Opening my eyes this morning I started to focus out the window on the crisp blue darkness just prior to twilight…
Then it hit me!…
At this moment, 20-years ago, I was on the highest of highs! One of the very few times that God spoke directly to me, undeniably. For those who believe in a God that loves you wildly & specifically, you may find this encouraging. If God is something you don’t believe in, you can chalk these details up to my blissful ignorance… & hormones!
It was November 9, 1995. I had been talking with a young lady from Concord, NC for almost 3 months. I was beyond flattered that she drove the 550 miles north to visit this “guy from NJ”. We talked the night away: life experiences, family cultures, and life’s twists & turns. As the morning hours progressed: The depths of life, celebrations, regrets, distinctions, and then lengthy pondering about her imminent 2-year term as a tutor in the south of India.
At 5:45 AM we looked towards the window and saw the night transitioning to twilight. Without skipping a beat Kristen innocently suggested that we go watch the sunrise in my favorite field close by. Those words were the most romantic words I had ever heard! The conversation continued as I pointed my Ford Bronco towards the brightest point on the horizon.
As the sun came up conversation awkwardly ceased. Sleep deprivation combined with sharing our life stories and apparent mutual ambitions seemed to reach an overflow point…. and we both realized it. I vividly recall the blur as I exited the truck and floated around to open her door. As the sun crept higher and the embrace wonderfully prolonged, that’s when I experienced the audible voice of God in a depth and dimension like never before. A voice so gentle – yet compelling me to the deepest of my core…I felt an immediate change in my stature as if instantly growing from the inside out… as if I transitioned to another level of manhood in a simple few seconds…
The words simply were, “She is for you, Take care of Her”
In the 20 years since, life has been an amazing journey. Certain lows and countless highs. 3-Children that reflect so many of our traits. Traits that make us laugh & shake our heads. Traits that make our heads shake as jaws drop in amazement. They are always up to something fun.
Kristen has a fierce loyalty, unwavering integrity, and a diligence that I never saw coming. The people that enjoy who I am professionally from the stage are actually enjoying much of her in me. I simply couldn’t be who I am without her. I gave Kristen Joy Kerwood my last name, and she, in turn, gave me her middle.
I’ll never forget those words.
“She is for you. Take care of her.”
Our family’s best times are when we:
- Accept each as our own.
- Take care of each other.
If 20-years is a score, Here’s to 4-score more!
And may the generations pass the baton!!!