“No! I don’t want to go cruising for guys at Regency.”
Remember the days when you and your best friends got all fixed up and hopped in your car to go cruising? You know, cruising. Driving around a parking lot in circles hoping to meet a hot guy or gal and if you’re lucky, go on a date or two after exchanging phone numbers. I do, like it was yesterday even though it wasn’t my idea of fun. If it wasn’t for that question that was asked of me during the summer before my junior year of high school, I wouldn’t be having this conversation with you.
As we did often during that summer of 1987, my girlfriends and I planned an evening out. The plan was to go to a party at our friend’s house, but as we finished our primping my best friend asked with impulsive excitement, “Hey, You want to go cruising for guys at Regency?” She wanted to drive to the movie theater – where are the local kids – that was 25 miles away to go ‘cruising.’ After a little bit of a debate, we compromised. I was the one with the driver’s license after all; cruising at Regency first, then to the party.
We met that evening at a gas station of all places. The Mobil was on the way to the movie theater and my girlfriends and I needed gum and sodas for the cruise, so I pulled up to the door and waited in the car for them as they made our purchase.
He and a friend were getting gas. We made eye contact after I turned to acknowledge the feeling I was being stared at. I made a quick glance over my right shoulder thinking, “who’s he looking at?” When I looked back he waved. I waved back still in a bit of disbelief. He pulled around to my car and asked in his most charming voice, “What are you guys doing tonight?” I replied in my most sarcastic voice, “I don’t know. What are you doing tonight?”
We ended up going to a movie together, writing our phone numbers on each other’s palms and then we girls left for the party, but first I’d have to go back for a kiss. He totally kissed back. The next day he called and shortly thereafter, he was at my house.
I share all of this with immense joy and pride because that late July evening’s not-so-typical, chance meeting – that divine encounter – changed the course of my life and the young man’s that I met that night. It was the beginning of a story that I can’t wait to share with you. A truly remarkable story that was full of deep, intense love but was also riddled with heartache, tragedy, addiction, abandonment and so much more. But somehow amidst all of the blissful chaos a hope was present; it seemed to be the one consistent thing in our lives. Whether it was a tiny speck of light when all of the other chaos felt enormous or it was a warm beam of light on the good days, it was hope. It was a hope that promised a future that no one could have ever prepared me for or any of us.
While it’s not easy sharing this story – in fact, it’s without a doubt one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done – I am so grateful that I have the opportunity to do so. I hope and pray that by telling our story I can somehow encourage couples through inspiring hope and extending understanding that time heals wounds and commitment and selflessness can mend hearts in ways that my words could never define.
So… I look forward to sharing the story with you.
I hope you enjoy what’s to come over the next couple weeks and months, and I hope you continue to listen in and read the blogs that I will share with you. If you have questions or feedback, I would love to hear from you. If there’s information or questions you have related along the topics of family and marriage, please ask. I may not have the answer but I certainly would love to have the conversation with you.
Again, sit back, enjoy and I look forward to talking to you soon.