race and that I would respond and answer later.

Each clue was in a different colour envelope and nicely typed up with a rhyme to our destination. He really put in a lot of effort. The first one was Mugg & Bean Longbeach Mall which is where we went for coffee on one of our first dates; we had breakfast there and continued with the race which took us around the Southern Peninsula. At clue number five I got a task to play Putt Putt in Muizenberg, if I won he would give me one of my gifts. Little did I know that he crooked the scores to make sure I didn’t win and thus could not open any presents!! The ninth clue took us to Signal Hill, our picnic and sunset spot. The Amazing Race took up most of the day and Daniel remained calm throughout, giving me no hints as to what he was planning. When we left Signal Hill it was just after 2pm, in line with our time limits. I realised that part of the time restrictions was to ensure that we got out of Town before the traffic began. I received the last clue which was pretty easy- Schoenstatt in Constantia. It is a Catholic Convent/ Movement and my favourite place 

We arrived and he told me now I would be able to open my gifts. Finally after all the hard work! He told me to go into the Shrine (Chapel) so long. I went in; there were only two Nuns (Sisters) besides me. I prayed and waited for him to come in. He came in with the gift bags and said he wanted to read me a Birthday poem. This through me off as he is a shy person and couldn’t figure out why he wanted to read it out in front of the Sisters, especially in the Shrine which is meant to be quiet and peaceful. I asked why he wanted to read it out loud instead of giving it to me but he was adamant and I told him to ask the Sister and she said yes. I was sitting in the bench and he stood in the aisle and read the beautiful poem which was typed on lovely paper and made into a scroll with ribbon around it. The poem described what he thought of me and how much he loved me, how he wished his parents and my Dad were here to see this, then he went on his knees, took out a little black box and said

“…Will you do me the Great honour of being my Wife?”

The moment felt so surreal, I didn’t know what to do, I was so happy and surprised I put my head on my lap and started crying tears of happiness. I asked him if his sure he wants to marry me haha! He came to sit next to me and said yes of course. I replied saying YES  YES I will be your wife!!! He put on the ring, which fitted perfectly, a single diamond in a white gold band. I couldn’t stop crying, filled with emotions. I went on my knees and thanked God for this moment, this day and that he brought us here to this special and blessed place. The meaning of the word Schoenstatt is “Beautiful Place” and it is so fitting to the occasion. There was nothing more that I could ask for, it was perfect.

We went outside so that I could compose myself from all the tears and more people were coming into the Shrine, I didn’t want to disturb them. I re-read the poem again. He then gave me the gift bags to open and it was all dummy gifts inside haha, that’s how much effort he put in, he thought of everything.  My ring and our engagement were the presents and I said it’s the best gift ever. The reason for the time limits was because he wanted us to have enough time to get home and spend with my family and get ready again for the evening out. He told me to call my mom as she was waiting to hear from him, he asked her the night before and she knew what he had planned for the day. We stopped by his Grandmother’s house to tell her our news as both of Daniel’s parents have passed away already. Then we went home and were welcomed by some of my family. Later the evening we went out for supper with friends initially to celebrate my birthday but it turned into an engagement party and a long weekend of celebrations. I’m so blessed to be spending the rest of my life with Daniel.

Thank you for reading our story

Roxanne and Daniel

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