Now or Never
I grew up in a tiny town in Georgia, one where everyone knows your name and who your parents are. My mom is a well to do lady with a perfection complex when it comes to cleaning the house. Dad is every bit a southerner, with some rock and roll sprinkled on top. My brother and I had everything we needed growing up, even when my mom and dad lost their job at the same time, we still never went hungry. I remember starting every school year with brand new clothes that I picked out alongside my mom. When times would get tough, my mom’s tough demeanor never let it show. That is until she got in the car wreck that would forever change her life.
Driving home one afternoon, she noticed a truck behind her where a bee or wasp had flown in, and the person was desperately trying to get it away from it. As soon as she noticed this, she immediately put all of her strength into keeping her car stopped to avoid causing damage to the vehicle in front of her. The impact was so hard that her seat had broken and laid her on her back flat. After everything was said and done, she finally made it home, and I saw her sitting on the floor in front of our gas heater. She had been crying. I asked her what happened and she immediately responded, “That car is cursed.” A few days later we found out that the person that sold the car to my mom had gotten it “hot” through a very shady deal. Having been twisted in the accident, she still deals with back problems to this day. Without her, I would not have gotten through the spiral of depression I would find myself in through my teenage years.
Many years later, my brother and I faced a very different car accident. As we were driving through a four-way intersection, a van decided not to stop at their stop sign. We hit the van in its side panel and spun our car in place. I remember the officer telling us that if we were in any other vehicle, the hood would have decapitated us both. Thankfully, we suffered only soreness from tensing before impact. We settled out of court, and I got my first computer out of the deal. This computer started me down a path I would have never imagined I could go.
Flash forward to 22 years old, I got married. This relationship was rocky after a couple of years, and with my ongoing studies in the realm of Information Technology, I had slowly realized I was not enjoying the life I was leading. My marriage felt incomplete, and I had an undying feeling of slowly sinking into a pit. While my personality always seemed to have depression and anxiety involved, I could not come out of this feeling like I was normally able to. This feeling was a sinkhole that I could not shake. My mom had also noticed, and even though she tried to get me to tell her, I felt like I couldn’t. A few years pass, and I am going through my online courses with ease. I make it into a networking course, where the people involved seemed to be impatience with my schoolwork pace. At the time I was working full time, so I had to do schoolwork on the weekends. A voice of reason comes into my group and tells them, “She works very quickly so give her some time.” He then messages me and gives me some resources that will assist in my endeavors, and I thank him. I was able to get the work done the same day. A couple of weeks pass, and he informs us (his learning team) that his dad was diagnosed with bladder cancer and to please excuse his absence. I quickly told him that I would gladly help if he needed anything. Fast forward to the end of class, and this man tells me something I will never forget: “You make me smile.” I had never had anyone say this to me. I was fascinated by him. Everything I had read from his responses to forums in class to the work he had put into our team made me want to learn more about him. After class was over, I found his phone number on a roster, and I sent him a text. We talked for hours that day about our hopes, our dreams, our current living situation (of which I was very honest about, mentioning that I am married but am working toward getting the money up to file for divorce). This man was unlike anyone I had ever met. He is knowledgeable, loves metal music (like I do), and knew what he wanted out of life. He told me he wanted a love like his mom and dad to have, an undying love that makes it through any endeavor. I fell in love with him instantly.
A month passes, and we decide to meet up. This trip was not an easy feat, as this man lives all the way in Massachusetts. His parents assisted in flying him down to Georgia, and we stay together for a weekend. I did not care what my husband at the time thought and felt like I couldn’t tell my parents who I was meeting with, mostly because of the fear online dating has created from the get-go. I trust him completely, and he trusts me. The weekend was full of life stories. Diagnosed with Lyme disease, bacterial meningitis had taken its toll on him. He had lost the ability to walk, almost passed away twice, and had a port of antibiotics going straight to his heart. Most people would see this as a negative, feeling he is frail. Not me, if anything I feel he appreciates his survival and the life he gets to continue. He became my hero. When I took him back to the airport to say goodbye, I felt my heart crush. I called a friend that night to help me make the drive back home, and she could barely understand me because I was so distraught. I told her “I am incomplete without him and I have to fix this now.” The next day, I visited a lawyer and filed for divorce using the money given to me by my soulmate. I packed up what little I had to my name and my two cats, and moved back in with my mom.
Everything went swimmingly for the next month. We spent every night on video chat and discussed our plans for the future. He told me “come home,” of which, to me, meant coming home to his arms. So I did. I packed everything into my little car. Then the nor'easter hit. For anyone who doesn’t know what a nor'easter is, it’s a massive amount of snow that comes on very suddenly. He had planned to meet me in Atlanta and come back to meet my parents. After two weeks of flights canceled, he finally found one that would get him to North Carolina. With tears in my eyes, I said goodbye to my mom and dad, and promised I would come home soon. On my birthday in 2016, I drove to a place I had never been to before, with a man I had only met in person once. My cats were heavily sedated, and the drive took us 15 hours, but we made it safely.
I stayed in Massachusetts for two years, missing my mom and dad more with each passing video chat. We decided to visit via flight, and everything he had seen of the countryside had entranced him. So he informed me he would love to live in Georgia versus the very cold Massachusetts. After we both completed college, we decided to move back home. We got married by years end.
Even when we think some chances are too good to be true, think back on all of those times we just tried to stay alive. If it hadn’t been for my mom and a very sturdy built car, I wouldn’t be here today. Not everyone will meet someone 1100 miles away, uproot their entire life to go live with them, then convince them to come back. I am thankful that the one time life told me to take the most significant chance I decided to step up. Eat the cake, make someone smile, become engrossed in what you love. After all, you never know when fate will come calling.