Today was Susan's birthday and she hummed happily as she drove home from work. She was really looking forward to dinner at her favorite restaurant with her husband Paul. A neighbor had agreed to take care of the kids for the evening and Susan had nothing to do but get ready and have a fun evening.

The telephone was ringing as she walked in the front door and she rushed to answer it. It was Paul and he didn't even tell her happy birthday. He just announced that his boss had assigned him an urgent project that needed to be completed by 8:00 the following morning. He followed up by saying that in the bedroom closet he had a briefcase full of documents he needed immediately to do the project. His request, "Would you please do me a big favor and bring those to me at the office?" added to the disappointment that was now beginning to set in. The evening she had looked forward to was not going to happen, and he hadn't even mentioned her birthday.

Paul explained where the briefcase was in the closet and said he'd wait on the phone while she went to find it.

Susan went to the bedroom closet and flipped the light switch . . . nothing happened. "Great" she muttered, "what else can go wrong." She moved cautiously into the closet, certain she knew where the briefcase was. She stopped short when suddenly a match was struck and she saw a candle being lit, then another candle, then another. She watched in surprise as candle by candle a birthday cake was illuminated by her husband who was sitting on the floor with the cake on a small table in front of him. He was wearing a party hat and began singing 'happy birthday' as he continued to light candles.

This was too funny! Paul was the most serious, business-like person in the world. And there he sat on the closet floor wearing a goofy hat and singing happy birthday. Susan couldn't believe it!

Paul invited her to sit on the floor across from him at the little table. "Honey, make a wish and blow out the candles". She did as he instructed but had some difficulty because his surprise appearance had left her a bit giggly. The next thing she heard was a distinct "pop" and Paul was pouring champagne into two glasses.

Touching his glass to hers, Paul became his serious self again and said, "Susan, you're the love of my life. I love you with all my heart, and I am just so thankful that you're my wife . Happy birthday." He opened a pretty little velvet-covered box to reveal a wonderful opal ring glittering in the candlelight.

With tears in both of their eyes he carefully slipped it on her finger.