Wednesday, September 10, 2014
An Unlikely Beginning
I didn't plan to meet my future husband in a bar--a run-down redneck bar, no less. They used to call it The Bucket of Blood when my father hung out there years before. I think thirty-seven years ago they called it Ray's. That fall night when I showed up with my younger sister, all we hoped for was to join others on the smoke-filled crowded dance floor. My big plan that night was to find my sister another boyfriend. Not me.
Late into the evening, two ex-servicemen asked to sit at our table. The dancing and joking and hanging out commenced but for me, it wasn't working. You see, I only had eyes for the man who had befriended my sister.
So the following Saturday night, I returned to Ray's armed with a good friend. Yes, I left my sister at home. When that same man walked past my table, I did something I never in my life thought I would do in a bar. Or anyplace else. I spoke first--I said hello.
He remembered me. He dropped down across from me and it began.
We danced--me in my pink sweater, plaid stove pipe pants and he in his Earth shoes and blue corduroy bell-bottoms. It was 1976. I was graduating from college--ready to move into the next phase of my life.
I was also practically engaged to marry another man.
I don't know if God thought something in my life needed to change or something in my future husband's life did because that night He changed both of us. Eventually, we went outside and strolled in the moonlight on that country road while the blare of rock and roll music faded behind us.
It was the dumbest, most dangerous decision of my life. I know that now. It was the first time I ever left a bar with a man I didn't know. But for some reason, I trusted this man enough to do it.
The next day, I broke up with my boyfriend of two years and waited until the man I gave my heart to the night before called me.
There's more to the story but for me that was our beginning. Our marriage began like a ship in a thunder storm but eventually settled into smoother waters.
Over the years, I've learned that despite difficult circumstances, we can make it. Together.
And we do. A day at a time.