From their first date to their proposal, Mike and Erica’s relationship has been full of surprises.
The couple first met online, and after exchanging a few messages, planned to meet. Mike had set up drinks at a bar before their date at a comedy club, but to his surprise, Erica accidentally fell asleep and made it just in time for the show. “There was never any doubt that I would wait,” said Mike. “I knew she was a special girl worth any wait.”
The couple instantly hit it off and got closer over the next couple of months, enjoying the honeymoon period. Just two months into dating, Mike received an unpleasant surprise. “I started seeing doctors for some abnormalities in tests from my last check-up. No big deal, I felt fine. Then my doctor called me at work on a perfect sunny Friday afternoon to tell me I had an aggressive form of leukemia. The only thing I could think was, ‘I’m not ready to say goodbye to Erica,’” he explained.
Mike returned to his hometown out of state for treatment, and the couple kept their relationship going despite the distance and the circumstances. It served as a good time for Erica to visit Mike’s home and meet his family. Mike says, “She was my motivation for getting better. She was the one that kept me positive. When you’re battling something like cancer, you need something to hope for, to look forward to, to give you a reason to fight to live. I fought for Erica.”
It was then that Mike knew he wanted to spend the rest of his life with Erica, and so began the search for the perfect ring.
Lucky for Mike, Erica gave him a head start. She had an inspiration image that she loved from Pinterest. “I wanted a ring that would be timeless, so I looked for rings with both vintage and modern elements. I am naturally drawn to gold and found an antique rose gold ring that I found irresistibly romantic,” Erica said. Unlucky for Mike, the picture that Erica found lead to a dead end on the Internet, leaving him to start from scratch.
Mike was determined to get Erica her perfect ring, and so he set out on creating his own version of it. “She is a one-of-a-kind girl and deserves a ring to match,” he told us. He arrived at our store with his inspiration image to begin designing a custom engagement ring. Mike consulted with our jewelry specialist Lee Terranova, and we put the dream ring into production with the assistance of our Master Jeweler. “After a couple of weeks, I saw the computer images of the ring, but I knew I couldn’t be sure until I finally got the chance to see it in person,” Mike said. “When the chance finally came… wow. I really never knew it would sparkle THAT much.” Mike left our store, ring in pocket, feeling “impressed, happy, excited and terrified,” he said.Mike’s nervousness continued the day of the proposal. “My antiperspirant decided to take the day off,” he said. He planned to propose near the Vale of Cashmere, the couple’s favorite section of Prospect Park, and had hired a photographer to capture Erica’s reaction. The moment Mike dropped to one knee and told Erica there was no one else he’d rather spend his life with, she began crying tears of joy. “After I pulled it together, I cried out ‘yes!’” she said. “It was exactly what I would have hoped for – just me, him, someone to capture the moment, and a story to tell for years to come about my favorite surprise.”