I've shared my version of this story from the night-of perspective. During wedding planning, Matt wrote his version to be shared share with our family and guests. Here is his view, which I like way better. It will always be the most romantic gesture I've ever encountered.
Little girls do not grow up with dreams of marrying widowed men with four kids, of this I was pretty sure. Molly and I had been dating for a few weeks, enjoying each other's company more with each passing day. But we had consciously chosen to go slow on an important front: introducing Molly to the kids. Bringing Molly into our lives carried the risk of another loss for them…what if things didn’t work out? They frequently don’t. Putting four innocent kids through a failed relationship is intimidating. And what about the other complications? A LOT of people rallied to support the Bolands through Tara’s illness, death and our grieving. Each person that sustained us shared in our lives. They love the Bolands. They are invested. How would they react? And my job… crazy at times…crazy MOST of the time…80 hour work weeks, periodic night shifts to mess up your sleep, working every other weekend/holiday. Not easy. None of it. Life under our roof on Karlin was filled with unknowns; each of them a landmine waiting to erupt in crisis and drama. Not what a young woman dreams of….pretty scary stuff. Maybe what we needed was a little safety zone.
And so I did what people do nowadays…to fix my problems I turned to the internet. Amazon, specifically. I ordered the classic childhood boardgame of Monopoly…who doesn’t like a good game of Monopoly? With all of its houses, hotels, and top hats; property cards, community chest and chance cards…hmmm…those chance cards. Taking a chance. Maybe what Molly needed was the knowledge that the chance she might take with me came with a little safety net. A little “get out of jail free’…so when it arrived at our front door, I took that board game, opened it up and borrowed that “Get Out of Jail Free” card.
A little time passed and the right time came along for me to share that card with Molly. Along with it, I let her know that I understood the chance she was taking with me (and all the people in my life). If it turned out to be to be too big a chance, all she needed to do was turn in the card…and she would be released. No questions asked with no hard feelings. Just gratitude for taking that leap of faith for us.
A little more time passed…and then some more. And soon Molly and I found our way to the top of a mountain where I asked…and she said “Yes.” With smiles, a few days later we got back home where I kindly asked for my card back; she would no longer be needing it. She shared a knowing look with me, and handed back the card. I slipped that card back in that Monopoly game and returned it to its cupboard…where it remains, ready, and complete, for the next time our newly expanded family wants to take a chance.