Sometime after praying and asking God to do whatever it took in my life to help me make it through the narrow gate a woman came into my life.
She was the prettiest thing I had seen since returning from Korea. She had red hair and was recently divorced with a 17 month old child.
Her name was Karen. Little did I know that she would be an instrument God would use to bring me to a P.O.D. (Point of Decision)
I invited her out on my ski boat which was a 19.5 foot long Reinell with a deep "V" hull.
Those were the days.
We hit it off pretty good and there seemed to be chemistry. It wasn't long before she invited me to move in with her. I took her up on her offer and started paying the rent on the apartment she had leased.
We talked about getting married and I thought we would. She seemed nice and I also liked her parents. Then one day we had a fight. It wasn't a physical fight, but I had never been involved in a fight quite like that ever before. I just knew the relationship was over and there was no way we could make up after what I had just experienced. I went and found an Army buddy and we went to the archery range to waste some time. Karen tracked me down. She was as sweet as she could be and we ended up making up after all.
That was only our first fight and far from our last. At times she seemed impossible to make happy. She would be way out on the end of some issue complaining about this or that. I would go out on that end with her and try to address her issue to hopefully bring some happiness back into our situation. The next day she would be 180 degrees out on the opposite end of her previous concern. It seemed crazy to me.
Each time we had a fight I would have second thoughts about getting married. Spending a married lifetime in a conflict relationship was not something I relished. She got the feeling that I was having second thoughts about us getting married, so one day she told me she was pregnant. She thought her being pregnant would cause me to hurry up and marry her.
During that time we allowed a couple of young Mormon missionaries to come into the apartment and give us their spiel over several days showing us mormon recruitment movies etc. Their solution to the pregnancy was to marry us right away and have us join their church. The day they offered to help me pour my vodka down the drain was the day I told them I had enough of mormonism. Soon after I also found out that Karen had been lying about being pregnant and was just using it as a tactic to coerce me into marrying her.
Our relationship continued on through rocky ground. The cycle of fights continued with me getting more and more of my fill of them with each occurrence. I had asked my good friend and mentor from Korea, Harry Stevenson, to be my best man. He told me he wouldn't be a best man in a wedding to Karen. I can only guess that he knew some things I didn't know, but I do know Harry was and is a good friend.
Our fights were mostly shouting matches. For an example of how bad they were, we were driving somewhere one day when a squabble erupted. The car windows were rolled up and we were sitting close to each other, but we were both shouting at the top of our lungs.
The final fight came when I returned home from work one day to an apartment that was now empty except for my stuff. Karen had packed all her stuff up and moved out without giving me any warning. I looked around the nearly empty apartment and thought, "Two can play this game." I then called a young couple that were Karen's friends before they were mine. They had a spare empty bedroom. I told the man what Karen had done and said I didn't want to stay in this now almost empty apartment alone. I asked him if he would help me move into their spare bedroom until I was able to find a place of my own. And so he did.
After getting all set up in their spare bedroom, it didn't take Karen long to find out where I was and show up sweet and conciliatory. I had made up my mind though that I was done with her and there would be no making up this time. I had had enough. I was as rude as I could be to her. I told her I was done and didn't care if I ever saw her again. When she realized I wasn't coming around this time she turned to leave.
She stopped in the doorway with a parting shot saying, "I have something to tell you before I go, and it is the truth this time. I really am pregnant now."
Even though I had prayed that God would do what ever it took to help me make it through the narrow gate I had been going from bad to worse. I still felt good toward God and knew He was the good guy, but my heart was pretty ugly. I told Karen, "You probably are lying just like you were before. But if you're not, there is one last thing I'll do for you. Take yourself down the road to the nearest abortion clinic and just send me the bill!"
I wasn't near as kind or gentle as the tone and lyrics in this song:
Karen left with my final words for her to send me the bill for aborting our baby. About three hours later she called me and told me that she had visited a post chaplain and told him that I wanted her to get an abortion and send me the bill. The first thing I thought of was the trouble my skinny little white hide was going to get into now especially if this post chaplain called my commanding officer and told him what I was doing.
I found out who the post chaplain was from Karen and then called him to set up an appointment for the next day after work so I could go and explain to him just what kind of woman Karen was before he called my commanding officer.
The meeting was set. Little did I know that it would cause me to reach the most serious Point Of Decision I had yet to know in my young life.
The story will continue... Stay tuned...