Meredith and Matthew were beautiful children. I loved them very much. They were ideal. I don’t remember any problems out of them. We had lots of fun together.
I remember one time Matthew was eating some food from a paper plate on a metal folded chair at the Academy of the Arts. An African-American kid asked him if he was coming back to the Academy next year. He told the kid that he could not. He was going to another school. I was standing behind him listening to him talking to his friend, two 6-year olds having a chat. He was going to begin the first or second grade at Summit Elementary. I did not respond well. My heart was sinking by the moment. My son was changing schools; I could do nothing about it. It was a sad day..
The first summer or maybe the second summer after they left I went to the circus with them at the old Greenville Braves Stadium parking lot on Mauldin Road. The kids were there. I began to rub Meredith’s back. She was six or seven years old. She was wearing a bra. I did not respond well, again. I said some unkind words to her mom. Unfortunately I can say dumb things. I’m not sure what happened after that. It didn’t get better, that much I remember. It was another sad day for me. I could see what was happening and was helpless to do anything about it. My kid’s lives were spinning out of control from my perspective. My heart was bursting. Divorce is twisted. Life goes sideways when one is divorced and never seems to straighten out.
About four years after the split I asked the kids what one thing they wanted in all of life. We were staying with Mama Grant in Wingate, NC. We were walking around the campus of Wingate University. It was a summer night. Matthew told me that all he wanted was for his daddy and mommy to get together again. That was his dream, his desire. That ripped my heart out.
Sometime later I asked them what they thought about me dating again. A year or so after the divorce I wanted to start dating, but I didn’t know how they would respond to that, particularly if I got married and had other children. I think it was Meredith that said that she just wanted me to be happy. That was very releasing. I think, for the most part, they have not been jealous of my new wife and new kids.