For college, I decided to stay home and attend Pittsburg State University. During that time, I learned a few very important life lessons. For example, I ascertained that it is in poor taste to overcommit professionally. I also spent some time figuring out who I was.
Also during that time, my mother got sick again. I don’t talk about this much in passing, but I took a year off college, in part, to care for her. I also met a new friend during that time.
When I went back to college, I joined the university’s newspaper staff and eventually became an editor.
My new friend was Chris Wilson. I had completely forgotten about the transfer students, and one surprised me. He was friends with some people I had known for a very long time. After almost a year, Chris decided it would be OK for us to be a couple. I was obviously very patient then. Four short months later, we were engaged.
Only the months didn’t seem brief then. My mother’s health got progressively worse. We set the wedding date for almost five months later, hoping she could make it. Sadly, she didn’t.
Chris and I stayed in Pittsburg long enough for me to get my degree, then we were off to Springfield. At the time, my dad was living alone in Buffalo, Mo. He was by himself for the first time in about 30 years. Then he met a kind widow with no children of her own. Basically, there was more than enough room in her heart for a couple of kids, their significant others, grandpups and eventually grandchildren.
After about six years in Springfield, I finally found work where I thought I belonged: at a free clinic.
Meanwhile, Chris and I traveled. And we ate. And we went to concerts.
This concludes part two of my partial autobiography. To be continued.