This week, I want to share with you a story that is somewhat on a more serious level than previous post's, but very powerful, and ultimately, very rewarding. I just felt a need to tell it, albeit, with my
I met Donna's two daughters in early 1999 for the first time. They were 14 and 11 years old at that time. Lauren, the oldest, had an "on again-off again" boyfriend named Stephen. I would learn that they had been friends since 6th grade. Over the next few years, I would also learn that Stephen, and yes, Lauren, would test my patience to the absolute extreme.
I'll be blunt... there's no hiding it, there's no getting around it, and to give this particular story justice, I have to start with this statement: Drugs are evil!!! Beyond all the "social posturing," drugs can absolutely suck the life out of not only the individual user, but his and/or her family and friends as well. In more ways than one, we've "been there, done that." Stephen started out like a lot of teenagers by smoking pot. But, as time went by, over the next few years, he stepped up his "game" by branching out, using other and stronger drugs, drinking alcohol, and then, he also started selling drugs as he spiraled more and more out of control. Stephen's "world" came crashing down late one night in League City, Texas, when he fell asleep in his car, at a gas station. He was awakened by a knock on the window. When he opened his eyes, he saw that he was surrounded by police officers. He opened his door and was immediately thrown to the ground. Inside his car was his "shaving kit" bag. It was full. On this night, there were no toiletries in that bag. He was arrested and taken to jail.
Over the next several years, there would be another 4 or 5 arrests, some jail time, all pretty much from similar type episodes. In 2004, Stephen and Lauren were married. Through a few of those "next several years," Stephen and Lauren lived with Donna and I. There were battles, for sure. I would step out of my front door on many mornings and look to my immediate right and see the window screen from their bedroom off and to the side. Another night of mischievous activity
Stephen and Lauren eventually moved to an apartment of their own, but their troubles were not over. Also, as Stephen was going through this, he had a seizure... and would go on to have a total of 7 seizures. As his world reached a depth that seemingly could not get any deeper in 2007, he and his parents "checked" him into a Treatment Center, Bay Area Recovery, in Dickinson, Texas. That would become his residence for the next 5 months. During those 5 months, among the many things associated with recovery, Stephen worked the Alcoholics Anonymous "12 Steps" to sobriety. October 22, 2007, would commence his new "world" of sobriety. While at Bay Area Recovery, Stephen would also find and reestablish with God. And in doing so, his "world," his life, would forever change.
Shortly after leaving Bay Area Recovery, Stephen and Lauren would separate. And their separation would last approximately 4 years. But during those 4 years, Stephen became even stronger in his faith. He also knew that he loved Lauren and he waited. And he waited
Several months ago, while having dinner with friends, Stephen was absolutely in the right place, at the right time, as the gentlemen he was having dinner with, pitched a "deal" to Stephen to purchase and take over his local business of 30 plus years. A business that caters exactly to Stephen and Lauren. Surfing, skateboarding, hip clothing, etc. The takeover is imminent, pending some final legal paperwork to be completed. I truly believe God put Stephen and Lauren at that dinner, that night, with that business owner. And now, their career is about to take off.
|Contemplating his next move...|
I recently came across this quote and want to share it here: "It's never too late to be who you might have been." ...George Eliot
|Earlier Stephen & Lauren...|
|A very recent pic of the Happy Couple...|
Recipe's: For Stephen's recent 28th Birthday, Donna & I bought him his "favorite" charcoal grill. On it, he loves to grill, and has become quite the expert at, Baby Back Ribs.
|A pic on "Break In" night...|
Libations Anyone???: In honor of Stephen, this week I am highlighting his favorite drink(s) of choice(s)... and I think it just might be a tie between Flavored Coffee and Mountain Dew Soda. Cold Iced Tea is probably a close second.
Music: I asked Stephen what his favorite music was... He's a "rocker" to be sure, but he likes to listen to Christian Radio Station KSBJ from the Houston area. He loves Christian Rock.
Market Watch: A tee-tiny bit of a down week for Facebook, as it dropped from its stay of the last couple of weeks to 30.81, down now a little over 7 points.
The End: I truly hope you enjoyed this story and its very Happy Ending. It all goes down in Slu's World. I really appreciate you checking in and hope you will come back for more. Thank You very much.
Be safe, be smart, and always smile... It's "Happy Friday"