Daddy, there’s a boy outside

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By Ken Begley

25 years ago, I met Cindy Carrico.

24 years ago, I married Cindy.

This May 18, my oldest daughter will be getting married at St. Dominic Church.  

I got married in my Army dress blues.

I’m going to give away my daughter in my dress blues with my 38 years of service stripes.

How time flies.

Renee’s marrying a fellow from Henderson, Ky., named Ken Boucherie. They’re both graduating from the University of Louisville this May.

We have four girls out of our five kids. I do feel protective of my girls. I’ve joked a lot about my girls bringing home young boys over the years. My favorite saying is a line I stole where I tell these boys, “I own a shotgun, five acres and a shovel. I don’t think I need to say anymore.”

Another line is “Mess with my daughter, and I’ll chase you like the hounds of hell across the U.S. legal system and ruin your life.”

While the first is a joke, the second isn’t.

But that’s just me.

My son has stood on the sidelines all these years, so I know he has a real good idea as to how to treat a young lady and not be faced with an irate dad. Of course, he knows if he steps out of line, then he’d also face his own irate dad as well.

But the truth is that at a certain point, all you can do is hope and pray that they make good choices in their lives. You’ve done all you can do, and the rest is up to them.

Renee brought this fellow home from college one day to meet us a couple of years ago.

I didn’t know how I would like him.  

We really don’t have a lot in common. I like to talk and Ken can be rather quiet. But slowly and surely, he began to grow into our family and Renee into his.

I’m not sure when exactly Ken began to become part of the “family,” but there were certain things he did that won me over. It started with little things.

Renee ran her car into a deer one day and tore it to pieces. Ken took the car home with him, ordered parts off e-bay, and put it all back together with a lot of body work. It looked as good as new. That impressed me, as it’s something that I could never do myself.  

Ken’s a country boy raised on a farm who reminds me of my own brother, Tony. He hates books, but seems to be able to do anything with his hands and loves to do it.

Yet, what really impressed me was the way he treated Renee. He seemed to have a lot of patience with her. He seemed to watch out for her. He seemed to want to take care of her.

I knew he had Renee won over by the way she looked at him. I saw her grow and mature as she gave back all that he gave to her.

Then one day he took us to dinner. That’s a tough thing to do when you’re working your way through college.  Money is very scarce.

It was there that he asked our permission for Renee’s hand in marriage. It was so old-fashioned and respectful of Cindy and me. It was something that I had not done myself when I asked Cindy to marry me.  

I respected that gesture.  

Then I watched him work a ton of overtime to buy Renee the engagement ring that she wanted. I liked this guy.

I knew he had won me over when I began to take his side on the little disputes every couple has and when my opinion was asked. It was then that I started to look out for him as best I could.

So, it looks like we have a wedding coming up. Cindy and I will give up one of the five most precious things we own on this earth. We will then slip back into the background as a new family is formed.

I never felt so happy and sad at the same time. But it is much more happy than sad.

How time flies.

It’s the circle of life.

It’s still a beautiful world out there.

Take care, everybody.