Erica Gonzalez and Matt Walker met at the end of the summer of 2000 at Rory Dolan’s in Yonkers, NY. Erica had just graduated from SUNY Oneonta with a bachelor’s degree in History and was just preparing to start her first full time job as a teacher in the Bronx. Matt on the other hand had graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology a few years earlier and was a Sr. Art Director in web design and was just starting his career at Fry Multimedia in New York City. Neither one of them appeared to be ready to settle down at that point in their lives but at Erica’s friend Carla’s birthday the two met and instantly hit it off. Erica seemed intent on having Matt prove himself, but Matt’s patience and resilience paid off. The two started dating and have been inseparable ever since.

Even though they met each other down towards the city, it turned out that they grew up right next to each other in neighboring towns. Erica is originally from Shrub Oak, NY and went to Lakeland high school while Matt went to catholic school at nearby John F. Kennedy high school in Somers NY. They later found out that went to a lot of the same hangouts and knew a lot of the same people. It seamed as if fate had made it so they would never meet until this point in time.

Phillipsburgh Manor; Tarrytown, NY

On October 25th, 2002 on Erica’s twenty-fifth birthday Matt took Erica to one of her favorite places in the world; Philipsburg Manor in Tarrytown, New York. Philipsburg Manor is a historic landmark that dates back to the 18th century which always appealed to Erica’s love of history. In the fall, it is the perfect portrait of the beautiful Hudson Valley with its rich tradition and perfect fall color palette. The manor was closed as they were setting up for their annual retelling of “The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow”, but Matt set it up with the management that he could go into the manor right as the sun was starting to set. Erica thought that Matt was just taking her there for her birthday, but as the sun started to set, the candlelit lanterns turned the rustic old village into a warm step back in time, and then Matt gave Erica her birthday card.

That card read:
“Dear Erica,

It is so hard to determine in one’s lifetime when and where that point occurred that changed a person from a child to adult; in my case a boy to man. For many people it is a life-altering circumstances that changes their life irrevocably. I guess I cannot say any different. For me it was the moment when I sat down and first spoke to you.

I guess in hindsight it is foolish to think that I knew at that very instant and second what it was that I just stumbled into. To be honest, if I didn’t know for certain what I found, I was as close as anyone could be. I remember sitting down at that table. It was just you and I and Erin. I have heard you say that Erin has breathtaking eyes that are so intriguing. But the funny thing is, that if you were to ask me to describe her eyes that night, I wouldn’t even be able to tell you the slightest thing about them. The most beautiful eyes I was looking at where yours. It was the kind of moment that you read about or see in the movies. It was a moment that you scoff at and think that it would never happen to you; but it did. I sat down at that table that night and I became alive.

I remember talking about what I thought about life. It was a rather deep conversation considering the amount of time we actually knew each other and I remember looking at you and thinking “Wow, this beautiful dark eyed girl is so involved in what I have to say!” It was amazing. You cared about all of it, even if you probably agreed with none of it. I felt a feeling with you at that moment that I had never felt before. I felt alive, I felt loved, I felt strong and I felt secure all at the same time. It was the first time in my life that someone looked so far into me it was as if they were looking into my soul to see if I was as inviting to them as they were to me. It was a magical moment and it was the greatest night of my life.

When I think of the many nights that we have shared since then I have to say that the feelings I have had since then have been no different. Every time you look at me, you are looking inside of me. You are looking for the man that you have seen from the beginning, and it is the man that I have fought so hard to be since I met you. I am certainly not perfect and I am also not great, but by the way you treat and look at me I defy anyone to prove you wrong. You see the person I can be, you see the person I aspire to be. You cut away all of the layers of insecurities and imperfections and you look at the man you only see. That is the reason I love you. You have a way of taking the “me” that the world knows and throwing it away. There is only one Matt Walker to you. That is the man that holds you in his arms and prays you never let go. That is the man that hopes that he can be everything that a man should be only to match the amazing woman that you are.
You are my everything Erica. You are the woman that they make movies about. When they reference love stories and talk about the perfect woman, they stole your qualities and hoped that the world could only be so lucky. I only wish the rest of the world was as fortunate as I am.

I love you Erica Gonzalez. I am the luckiest man in the world because I also know how much you love me!”

Then Matt sang a song, which Erica told him on their first date the man who would marry her, would sing to her (very out of key mind you):

Glory Of Love
“Tonight it’s very clear
As we’re both lying here
There’s so many things I want to say
I will always love you
I would never leave you alone
Sometimes I just forget
Say things I might regret
It breaks my heart to see you crying
I don’t wanna lose you
I could never make it alone
I am a man who will fight for your honor
I’ll be the hero you’re dreaming of
We’ll live forever
Knowing together that we
Did it all for the glory of love
You’ll keep me standing tall
You’ll help me through it all
I’m always strong when you’re beside me
I have always needed you
I could never make it alone
I am a man who will fight for your honor
I’ll be the hero you’ve been dreaming of
We’ll live forever
Knowing together that we
Did it all for the glory of love
Just like a knight in shining armor
From a long time ago
Just in time I will save the day
Take you to my castle far away
I am a man who will fight for your honor
I’ll be the hero you’re dreaming of
We’re gonna live forever
Knowing together that we
Did it all for the glory of love
We’ll live forever
Knowing together that we
Did it all for the glory of love.”

Then Matt dropped to one knee and asked Erica to be his wife…….

(Visited 65 times, 1 visits today)