Twice blessed, and not afraid of cooties

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, March 13, 2024

By Les Ferguson Jr.

We were in kindergarten. While the name has slipped away over time, I still remember my first girlfriend and what I told my mom about her: She had soft skin. 

Girls never had cooties in my book. No sir, no ma’am. Cooties were not a thing to be concerned about. You didn’t have to chase me on the playground; I was willing to be caught! 

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Throughout my junior high and high school years, there was always a young lady or three to be interested in. And, of course, like most of the male species, I did my best to incur their interest as well. Sometimes, I was successful; sometimes, I crashed and burned. 

Eventually, high school graduation came along, college began, and life continued. I figured I’d eventually meet the girl who would capture my heart. Little did I know, I would meet her at my house. I was amazingly naive to the fact that she would utterly change my life. 

She was my little sister’s best friend, and when I was home on weekends, she would be there. This happened repeatedly, and seemingly, I couldn’t escape her orbit. In many ways, she was more mature than me, but much too young to date.

Despite our age difference, there came a time when I found myself completely captivated, enthralled and smitten. Eventually we dated, broke up and dated for some four years before we went our separate ways. I often tease her that she broke my heart, and I joined the Navy to get away from her. There is a lot of truth in that statement and much more to our story. 

But, life moved on, and with no contact or connection again, we got married to different people, had children and enjoyed good lives. In time, though, we both experienced tragedies, difficulties and trials. 

Eventually, we found each other again, and it was as if the intervening years had never occurred. The reconnection was instantaneous and powerful, and now, 12 years later, we have built an amazing life together. 

I’m here to witness that blended families can be astonishingly beautiful—not without their own challenges, but beautiful and fulfilling all the same.

It’s hard to believe a guy like me could be twice blessed, but I have been. I continue to be blessed in more ways than I know. I remain captivated and enthralled by the beautiful woman at my side. 

As I look at my life partner, I’m reminded of Proverbs 18:22, “He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the Lord.”

And guys, here’s a bit of advice that goes along with this column: Cooties aren’t real!