May I pray for you? Five words that would forever change his life.
Summer in the Lowcountry was fading. The interminable heat was finally letting up on what was one of the warmest summers on record. Those blessed enough to live in this part of the country know the joys that coastal living can bring. The beach season extends often from Easter until Thanksgiving, offering a plethora of outdoor activities in which to endeavor. Tropical storms and hurricanes are still in the back of your mind, as the warm coastal waters act as an all-you-can-eat buffet to feed these tropical giants. Thus far, the fronts were rather non-eventful ranging from Tropical Storm Ana and Claudette that flittered with the South Carolina coast line to other storms that stayed out at sea.
The departure of the long days of summer turns slowly into shorter, but ever so glorious fall days. As with most small southern towns, and for that matter most rural settings throughout the country, the fall means many things; one of them being the county fair. Malcolm “Skip” Sibley was constantly reminded of this October tradition by his daughter Caroline, the older of two children in the Sibley family. Skip and Ashley, his charming bride of twenty-some years, were high school sweethearts who defeated the odds of marrying young and defying the ever growing divorce rate. Skip was handsome and gregarious and never met a soul he didn’t instantly befriend. Skip was a small businessman in what was an entrepreneurial local economy. His MBA in finance was originally minted for Wall Street, but would end up suiting him well in the Lowcountry business environment. Ashley was the quintessential wife and stay-at-home mom. Her crystal blue eyes and full-figure were as stunning as ever after all those years of marriage. Skip would often say, as in the Buddhist tradition, that if he were to be reincarnated he would come back as a stay-at-home mom with school age kids, evidently believing that his days at the office were a tad more stressful than those of Ashley’s at home.
Far from being a Buddhist, the only real denomination any true southerner in the Bible belt could be was Christian. The only differentiating issue would be which of the thousand sects you would adhere to. Skip and his family were faithful Christians who attended West Copper Baptist Church religiously each Sunday. While Skip carried the extra-large King James Bible with the great red ribbon book mark, in his heart he knew he was going through the motions, not really knowing, but like many, trying to seek the truth. What is the truth?