Best Friends Get Married

Shaundell

My relationship with my ex-wife was extremely volatile. We were still married. But divorce was a matter of the extensive paperwork and lawyers which I could not afford. She lived in a separate apartment away from me and our four children (two girls and two boys). Eventually the relationship grew tenser when an Air Force technicality allowed her to move back into our home in base housing.

At one point in my life I asked God why I was making all the wrong moves. I made the decision to become a teenage parent. I compounded my decision by getting married without God’s permission. My mother often advised me that God will send you someone who is equally yoked with you. I remained stubborn and defiant. Things continued to get worse. So, I tearfully got down on my knees and asked Him to forgive me. Then I asked for God to take control of my life.

The day I met Arlene started out different. I woke up excited about taking my children to a Christmas party on base to receive gifts from our squadron. After my morning prayer I felt like I was not alone. This was highly unusual because I always felt alone. I enjoyed the company of my children while they were in the same room. But there was emptiness that I could not explain at most times. For some reason my ex-wife decided that she wanted to join us at this event. This was a rare request as she always found something else to do when the children had these types of functions. Later I would discover that she felt that I was going to meet someone. The children got their gifts. I did not meet anyone at that time.

Later that afternoon a supervisor had a gathering at his house to do gift exchanges and celebrate the season. Once again my ex-wife felt compelled to join me. We had not been to an event together for years. In fact her company Christmas party was a week earlier. She attended her occasion with another man and never invited me to the event. So, I was shocked to see her eagerness to attend this party with me. After we left the supervisor’s house she admitted her astonishment that I was not meeting someone there. This was becoming a common theme. I did not meet anyone.

In the evening my best friend Kevin begged me to join him at a local bar with Karaoke to “get out of the house.” After his constant badgering I joined him. Bored and agitated with the surroundings I searched the smoky bar for something to entertain me. I became fixated on this woman who seemed to be out of place. Unlike the scantily dressed, high impact make up wearing women in the room she was very reserved. Several men offered her a drink or conversation which she adamantly refused while she appeared to be focused on a pager that annoyingly buzzed repeatedly. The background noise from the room diminished as I kept my eyes peered on this woman’s every move. Kevin noticed my attention on this woman’s every move. He asked “What are you looking at?” I quickly replied “I believe it’s my future wife.” He said “She looks very nice.” I said “It’s not her looks. It’s her soul.” Kevin with a perplexed look replied “Whatever?” and moved back into his beer.

After what seemed like all night I finally decided to move from my seat to make a selection on the jukebox. A young lady who looked like the woman I admired came to the jukebox at the same time. She noticed the new pager that I had on my hip and asked if I could help her sister with the new device she struggled with. When she pointed to her sister my heart fluttered. I never felt like that before. It was the woman I watched all night.

Stay tuned for the “Night of My Life” in a future website post.

Arlene

My mother and father were devoted parents who believed that you stick with your spouse through thick and thin. They don’t believe that you give up on people even if they give up on you. My father always told me “If you get married to someone you stay devoted to that person.” My mother said “Don’t ever start something that you are not willing to finish.” I wish everyone lived by that rule.

As a teenage mother I always wanted a better life for my children than what I presented for myself. After already having two children I got married to the father of my third and fourth son. We seemed to have the right family mix. My ex-husband would have a stroke when our youngest son was still a small child. He presumably had a reaction to some pills which I vehemently warned him about. This terrible tragedy put me in the toughest situation in my entire life. As a working mother with an ailing husband and four boys two of which were toddlers my tasks were plentiful with very little help. I remembered my father’s words about devotion. So, I worked my full time job, took care of my children while providing therapy in all facets with my husband. I had to teach him to eat, walk, and write again. It was like having another child to care for. The hospital and therapy bills were mounting as we waited for the Social Security and medical claims to reimburse our household budget.

One afternoon after a long hard day at work I received a phone call from my oldest son that my husband was packing all of his belongings with his brother and moving from the house. Astonished I rushed home to see what was going on. I was told that he was leaving because he believed I was having an affair. I could not believe what was happening. How could I have an affair with all of the things going on in my life? Yes. I was angry.

On the evening when I met Shaundell my sisters asked me to come with them for a girl’s night out. I was not looking for a new relationship. In fact I was annoyed by men who kept offering me drinks and hitting me with dumb lines. I just got a new pager so my oldest son can always get in contact with me. I did not know how to clear my messages. So, my pager kept vibrating loudly. My sister asked Shaundell to help me with my pager. He did and we spent the whole night together talking about our respective lives.

Stay tuned for “Night of my Life” in a future post.