I found so much love with my first child, and I decided that I wanted more of that! I figured that I was going to make my marriage work no matter what, and since divorce wasn’t an option, we were going to continue growing our family. I became pregnant again, and my second perfect baby was born November 19, 1992! Just like the first, I was madly in love with him! Scottie and I were still on different pages, and I remember writing in my journal that I just wanted romance in my life. I wrote that I wanted to be swept off my feet, if only for one night. (Hey! A girl can dream, can’t she?) Unfortunately, there needs to be chemistry in a relationship to have romance. I began getting more and more involved at church. Scottie knew how important my church was to me at the time, but never really had an interest in joining. It was weird, but one Sunday, Kristy had come over to my house and asked him when he was going to join the church. I laughed and said he wasn’t interested. At that precise moment, he said he was thinking of joining. What? Really? I had no clue! He did though. He joined the church.
After my second son was born, the church had what is called a Stake Conference. It happens every year, and all the areas (cities and towns) in that “Stake” meet together for church service. It just so happens that Jonesboro and the part of Memphis I lived in, were in the same Stake. For years, every year, I always sat in the back of the church for these meetings. On this day, we were well into the service when I leaned over, (probably to situate one of my babies), and my peripheral vision caught a glimpse of Kevin sitting behind us. My heart dropped. I could barely breathe. I have no idea what the remainder of the service was about, although I was certainly in tune to what was going on around me…well, at least behind me. I couldn’t wait until the service was over. I wanted to speak to him to see how his life was going. I wanted to know if he was happy. I wanted to know if he was married again. I wanted to know if he still loved me. When the service ended, it was just a coincidence that Scottie had to go to work immediately after, and we drove in separate vehicles. This gave me an opportunity to run around the halls to find Kevin before he left. I did find him. I walked over to him and said, “Hey!”. He probably said something like “hey” back. We didn’t say much. I did manage to get these words out…”Do you ever think about me?” He said, “Yes, I think about you!” He said it in such a tone that implied I was asking a stupid question. He asked me, “Do you ever think about me?” I choked on my words, but said, “Not a day goes by that I don’t think about you!” I couldn’t stay there any longer. Tears started streaming down my face, and I didn’t say another word. I got out of there as fast as I could. It was true. I did think about him every day.
On June 13, 1994, my sweet little girl was born! She had this one little dimple on her cheek, and I always said she was kissed by the angels, because I knew they must’ve missed her. She was absolutely adorable! She smiled all the time, and never gave us any trouble. By far, she was probably the best behaved baby I’d ever known! She was just born that way. I had a good friend that would come over several times a week. She had a child also, and together we stayed busy being moms and entertaining the children. At this point it wasn’t that hard not arguing with Scottie. He worked most days, and if he wasn’t working, he liked playing golf and mowing the yard. I used to get a little upset with him because he seemed to mow the yard even when it didn’t need mowing. When he found out that it irritated me, I swear, I think that just made him want to mow it more often! Around this time, I do remember him telling me that our relationship was more like a “business” relationship…he worked and made the money, and I stayed home and took care of the house, laundry and kids (I also babysat and sold Tupperware to make a little extra money). I don’t know about you, but my dream as a young girl was not to get married to have a business partner! At least we weren’t fighting as much.
Sometime in 1994, Kelsey was asleep in her baby bed, and the boys were playing. I heard a knock at the door. I figured it was a salesman or something and didn’t think much about it. I had no makeup on, and my hair was up in a ponytail. I opened the door, and there stood Kevin! It literally shocked me so much, that I slammed the door closed, right in his face! I slowly pulled the door back open, and he had this big ole grin on his face! I was so happy to see him! I knew I looked a mess, but somehow that didn’t really matter. He came into the house, and we were laughing and talking as friends. We caught up on some of the stuff going on in each other’s lives. We were just sitting in the den talking when I heard the refrigerator door open. Then almost immediately I heard a crash! We both ran into the kitchen to find my youngest boy standing there with an entire bottle of ketchup splattered all over the floor! We busted out laughing! We talked about the “ketchup” day for years! He stayed for only a half an hour, or so, then we said goodbye. Even though we both knew we had deep feelings for each other, we were now both mature enough, and accepted the fact that we would always be friends.
My marriage was growing increasingly stressful to me. I absolutely do not want to go into the personal details about why we argued so much. There are always two sides to every story, and I absolutely understand that. For me, though, there were two pivotal moments that were the “straws that broke the camel’s back” so to speak. I’ll share one of those pivotal moments. My oldest boy was only 4 years old. I was invited to my sister’s wedding in Memphis, and my in-laws were babysitting our children in Brownsville. Having them babysit wasn’t customary, however, we were going to a family reunion the next day, so we were going to stay the night there in Brownsville that night anyway. I had one simple request. I specifically asked them not to allow my son to swim without wearing arm floats, because he was confident around the water, after only taking two swimming lessons. I emphatically told them that HE DID NOT KNOW HOW TO SWIM! Well…Scottie received an emergency phone call just before my sister’s ceremony, and he told me that my son had drowned! All I knew at that point was that he was still alive, but I didn’t know how long he had been under the water, how long he had been unconscious, whether or not he had brain damage, etc. That was the longest, most excruciating 45 minute drive I’ve ever experienced. Simply put, I usually felt extremely powerless and helpless when it came to just about anything in our marriage. Now that I had children, it became almost unbearable. My son turned out to be just fine. Once I got to him, I rode in the ambulance with him to LeBonheur Hospital in Memphis, TN. We were so very blessed, that the very next day, we were able to resume life, as usual.
I needed options. I needed a little more independence. I decided to go back to school. I had three children, so I took a Paralegal course through the mail. I absolutely loved it! It was so good to get involved with something for me. I loved learning! It took about a year, but I made a 99 average! (I can brag a little, can’t I?)
TO BE CONTINUED…