• 64°

Right is right, no matter how small it seems

I was bored, so I went to the intramural football games on the campus of Southern Miss, where I was a sophomore.

It was a Friday evening and people were everywhere on the intramural fields by Reed Green Coliseum. I stood to the side and watched the Baptist Student Union’s flag football team play.

Nearby, a short blonde student and a tall dark-haired student tossed a football back and forth. They seemed to be having fun, until the ball got away from one of them and rolled over near where I was.

A guy I knew scooped up the ball — I thought to toss or hand it back to them — and began throwing it with one of his friends, oblivious to the people who’d been playing with it. Did he think it just appeared in the grass, a gift from above?

“Hey!” I yelled, a couple of times. I held out my hand and said, “Give me that football. Those girls were playing with it and you just took off with it when they dropped it.”

“Huh?” This guy.

“Give me the ball,” I said, and he did.

He waved sheepishly to the blonde who had run over to retrieve the football and mumbled something about being stupid. Or maybe it was sorry. Probably sorry.

Regardless of how ignorant he was of his surroundings, he had done something I thought was not right, and I knew I could do something to make it right.

I handed it to the young lady and apologized for the actions of the other guy. She thanked me and went back to her tossing with her friend.

A little later I headed back toward by dorm and a Pontiac Firebird pulled up next to me, the football-tossing female duo inside. They invited me to get something to eat with them so I said OK and jumped in.

The blonde and I eventually started dating and I became good friends with her roommate, too, who was the tall brunette in the duo.

The dating relationship didn’t last and I lost track of both girls. The next year I met the woman I eventually married and to whom I was wed for just over 20 years.

The blonde eventually reconnected to her old roommate and me through social media. We all said “Hi” and moved on.

Then when my divorce happened, the brunette and I started talking again, once more connected through social media. It didn’t take long for our old friendship to rekindle.

That led to us dating, and one day I asked her to marry me.

We’ve been married almost five years now. We have five children between the two of us — six, really, because I count our daughter-in-law — and we have been greatly blessed by God.

I don’t pretend to understand how or why God does some things, causes some things to happen or simply allows some things to take place.

I have blessed by a great God. I’m grateful for my wife and our children.

And I marvel sometimes how things all took place.

This could serve as a warning — if you’re bored and pick up a football, you could wind up married.

Or it could serve as a message of hope and thankfulness. If you make a stand for what is right, no matter how small and insignificant it may seem at the moment, it could result in one of the greatest blessings of your life.

That’s how it happened for me.

I know I’m six weeks early, but happy fifth anniversary, sweetheart.

Lifestyles editor Brett Campbell can be reached at brett.campbell@dailyleader.com.