The curious thing about proposing to Tracey was the fact I knew for some time that we were destined to spend a very long time together and then as each wonderful and adventurous day passed with her I found myself coming out of the proverbial tunnel and as the light got brighter I knew I wanted to marry Tracey Anne Fisher. The very same Tracey Anne Fisher who when I first laid eyes on her at an Italian coffee shop in Carlton, Victoria called Brunetti’s, I was instantly hypnotised by her magnificent smile and so consumed with her glistening hazel eyes that I did all I could not to dive in and drown in them, such was their allure they had over me.
I will fill you in what happened between then and now over the wedding weekend but suffice to say; I knew I was eventually going to ask her - but how? When? We had spoken often about getting married and we were thinking sooner rather than later, as both of us so wanted all “the oldies” (you know who you are!) to enjoy the day to its fullest and just like all of us they aren’t getting any younger! It was only a matter of time before the perfect occasion would present itself and such an occasion did.
The occasion in question was when we were invited to Nola and Steve’s wedding, Nola being a cousin of Tracey’s, who lives in Esperance WA and Tracey was going no matter what. Such is the bond of loyalty and love she has with her family and friends and obviously vice a versa, as is testament to how many of you are joining us for our wedding. Nola's wedding was on ANZAC day and as we were booking flights I knew this was the heaven sent opportunity I was looking for and so the plans begun.
The initial idea was to be married in the most welcoming city in Australia; Melbourne! So I switched into "when and where mode" until Tracey delivered me the answer to all my questions when she told me that she had always dreamed of being walked down the aisle at St Mary’s Anglican Church in Kojonup on her wedding day by Godfrey which is the Fisher's local parish. BAM! Double Bam!! That was it – we will be married in the thriving metropolis of Kojonup and my Beautiful Princess will walk down the aisle with her father and realise her dream of being married to the man who adores her. The perfect situation has presented itself and a beaming father can bathe in the beauty and majesty of his beautiful daughter on her wedding day and I knew only they would know how they truly would feel. I can’t wait. Bring on the tissues!
So I thought I would run with it a little bit further as our wedding had a taken a turn for the traditional; what with father and daughter down the aisle, country church and the like. What I had planned was very old fashioned, was it even acceptable or relevant anymore? All I wanted to do was to ask her father, Godfrey, for permission to marry his only daughter and would he gladly and openly give her hand in marriage to me. I know they would both love that as much as me. But there are those questions again…When? Where? How?
It was decided we would leave for Kojonup a week before the wedding in Esperance and stay with “the dudes” (my name for Godfrey and Caroline. Why? Coz they're a couple of dudes!). Next came the all important ring. We went and got that made and poor Tracey had to endure a couple of agonising months of having her engagement ring in the house and not being able to wear it as I had banned her from doing so. (I know - I’m a meanie!) Although, as it rested proudly on the cupboard in its box on full display, it did come out for the odd visit and doses of adoration from its soon to be grateful and ecstatic new owner!
As the packing began for our trip west we packed all the ingredients for the proposal. Champagne (French of course) Check. Johnnie Walker Double Black. Check. Okay? What about food? What about organising a lunch the day after the proposal with friends and family not seen in a while so we can surprise them with the news? Mmmmm, things were starting to get difficult trying to organise all of this from Melbourne. We needed an insider, a person on the ground in Kojonup! But who? They would need to be loved by all, goes about her business quietly, get things done, can handle a lovable but sometimes cranky father and liaise with us? Enter Caroline. Thank God for Caroline.
Caroline quickly took charge and started to go about her business getting things in place efficiently as demonstrated by how quickly she got the lunch on Easter Saturday organised with everyone attending! It was at this time a picnic was decided as I thought the most appropriate place to propose to Tracey and ask for her hand from Godfrey, was at Eulo on the hill at a place affectionately named “the plot”. It’s the place where Jenny’s (Tracey’s mum) ashes now lay and is guarded by the most magnificent remembrance rock with a loving plaque to note to all comers of the special lady that lays here and of the family who miss and love her still. On top of this Godfrey has planted the most wonderful array of native trees and shrubs as a dedication that looks simply superb and I’m sure you will get to see this sacred and serene spot when you come and visit.
This has to be the place. It’s the only place I thought to myself. Tracey and Caroline quickly agreed as I told them of my plans to have lunch at “the plot” as I wanted to propose in front of Jenny, Caroline and Godfrey. It was on, so the picnic lunch was organised for the day after our arrival. I can’t begin to describe how happy I was and that everything was finally beginning to take shape in the most fantastic of ways. We arrived in Kojonup and had a quiet night and as Tracey and I lay in bed that night (single beds at Godfrey’s) we both affirmed our love for one another and knew that the morning was to usher in a spectacular new life for both of us.
The day started like any other day; up early and breakfast; another cuppa and maybe one more! Then off to Warkelup to feed the sheep! Tracey and I got up and got into the morning and after the obligatory catch up chat we were off to feed the sheep, more importantly to get Godfrey out of the house. This would give Caroline time to organise the picnic and pick up all that was required for the momentous occasion! We fed the sheep, took a drive around Warkelup, stopped at the natural spring, fed the horses and soon the chores were done. Caroline arrived with lunch and we agreed to head over to Eulo, to the plot for our picnic. It was on and it was happening.
I kept glancing at Tracey when she wasn’t looking and I just said to myself that I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. I am so madly in love with her I want..no scratch that…I need to marry her. My speech to Godfrey is whirling around my head in a kaleidoscope of jumbled and incoherent words but I knowing me, I would be right when the time comes. I wasn’t going to mess this up. I want these memories just as much as those gathered. This is my future wife we are talking about. Nothing but the best. It’s the rules! Soon the picnic table was up and the magnificent spread Caroline had organised was laid out and the small talk began as did the girls level of excitement. I might say, Godfrey was still completely oblivious to all our scheming.
I could see Tracey and Caroline internally screaming at me to get a move on as I sat there quiet with a calmness and tranquillity washing through me as I went over in my mind what I wanted to say until two things snapped me out of my thoughts. The first was Tracey kicking me under the table a few times and then looking straight at me with closed grin holding back torrents of nervous laughter begging me to get on with it. True. She had waited long enough. More to the point - I had waited long enough for Tracey to become my fiancée. Okay I got the message. It’s time.
The second thing to move things along happened as I started to talk to Godfrey, the sun burst into overdrive and bathed the hill and all of us with sunrays, filling the place with warmth. It was at that time we all acknowledged that Jenny had arrived for lunch and for what lay ahead and even she wanted me to get on with things! It was wonderful to have her with us as I witnessed the serene effect her presence was having over Godfrey and Tracey.
“Godfrey” I said as I began a little nervously as the tsunami of thoughts of what I was about to say rushed through me I knew I was in auto pilot and the words I wanted to say and the feelings I wanted to express made me confident, proud and humble. I told Godfrey I had a question to ask him and that he was not allowed to speak until I had finished and he dutifully complied like a chastened school boy about to be told something big!
I spoke to Godfrey about how in the last four years Tracey and I had built a really wonderful life together and are made for one another and that the universe in its infinite wisdom had decreed and demanded that we take the ultimate journey of marriage together. The reasons were many when I told him why I wanted to marry his daughter and not the least of all being that we really are better people being in each other’s lives and we have been blessed with the opportunity to feel and experience true love.
I told Godfrey that in the early days of meeting Tracey I was looking for someone that I would like to really get to know and I was not afraid to show the right woman all of me and who I am. “We started off as friends but with a little magic in the air, we grew together as did our love and I would like her to share all that is my life as we love and learn along the way. Tracey is my best friend and I want and need to spend every moment with her as I am chasing my dreams with everything I have. But above all else we are ready to take flight with nothing holding us back." At this point I was like a gushing fountain and my heart was awash with the purest of joys.
“Godfrey” (I continued as I was now on a roll). “Tracey is cheeky, playful, open, sensual, sexy, and intelligent and one who is not afraid to express herself, both inwardly and outwardly. She is happy to have her own space, whilst I have mine and we have ours. I love to dress up with such an elegant and stunning woman as Tracey on my arm when we go out......especially one with such a wicked sense of humour! I love the fact that even though she mostly prefers pants to dresses, she knows how to dress up when needed and dress down on lazy Sunday afternoons (as well as a few other times!).” I felt such pride talking to Godfrey about his daughter but no, I hadn’t finished.
“Godfrey, Tracey has so many and varying parts that make her the complete package she is today. Stylish, graceful and elegant, she is well read, worldly, and passionate about things that excite her. Her radiant, peaceful inner self compliments beautifully with her intelligence and incisive and well balanced thoughts. However, as we both know, she has no problem showing her feelings when angry, moody, lethargic, frustrated, let down, cheesed off, used and cheated at times as that's just what happens in a hectic life like hers. I love her feistiness and energy.”
“Godfrey, Tracey possesses a quirky, cheeky, spontaneous and playful nature which people find infectious and she is down to earth, genuine and easy going. Sincere with her affections she is also very caring and loyal and as you very well know Tracey believes in a loving family and the way she maintains a close bond to those she holds dearest is astounding and heart warming and for all these reasons and so much more is why I love her but there’s more to Tracey, lots more.” I could feel I was on the home stretch and still not a peep from Godfrey!
“Godfrey, I am not ashamed to say that I am a romantic at heart and I love to pamper, spoil, adore and protect the right woman as well as knowing the finer things to please a woman that could range from simply opening a door for her; grabbing her slippers; cleaning the house; a spirited discussion over the newspaper; a sincere compliment; an endless river of surprises; and being a great listener and the list goes on and all in the pursuit of ensuring that I make Tracey really feel special everyday. I want a woman who wants to really fall in love and be loved by someone who started out as a friend of sorts and grew into a man that like no other she had met before, knew how to love her. Really knew how to love her.
I wanted someone who when the opportunity presents itself will just listen to the music of falling rain on the roof which delivers sounds to the ear like a classical symphony orchestra in full flight and who will gaze at rainbows that stretch on forever that serve as inspiration for our dreams as well as drinking in the stars at night that allow us to be swept away to anywhere. I still believe in chemistry, fairy tales, princesses, lots of candles everywhere, romance and unconditional love and telling the right woman you love her. Always. I have found everything I ever wanted and more with Tracey.
So to my question…..
“Godfrey.” I began my closing arguments very forthrightly. “Will you do me the honour of allowing me to ask for your daughter Tracey’s hand in marriage and would you further give us your blessing and permission please? I fell silent. Godfrey rose from the chair slowly in a very Presidential manner as Tracey and Caroline wiped their eyes. They had both been so brave and I am so proud of them both! I stood up to meet Godfrey and he extended his right hand and as I reached out to meet it his eyes met mine and I could see tears welling up inside him and he simply nodded his head in approval as I think he was afraid if he opened his mouth to say something he would turn into a blubbering mess! Its an image I will never forget and always cherish.
Given the go ahead I took the ring box from my pocket and as the sun continue to shine on us I plunged to my right knee and opened the box to reveal the very patient ring to a very impatient girlfriend soon to be fiancée and I simply said to Tracey.
“My Beautiful Princess will you do me the honour and privilege of marrying me and becoming my wife?”
With that, the howling began, the tissues came out as Tracey said “Yes - a thousand times yes!”
Lunch was then the best one could imagine as it was our first as an engaged couple and the day had been a huge success. Much to our surprise, Godfrey for the first time in over 40 years, had a glass of French Champagne!
So reader if you have made it to the end, thank you and please know that I am so very pleased, honoured and humbled that you will be joining us for our special day
See you in Kojonup!