(Oct. 17, 2011)
This weekend Janell went off with her brother and one of her sisters to Gatlinburg. It was a good time for her to get away from speech therapy, the house and me. They were going anyway and stayed after her till she gave in, and I think she's having a good time. But I do miss her. She'll be home soon, and though she's been gone only three days, it seems like a week. She is definitely my better half. I can't say enough good about her. She keeps my feet on the ground when my imagination will sometimes pull a Tinker Bell and make me think I can fly.
March 4th, 1973, I was driving down Bessemer Super Hiway, after church on a Sunday night coming back towards Central Park, with Daryl Thomas and Jim Gill in my '65 Volkswagon, headed towards McDonalds. In the lane next to me was a '68 Buick Wildcat, and I almost traded paint with it changing lanes. The driver hit the horn, I pulled back sharp, and this Buick with 5 girls in it pulled along side. This real knockout was driving, and Daryl rolled down his window and she did the same. I hollered an apology to her and she accepted. I offered to buy her a Coke if she'd pull into McDonalds. She hollered she couldn't, that they were late getting out of Shoneys aqnd had to hurry to get everyone back home, it was a school night. She drove on off, and I pulled in to McD's and turned off the engine. Daryl asked what I was doing. I said I was waiting for "that girl" to come back. He and Jim both laughed and said I was crazy if I thought she was coming back to meet me. I said "laugh all you want, but she's coming back". To which they responded "Oh yeah, what makes you so sure?" I looked 'em straight faced and said "That's the girl I'm gonna marry". Well, the whole car shook while they had fun with that statement. But ten minutes later, here came that Buick. We all three got dates for the following Friday night, March 9th, and as they say, the rest is history. I told her on our third date, I'd have her married in two years. She was 16 1/2, and went home and told her mom what I had said. To which my future mother-in-love replied "You better get rid of him, he sounds like trouble." One year later to the day, at El Palacio's, I proposed in the same booth we had on our first date. We were married nine months later, on Nov. 23rd. (made it with 3 1/2 months to spare!). And till the day he gained a second son in law (about 16 years), my father in love would always introduce me to someone new with,"This is Frank, my son in law. He's not much but he's the only one I've got". He even told me the night I asked for permission to marry his daughter, "just don't have any kids cause you're ugly as H_ _ _ !!!
I have never regretted pulling in at McDonalds and waiting. Yeah there were fireworks and heavenly voices going off in my head when I saw her that night. But thats not what made me know she was the one. It was the still small voice that I heard over the fireworks and Hallelujah Chorus. And I love her more now than I ever have. I don't know what she heard that brought her back, she'll tell you she felt sorry for me. But I believe if she heard what I did, it's been replaced with the hum of a C-PAP and bellowing from the shower. But she's still here, and she probably deserves several crowns for that. Brandon, Jennifer and Garrett have probably already picked 'em out.
I'll be back.......