I had it all planned out.
I’d go to college—where I’d probably meet the man I would marry—then to vet school. But under no circumstances would I get married until I was at least 26. It was a good plan—I thought.
I dated a few hometown guys. We went to movies and football games and school dances and church activities. I had several “crushes” but only one or two “boyfriends”. I wasn’t a very good girlfriend. I’d rather shoot basketball than go on a date and I was super competitive.
Like most small towns there’s not much to do so most people gathered at various parking lots around town. There was a lot of talking and flirting, some drinking and smoking, and 80’s music blaring from car stereos as we sat on tailgates and car hoods. I declined her offer especially when she started talking about this guy she had seen hanging around and thought I might be interested. That wasn’t part of my plan.
cabin fever got the best of me and off we went with our big hair (thank you Aqua Net) and Rick Springfield cassette playing Jessie’s Girl.
She asked, “You remember Eric, don’t you?”
“You mean snaggle-toothed, skinny Eric from 2nd grade?”, I asked.
“Well, yes but he doesn’t look like that anymore.”
The first night I saw him in the parking lot he was still dressed in his camo from his day at the hunting club. Since it was a cold January night we walked into the fast food restaurant across the parking lot, ordered Cokes, and sat down in the back booth. As I sipped on my coke he pulled a half pint of whiskey out of his coat and poured some in his Coke. I sat there in shock and he just looked at me and smiled with his eyes…
When I saw him the next night I wasn’t even sure he would remember me, but I needed a date for the upcoming Winter Formal so I asked him to go. He said, “Sure”. During the next few months he attended church with me and gave his heart to Jesus. We’ve been together ever since. We were both eighteen. At twenty we got married during spring break of my junior year at Samford.
I don’t ever remember praying for my future husband. As a young girl, I assumed I would marry one day but never thought much about it. I had a plan and it didn’t include a husband (for a while at least) until he came along. God knew just what I needed. We’ve been together all of our adult lives. I can’t imagine these 30 years (almost) without him. He is one of my greatest blessings.
We’ve moved around and changed jobs. We’ve had babies and lost babies. We’ve celebrated graduations and promotions and mourned disappointments. But we’ve done it all together. When I think about the list of things I still want to accomplish during the second half of my life my biggest hope is that whatever I do . . . he’ll be there.