After being a single mother for quite awhile, balancing home, family, career and schooling, I had the most stupid thought that I had enough time to add marriage back into my life. Of course, who would be interested in a middle aged, single mother of five? I couldn’t imagine that anyone would even take a second look at me. Why would they? I didn’t have much to offer as I was also living in my ex-husband’s house which was on the verge of foreclosure. I couldn’t even offer a man a home!
I opted to look into online dating services. Being reserved and introverted, there was little that intimidated me more than making a personal appearance and somehow the internet seemed safer to me. Soon after I put my information online, I saw Kerry’s photo. I read his profile. I just knew he wouldn’t be interested in me. The next day, he sent me a message!
We traded emails and chatted in an online chat room before we talked on the phone. We ended up talking for hours that first time. I was surprised to find out that we knew the same people even though he lived nearly two hours from me. He even knew my neighbor who told me that Kerry was a great man. He was a simple, kind, loving, service-oriented kind of man -I was told. Kerry and I set up a time to meet on a Sunday afternoon. He brought his daughter with him. (That makes six children between the two of us!) He came in his suit. We visited in my home and took a walk with all of the children and one very hyper little dachshund -mine.
What sealed the deal for me? Acts of service. My neighbor knocked on my door, frantically needing a tool. His sewage had backed up and was filling up his basement. Kerry -in his Sunday suit -borrowed a t-shirt, rolled up his pant legs and worked all afternoon, helping my neighbor. Later that same week, he changed two flat tires for drivers stuck on the edge of the road. I was invited to help him move someone. He always worries about someone else’s needs and serves with the biggest smile. He loves people and listens to them with both ears wide open!
I will brag on him to anyone who will listen. Why? Because he personifies lifelong learning. In May of 2015, he graduated from Purdue University with a BS. He specializes in supply chain and project management. He has even been published in Six Sigma! This humble man, a father of grown children, who doesn’t think much of himself had to work very hard to complete his degree. I am proud of him.
I have been very blessed to have someone in my life who loves to serve, work hard and learn something new each day.
By Tracy Atkinson
Tracy Atkinson, mother of six, lives in the Midwest with her husband. She is a teacher, having taught elementary school to higher education, holding degrees in elementary education and a master’s in higher education. Her passion is researching, studying and investigating the attributes related to self-directed learners. She has published several titles, including The Art of Learning Journals, Calais: The Annals of the Hidden, Lemosa: The Annals of the Hidden, Book Two, Rachel’s 8 and Securing Your Tent. She is currently working on a non-fiction text exploring the attributes of self-directed learners: The Five Characteristics of Self-directed Learners.