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  • Writer's pictureLee Weaver

FAITH OR FATE

Updated: Jan 4

FAITH OR FATE?  ALMOST A CONVERT TO CATHOLICISM

 

When I started college at the local junior college my best friend was David B________. Because of the Texas September 1st rule, he was a year behind me in high school, although there was only a four-month difference in our ages.  Since I graduated at age 16, it was an easy decision to delay college for a year while I “matured” and decided on a major; thus, David and I started college at the same time.  


We were both majoring in engineering, so we were in a lot of classes together, which led to a lot of togetherness. That included being at each other’s family home frequently.  David and my dad often jibed each other about Republican vs Democrat (my Dad was an old-time Democrat, not to be confused with today’s socialist progressives.)  David’s Dad gave us investment advice – basically, never invest more than you can afford to lose!  In our late teen lives that meant NO investing!


David’s family were Catholic – there were eight children – I think five boys and three girls.  David was the third youngest; there was another boy Charley two years younger and a girl three years younger than that.  Being the youngest child, the girl Esther Claire was nicknamed “Poopsie,” an anglicized version of French “poupe’e” or “doll.”  At that time David and I were eighteen, and Poopsie was thirteen; in other words, a “kid sister.”   The whole family were very friendly and accepting of me, and though being raised Baptist I from time to time would go with their family to Catholic church. (Sitting or standing beside me, David would give me signals when to stand or sit or kneel.)  David and I did almost everything together – double-dating, hanging out with the other guys, or just hanging around his home.  I was always quite comfortable with or around his family, and they were with me.

 

So, little sister was 13 while I was 18; five years is not an acceptable margin at those ages.  BUT!!! Jump ahead four years! I had gone off to college for a couple years and was in the army two more years.  I was discharged in early December 1955 and returned to San Angelo.  David had got ahead of me at Texas Tech, and as I was planning to reenter as a Junior for the Spring term in January 1956, David was a senior, about to graduate in June, so we were planning to get an apartment together in Lubbock for that semester.


In the meantime, while I was away with Uncle Sam, David’s family had moved from San Angelo to Corpus Christi. After Christmas, David invited me to come down to Corpus and spend the New Year’s weekend of 1955-56 with his family.  The Knights of Columbus (a Catholic social/fraternal entity) was planning a New Year’s Eve social and dance, and the entire B_______ family (plus me) attended.  Most of the older boys in the family were married.  David, younger brother Charley, Poopsie, and I were the singles in the family group.  I don’t remember who David and Charley danced with (perhaps younger sister?) but I danced a whole lot with Poopsie.  She was the smoothest dance partner I had ever danced with (in school proms etc.)!

After the party, we returned to their home, and as we were walking from the car to the house, Poopsie came up beside me and planted a hearty kiss on my cheek, saying “You deserve that!!” but then slipped away.


I don’t know whether I left my brain in Korea, or naivete or plain stupidity took away perception and good sense, but I realized in later years, that on that New Year’s weekend, I totally missed the fact that 13-year-old “kid sister” was now a 17-year-old, lovely young woman!! And five years is not so much of a difference between 17 and 22!

 

FAITH OR FATE?  Did I fail to put my faith in circumstances; or was it our fate that a match was not intended?  The only thing I can say in retrospect is that I had a great appreciation for that family and would have been pleased to be a part of it! And if I had, likely I would have converted to Catholicism.  I didn’t – I remained in Southern Baptist churches from thence to now; I was ordained a Baptist Deacon in 1964, and in 1989 was elected to the board of trustees of a major Baptist Seminary. While on the Board I served the Seminary as Chair of the Board.       

      

That apparently was my fate – the road not taken!


Quite sometime later, (late 1990s or early 2000s) my wife and I would go to Lubbock occasionally to visit her uncle, and that gave me the opportunity to visit with David.  After my wife died in 2010, I no longer was going to Lubbock. Much more recently I found that David had passed away in February 2017.  In his obituary, I discovered that Esther Claire (“Poopsie”) was married to Fred P_____ and that they lived in Florida. Mr. P______ passed away in April 2020. 

 Checking Facebook recently, I found that Esther Claire at this age looks just like I remember her mother (also named Esther) from sixty-five years ago.

 

 

© Lee Weaver

August 19, 2023

  

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