I made the best decision of my life this past weekend.
Apart from the congratulations, one of the questions I’ve heard from curious friends has been: when did you know?
The answer is obvious: I’ve always known.
Some part of me has known since the moment I met her that day in late April. But there are moments, small ones, that serve as reminders, that jog your memory and reinforce what you already knew.
When, before we moved in together, she bought crunchy peanut butter and left it in her kitchen because she knew just how much I loved eating it even though she barely did, that’s when I knew.
When she introduced me to her friends at a wedding and they all said, oh, that’s who you’ve been talking about so much these past few months, that’s when I knew.
When we sat there eating take-out from Swiss Chalet in the hospital food court while she was on call and she told me that she loves eating with me, no matter where it was or what we ate, that’s when I knew.
When her dad offered me some of the good scotch after dinner, the stuff he had in his reserve and not what was open in the bar, that’s when I knew.
When her eyes lit up in delight when we first walked into our current home and she turned to me and said, this is where I want to live with you, that’s when I knew.
When we celebrated her 30th birthday with all her friends at our home and she had the biggest smile on her face and all I could think of was wanting to make her smile like that every single day of my life, that’s when I knew.
When the kids from the extended family let me play with their play-dough and we made clay snowmen together after Christmas dinner while she watched and laughed, that’s when I knew.
When we went snowshoeing in a vineyard and then drank soup, huddled in our jackets, noses red from the cold air and all the wine, that’s when I knew.
When we sat on a bench outside of Versailles and drank cider and ate sausage and cheese from the farmer’s market in the Parisian sun, that’s when I knew.
When her family invited me to their cottage even though she was out of the country and they treated me like I was a family member and not just her boyfriend, that’s when I knew.
When my brother, who never really comments on any part of my life, told my grandmother (in confidence, without me there) that he was happy that I had found someone that not only made me happy, but that he respected and liked, that’s when I knew.
When, in the car on the way to Prince Edward County this past weekend, she said that she liked exploring new things and having adventures with me, that’s when I knew.
When she looked at me, for the briefest of moments, in disbelief, as I waited on one knee on a stone bridge in the middle of a vineyard, before she enthusiastically said yes, that’s when I knew.
This past weekend, I made the best decision of my life.
There have been thousands of moments over the past two-and-a-half years that made me realize this was the right decision, but the truth is, I didn’t need those little realizations: I’ve always known.