Rob Cohen had been ready for the proper second to suggest — and that second dawned on him as Hurricane Ian approached Florida.
Cohen had a sense that the positioning of his first date with Mary Fixl — alongside Lake Eola in Orlando — would quickly be flooded by the monster storm. So, he rushed his companion out to the spot on Wednesday because it was beginning to rain.
“Every part else was closed. And I used to be like, ‘You need to go on a bit of hurricane journey with me?'” Cohen mentioned.
Cohen dropped down on one knee, within the very spot the place they walked on their first date in December 2021, and he requested Fixl to marry him.
After the proposal, the couple hurried again to their residence and stayed put whereas the hurricane battered the state for hours on Wednesday, killing greater than 20 and leaving destruction in its path.
‘A VERY FLORIDA THING TO DO’
Fixl and Cohen have been collectively for 9 months, however they’ve recognized one another for 12 years — they met as neighbours.
When Fixl was on a 10-day European cruise final week, Cohen mentioned he realized, “I wanted to rush up and marry this woman as a result of I used to be not a contented camper whereas she was gone.”
He did not waste one other day.
“I figured that may be a really memorable approach to suggest in a hurricane,” Cohen mentioned.
“It is a very Florida factor to do,” Fixl defined.
Fixl mentioned she was within the bathe when Cohen requested her to go on a “hurricane journey.” He handed her a sundress for the event. When she requested whether or not she wanted to do her hair and make-up, he mentioned no.
“I believed we had been simply going to go play within the rain,” Fixl mentioned. “Little did I do know that he was going to suggest so I’ve no hair, no make-up. I’ve a costume on in the course of the storm.”
CNN occurred to be watching the tender second from a distance — and shortly requested for an interview.
“It was sort of surreal, to inform you the reality,” Cohen mentioned, after chatting with CNN’s Ryan Younger. “After which CNN interviewing, it simply put the cherry on high.”
Cohen was proper about attending to the spot a number of hours earlier than the storm. The large fountain in Lake Eola Park was underwater when he noticed it on Thursday, he mentioned.
The couple’s second-story apartment was unscathed by the hurricane, though the ponds all overflowed, Fixl mentioned. The harm was minimal this time, however they’ve skilled worse.
“We have been via like six or seven hurricanes right here, the worst of which was Charley in 2004,” Cohen mentioned. “And that appeared like a bomb went off within the advanced.”
Being grateful for his or her residence and for one another carries them via, though discovering love took a very long time for Cohen and Fixl.
“Love will be very surprising,” Cohen mentioned. “By no means surrender hope as a result of I am 52 and …”
“I am nearly 40 and I’ve by no means been married,” Fixl mentioned, leaping in.
“Typically you simply gotta watch for it,” he mentioned.