life's journey...


1 Corinthians 13 Love is Patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.


“Divorce.”  That was a word that I was determined not to have in my vocabulary.  It took the word “abuse” from the lips of a prayer partner to make me realize that not all abuse leaves bruises.


Still, there was that little girl in me that couldn’t bring myself to tell my mother.  Her health was not good and that made for a good excuse, but the truth is, even after 27 years of marriage, I could still hear her say that I was too young to be getting married.  Finally after being separated for 7 months, my big sis and I sat down together and told her.  I can still hear Diana saying, “She deserves better” and my mother saying, “Yes, she does.” It's taken me till now to write about it...


It took 13 months and by the time the final papers came, I was ready for a fresh start.  I moved to California and shared a home with my son, Charles for 2 years.  It was there that I met my friend, Kelly.  Kelly was like a sister, a daughter and a friend all rolled into one.  She was a military wife and a Christian.   We met when I invited ladies to my house for a home Bible study.  I shared many good times with Kelly’s family.  My journey took me back to IL and Kelly’s took her to Okinawa and then to Texas.  It was in Texas that she lost her young Marine husband to brain cancer.  She is doing so well, but my heart still aches for her.


Back in Illinois…  The same friend who once asked, “Are you still that happy?” asked me what I was looking for in life.  I shared that I had learned to accept what I have instead of worrying about what I have not.  I stated that if love were to fall out of the sky and hit me in the head that would be ok, but I certainly wasn’t going looking for it.  Kelly would ask if he knew I was in the wheelchair.  To me, it didn’t matter because we were “just friends.”


“The sky is falling… the sky is falling!!!” We all remember the words of the famed Chicken Little.  No, it wasn’t the sky falling, but rather love falling from the sky… Friendship grew and love blossomed.  October 10, 2009, at Friendship Baptist Church in Fayetteville, TN, I married my friend.  It took 8 years to get us from the computer to the altar, but it was worth the wait.


Our special day was filled with family and friends and joy.  What more could a girl want?  It did seem that every detail I planned was sidelined and I had to come up with an alternate plan as the day approached.  My three sons were unable to attend.  I understood, but it still made me very sad.  Gregg was deployed, but he wanted me to proceed.  He said if I waited for all three of my military kids to be available, I might never get married.  He wanted me to be happy.  Charles opted for civilian life after 12 years in the military and Keith had recently received his bachelor’s degree.  Both relocated and started training for new jobs in September.  Neither could jeopardize these positions by asking for time off so soon and of course, there was the financial impact involved with traveling.  My handsome big brother, Wayne, proudly walked me down the aisle.  The night of the rehearsal, I shared with him how everything kept changing.  His response, “Except your guy.”    I thought about that for a split second and said, “You are right and I needed to hear that!”  That was all that mattered.  


With Vic's brother at his side and my friend of twenty plus years, Kathy, at my side along with my granddaughter Allison and my grandson Christian, our journey to the altar was complete. 


Christian, now 10, had once given me a little blue ring that he got in vending machine in North Carolina when we went for BBQ.  It was his promise to marry me someday.  I still have the ring and I cherish it.  Who better to be my ring bearer?  On the eve of the wedding, I showed him  a ring I wear on my right hand…  I shared with him how I had traded in my wedding ring after my divorce for this ring.  It was “my ring” and it was a reminder to me that I make my own happiness.   I promised him this ring when he is older.

When asked if she would like to be a flower girl, Allison was so excited.  Even more excited when told it would be a girl’s weekend and she and Mom would fly to the wedding…  When asked how she would like to be Grandma Pat’s flower girl, she was overjoyed and exclaimed, “This is the moment I have waited for all of my life!!!!!”  She’s seven....  As a little toddler sitting on Grandma’s lap she playfully examined a little heart shaped gold pin that I was wearing.  Within the heart were two little flowers with pearl centers.  I commented that someday this would be hers.  Her mother jokingly said, “Put that in writing.”  When asked what I might get her as an appreciation gift, I was told that she was all into accessorizing and was especially wanting pearls.  I remembered the pin and thought to myself that there couldn't be anything more special than passing this pin to her on this day.  She would always remember receiving it and I would always remember giving it.  She wore it on her dress that day.


My younger grandsons, Gregg and Kolton were our mini ushers.  They made sure everyone had a program and signed the guest book.   It was a joy to have our daughters stand together at the podium and read the Love is passage from 1 Corinthians  13.  My new sister who began life as Patricia Edwards took charge of our reception and prepared all the food, including our beautiful wedding cake.  I promised her I would always take care with her name!  Mr. and Mrs. Victor Edwards were announced and welcomed to the reception by Christian and Allison who were both beaming.  Their smiles were well deserved.  They did a wonderful job.


We now make our home in Baton Rouge, LA and look forward to the adventures God has in store for us as we build new friendships and new memories.


January 2010