'I think I stopped breathing at this point'
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Grand gestures: beyond the bended knee
Saturday February 15 started out as a normal day. My best friend Teressa had come to visit from Westport for a shopping and girls' day out.
She was, of course, in on everything and had helped my partner, Ken Staite Junior, to arrange everything.
We set off for Northlands and everything was just normal morning shopping.
She then toldl me we had to go collect her son and were meeting them by the centre of the mall. We stood round for a few minutes, and other people started to gather around.
I am not one for crowds of people and was about to tell Teressa that I would go outside and wait when Deb, the dance leader, acting as Teressa's 'friend', approached her. She said her phone was full and asked if we could video a thing they were going to do.
Ha ha, all very good excuses. I had no reason to think anything of it.
The music started. I thought it was pretty cool. Teressa got handed a balloon and I figured it was a Valentines Day promotion run by the mall as they had done the day before.
Then when I was given my third balloon I finally clicked what was going on with the music and cameras focused on me etc.
Friends started appearing and it sent emotions through the roof.
My children appeared and I was speechless. I could hardly move at this stage.
I found out later that they were all hiding in shops around the mall and Teressa had kept me occupied down the opposite end of it all.
The balloons were taken from me and I was looking everywhere for Ken, I just wanted to see his face.
A human archway was formed and everyone that I love to bits walked toward me, followed by my two children with a single rose each for me.
Then I saw him the man I love so dearly walking toward me, dressed up in a suit with a new haircut and emotion all over his face, tears even. I think I stopped breathing at this point.
He knelt down on one knee and asked if I would marry him. Of course my answer was yes, he is the love of my life!
We embraced each other, both in tears, and a cheer from the crowd let out with massive confetti poppers exploding.
Looking around I realised just how many people had been there to witness our moment and so many of them were also brought to tears.
I'm so proud of what Ken did and so thankful to all that helped and participated.
It just blows me away how all these people did this for us out of the kindness of their hearts.
I had no clue what was in store for me that day, it was definately the best kept secret within my family and friends.