Several years ago, while the kids were in college, Loveta and I decided to write a list of different events in our lives that have have been instrumental in shaping the course of our lives. We decided to make a list of pivotal moments in our lives. We decided we would write all of this down and present it to our two children for Christmas some day. So, after we are dead and gone they would have some sense of the events in our lives that made us who we are. But, were never got around to it. So, recently, Loveta discovered this list and we decided now is the time to do this. But, we have decided to do it on our blog instead of writing it on paper. So, here goes.
I have had several life changing moments in my life. So, I can't seem to narrow it down to just one moment. I am going to list three of the most significant life changing events in my life. There are more life changing events, but these are what I feel like are the most important. I will warn you that these are not all pleasant experiences.
I will start with the first life changing experience, when Loveta and I got married. I had never met her family until the day before the wedding. Loveta, had a huge family, and I was scared to death. I never slept one minute the night before we got married. It was not that I dreaded it. It was just that I didn't know what to expect. I had never had to be responsible for anybody but myself. All of a sudden I had to be responsible for someone else. I had to grow up and be a man. When I met Loveta, I had just about given up on ever getting married. I had several bad experiences in my relationships up to this point. So, I had virtually given up on finding the right mate when I met Loveta. She swept me off my feet, and turned my world upside down, in a good way. I never had a sister, so sharing a house with a young lady was a learning experience. I was totally miserable in my life before I met Loveta. She suddenly made my life worth living. I may have made my share of mistakes in my life, but marrying Loveta was not one of them.
The next life changing moment in my life was when John Carol was born. From the time I knew Loveta was pregnant, I stressed about something happening to that baby or Loveta from that day forward. Loveta would get up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night and I would wake up and remind her not to fall. I did the same thing when she was pregnant with Kalyn. I will never forget the feeling I had when the nurse first brought John Carol to me to hold. I had never held a baby in my life. I was scared to death. But, I will never forget the feeling of love and overwhelming feeling of responsibility I had for that little baby boy. By the time Kalyn was born, I had the same feeling of love for her that I did for John Carol, but I was much more at ease holding a baby. I have learned that you never loose that feeling of love and responsibility that I felt when I held John Carol and Kalyn for the first time, no matter hold old they get.
The next life changing experience I am going to tell about is when my drinking habit finally caught up with me. It was nineteen eighty eight. I had just started to work at the Menard Manor. I had a drinking problem that I had managed to hide from the public. I had only been working at the manor for a few days when I got really sick . I woke up with with chills in the middle of the night. I was literally too sick to get ready to go to the doctor. I had already had pneumonia once that year and I really never got over it. I finally made it to the doctor and he said I had pneumonia. He put me in the hospital and I was in there for ten days. I feel like this was the closest I have ever come to dying. While I was being treated for pneumonia, I endured all of the very unpleasant effects of having to deal with my drinking problem. They told me if I didn't quit drinking, It was going to kill me. I decided they were right. From that day on, I have never took another drink of alcohol. I would be lying if I didn't say it was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do in my life. I felt like I owed it to my wife, kids, and to myself to try to get healthy and live to take care of them. I am proud that I made the right decision.
There are several other life changing events in my life, but I am going to stop there for right now.