THE FIRST HALF--- OF MY TWO-PART STORY.
"AND HE WILL RAISE YOU UP--ON EAGLES WINGS---"
Everyone knows it’s impossible to re-kindle a fire---using long-ago ashes. In the early seventies, Bob and I lived near each other in a small Condominium Complex in Little Rock, Arkansas. We started dating and enjoyed each other’s company for several years. Needing more space for my daughters and me….I moved into a house miles from my former condo and, before long, Bob and I were seeing less and less of each other.
There was a point when Bob, six years younger than me, began asking me to marry him but, having never been married….Bob just didn’t seem ready for the responsibility of a ready-made family. My children were fond of Bob; Bob was a fun-kind-of-guy. Yet…Bob seemed too-casual about life…and I wasn’t ready to chance another marriage-mistake.
From time to time, I’d get a phone call from Bob. He eventually moved to New Orleans and, occasionally, when he’d come back to Little Rock to visit family, we’d have dinner together. One day, Bob called to tell me he’d won a seven-day cruise...for two…on Norwegian Cruise Lines for being his company’s Top Salesman, and he wanted me to join him for the trip.
The Plan: Bob's company would fly me from Little Rock to Miami where I would join Bob and, together, we’d climb aboard a Luxurious Cruise Ship and cruise the waters of The Caribbean for seven days. It was summertime, my daughters were out of school, and my parents agreed to “baby sit” so…I said “yes”. I pictured myself swimming, jogging, writing, reading, and relaxing in the sun but never-once did I picture myself holding on to the ship’s railing, studying the choppy water far below, and contemplating…..jumping overboard.
We’d been aboard the cruise ship for about two hours when everyone gathered for dinner. It didn’t take long to realize that EATING is the biggest “activity” for cruise ship passengers; EATING is the “Main Event”!!!!
When Bob and I were escorted to our table…I was stunned to learn that six people from his company had also won tickets for the cruise and would be our constant companions for the seven day trip. Okay, I took a few deep breaths…relaxed… and accepted that I was now part of a group rather than part of a couple. What I quickly learned….and immediately deemed unaccepted…. was that Bob’s personal and unmarried secretary….who seated herself on the other side of Bob...assumed I knew she and Bob had been a twosome for some time. So….where did that leave me?!?!?
Bob’s explanation was simple: He thought we could renew our relationship during the cruise and that his secretary----who was fun but not interesting-enough to marry---- would “get the message”, probably find a love-interest during the cruise, then turn her back on Bob. It was the craziest, most ridiculous situation I could ever imagine and….it was time for me to go home!
So…for the next 6 hours...I had serious discussions with the ship’s doctor, the ship’s captain, and every official on the ship. They needed to understand that I must be re-located, moved as far from Bob and his group and--- as soon as possible. I never wanted to see Bob and his group at meals, in the halls, or be near them at any events. The ship was large and all I asked of the ship's staff was to keep my path from crossing that of the enemy… for the remainder of the cruise.
The room the staff assigned me was tiny, had no windows, and was located near the ship’s enormous kitchen. For two nights I struggled with sea sickness, deafening noise all around me, and mounting claustrophobia. On the third day, I visited the upper deck, desperate for fresh air and sunshine and… that’s when it hit me. I must get off this ship...now! We were scheduled to make a stop tomorrow but only for refueling; Passengers would not be allowed to leave the ship. I knew me all-too-well; I had to get off this ship and back home, immediately. I'd reached my "limit."
I looked down at the water far below and thought about my only alternative. Yes, it was either JUMP or try to endure another night from Hell. Could I do it…..Would I do it?!?!?!?
Join me here—tomorrow-- when I explain the miracle that happened--- a miracle so unique that only God, himself, could have arranged it. The Angel-- God sent to rescue me--truly had wings. You’ll be impressed when you learn how my Angel was able to fly me, safely, home.
Who knew that I’d be sitting in an old airport, in a town called St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands, when an Angel would shout my name—out loud---and—in return, I would reach-out to grab him, hug him---and love him.
See you tomorrow. The best is yet to come.