God the Matchmaker or How I Met my Husband 5

These are musings about my faith~~

Please note: This is my corner where I talk about my faith and things related. If you're not a person of faith, time to click to another web page. I'm pretty much a straight talker. These are some of my faith-stories I'm writing down as seen through the eyes of someone who loves Jesus Christ.

I fail Him every day, but I still endeavor to see everything with His eyes and His heart.


I stood there frozen, the bearer of bad tidings totally unaware that she just said words that literally changed my life forever. I couldn't breathe. My impulse was to run to my good friends and that's just what I did. Bursting into the room of Rug (nic-name) and Danna (nic-name) I blurted out, "JC IS ENGAGED!"

They looked up from their desks and froze (they too were applying make-up to go out). It would have been comical had the pain that gripped my heart not felt like it would make it stop beating.

My other friends ran when they heard me hollering.

I was too distraught to cry. I just stood there - the pain rising in my chest ready to choke me. Rug and Donna got their wits about themselves and jumped up and ran to me not really knowing what to say or do, but mostly asking, "Are you sure Carol? How do you know this for sure?"

I told them about the call, how it all seemed to fit and they began to sadly agree, it all did seem to fit. Yet they urged me to find out for certain from the horses mouth and I agreed.

As I’ve written, I never called JC unless it was a return of his call to me. This was going to be a first. By this time the news had spread through the dorm - and a small crowd began to gather around me as I headed to the phone booths mid-way down our dorm hallway. My other close college buddy Jo-Die (nic-name) had joined everyone with concerned expressions and concern. There was whispering while I dialed JC’s company number.

I was still hanging onto a thread of hope like a life-line hoping somehow this was all a horrible misunderstanding. A cadet answered the phone and the wait for JC to take the call seemed like a block of eternity.

JC got on the line and the first thing I said – no hello, no “how are you?” -- was, "Did you give Cindy a miniature for Christmas?"

Silence.

I knew. My heart broke. It actually shattered. I didn't have a heart left. It just disintegrated into useless pieces.

Yet something inside me would not allow me to expose my grief to JC. Anger rose up in me like a banner and I shouted into the phone, "Well you [son of an unmarried woman] I hope you can sleep at night after what you've done!!" And I slammed down the phone. I never spoke another word to JC again until years and years later at my husband’s West Point class reunion. But that’s another Hub.

The floor was now a din of activity. Everyone gathered around me hugging me, saying all the bad names JC was, he wasn't worth it anyway - someone who would do something like that -- dating one girl for months after they had gotten engaged to another girl! What a pig! Etc. etc.

I have no clear memory about the rest of that night. I don't think I was able to even cry. At Ladycliff, Friday and Saturday nights you either had a date with a cadet, or you went home. If you stayed in the dorm, it would be empty except for the nuns. Staying in on a Friday or most importantly, a Saturday night could be one of the most depressing sights in the world as it would be you and the nuns. The place cleared out.

So I'm guessing I went with my girls somewhere on West Point, but I don't know where. The night is now a blur in my mind.

As the week progressed, I began to get phone calls from cadets who were friends of mine. I found out some things:
.

No one knew JC had gotten engaged. It was an absolute secret and other than Rich (JC's roommate who called me), no one knew. That was highly unusual. And apparently most cadets who found out thought JC was an embarrassment to the corps of cadets for doing what he did. Those who knew me really thought JC was a jerk because the guys who knew me well were keenly aware of how head over heels in love I was. Plus - what kind of guy would get engaged and then keep on dating? No one could understand what JC was thinking.

It may seem obvious in retrospect, JC was trying to "burn the candle on both ends". But cadets who knew him also knew when JC returned from Florida he wasn't exactly happy as most guys would be when they got engaged. He was in fact, sort of brooding and miserable. It was so, so puzzling.

Then there was the complete and total breakdown in the trust I had in my own sense of reading someone else, my own gut instinct. I really, really believed JC returned the love I felt for him. Maybe not as intensely, but on the occasion he let his guard down, I saw it in his eyes.

Of course, I did see this "struggle" he seemed to have from time to time, yet I also saw flashes of his unabashed feelings for me so evident, so plainly written across his face. Was that all an act? Every bit of it? How could I trust my own instincts ever again? It was as if I was set adrift on this vast choppy sea - floating on unchartered waters with no rescue in sight.

Soon, the coming weekend was fast approaching and I had no date yet. I somehow made it through the disastrous first weekend of knowing my “steady” guy was engaged while still dating me. But the next weekend and the next loomed ahead of me. My only option was to go to the Plebe (freshman cadet) dance. This may sound shallow - and it was - yet at that time, as a freshman who had had dates with upper class cadets here-to-fore, I couldn’t go “back” to attended a Plebe dance. Not and still save face. I couldn’t let JC find out this had happened. But my choices seemed limited.

If JC found out I went to the Plebe dance where Cruella Deville could get asked to dance...it just would not do. In other words, I would seem desperate because up to that point, I had never been to one.

So the Lord sent me an angel (God has been known to do that during my life – even when I didn’t recognize it for the heaven-sent thing it was).

God sent the “god” of cadets, John Curry. So during the week, out of nowhere, the dorm phone rang and when I answered, the soft low voice of John greeted me. John - as you recall - was in JC's company and knew JC quite well. He started off by saying, "I know what happened Carol. I'm really sorry. So I was hoping if you were free, you'd consider going out with me this weekend?"

WAS I FREE?! WOULD I CONSIDER GOING OUT WITH JOHN CURRY???

First, let me show you a pictures of my friend John.

Here I am with John at Jeff and Maureen's wedding.
Here I am with John at Jeff and Maureen's wedding.

I show you these pictures because of all approximately 4000 cadets who could have called me, of all the cadets who the Lord could have sent to save me from my humiliation - of all the cadets who could have taken pity on me, God sent me John Curry - the most jaw-dropping movie-star gorgeous cadet at the Military Academy. Here is more photo evidence why this gesture by John was such a massive ego boost at a time when I needed it more than I ever had.

Without these friends, I've told my children, they wouldn't exist! L-R Lucy (face obscured), Rug, Danna, Fanora, Jo-Die and me in front.
Without these friends, I've told my children, they wouldn't exist! L-R Lucy (face obscured), Rug, Danna, Fanora, Jo-Die and me in front.
It was those legs and all that testosterone that drew me in. Mark is in front on the left.
It was those legs and all that testosterone that drew me in. Mark is in front on the left.
Mark is in the air going for the ball. Those POWERFUL legs!
Mark is in the air going for the ball. Those POWERFUL legs!

The above photo was taken during the summer, near my home at a park. A number of cadets and the band and I had gotten together for a picnic and swimming.

Now I was no idiot, I knew John didn't like me more than just as a friend. Because I was his friend, I knew full well he was most partial to blondes. Also - he knew and I knew that my heart, while broken, was still firmly and solidly in love with JC regardless of the situation. Lastly - I had absolutely no doubt that he was just doing this to be a very nice guy. I also have no doubt that while I was at this time in my life unaware that John asking me out was a direct hug and kiss from the Lord God, I did know that it was a gift. God did this because while John asking me on a date did not mend my crushed heart, it sure did go far in boosting my self-esteem.

John went on to say that he'd also like to take me out on Friday with another mutual cadet friend just to go to McDonalds and drive around, but Saturday he'd be taking me out to dinner with two other couples.

Weekend dilemma solved and what was even more delicious was JC knew I thought John was a hunk. I hoped beyond hope that JC would squirm knowing I was out on a date with him. It just couldn't have gotten any better than that.

When I got off the phone and told my friends, once again the dorm burst into a flurry of activity, but this time, it was of a celebratory nature! I was an instant celebrity. Upperclassmen kept coming up to me through the week with comments like, "JOHN CURRY?! I've been dreaming of a date with this guy for two years and you get a date with him as a FRESHMAN?!"

My ego was certainly boosted and it was very much needed.

Being with John that weekend was absolutely a brightly gift-wrapped treasure from the Lord because he was a friend I felt totally comfortable with. I was the envy of my entire college, and I didn't have to worry about my feelings for my date because we both had an unspoken understanding that this was just friends. The date Saturday night was even more of an ego boost because I actually noticed the dates of the other cadets drooling over John - and he was oblivious to that, not only because he was modest and humble, but he had been paying rapt attention to me as if I was his dream date.

Still, in some unguarded moments, I retreated to my thoughts of JC and what had happened despite all of this attention.

Interestingly I found out a few more things about JC - he told John to tell me he'd remain a "monk" on the weekends so I didn't have to fear running into him. John said JC did seem pretty unhappy and that gave me an odd sort of comfort. Yet - if he was so unhappy I thought, why in heavens name did he do what he did? John also told me a lot of the guys thought JC was a complete jerk for doing what he did to me and JC was feeling the brunt of that.

After my weekend date with John - the following weeks I began to get calls from other cadet friends asking me out, to include one from JC's roommate. I'd end up going - but my heart wasn't in it. No matter where we'd go, to a movie or to an upper classman dance, to a concert - if we were on West Point, I'd always be looking for JC. True to his word (in this case) I never ran into him.

Summer came and went and many of the cadets who lived in New York or New Jersey or any area near my home stayed in touch.  During the summer I'd often have a houseful of cadets stay with my mother, gramma and me. They'd go to the bars (yes, in my former life I definitely sang in bars) to see me sing then they'd all crash at my house.  During the days we'd hit the beaches (thus the picture here of John during one of those visits).  John and I would hang out, always just very good friends and he always a terrific boost to my self-esteem. Whenever we were out together he'd treat me like a princess, something my tattered ego felt I didn't deserve. But I'd soak it up all up like a sponge.

The fall of my sophomore year arrived, and I still wasn't over JC, but only my closest friends knew. John knew of course, but I wouldn’t speak of it and I'd die rather than let JC have the satisfaction. If any of you ladies out there (I say ladies - most men wouldn't see this chick-flick) have seen Emma Thompson's "Sense and Sensibility" I can tell you, the two main character's broken hearts depicted (the actress Kate Winslet) was something I easily related to. The two sisters were never supposed to show their humiliation and feelings at the loss of their great loves. Marianne (played by Kate Winslet) wasn't quite so able to hide it and the scene where she sobs unrestrained was a scene I fell into completely. That was me during this time. The pain I felt was agonizing. Yet most of the time I couldn't show it. The spring had come and gone, a wonderful fun-filled summer was over, it was the fall and my dread at possibly running into JC left me nervous and extremely stressed. No matter how I tried, I still couldn't get over JC and that left me frustrated as well. It made for heart-felt singing when I was working in the band - which gave us bookings a year in advance.

During this time, Mark Van Drie began slipping back into the picture. He didn't ask me on a one on one date, it was a group thing. However, interaction with him even in group settings was always fun and I certainly noticed him above and beyond all of the others. He was so funny and so danged smart without being it in your face about it. He had jokes that would just make me howl with laughter and was an overall super fun guy to be around. But I liked things the way they were. I didn't believe I could ever trust another cadet enough to date them anyway, so keeping things as friends was just fine with me as long as my weekends were filled up.

Apparently Mark Van Drie had other plans and one day the dorm phone was for me and it was Mark. We talked casually and then he did something he never did before, he asked me to his Rugby game and then out afterwards. At first I just thought he meant afterwards he was inviting me to the Rugby party. No. After the rugby party, he wanted to take me out to dinner.

I was taken so off guard by his offer I just sputtered a yes and after that we got off the phone. My impulsive answer left me in a quandary. I liked this guy, a lot. I didn't want to ruin the nice friendship with DATING the guy.  Besides, I still wasn't over JC, and I definitely didn't trust these cadet guys beyond friendship! Now why would he go ahead and ruin such a good thing like that by asking me out?

I ran to my dorm buddies and told them what happened. They immediately sprung into action telling me I was NUTS if I didn't go out with this guy. I hemmed and hawed and said I could always call back and cancel and they read me the riot act. First of all, I would be depriving them of having a perfect excuse to go to one of these games to meet a whole other set of hunky cadets. Second of all, Mark Van Drie was SO CUTE why wouldn't I want to go out with him?!

My answer: He's a good friend and if things don't work out as more than friends, I'll lose a friend.

That answer was met with a ton of protests and logical reasons why I should at least try a date with the guy because ONE date didn't mean a romance!

True. But he dresses goofy!

I saw Mark in civilian clothes a few times and his taste in clothes was sorely lacking to put it mildly...

To which my buddies said, "Hey, if he ends up your boyfriend, you can change that so easily!"

True again.

All my protests seemed to fall to the ground, so I kept the date for that coming Saturday purely based on my friend's arguments.

Thank you God for wise friends.

And it was prior to that date I saw Mark Van Drie at the game in his rugby shorts for the very first time and it was that sight that caused me to think and say out loud, "Hmmmmm...not bad, not bad at all...I guess I could go on some dates with this guy..." And my girlfriends all unanimously and enthusiastically agreed as they ogled the other available cadets in their ruby attire.

Never ever dreaming that as the song goes, "God blessed the broken road that led me straight to you..."

And I was also unaware that God answered the many, many unanswered questions I carried even years later, about why JC did the awful thing he did...

To be continued...

RASCAL FLATTS 

"Bless The Broken Road"



I set out on a narrow way many years ago


Hoping I would find true love along the broken road

But I got lost a time or two


Wiped my brow and kept pushing through


I couldn't see how every sign pointed straight to you


chorus

Every long lost dream led me to where you are


Others who broke my heart they were like northern stars


Pointing me on my way into your loving arms


This much I know is true


That God blessed the broken road


That led me straight to you

I think about the years I spent just passing through


I'd like to have the time I lost and give it back to you


But you just smile and take my hand


You've been there you understand


It's all part of a grander plan that is coming true

chorus



Every long lost dream led me to where you are


Others who broke my heart they were like northern stars


Pointing me on my way into your loving arms


This much I know is true


That God blessed the broken road


That led me straight to you


Now I'm just rolling home


Into my lover's arms


This much I know is true


That God blessed the broken road


That led me straight to you


That God blessed the broken road


That led me straight to you.

More by this Author


Comments 15 comments

Tom Whitworth profile image

Tom Whitworth 6 years ago from Moundsville, WV

cjv,

First a question,why is the comment section in the middle of your hub?

Second two comments:

1. Great hub!!!!!!! Clicked all positive buttons!!!!

2. This reminds me of the saying of Albert Einstein which I quote "Every man falls in love with a woman hoping she will never change and every woman falls in love with a man plotting how to change him thus both are doomed to be dissapointed!"


cjv123 profile image

cjv123 6 years ago from Michigan Author

LOL! Thanks Tom! I fixed the comment section. I messed around with it too much this morning and then got confused! And your saying is so right!

Thanks so much for the encouragement and your hitting the "positive buttons"!


Ladybird33 profile image

Ladybird33 6 years ago from Georgia USA

Loved this story, great hub!!! thanks for sharing it was wonderful.


cjv123 profile image

cjv123 6 years ago from Michigan Author

Thanks Ladybird33 - it's just about done! There's like a post-script to the story - so I hope you "stay tuned."


sheila b. profile image

sheila b. 6 years ago

I'm glad it's not finished, I've enjoyed reading this story.


cjv123 profile image

cjv123 6 years ago from Michigan Author

Awww Sheila, you're too sweet! ;-)


tom hellert profile image

tom hellert 6 years ago from home

cjv,

First off Sense and Sensability is not necessarily a chick flick-its a knock-off of Pride and Prejudice which is one of my favorite mini-series to watch withwife, Infact our second cat is named "Mr. Darcy" i know i know i like pride and Prejudice sense and Sensability and have cats...but still a very interesting story poor JC sounds like and idiot that my wife dated just before me....he broke off their engagement and was dateing someone a few weeks later i shall have to Hub my story of deceived love.

TH


billyaustindillon profile image

billyaustindillon 6 years ago

Have to say love the Rugby Shots - good to see cjv :) The hub was great of course, sharing such personal thoughts.


cjv123 profile image

cjv123 6 years ago from Michigan Author

Thank you so much billyasutindillion! That's nice of you to say and so nice of you to take the time to leave your comments! Thanks!


lambservant profile image

lambservant 6 years ago from Pacific Northwest

I knew it would be Mark. Can't wait for the final installment...


cjv123 profile image

cjv123 6 years ago from Michigan Author

Thank you so kindly for your great positive words lambservant!


Beauty N Beast 4 years ago

When is part two?! So excited i really hope that this story does not comprise of any lies or exaggerated details to embellish the story because it sounds Really good. Its really inspiring too. Thanks for writing


cjv123 profile image

cjv123 4 years ago from Michigan Author

This was part 5 I have all parts of the story Beauty posted already. I'm traveling right now and my internet connection is very slow or I'd just list all the links for you. Thanks for your interest!


Laura 2 years ago

Hi I found your site by accident when I was researching Ladycliff. I went to Ladycliff from 1978 to 1980. Did not get to graduate due to the closing. I can relate to your stories as many ladies from our school could. Great memories. I will continue to follow your stories.


cjv123 profile image

cjv123 2 years ago from Michigan Author

Hi Laura - I don't write here on Hubpages any more - I do have my own website www.carolspieceofmind.com where I and other write. I host a website for conservative Judeo/Christian minded writers. But to answer your question, yes, I did graduate in 1979 Thank God. There was one more class after me then it closed. So what did you do when it closed or were you the class of 1980? That must have been such a hard thing to do - have the school shut down before you graduated. I was very blessed to receive my degree in 1979. Thanks for stopping buy and leaving a comment.

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