Thursday, December 23, 2010

12 Days of Christmas...Day 7 by Lisa Mondello

My dearest Daniel,

Last night was a rough night. Seth was awake all night, kicking me and reminding me how much I'm missing you this Christmas season. As I lay awake in bed, I kept twisting my engagement ring on my finger and thinking about the day you asked me to marry you. We drove down from Maine to Boston so you could show me where you played soccer at Boston University. (Or so you said.) We walked through Boston Common and saw the Swan Boats. It was my first visit to Boston and you said that I couldn't visit Boston without taking a ride on the famous Swan Boats.

Seven swan boats were floating in the pond. As we climbed aboard one you told me the story of how the Swan Boats were started over 130 years ago by Robert Paget and his wife Julia. Robert lived only 1 year after they'd started the Swan Boat rides and left Julia a widow with 4 young children. Even though women weren't allowed to run businesses in those days, Julia held strong and preserved the dream they shared of offering rides to visitors to the Public Gardens of Boston Common. I was so touched by your story about the strong woman who kept the dream she'd had with her husband alive that I started to cry.

You then pulled the engagement ring out of your pocket. But before you could ask me to marry you, the boat rocked and the ring fell out of your hand. You thought it fell in the water so you jumped in and began frantically searching for it, screaming for the driver to stop the boat so the ripples in the water would stop and you could see better. The Swan Boat driver yelled at you to get back into the boat but you kept searching, finally diving under water, looking for the ring.

I was laughing so hard my stomach hurt, especially when the boat turned around and the sunlight hit the deck just right and I saw the ring on the floor of the boat by my feet. With tears streaming down my face I handed you the ring as you climbed back aboard in your drenched clothes. The boat was packed with people, but I didn't see them. Only you. I also didn't see that the other boats had stopped on the pond to watch what was going on. When you asked me to marry you and I said yes, everyone in the boats started clapping. It was such a magical moment. Last night the memory of the seven Swan boats "swimming" in the pond at the Public Gardens played through my mind over and over as the baby kicked in my stomach and I missed you.

My ring is tight on my finger now that I'm pregnant. But I refuse to take it off my hand. We made a promise that day to love each other and be together for the rest of our lives. Our baby, Seth, is an extension of us, a blessed gift that God has given us. I miss you more than I can say. This Christmas just won't be complete without you here with me and each day forward won't be the complete until you're back home in my arms again.

Until you're home in my arms again, keep my love in your heart.
Love Joy


  1. How fun! And I liked that the wife kept the Swan boat company going. Good for her!

  2. How cute, Lisa! I've seen the park with the swans but didn't know the history.

    And now we know more of Joy's and Daniel's history. :)

  3. Thanks Lyn and Missy. I took a "little" creative license here because technically there are only 6 Swan Boats. But it works for the story to say 7. I've ridden the Swan Boats myself and many famous people have ridden, from royalty to presidents!

  4. I love it, Lisa. Swan boats? Who knew? And if you didn't tell us your secret, I never would've known the number of boats. But you're a writer and get to take creative license.

  5. I seen the swan boats but never ridden them.


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