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Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Cultivating an Attitude of Gratitude

Since this is National Blog Posting Month, as well as the month of Thanksgiving, I thought I'd kill two birds with one stone. I've decided to post every day about something I'm thankful for. When the kids were little, we once made a "turkey" out of a shoebox and construction paper. Each day every family member was to put a slip of paper into the turkey--thus "stuffing" it. On the paper was something they were thankful for. Before eating Thanksgiving dinner, we read some of them. It was wonderful to read the things the kids wrote. That's kind of what I'm going for here. I'll have to name four things today, since this is the 4th day of November.

First, I am so very thankful for my dear husband. Last Thursday was his birthday and I let it go by without acknowledging him here. We met under very unusual circumstances, so I'm sure Heavenly Father had a hand in our getting together. When I was in 8th grade, Darrell was a very popular senior at Clarksville High School. I knew of him through the older siblings of my friends. He worked at a little gas station on Madison Street and my bus would pass by there every day after school. My friends and I would yell "Hi, Darrell" out the windows and he would wave to us. At the end of that school year, my best friend Renea had her 14th birthday party and of course I was there. Darrell showed up to visit Renea's older brother. I followed him around all night and I can still remember him glancing over his shoulder at me, probably wondering who this weird kid was and what she wanted.

Fast forward about 3 1/2 years. I'm now a senior at CHS and Darrell is in the Army, stationed at Ft. Knox, KY. It's Homecoming week and I'm president of a club at school. Me and several other girls are at our teacher/sponsor's home decorating a display for the commons area (cafeteria). Unbeknownst to me, Darrell is friends with this teacher's husband and is upstairs visiting. He hears all the commotion being made by a bunch of girls downstairs and asks Mike (the husband) what is going on. Mike tells Darrell about all the girls down there and says "go pick you out one". The two of them head downstairs where they tease us a bit before heading back to the kitchen. Renea was still my best friend and remember she's known Darrell for years. So she flirts and teases him right back. Even though we were best friends, we were also very competitive and if she could flirt, I could, too. So I did. I found out later that when they went back upstairs Mike asked Darrell which girl he had chosen. Darrell told him me, but added that I was too young. Darrell was about to turn 21, and I was only 17. That didn't stop him from calling Renea the next day and getting my phone number. He started calling me and continued to do so for the next two months. I refused to go out with him because my parents were pretty strict and I thought the difference in our ages would prevent them from giving me permission.

My father finally had the opportunity to meet Darrell and approved of him. Our first date was Christmas Eve 1975. We were engaged about 3 weeks later with an August wedding date in mind. Darrell got orders for Italy in mid-February and would be gone for 2 years. In order for me to go with him, we had to be married so I could get an ID card, passport, shots, etc. So we moved our wedding date up to April 10. While others were off to Daytona Beach for spring break, I was getting married and going on my honeymoon!

The Lord meant for Darrell and me to be together and I'm so very thankful Darrell saw that from the beginning. He is a wonderful husband and father. A gentle loving man. His generosity and compassion know no bounds. I admire and respect him. He is my best friend and the greatest blessing in my life. I need him. And I love him.

Whew! This got to be longer than I meant. Enough for today. I'll be thankful for more tomorrow. Right now, writing this has made me want to cuddle on the couch with my sweetheart.


The Richards Family said...

aww, i love it! thanks for sharing your story. :)

Charlie and Nicole Borders said...

Such an incredible story. I've heard bits and pieces over the years, but never the whole thing and it is absolutely amazing! I loved it!

Lauren said...

Thanks for sharing it. Have you seen Clay's blog? You inspired him. Maybe you'll hear my story soon...

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