(Names will be withheld to protect the guilty but the truth will be told.)
Documenting the life story of a young man (me) who grew up in the rural Mississippi Delta, with much to tell about life, has been a roller-coaster ride engorged fully of pain, shock, lies, deception, lust, hate, anger, excitement, and joyful triumphs in life.
(Hmm…This is where I will start!) It was a very muggy and warm day in the Mississippi Delta and attendance at school was the joy for the day. Little was it known, at the time, that a young man’s life (mine) would be changed forever because this is the day I met a young lady (#1), who would forever change my life and perspective on the type of woman I wanted and needed in my life. She wasn’t close to being that woman, but at the time I didn’t know any better or at least that’s what I have convinced myself to believe over the years.
My ebb and flow relationship with #1 lasted through my 3 years of high school, 1 semester of college at Alcorn State University which ended on a revoked scholarship, and turned into something life changing after I joined the Army and returned from my first combat deployment to Desert Shield/Storm. That life change came in the form of a conversation that went a little something like this: #1 – I have something to tell you.
Me: What is it?
#1: Promise me you won’t get upset.
Me: OK, I promise. What is it?
#1: I’m pregnant. What are we going to do?
Me: (Without freaking out or thinking too hard.) I guess the best thing to do is to get married and take care of my responsibility.
#1: So, we’re getting married?
Once I said, “yes” is when my heart sunk to the bottom of my stomach and everything my mother ever told me seemed to mean more than ever before.
Me: How far along are you?
#1: I don’t know…….a few weeks I guess. (That response should have told me that something just wasn’t right, but why should I have to think that I was being deceived.)
[Years earlier-the upbringing: My mother, the family disciplinarian, and motivator, always preached to me and the other siblings that if we were ever grown enough to create a responsibility before marriage, we better be ready to take care of that responsibility and never run from it.]
I even went against my mother’s advice and guidance by trusting that #1 was pregnant without ever seeing a pregnancy test. My mother told me on a number of occasions, including the day of my wedding to #1, that #1 wasn’t pregnant and was only trying to get a ticket out of Mississippi. Was she ever correct in her motherly wisdom!
Fast forward months later after getting married to #1, moving her to Fort Hood, Texas and starting life as a 20-year-old husband and future father: I get woken up one Saturday morning and #1 tells me she has something to tell me. After asking what she wanted to tell me, I find out that she, in fact, was not months pregnant but was only a couple of weeks pregnant. Yes, you read that right. She told me that she wasn’t pregnant before we married but had gotten pregnant since I had moved her away from Mississippi. Anger doesn’t begin to describe my feelings at that point and I reserve the right to not share what my real thoughts were and what I thought about doing; thank God I didn’t act upon my thoughts because I wouldn’t be typing this blog post.
Our marriage really didn’t last long and she’s currently married to the guy she said was just a friend (sex partner) while I was stationed in South Korea and she and my 6-month-old son lived in Mississippi.
I can write hundreds of pages about that part of my life, and I have, but I will end this thought by stating that I don’t blame her completely for executing a plan to get away from the rural Mississippi Delta, but I often wished she would have chosen another target of opportunity, not linked to my journey. (The rest of 22 years of this story is in my book.)
Many years later, I would realize her choice helped fuel the fire of success that burns in me this very day. We just happened to always be on two vastly different levels and it would ultimately have the greatest negative impact on my son’s life and I won’t be blogging much about his life (It’s in my book).
Stay tuned for more of my life in the next Maximum Exposure blog post. To be continued!