Chapter 49

I have experienced joy in my life. Earning my first PhD, viewing Star Wars for the first time, obtaining a rare comic book, etc. With my eidetic memory, the important, special and joyous moments are imbedded in my thoughts.

However, there is not a single moment in my memory to that point that contained as much joy as the moment when Penny accepted my proposal for the third and (I hoped) last time.

(from the personal journal of Sheldon Cooper, PhD)

They returned home in virtual silence. Sheldon was in shock and euphoria that Penny had finally agreed to renew their engagement and was also trying to concentrate on his driving which was still relatively new to him. Penny was also in shock that her fiancé was able to pull all of that off in a few days.

Finally, she spoke. "How did you know that Jill was stealing from the company?"

"I was not sure that was the case. Still, I surmised that there was a reason for her behavior beyond the desire to simply be perverse. I merely reported the facts of her actions to the corporate office and allowed them to do their job."

"Sheldon, you are amazing."

He glanced at her briefly, before returning his eyes to the road. "Of course. Were you not aware of that previously?"

She shook her head and laughed. Coming from someone else that would have been an extremely vain statement. But Sheldon only spoke the truth as he perceived it and it really was the truth. She knew that this would be a part of her life from now on and if she didn't want to lose her head completely, she would have to take those sorts of statements with a grain of salt.

She then did what she would continue to do for the rest of her life. She leaned over and kissed his cheek and said, "Yes, sweetie."

As she healed from her injuries, they discussed their wedding plans and decided on a small wedding with just their friends present. Sheldon wondered why she didn't want a big, splashy affair.

She looked at him thoughtfully and said, "After all that we've been through, it just doesn't seem right. And all I really want is for us to be married. Both our families will want to have parties for us and that's fine. But the actual event should just be you and me and the people that mean the most to us."

It was unspoken between them that they were both still mourning the child that left them before they even had a chance to know it.

They planned the wedding for early June, just after she would obtain her associate's degree. She selected a simple, a-line ivory dress, tea length.

Sheldon, of course, had something to say about that: "Isn't a white bride's dress supposed to signify purity?"

She narrowed her eyes at him and said, "It's just a tradition, Sheldon, it no longer signifies anything. And if I hear anything else from you on why I shouldn't be wearing white, you're not gonna be happy!"

Once she was ready, she returned to her classes. Her teachers were amazed to find that she had not only kept up, but had actually surpassed the class.

That's what happens, she thought, when you have a frigging genius to tutor you.

She ended up graduating at the top of her class. Which was particularly helpful when she applied for a job as a buyer at an upscale boutique in Los Angeles. Sheldon insisted on buying her a new car since her job would involve a lot of driving between the store's five locations.

Their wedding was small, but very poignant, with just Leonard and Amy as their attendants, and the rest of the group in attendance. Sheldon had promised his mother that they would be married in a church, even though that wasn't his belief. He complained about it, until Penny found a non-denominational (and non-judgmental) minister who agreed to marry them. She also found a lovely little chapel located in a wooded setting. It was beautiful and special.

Right after the wedding, they traveled to Nebraska to celebrate with her family.

Her mother clucked over Sheldon and told him how lucky Penny was to have found him, but Sheldon's answer only made Penny love him more:

"No, you are mistaken. Although I don't believe in luck, I do find myself the one on whom fortune has smiled because Penny fell in love with me and agreed to spend her life with me."

Her parents didn't understand half of what Sheldon said, but they saw the love in his eyes for their daughter and how happy Penny was and that was all that really mattered.

After Nebraska, they went to Texas to celebrate with his family. It was almost like having three weddings.

The Cooper family was exuberant. Mary was greatly recovered, with only the slightest hesitation in speech and the occasional twinge in her legs as a reminder of her accident. George had a steady job and was supporting his family. Missy and her boyfriend were almost engaged themselves. Meemaw was just relieved that Sheldon had found a woman to love and take care of him. She knew how much her Moonpie needed love.

Once they returned to Pasadena, Penny began her new job. She loved it and proved that she was good at it. After working for the boutique for four years, she was offered a managerial position. And that was after she'd taken a six month maternity leave when their son, Isaac Newton Cooper was born.

Howard and Bernadette bought a house with a side apartment attached to it for Mrs. Wolowitz. Keeping to his word, when their son was born, Bernadette returned to work when her maternity leave was over and Howard took an indefinite leave of absence to care for him. He turned out to be better at it than anyone had anticipated. Having grown up with a father himself, he was determined to make his son's childhood a great one.

About a year after Sheldon and Penny's wedding, Leonard married Nancy. They ended up leaving Pasadena when she was offered a year- long fellowship in London. Leonard was happy to accompany her and when it ended, they both accepted positions at Princeton University, which put them in near proximity to his family, but they managed to survive it. They kept in contact with their friends in California and made it out each year to Comic-Con.

Amy married Edwin as well and they continued to live in Pasadena and their daughter grew up as a close friend to Isaac Cooper and Michael Wolowitz.

Raj didn't marry his first girlfriend, but his ability to now talk to women allowed him the capacity to meet others. He eventually met a very American woman whose parents had been born in India. That didn't matter to Dr. and Mrs. Koothrapoli. They would have been happy at that point for him to marry anyone. That her parents were Indian was icing on the cake.

(from the personal journal of Penny Cooper, buyer, wife and mother)

When Sheldon finds out I wrote in his journal, he's gonna freak. But I know he only writes in this one so that his biographer will have all the information about him that's needed, so I'm not worried about him finding out anytime soon. It's not like he has to go back and read it. With his eidetic memory, he remembers every word he wrote here.

Anyway, I think it's important that future generations know that Sheldon Cooper is annoying, infuriating and more able to make a woman tear her hair out than anyone on this earth. He's also the sweetest and cutest guy ever. I love him and always will.

He's also an amazing father. The way he talks to his son and, of course, the kid understands every word, is just crazy. Of course, I don't understand a word that their saying, but the cool thing about Sheldon is that he won't let Isaac talk down to me. The love that he shows to both of us defines him as a man.

He once told me that he wanted to be Don Quixote. He's more than that. He's my knight in shining armor, sure, but he's also my support when I need him, my pillow when I'm tired and my lover all the time.

If there were more Sheldon Coopers in the world, it would be a better place – as long as people didn't murder them first. I'm glad that I took the time to know him and love him. He's the best thing that ever happened to me!

Penny thinks that I do not read this journal once I've written, but I do and of course I saw what she wrote. I will leave it as written, so that someday my biographer will have better knowledge of my wife.

I wanted to be Don Quixote and love pure and chaste from afar. I failed in that ambition, but I do not regret it. Loving Penny has defined me and made me so much more than I was. And in truth, was that not Don Quixote's true goal: to be more than a mere man could be? I have done that, thanks to Penny.

(from the personal journal of Sheldon Cooper , PhD)

Well, that's all folks! Thank you all so much for reading this and for your wonderful reviews. I'm sorry you had to wait so long for the conclusion. But I determined that I had to finish this before I really got into my next story. But I have started it. If you're interested to read it, you can put me on author alert or just look for it. The working title is The Philadelphia Experiment. Talk to you all later!