A Force of Nature
As a child I was a force of nature. In the no man’s land around Nutbush, Tennessee, the remote little town where I was born, I would jump ditches on a dare without ever asking myself, even for a second, what would happen if I fell into the stagnant water. I would tussle with animals, horses, mules, and even snakes. They scare me now, but not then. I was not afraid of anything. One day, while playing in the woods, I found a little green snake and thought, Where did this one come from? I was sure it was a baby that had strayed away from its mother. I picked it up with a stick and went looking for its den. Sure enough, when I found it, there was a big, menacing snake inside ready to strike and protect its young. Instantly my instinct took over. It wasn’t fear, it was self-preservation. I jumped up and ran as fast as I could. My braids came undone, my dress bow came loose, but I kept running until I was safe.
The Meaning of Survival
The point is this: I knew when it was time to run from a snake. In my life there have been many moments when you could have asked me, How did you get out of that terrible situation? I have done dangerous things and had dangerous things done to me, but at the last minute there was always something telling me that it was time to run, how I could survive. Whatever happened to me, I always made it through. I decided that it had to mean something, that perhaps, after all, I was meant to live. Maybe I am here for a reason. And maybe the reason is to share my story with you.
A New Life and Surprising Challenges
Now you might think, Tina, but we already know your story. We know all about you and Ike and the hell you went through. We know you got out of that awful relationship and survived. But here’s the thing that might surprise you: at this point in my life, the amount of time I have been without Ike is much longer than the amount of time I was with him. Forty-two years, to be exact. It’s a whole new life, full of adventures, accomplishments, and love that has exceeded all imagination. But there has been a dark side, too. In the last few years I have had to face some dramatic challenges, life and death issues that I never would have expected. Never. Now I will tell you my story.THE BEST Give me a lifetime of promises and a world of dreams Speak the language of love like you know what it meansTina, will you marry me? This was the first marriage proposal I received from Erwin Bach, the man I had fallen in love with at first sight and whose head had been spinning since the first look. The question was asked a bit strangely – Erwin is German, English is not his native language – but I appreciated it anyway. He was probably a bit surprised when I said, I don’t have an answer. I only knew it was not a yes or a no, but a maybe.