As I looked out the window, watching the snow swirl all around us, I kept wondering why we were driving to Champaign in a blizzard.  As quickly as that thought came into my head, it vanished.  I knew exactly why we were going to Champaign; were going to the watch the Illini basketball game.  One of the players, center Mike Tisdale, is a life-long friend of my brother and like a second brother to me; he’s always been part of my family.  My brother Joe got tickets for the December 12, 2010 game and we were going watch them play.

When we arrived at Assembly Hall, the attendance was down due to the blizzard but that didn’t dampen our spirits, we were ready for an exciting time.

The Illini hosted the Northern Colorado Bears and played in front of 5,157, one of the smallest crowds in history on that Sunday afternoon; the actual number of tickets sold 14,814.  The weather must of have gotten to everyone that afternoon; the Illini players had a good first half but came back in the second and let the Bears score 50 points.  Even so, Mike scored 14 points and seven rebounds getting Illinois off to a hot start.  When the game ended the Illini won 86-76, it wasn’t quite as exciting as I expected but nonetheless, they won and I had a good time.

As the Hall emptied, there were only a handful of people left, mostly close friends and relatives of the players.  We were waiting to talk to Mike in center court where people were starting to gather to take pictures.  As I walked towards them I could see my boyfriend,  Abe Christofilakos.

When I met up with him and Mike, Abe dropped to one knee and said “I want to make you the happiest you can be and make me the happiest I can be”.

Abe took out the ring and I said yes. The crowd was cheering for us as tears were streaming down my cheeks.  I was stunned.  We have been together for six years, and with my birthday just the day before, I wasn’t sure when this day was going to happen.  I hugged everyone as I wiped tears away, showing them my engagement ring.  A news reporter from the News-Gazzette was there and he interviewed both of us and wrote an article in their paper.  I found out afterwards Abe had been planning this for about a month and a half and with Mike’s help!

It was very surprising because Abe is more of a low-key guy so for him to make such a public proposal was definitely unexpected.

I always said I would not be that girl who cries, but I did.  And as it turned out, I did have an exciting time at the game that winter day.

 

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18 comments
Wayne and Karen Gall
Wayne and Karen Gall

Watching our daughter and Abe fall in love and grow in that love for the past six years has been a wonderful experience for her Father and I. They have so much in common, some that you might not normally expect, but one of the many is their love of sports and the variety of those. So, was it surprising for Abe to decide to make his proposal following the Illini Basketball game? To some it may have been, but to those of us, his family and friends, who know and love Abe and Liz, no it wasn't. It was the most romantic expression of his love for her. He surprised her, brought her to tears, placed a gorgeous diamond ring on her finger, and we are very proud of him. Abe is not a person who would normally be so public about something so private but he did this for his future bride and our daughter. This wasn't just a ballgame, roses, or even the first place where they met. This is where he proposed to his future bride and it had deep meaning to them! We love you both. Win or lose this contest, you have already won in our eyes with your engagement and starting a new chapter in your lives. Congratulations! With all of your love, Mom and Dad

Michayla
Michayla

So so happy for you guys! Love this story :)

CC
CC

A very TRUE romance story that truly brings back what real love is. Its also a traditional yet surprising proposal that any woman would dream of.

kc
kc

Happy for you Liz!!!

Kris Myers
Kris Myers

Liz I know you better than you know yourself. I knew you would cry because you are the most loving and genuine person and your love of Abe is enormous. Congrats to you both. A great story from an awesome couple!

Shelby
Shelby

Great story!! I wish you guys the best!! You both deserve it!!

Lauren
Lauren

Aww :) you guys are the cutest!! I cant believe Abe was so romantic I'm so happy or you guys!

Nicole Gray
Nicole Gray

So happy for you guys! Cant wait for the big day! Love ya!

Maria Voulgaris
Maria Voulgaris

I am so happy for both of you. Congratulations! That is such a beautiful story. I wish you both nothing but the best. Lots of Love, Maria V.

Holly
Holly

Liz , When I saw the text from you saying you were engaged I was extremely overwhelmed with happiness. You are so special to me, I can't say it enough. I am truly honored to be able to stand with you and Abe on your special day when you take yet another step in this journey we call life. To the both of you, I only wish happiness and love for eternity. Love you Liz.a.bith xoxoxo ( I CAN'T WAIT TO SEE YOU!)

Debbie Payne
Debbie Payne

What a great story, Liz! You and Abe have been through so much together and that speaks volumes about the kind of love that you two share. We wish you all the love and happiness that you so deserve and please know that we love you and support you on your journey through life together. Nurture that love and it will grow. Make time for one another and really listen to each other. Be Happy! Love to you and Abe! Love Aunt Debbie , Uncle Loren & Mason ;]

Karen
Karen

Now this is a heart-warming, old-fashioned proposal. Sounds like Abe took his time and thought this out and with the help of his future brother-in-law and close family friend, Mike Tisdale, caught his future bride off-guard. Congratulations to both of Abe and Liz and hope you win and have a happy life together!

Margaret Elshoff
Margaret Elshoff

This young lady is my lovely Granddaughter Elizabeth , from the first time I laid eyes on her I knew she was a beauty and from that day on she just got more beautiful,she is a wonderfull young woman now, I have always been proud of her,and then along came Abe, and he too saw the beauty in my Grand daughter I don't know what took him so long but he finally popped the question and now I am going to have another fine young man as my Grandson and so to Abe and Elizabeth with all the love in my heart and all the love your Grandfather left behind for you and Abe I wish you a long and happy life together Love always Grandma

Sammi
Sammi

I love this story... Congrats Liz !

Sarah Simmons
Sarah Simmons

This brought tears to my eyes as I read! I wish you both the very best!

Ana
Ana

It brought tears to my eyes! Just beautiful!

Kim Danner
Kim Danner

I was so excited when I got the news. I am so happy for you both but especially for you Liz! You will be a beautiful bride. I love you both and am truly blessed to have you guys in my life! Kim Danner

Elizabeth Gall
Elizabeth Gall

You are the love of my life Abraham, always and forever you will have my heart!!!!!

Last updated February 5, 2017