Meanwhile, Dee was in turmoil. He felt that he should marry me but didn't want to interfere with my new calling (!) so he designed a little test for himself. He prayed that if he were to marry me sooner rather than later that he would be able to meet my father and ask for my hand. He knew this was very unlikely. Who gets up one morning and leaves all of those cows and all of that milk to drive five hours to see a daughter who would be home in a few weeks?! George Ellsworth, that's who!
"Helen, I think we should go visit Marianne," my father said as he came in for breakfast one morning. It was a bit strange, yes, but he felt strongly about it...imagine that! So, they packed up the car for a weekend trip and called to tell me they were coming. I thought this was very fun news and was excited for them to meet my handsome Dee. How could I have known when I called to tell him the news that I'd put him into an emotional tailspin! He was immediatley on the phone to get advice from a well respected Stake President in Roosevelt, Utah. He had spent nine months of his mission there and loved the Bellon family like his own. (I might point out here that he called Pres. Bellon because his own family did not know that I existed...he'll have to explain that one!) Sister Bellon cried because she had always hoped that Dee would marry her own daughter, and Pres. Bellon laughed and told him to just be brave and straightforward with my father.
My parents arrived that afternoon and my Dad had my roommates all laughing within minutes! We visited for awhile and loaded some of my things into their car so I wouldn't have so much to haul home later. We had made a date with Dee for dinner that evening and were waiting for his arrival. I couldn't understand why he was so nervous as I introduced him to my down-to-earth parents. We had a nice dinner at Marie Callender's in Orem and returned to my apartment afterward. We talked some more and suddenly Dee was all business. He asked me if I could have all of my roommates go into the back of the apartment for a few minutes. "This is strange," I thought as I asked the girls to retreat and closed the door to the bedroom area. Dee was sitting between my Mom and me on the sofa and my father was seated facing us. I had propped myself up comfortably on one foot with my arm across the back of Dee's shoulders. The next few minutes went like this...
Dee: "Brother Ellsworth, I want you to know that I love your daughter."
Dad: "I know you do son. We appreciate how you treat her. From everything she tells us you are a good young man and I can see that for myself, ...blah, blah blah...
Mom: "George! Be quiet! Can't you see he is trying to talk?!"
Dad: I know that Helen! I'm just trying to make him more comfortable!"
Mom: "Well, let him talk!"
My parents had already picked up on the vibe that was just now starting to hit me. My grip on Dee's arm unconsciously tightened.
Dee: "Well. I love your daughter very much...and...I'd like...uh...your permission to...marry her.
Several things happened simultaneously. My head began to swim, my mother started to cry, I cut off the circulation in Dee's arm (really, I did!), my Dad began to answer (I had no idea what he was saying), and my cute little roommate Wanda shot like a rocket from our kitchen to the bedroom area! I had missed her in the roommate round-up! Screams then errupted from the back of apt. #28. My parents hugged and kissed us then excused themselves to turn in for the night at their motel. My roommates stormed us with squeals of delight while I was trying to pull myself out of this daze I was in! I was happy, yes, but a bit startled. Was I engaged? Did my sweetheart just propose to me or to my father?! Was this real?
We took a walk to apt. #11 to tell Dee's roommates our good news. There was much back slapping and congratulations all around. Then he took me outside to walk me home. He stopped under a big pine tree on the corner of our building and turned to face me. Taking my hands in his he asked,
"Are you happy, Marianne?"
"Well, I had better do this the right way...I love you Marianne. Will you marry me?"
So there, on the corner of 200 East and 600 North in Provo, Utah my life changed forever. I have never been happier than I am today. That is my love story but it is not over... and it never will be!