Driving down a deserted Indiana road, I saw a "fresh lemonade" sign and pulled over. I had expected a filling station or small store, but to my surprise, it was a house. An old man sat on the porch. I got out of my car; nobody else was around. He poured me some lemonade and offered me a seat. It was so peaceful; nothing but cornfields, sky and sun in view.
We talked about the weather and my trip. He asked if I had family. I explained that I had just gotten married and hoped to have children someday. He seemed pleased that family still mattered to some folks.
Then he told me his story. I share it because it is one I cannot forget.
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"There's something special about families. A wife, children, a home of your own. The peace of mind that comes with doing the right thing. I remember being your age." He said.
“I didn't think I'd have a chance at marriage. I didn't have the greatest family. But I persevered. Both parents loved me tremendously, and now I realize their intentions for me were good. But it was tough. Many nights I remember lying in bed, thinking, I'm not going to risk having divorce happen to me. A wife? A family? Why? I was convinced I would never risk exposing my kids to divorce.”
"As a teenager, I experienced new emotions. I didn't believe in love, though. I thought it was only infatuation. I had this friend. In eighth grade she had a crush on me. We were afraid to let each other know how we felt, so we just talked. She became my best friend. All through high school we were like peas and carrots." He grinned.
"She had problems in her family, too. I tried
to help her out. I did my best to take care of her.
She was smart, and beautiful, too. Other young fellas
wanted her to be theirs. And since this is between
you and me," he winked,
"We tried going out once but things blew up and we didn't talk for nine months. Then one day in class I got up the nerve to write her a note. She wrote back and things slowly picked up again. Then she went to college."
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The old man poured us more lemonade.
"I wanted to play baseball. I got turned down from school after school and finally was accepted by a small school, also in Minnesota! It was so ironic. When I told her, she cried.”
"We began dating. I remember kissing her for the first time in my room. My heart beat very fast. I was afraid of rejection. But our relationship grew.”
“After college, I did get to play baseball. Then, I married that sweet girl of mine. I never would have believed I'd be walking down the aisle."
Lemonade and a Love Story Part 1 | 2
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