It’s the day of my departure and I don’t want to get out of bed because my eyes are swollen and my head hurts. Ray and Aurora planned the most beautiful farewell/engagement surprise dinner last night and I’ve been crying on and off since then.
There were about 50 people there including my favorite teacher from elementary school; coworkers from my government job; our neighbors and my mom, stepdad and brothers also flew in. I don’t know how they made this happen or how long they’ve been planning it but I was totally floored!
I wasn’t even dressed up. I had on jeans and a tank top with flip flops. They knew if they made me get dressed in advance, I would know something was up so they had a total glam squad on site to get me ready.
I saw my grandmother cry for the first time in my entire 20 years of life last night. She didn’t even cry when her younger brother died but she couldn’t contain herself when Ray made his speech to officially announce our engagement. He practically proposed again but this time it was as though he was proposing to the family.
He started out by addressing my grandmother. He thanked her for raising me the way that she did and for not allowing us to be together when we wanted to be. He said that it made him realize that he needed to become the type of man that deserved to be with someone like me. He promised not to mess up and begged her to give him the opportunity to change the perspective of him that she has. He said that while I’m away he will be there for her and will take over the responsibilities that I had.
Listen. I ugly cried so hard and didn’t give a damn. To see my grandmother in tears like that warmed my heart on a whole other level. In that moment I fell in love with Ray a thousand times over and all doubts about him really loving me and us being able to make this thing work, were instantly erased!
Of course, the night did not pass without incident. Michael my boyfriend after Ray, the one that I was with when I almost lost my virginity to Ray at 18 years old, showed up at the dinner. He didn’t really make a scene or anything but his presence did stir up some tension. Aurora swears that she had nothing to do with him being there but I’m still a bit skeptical because she was paying way too much attention to us when he pulled me aside to speak for a few minutes.
He wanted to make sure that I was making the right decision and that I was truly happy. We knew each other for quite some time before we were in a relationship so he too was witness to a lot of the hurt that I went through with Ray. He was the best boyfriend that I ever had. He was so attentive to my needs; such a sweetheart and we had a lot of fun together. But he was not Ray, so of course, I broke his heart. I still have love for him though.
But now here I am. In this bed, hours from leaving and I can’t seem to contain myself. I’m crying because I’m happy. I’m crying because I’m sad. I’m just all over the place so I turn to the One who always listens.
Lord. I know it’s been a little while since we’ve spoken because I’ve been so caught up with Ray and everything else. But Lord I’m scared. I’m sad. I’m anxious. I’m skeptical and not just about Ray. About everything. Just thinking about the unknown is so scary! Lord will I survive? Will I succeed? Can I live up to my mother’s standards? Will we get along? Did I choose the right major? What if I don’t like Social Work? Is that even a good career choice? Will I be able to make money? What about my friends, will we keep in touch? Will Jennifer and the baby be okay? And Aurora? Is she going to be okay without me there? Lord you know her mom is a little crazy! Lord please, watch over my friends! Lord Ray’s words to my grandmother last night was so sweet but was it enough? Are the doubts really gone? Are Ray and I really going to get married? If not, would I ever return to Trinidad? Lord please! I’m so confused! This is a lot! Lord help me get through this day, these next few months and years! The rest of my life! Lord I know I have not been the best but don’t leave me now. I need You more than anything. Amen.
I must have fallen asleep because I wake up about an hour later feeling really good. Just calm and ready for anything. I jump out of the bed and say, “Thank You Jesus”, before heading to the shower to get ready for the next chapter of my life!