By Joe Rector

I drove with fellow workers from a run to Atlanta to drop off cars and then hopped into a van for the return trip. We gabbed about a variety of topics, but then someone uttered that famous line, “I wonder why…” That set me to mulling over some of the things about which I wonder. Some are more serious than others, but all have at least crossed my mind over the years.

One thing I’m still wondering is why old girlfriends “kicked me to the curb.” No, I never have claimed to be a real catch, but the girls that I liked could count on one thing: I was devoted to them. Perhaps such loyalty made me more like a family dog than a boyfriend. My personality has always been outgoing and friendly (I think), so maybe I lacked enough of the “bad boy” persona. We all know that too many girls go for those kinds of guys because they are sure that the males “can be changed.” I wonder if girls got tired of me because I was too boring, cheap, serious, or ugly.

Another thing that has stayed on my mind is why my daddy died so early in life. Of course, at the time, he seemed old, but 53 is not old. Jim and I were 13 and Dal was 17. It strikes me as not at all fair that Daddy died when we were so young and that his end left Mother with a world of worry and hurt. Neither does it seem right that we lost him so early and that the rest of our lives always had that empty spot, especially during special events like graduations, weddings, and births.

I often wonder how things would have been different if he’d have survived his cancer. He used to say that our family would do lots of things when he got better; what he had in mind is still a mystery. I also question whether or not I told him I loved him enough while he was here. My fingers are crossed that the answer is yes.

I’ve been blessed with having a twin brother. I always wonder why single children are so happy. Jim and I were inseparable as little boy. We always had someone with whom to play and fight. Without him I’d have spent a lonely existence, although folks say you wouldn’t miss what you’d never had. Even today, Jim and I are close; we’re the only two left from the family. I wonder why I was so fortunate to have a twin and a good friend rolled into one.

The last few years have been sprinkled with the joy of writing. It’s probably no exaggeration that by now my computers have flashed across their screens no less than a million words. Some have been rather bad; some have been better. I wonder why I’ve been unable to become the critically acclaimed, best-selling author I’d planned. Maybe a lack of ability could account for part of the failure; another shortcoming might be the lack of an agent or publisher. What I do know is that Lord blessed me with whatever talents that I have, and I sometimes wonder what I’m supposed to do with that.

Finally, I wonder why Amy ever agreed to marry me. She was three years younger, gorgeous, and smart. Plenty of guys stood in line to date her, but for some reason she chose me. How’d I get so lucky? Over the last 40 years, she’s put up with good and bad and stood by me the entire time. I’m not the easiest person with whom to live, something she attributes to my stubbornness or impulsive actions. Still, she sticks with me and seems to overlook those many faults that I have.

Andy Rooney made the phrase “Ever wonder why” popular. I have no illusions that I could ever add to that. It’s just something that we all do from time to time. I give it some thought but then just get on with life. I don’t understand things, but dwelling on them only will bring on depression or confusion.  It’s easier just to accept them as a part of life’s constant surprises.