Continuing along, I entered the Fall ’99 semester as a freshmen at Tennessee Wesleyan College. I had no idea what to major in so I began “undeclared”, and would be until the very last day of my sophomore year. I had worked hard all summer saving every penny I could, along with my graduation money and during my freshmen year I bought a diamond ring. Not for myself of course because that would be odd but for me to ask Belinda to marry me. I was so excited and the day came when I proposed. It was plain and simple, but special nonetheless. It was an awesome time for us and I couldn’t wait to be married. Then something happened. The wind got knocked out of me again. Just 15 days later and 3 weeks after my parents 25th wedding anniversary my dad didn’t come home. I’m not going to go into all details or to even try to dissect what happened in my parents marriage because it doesn’t matter. The truth was that their marriage was over. How could this be? I was the kid who was always proud of having my parents still married. Now I became a statistic. So I did what I felt I had to do, I had to grow up overnight when I wasn’t quite ready. I know, I was 19 years old and was engaged, but I wasn’t ready for this type of thing to happen. I wasn’t ready to be the man of the house just yet. But I had to anyway. And with that role I also took on anger. I took on more confusion. Still trying to figure out God’s purpose for my life, what I was supposed to do, how to try to hold things together for my family. I had no answers but pushed on anyway.
During my sophomore year, despite everything with my family, Belinda and I got married anyway. How were two college students going to survive financially? Only be the grace of God is how I can describe it. We bought our house from my parents and stayed there, along with mom. People think we’re all crazy but it worked for us helping each other get on our feet. Us as newlyweds and mom as a woman in her 40’s essentially starting over. People even compliment Belinda for doing that but the truth is she and my mom were closer during that time than I was with mom and it looked like she was her actual daughter. I declared Computer Programming as my major the end of my sophomore year, but wasn’t sure if that’s what I wanted to do. I started to really question my education path at this point, which I will continue on with tomorrow.