The process of grief includes bringing reality into every single place and every single memory. Tonight, triggered by an episode of The Office of all things, I was brought face to face with the reality of the man who proposed being gone.
The man who had spent hours taking apart Kinder Surprise eggs and putting them back together carefully until he was able to hide my ring inside one and leave no signs.
He had asked friends in Istanbul about American proposal traditions and someone said (a guy) you take her out to eat and then hide it in something for a surprise.
So sure enough, he made reservations in a special place, and after dinner gave me a tiny Istanbul mug with the Kinder Surprise egg in it. We were technically engaged but he did win with the surprise. It was on my finger immediately and it was several minutes later before he remembered he was supposed to ask me to marry him.
His original proposal had been on our very first visit and it took me a month to accept. This was just the icing on the cake, the next time we were in the same country.
I love our story and of course only he and I know all the details. And that man, with whom I share such a loving and special story is no longer with me on earth.
I still have the mug, and even the yellow plastic thing that comes in the egg to hold the toy. I even saved the wrapper and the toy. I still have the ring, but the man has gone ahead to God.
I miss him so.