The Bus Stop is a series of true stories about my life, people I've worked with and events I've experienced. Of course the names have been changed. I hope these stories will brighten your day with a few laughs as well as give you encouragement. Hopefully you can avoid making some of the mistakes I've made and if you have already made them, then you can identify with me.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Tribute to My Wife

Back in September of 1978 when I was attending college my second freshman year I met a young lady whose name was Karen Knight. She was a new freshman prospect for dating as all freshmen were. One evening while everyone was hanging out at the SUB I caught her making eyes at me. I learned several years later that she was actually looking at the guy behind me. She just had bad aim. I gradually worked my way over to her and asked her out, she agreed and we went out the next evening to church. Afterwards we were going to go eat somewhere and I asked her where she wanted to go. She said she thought a lot of the students were going to Pizza Hut. This was a problem because I had been dating a girl who worked at the Pizza Hut and we were thinking about breaking up, but we actually hadn’t made it official. I kept suggesting other places to go, but her mind was set on the Pizza Hut.

The only thing I had working in my favor was I knew my soon to be ex girlfriend wasn’t working that night. However, everyone there knew me. I tried to covertly enter the place without being noticed, but of course that didn’t work. Then to make a bad situation worse my soon to be ex girlfriend just happened to drive up. By this time I was practically under the table. At first I wasn’t sure if I had been discovered, but when she got back in her car leaving a black mark for a block and slinging gravel everywhere I soon realized my secret was out. The next step was all the explaining I had to do with Karen.

The old relationship was over of course and surprisingly Karen and I continued to date. After a couple of months I proposed to her and she accepted. Before this time I had never dated a girl for more than a month so I figured since after 2 months and she was still with me this must be the one.

The next summer on August 4, 1979 we were married. We had a wonderful wedding and many friends to attend. The wedding was at her home church out in the backwoods of East Texas that was difficult to find even with a map. Many of my friends that were getting married that summer had been singing to their brides in the wedding. I thought this was a cool idea so I would do the same thing. Stupidest thing I’ve ever done in my life. When you are already under tremendous stress and fear you should never turn the heat up by doing something stupid. I just knew I was going to pass out before it was over. I was shaking so bad I thought I was going to wear out my tux from the inside out.

After the wedding my groomsmen grabbed me and were trying to carry me off. This was when I learned I did not ever want to mess with Karen. She tore into them like a wildcat and they put me down. We made our escape while the groomsmen were tending their wounds. She actually brought blood on a couple of them.

We headed south and we stopped in Tyler at a pizza place to eat. You will never guess who was at this pizza place. You got it! It was the ex girlfriend. She didn’t live in Tyler or work there. She was a customer. I do not believe in coincidence. I believe there was a message in this from God to let go of the past.

A few years later we began to have children and Karen was a great mother. She worked so diligently with the boys. She read to them, held them and taught them so much. I believe all my boys were reading before they started school. Karen had made so many sacrifices for them over the years as well as many for me.

Over the years Karen has taught me several things…a work ethic, determination, diligence and love. She has stood by me when I was having a midlife crisis, depression and several times of unemployment. Many times I feel like she has given me so much and I have given her so little. Some times the only thing I think I have taught her is patience.

This last August we celebrated our 29th wedding anniversary and I have to say I love her more today than when we first got married. We have had some rough times and even were near divorce a few years ago. Some people have asked us what we attribute the success of our relationship. For many years I've always told everyone that Karen and I had nothing at all in common. We had absolutely no similar interest which was true. The other day it dawned on me that we did have some things in common. It was our beliefs, convictions and values. The main thing was God’s grace working in us, but before we got married we made a commitment that no matter what we were never going to get divorced. We actually believed the words, “For better or for worse and till death do us part.” We also figured if we were going to stay together for the rest of our lives, then why not make it a good life.

As our life goes on I ask God daily to teach me how to love my wife more than I did the day before and He’s doing it.


Karen said...

This is such a precious story. You both are so cute in this picture! I love you guys so much and my prayers are with you right now.

From Hart to Heart said...

I love you Uncle Garry. You are such a good person and in a way you and Karen have always been my mentors. I was standing right behind you when you were singing at your wedding. Kris wanted to help you by holding on to your legs to keep them still, but I talked him out of it. Then again I now think that would have been hilarious. I have NEVER seen anyone shake so bad. You are such a good friend and you have helped me through a lot lately.
I will see you soon. Feel better! and remember...

"Be still, and know that I am God" Psalm 46:10