Friday, May 30, 2008

Better Get a Refund on that Crystal Ball

My father was livid; my sister wept distraught tears.

The preschool teacher at PALS, the little preschool operated by a Church of Christ church on the east side of Jonesboro, Arkansas, felt the need to inform Traci that her only son—my father's only grandchild—was "slow." I'm sure that the preschool teacher was trying to break the news to Traci gently, to prepare her for a couple of decades of struggling with a child who would never perform well in school, never be able to pursue a distinguished career, never know the satisfaction of achievement.

Dad, as I recall, threatened to take down that preschool with his own hands, brick-by-Campbellite-brick.

As Paul Harvey would say, here's the rest of the story.

Tomorrow morning, my nephew Alex Bryant Smith will graduate from the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY. From there he'll be heading to Fort Sill in Lawton, OK, for orientation in Field Artillery. Then he'll be posted in Germany, although he'll spend most of his time either in Iraq or Afghanistan.

Alex went to West Point after September 11—after we went to war. He knew what he was doing. He's had acquaintances who died and one good friend who lost a leg in Iraq. But he believes in our country and in our mission. He's determined to serve. I'm just as proud of him as I can be.

In other family news, today is my sixteenth wedding anniversary. Man, did I marry above myself! This morning in my prayer time I just thanked God that He sent Tracy my way and that He has prevented me from messing it up for sixteen whole years. What a blessing Tracy is! So, I'm out-of-town with her today and won't be responding to comments. May God bless you all with an enduring love like this!


Anonymous said...

I received my graduation invitation today complete with a picture of our boy in his dress uniform. I was home this week and Mom has a picture of Alex and me at your wedding in our tuxedos. Alex comes up to my waist (the circumference of which was also considerably shorter). Your Dad would be very proud.

CB Scott said...

God bless Alex. God bless the USA.


CB Scott said...

Oh Yeah,

May God bless Bart and Tracy.


Tim G said...

Praying for Alex and praying for Tracy as she continues her battles with shaping you up! :)

Happy Anniversary from Grandpa Tim!

Happy Anniversary! You are still my top hostess next to Heidi that I have ever had! Hang in there with Bart - you will eventually get him straight! :)

Dave Miller said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dave Miller said...

It is amazing how often those who make bold predictions are proven wrong. Hurricane forecasters, economists, doctors - make bold predictions and then find out that they, in fact, do not control the future.

Tim Rogers said...

Brother Bart,

When I received such a short response from you last evening when I called, I was surprised. After I did not receive a return call, I was even more shocked. I told Gail that this is not like Bart. I know with the impending SBC Presidential nominations, you are trying to sort through the myriad of details and responses of each candidate. Now, I find out that you are on a rendezvous with Tracy celebrating your 16th wedding anniversary. What joys, blessings, and trials I know you have had over the past 16 years. Now that I know you are not perturbed at me for something I may have said or written, I only have one question. Why did you answer your cell phone when you were on a special date with Tracy?

Blessings to you both and may God continue his good hand of wisdom in both your lives.


R. L. Vaughn said...

When I read your story, for some reason it made me think of another school story I just heard -- Teacher leads students to vote out classmate. Sounds like someone is watching a little too much Survivor.

Happy anniversary. Though I can't speak to your specific situation, it is a general truth that men who marry, marry above themselves.

M. Steve Heartsill said...

I agree with R.l...all men marry above themselves!

Without God's help, I think we would all go single! We aren't handsome enough, smart enough, good enough, or pure enough to deserve the wife God gives to us!

Bart Barber said...

Thanks to you all for joining my family in our celebration. Let us not forget to pray faithfully for all of our troops.