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Amy, the cheerleader
Certainly one of the things which knit our hearts together, was Amy's God-given ability to encourage, to cheer me on.
In late August, I spent quite a bit of time on the radio addressing the travesty of justice in Pensacola, Florida where a man was trying to convince the court to kill his physically and mentally handicapped wife, Terri Schiavo, through dehydration and starvation.
Contrary to the false reports of the liberal media, Terri was not in a coma nor a persistent vegetative state. Neither was she on some kind of heart or lung machine. She simply had a feeding tube in her for the convenience of her care givers who didn't want to hand feed her by mouth because they felt it would take too long.
In the midst of the cruel judicial decision to remove her feeding tube, I called on KSLR listeners to fast with me to identify with the hunger pains that Terri was feeling.
Amy, ever the cheerleader, gave me a card on August 26, 2003.
"Dear Adam, I'm so proud of you for fasting to speak out against what's being done to Terri Schiavo. God definitely sees and knows the intentions of your heart. Thanks for taking a stand against the death of Terri Schiavo by her selfish, heartless husband. - Amy"
She had come from a party background. I had never gotten into that scene. Throughout her teenage years, she had listened to the popular rock 'n roll. I preferred the real oldies station featuring Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole or classical music since I had grown up playing the clarinet. Outside of that, since there was no Christian music station in Stamford, Connecticut, I listened to a fair amount of Christian music on tape, like Amy Grant's "Age to Age." This was between the 8-track and CD eras.
Her family never brought out the china, preferring paper plates and napkins for easy clean-up. My family ate our meals using the china and silverware on a daily basis around a candlelit dining room table.
She tended to succumb to peer pressure. I prided myself in being a non-conformist, not afraid to stand out in a crowd.
And I wanted a large family - perhaps six children. She wasn't married to a specific number or size. That difference was especially palpable at a Family Life Weekend seminar which we attended at the Omni Hotel off I-10 in San Antonio.
The Family Life Weekend was eye-opening
During one of the breaks, as we ate lunch at the Thai Orchid, I remember going around in circles over our differences on how many children we wanted, should we ever tie the knot.
"Adam, how can I commit to a specific number of children, before I have even one?" asked Amy.
"Well, I realize that on some level, this discussion is fairly hypothetical. Besides, you would be the one going through the rigors of childbirth."
"But I still believe that a couple should have basic agreement. Small family. Large family. Or no family. For me, I just feel as though the Lord is leading me in the direction of a large family."
"What if I can't have children?" she inquired.
"We could always adopt," I countered.
"Plus, you're pretty committed to us homeschooling our future kids."
"Absolutely. The public school system is a mess, not to mention the fact that they push evolution, a liberal revisionist history and the homosexual agenda. Ever since I've been a talk show host, I've been thoroughly impressed with the homeschooled children and families I've met. The kids tend to score several grade levels higher than even their private school counterparts. Not to mention the fact that they're impeccably behaved, enjoy a special bond with their parents and know the Word of God better than most Christian adults."
"Well," remarked Amy, "I haven't been exposed to that option as much as you have. Homeschooling is a big step."
"I know it is."
Needless to say, that Family Life Weekend seminar was the Toto in our lives from The Wizard of Oz, pulling back the curtain, as it were, revealing some of our pronounced differences and underscoring some of my concerns about whether we should enter into a lifelong covenant before God and family.
The Family Life Weekend was a real wake-up call. It forced us to think through some of our concerns and differences in a whole new way.
Ultimately, I decided that the chasm between us was too large for one of us to pole vault to the other side. So, sometime before Thanksgiving, I decided to break up with Amy.
There were tears aplenty from both of us. On the one hand, there was such a unique and compelling connection. One that I had never before experienced in my dating life. On the other hand, I felt as though our differences were substantial.
Looking back, I've got to admit that the list of things I wanted in my future wife was pretty long. Christian? Check. Attractive? Check. Long hair? Check. Younger than me so we could have more than one or two children? Check. Funny? Check. A woman who respected me? Check. Passion to have a large family? No. Love of entertaining? No. Virgin? No. Voracious reader? No.
No doubt my age was a contributing factor to how committed I was to finding some kind of elusive "perfect" woman. After all, I wasn't 19 or 25. I was 38. It seemed that the older I got, the longer my list became and the less flexible I was.
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