Mike Cope's blog

Thursday, August 12, 2004

No one should have to read this unedited gush of nostalgic memories. Hang in there and I'll get back to guacamole recipes soon. Besides, I've heard from my mother and she's enjoying it. (I'm building bridges here after blaming her for the whole embarrassing Nicholas Sparks incident.) There was that day on the Harding campus my junior year when I first saw Diane in Patty Cobb cafeteria. (Yes, I was a Cobb-er all four years. Only ate in Heritage to help friends--usually female--polish off unused parts of their ticket.) And this is where Harding comes so fully alive in my memory. We first actually met in my dorm room--when she (based on info that I would ask her out if I wasn't such a shy idiot) came during open house to ask me out for Sadie Hawkins week. I stuttered out an "I-just-hit-the-jackpot" yes. After that first date, when we went to the Rialto down on the square to see the full, unedited version of "Wilderness Family," our love kept building during walks. We walked at B-rock, through Harding's beautiful campus, around Harding park, to the College Church. I can still see her singing at the lilypool devotional; I can remember holding her hand while listening to Jim Woodroof preach. (All right, I probably wasn't listening at that point. Jim would understand.) I can see her playing volleyball for her club. (While I DID notice that she looked really good in tight jeans, it should be pointed out that I was not yet a preacher.) We got married May 11, 1978, and after a few days away came back for my graduation. When we left on May 14, we had little idea that six years later we'd be returning, two small kids in tow. As I reflect on this tonight, I think of all we've been through. And it makes me glad that I've had so long to love this incredible woman. That's one thing I'd like to excel in during my lifetime: I'd like to love one woman well. Honestly, I've failed too many times. My biggest regrets center on too much travel, especially during the Searcy years and the early Abilene years while Megan was still alive. Life with Megan was so difficult, and I think I didn't know (or chose not to know) just how hard it was when I was gone. I felt like I was turning people down all the time -- but there were all those trips to Jubilee, to Tulsa, to college retreats, to youth rallys, to university lectureships. Each one seemed important, but now I wonder how often I may have gone out of selfish motives. I don't think Matt felt cheated--he and I did LOTS of reading, wrestling, shooting hoops, playing ping-pong, etc. And Megan probably didn't feel left out, though because she couldn't speak (much), it was always hard to know. But I left too much to Diane. I wish I could have a do-over. Ah, regrets.


  • I think sometimes we get better at this life thing, the human thing, as time goes on when we realize we don't get do-overs. Or rainchecks. It's taken me this long (too long) to learn to love the fact that I've got today, regardless of what happened yesterday.

    Of course, you're lucky Diane apparently has a soft spot for 'shy idiots.' It's probably why she's put up with you for this long. ^_~

    By Blogger Q, at 8/12/2004 08:37:00 PM  

  • Q - More truth in that than you could possibly know. :)

    By Blogger Mike, at 8/13/2004 04:30:00 AM  


    Hearing Mike tell how he met Diane reminds me of how I met my better half.

    I was sitting in Bill "The Best Dressed Man at Harding" Lambert's Principles of Biblical Interpretation on the 3rd floor of the McInteer Building on the first day of the spring semester of my sophormore year. The class was full of bright, young Bible majors, and I was sitting next a friend of mine. By some good fortune, the only seat that was open (well, not counting those in the front row for the nerds) was the one directly to my left.

    About three minutes before class started, I looked up and in the doorway stood this vision of beauty with long blond hair and blue eyes, a great smile and who looked great in her jeans (I, too, was not a preacher yet!). At that moment, interpreting the Bible was about the last thing on my mind.

    Suddenly, as her eyes surveyed the room, she spotted the open seat next to mine, and started walking over. This was great: it meant she was not a huge, front-row nerd(!) and it meant I had a whole semester of thrice-weekly classes to get to know this fine specimen and charm her with my witty classroom antics. As she sat down to my left, I turned to my right and whispered to my pal, the first few words of "God has smiled on me..."

    But unfortunately, after two weeks of class, Sara found out she had a friend getting married on the day of our final. She asked Dr. Lambert if she could reschedule, he said no, and she dropped the class. Oh yeah, she also had a boyfriend at the time.

    But do you think those minor setbacks would deter me?

    As it happened, about a year and half later, on our wedding day, Sara gave me my wedding ring, and inscribed on the inside were the words "God has smiled on me."

    Ain't Harding grand? Like someone said, it ain't perfect, but I wouldn't trade my years there for anything (except maybe $40,000 to pay off my student loans!!!)

    By Blogger Greg Kendall-Ball, at 8/13/2004 06:37:00 AM  

  • Good story Greg. Oh, so touching. Way to be persistent.

    By Blogger Travis, at 8/13/2004 09:16:00 AM  

  • Does Diane read this blog? Really! I would love to hear her comments! But I bet after she agreed that you were a "shy idiot" and about all that being around earlier stuff, she would say she feels pretty lucky to be married to you! Just a guess.

    By Blogger SG, at 8/13/2004 11:07:00 AM  

  • I was a Patty Cobb alumni all 4 1/2 years. I don't know why, but I often felt it was a badge of honor to remain loyal to PC. I guess I felt I needed to be PC correct.

    By Blogger David Michael, at 8/13/2004 11:49:00 AM  

  • Let's see.... you read 5 books by Nicholas Sparks while at the beach, you have recently said that there are books inside of you waiting to break out. Others have made guesses about what some of those books might be. I am going to go out on a limb.

    A novel..... You are going to write a novel about a man who found himself in the limelight and then found his way back home.

    Naturally, those of the female persuasion will read it and cry. We will then prevail upon our husbands to read it. They will hate you for being so wise and sentimental.

    Someone will do a screen write and the movie will be released. We will pay careful attention as to how the movie differs from the book. Again, we will cry. And when it comes out on video, we will make it convenient for our husbands to watch it, too.

    Come to think of it, you may want to use a pen name. Or maybe you have. Perhaps, you are really Nicholas Sparks...

    By Blogger Serena Voss, at 8/13/2004 06:40:00 PM  

  • Serena,

    Would he lie to his mamma like that? ^_~

    By Blogger Q, at 8/13/2004 08:28:00 PM  

  • Q,

    You gotta point. Still, I think the novel is a good guess. Of course, I may be guilty of trying to create Mike in my own image!

    By Blogger Serena Voss, at 8/14/2004 05:05:00 AM  

  • I am NOT, repeat AM NOT, Nicholas Sparks. My nom de plume is John Grisham.

    By Blogger Mike, at 8/14/2004 03:20:00 PM  

  • So, John, when is your next book coming out?

    By Blogger Serena Voss, at 8/14/2004 08:33:00 PM  

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