Friday, February 12, 2010
Forks In The Road
When I was a young man growing up in Missouri I had several crossroads in my life. One in particular was a decision on whether I would become a Catholic Priest. As I think back on it now I'm not real sure if I wanted to be a preist or I was just guided in that direction by family members. Anyway, the plans were laid for me to start into the seminary during my 7th year in school.
I've mentioned my Uncle Sam in several previous posts. He was one year older than me and more like a brother than an uncle. We had made two previous trips to visit my aunt in Kingfisher Oklahoma during our summer vacations from school. And so we were headed that direction once more during the summer break prior to my going into the seminary. We boarded a train at Laplata Missouri and headed for Kingfisher just as we had done the two previous times. I might add, you wouldn't put two twelve year olds by theirselves on a long train trip in this day and age. But no one thought twice about it back then.
We arrived at my aunts and she managed to keep us busy and intertained. She knew I loved horses and made plans for us to visit the farm of one of her friends so I could ride some horses. Just so happens they had a daughter my age. Her name was Betty Wolf, and I was immediatly attracted to her. We became close friends in the short time I spent at my aunts.
I had a lot of things on my mind on my train ride back to Missouri. I thought about the fact that priests don't marry and I thought about Betty. Matter of fact, I thought a 'lot' about Betty. I came to the realization that I would not be able fufill that desire to be close with the opposite sex if I became a priest. So, on that ride home I made a decision that I would have to face my family and tell them I just couldn't go into the seminary that fall.
Telling them that was a difficult thing to do. It took courage on my part, because I knew how much some of my family members were counting on me. It was a decision I have no regrets about today.
This time I think I made the right choice at the fork. Other times the paths have been hurled at me so fast it was hard to make a good decision or I lacked the courage. Still others seem to have been decided by fate. I haven't seen Betty Wolf since. But I have always wanted to thank her for changing my life in a positive way.
Picture is of me. Age 12. Taken in the fall of my 7th year in school. The smile says a lot more than people realize. X.