February 10-16, 2016

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Forged in Adversity


 I met him at Back-to-School night.  In spite of there being only one child left in his match-the-parent-to-the-student ice breaker, he pretended to not know which child was mine.  He had a beautiful smile.  I added it to my “collection”.

My child, an innocent courier, brought home periodic announcements of his prophetic love.  “Tell your mother that I love her,” he’d say.  So as not appear unkind, simply put I’d respond, “Tell him that I love him, too.”  Within the next two years the courier graduated and the “I love yous” stopped.

I thought nothing of it.  I was too busy weathering the unexpected storm of a separation and eventual divorce.

Two years later, Hurricane Andrew blew us back together.  Disoriented by the lack of landmarks, I found my house finally, and moments later, him. 

My mother died late that same year.  He met me at the airport with a large, stuffed animal.

When my grandmother died, he chauffeured me on a thousand mile trek to empty her apartment during a snow storm with record-breaking temperatures.  While doing this, his van was vandalized two nights in a row. 

Later, when a wheelchair was not available, he gave my brother a piggyback ride into his oncologist’s office.  My brother died four years after my grandmother.

I was just coming into my own as a single woman when he asked me to marry him.  I told him if I were to ever marry again, I would marry him.  We started pre-marital counseling at our church two years later.  My open-ended response to setting a date was met by the pastor’s retort “Put this man out of his misery or leave him alone.” 

So, I welcomed the early years of the new century by marrying him.  After all he’s been through with me, I wouldn’t say that our love has overcome adversity, but rather that it was forged in and strengthened by it.