Love is a maniacally splendid thing.
First year at Carson Newman College in Jefferson City, Tennessee and I was miserable. I don’t know if it was being away from home for the first time or that I was just blasted lonely. Oh, I had friends. My dorm hall was 4th West…a study hall. Yeah, I think that was their way of segregating the freaks and geeks. Whatever that was, we got along well with each other for the most part. But more about that later.
Lonely. Yeah, I think that was it. Despite the hall full of awesome characters to pal with and my steady schedule with the BSU choir, I was just not right. Not Complete.
Not because I wasn’t trying. I mean, I was continuing my ‘Let’s be friends’ tour from high school. It was awesome! (Sarcasm dripping much yet?)
I was spiraling into the end of my first semester and struggling both grade wise and emotionally when we kind of found each other. No, that’s disingenuous. I took my problem to my only source of help. I should take lessons from my younger self, really. Because instead of just crying and whining about it, I cry and whined about it to God.
Yep, I prayed; if you could call it that. I took long walks and pleaded my miserable case before God himself. And, just for the record, the scripture is true (LUKE 18), keep petitioning God, he will answer. My take on what happened next was that God got tired of my constant whining and sent me an angel. I’m not sure what she did to deserve the task of putting up with me, but it is what it is. God moved.
So, it happened like this. I had a biology lab exam coming up and I was BAD at biology. I had no interest, but the ‘liberal arts’ college made me take it…lol. I needed help. So a young second year student, a Valedictorian, agreed to help me study. I think we were a part of a small group but everybody else either gave up or felt ready. I did NOT feel ready for this test. So I stayed and continued to drill.
That Valedictorian was Connie Jane Woody. I had known her for a few months through the BSU Choir thing and hanging with friends from the same group and playing pool and ping pong at the Student Center. We hung around with some of the same people and got to know each other. What happened next, as they say, is history.
I can’t explain it. I can’t completely map it out for you. I just know when it happened. We were studying over a fetal pig. Yep, that’s what I said, a fetal pig. Like the frogs of High School lab’s past, this was an upgrade. It was weird and really not fun. But it was necessary. We left the lab and continued at the Student Center in the EAGLE’S NEST, the snack and burger set up there. Once the two of us were left along, it wasn’t long until the hands were a holdin’. We left from there and took a LONG walk around the outskirts of campus and ended up at a greasy spoon named T.W.’s till late that night.
We never looked back. Oh, I made a D in biology that semester and got a warning about my GPA. Yep, they threatened to kick me out if I didn’t do better. And I DID do better; all around.
We both promised our parents we would wait till after College to get married. And we upheld that one! The day after graduation, May 11, 1985, Connie and I were married at Buffalo Grove Baptist Church. My best friends were all there; Carl Tindell, Rich Jones and Clifford Ray. And family, of course, attended. It was a monumental step in life and I’m absolutely glad I made it. God was all over it, because he brought to me the love of my life.
Here’s to you, sweetheart! After 31 years, you absolutely know, at least, two things: I AM crazy and I DO love you…