How It Happened

I completed my conversion to Judaism this past March, the weekend before Passover. Between the time of meeting with the Bet Din (jury of three rabbis) and my Mikvah (ritual immersion), my synagogue posted information on applying to go on Birthright during the summer. I wasn’t too sure about applying. I wasn’t even technically fully Jewish yet (although I would be by the trip), and there were people who were born Jewish who had never gotten a chance to go to Israel, like Gander. Did I really deserve to take a spot away from one of them? In the end, Gander was the one that pushed me to apply, telling me I worked harder to be Jewish than any born Jew he knew, and I deserved it just as much, if not more than some of them. So, I applied and I got accepted! It was the most life changing ten days of my life.

jerusalem

City of Jerusalem / Personal photo

Little did I know, there would be more life changing events upon my return.

While I was walking through the streets of Jerusalem and the Galilee, Gander was talking to Bubbe Gan. Many, many months earlier, she had made him an extremely generous offer. She wanted to give him a ring to propose to me with. The ring was one Zaida Gan had given her for their 40th anniversary, with a diamond from his great-grandmother.

They took the ring to a family friend at Kahns Jewellers to get the ring resized. While they were there, Gander also made an additional inquiry. He knew how important it was to me to wear my engagement ring with my wedding band; however, this ring has a very unique setting. They looked into getting a wedding band made to fit with it. He was told the engagement ring should be ready the weekend after I got home.

I was due home on Thursday. On Wednesday, Gander got a call from Bubbe Gan. The ring was ready. He decided it was a sign—he was supposed to propose soon after I got back. So, he made the necessary preparations. He bought a bouquet of purple roses and a bottle of champagne. He made sure those were in place before he left Thursday afternoon to meet me at the airport. He had a plan all set in his mind. Pick me up, take my stuff home, head out for sushi dinner, come home, and pop the question.

Now, I don’t know how many of you have been on a Birthright trip in Israel or taken a nonstop flight from the Middle East to North America, but both are EXHAUSTING. I got off the plane, and I was gross, sick, and tired. All I wanted to do was sleep. As soon as I stepped out of baggage claim to passenger pick-up, I scanned the crowd, looking for Gander. When I found him, we both lit up. I felt like I hadn’t seen him in a year and a half (as opposed to a week and a half). We grabbed a taxi and headed home.

The Gander is a very talkative man, so the fact that he was so quiet on the ride home was surprising. I decided to write it off as him letting me go on about my trip to Israel. The whole time, he just sat with me, holding my hand in the back of that taxi. We got home, and he brought my suitcase up to our apartment and into the bedroom. While he was in there, I stopped to say hello to Elvis. Gander came back from the bedroom, carrying the roses. Not suspecting anything, I assumed this was a “welcome home” bouquet. He then told me how much he loves me and can’t live without me in his life. He got down on one knee and, using my full name, asked “Will you marry me?” I was in such shock and so overcome with emotion—all I could squeak out was a tiny “Yes” (which Gander loves to bring up any time he can). He got up and went to the kitchen, where he grabbed the bottle of champagne he had been chilling, and we popped it right away to celebrate before going out.

The ring, while at dinner / Personal photo

Gander confessed to me that his original plan was to wait until after dinner or the next day, but as soon as he saw me at the airport, he had to do it right away. I’m glad he did—everything about the whole proposal was perfect.

BLOGGER

Mrs. Goose

Birthday:
April 20
Location:
Toronto, ON
Wedding Date:
August 2014
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  1. Member
    mrsskeletonkey 3459 posts, Sugar bee @ 2:08 pm

    Neat! I used to live in Israel when I was 15 (we are Christian’s though) & it’s truly a divine and inspiring country, particularly for those who have religious ties to the nation. I’m glad you enjoyed your time so much!

  2. Member
    wellies 1425 posts, Bumble bee @ 2:23 pm

    Mazel tov on your conversion and trip to Israel! Birthright changed my life, as well. I love your proposal story and your ring! :)

  3. Member
    missgoldfish 454 posts, Helper bee @ 2:46 pm

    I loved my Birthright experience as well! Your proposal story was great!

  4. Member
    waffle 1161 posts, Bumble bee @ 3:31 pm

    Mazel tov! So happy for you!

  5. Member
    NurseAllie85 48 posts, Newbee @ 3:35 pm

    What a beautiful story! I met my fiancee (who is also from Toronto!) on Birthright. Your post brought back some lovely memories.

  6. Member
    msfilly 827 posts, Busy bee @ 4:14 pm

    Beautiful story and gorgeous ring. I’m a sucker for heirloom jewelry :)

  7. Member
    Mrs. Llama 21 posts, Newbee @ 9:11 pm

    Mine’s an heirloom too! It’s so different – I love it!

  8. Guest Icon Guest
    Ari, Guest @ 9:56 pm

    Congratulations!!! I had ths most amazing time on birthright- I wish you all ths best in your marriage and in life with your soon to be husband and new Jewish family :)

  9. Guest Icon Guest
    Becca Love-Johnson, Guest @ 12:44 am

    We used AppyCouple for our wedding website and app. The design reflected our style and was so simple to use. http://www.appycouple.com/

  10. Member
    Mrs. Goose 130 posts, Blushing bee @ 5:43 am

    @MrsSkeletonKey: @Miss Wellies: @waffle: @NurseAllie85: It’s such an amazing place! I’m hoping to go back there with Gander in the next couple of years. He never got accepted on to Birthright as a young adult, but it’s on his bucket list.

    @waffle: Thank you, very much!

    @Miss Filly: @Miss Llama: I love that it’s heirloom, especially something so personally designed. It’s amazing to think of the history behind it.

  11. Member
    Mrs. Pyramid 100 posts, Blushing bee @ 5:53 am

    Aaw that’s so sweet that he had to do it right away! And I love that your ring has so much history in his family!

  12. Member
    Mrs. Goose 130 posts, Blushing bee @ 10:36 am

    @Ari: Thank you very much for the kind words!

    @Miss Pyramid: He’s usually not that impulsive, so that was a surprise! He said if he’d actually had the ring at the airport, he would have done it then, even though he’s not a fan of airport proposals.

  13. Member
    roadtrip 803 posts, Busy bee @ 10:53 am

    Aww, so close to a classic airport proposal but I think you’re version is better :)

  14. Member
    mspalmtree 1122 posts, Bumble bee @ 1:02 pm

    Oh, what a gorgeous ring! I love that it has such a meaning behind it.

  15. Member
    gondola 1046 posts, Bumble bee @ 11:45 pm

    That’s so cute that he did it right away!

  16. Member
    kit10 105 posts, Blushing bee @ 10:31 am

    Amazing ring, with amazing history! I studied abroad in Israel instead of Birthright, and it was amazing, but that flight was no joke. I think if Mr. C had proposed the same day, I would’ve just fallen asleep on him from emotional and physical exhaustion.

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