Cathy Hunt’s Story
Eighteen years ago I attended a Charlie Peacock concert at Mt. Paran North campus in Marietta. During intermission I noticed a very fit, handsome young man coming across the sanctuary. He had a head full of dark black hair sprinkled with a touch of gray. He also had an irregular gait and walked at a determined pace. I had learned enough about disabilities in education classes to know that he probably did not have cerebral palsy since his limbs were proportioned, but I had no background in head injuries. I decided to introduce myself to him just to satisfy my curiosity. I told him my name and just said hello. He smiled and said, “My name is Scotty Hunt”. In a moment he let me know that he had a car wreck and had been in a coma for 63 days. We chatted for a few minutes and in the next moment he ended the conversation with, “Nice to meet you, Cathy Carithers”, and off he went!
Two weeks later I was greeting two fellows whom I had met at a single adult function a week before. As I was talking to them the man on the other side stuck his head around to get into the conversation. It was Scotty Hunt! I immediately recognized him. Scotty has a way of endearing himself to anyone he meets, however briefly. Over time we became good friends; going to the same Sunday School class, attending social functions at church and at church on Sunday morning and Sunday evening.
One Sunday afternoon we had the kickoff for the Single Adult Labor Day Retreat. I had stayed late talking to a friend in the parking lot when I noticed Scotty come over to say hi. He had forgotten his offering that morning and drove back to the church to leave it. Unashamedly he asked me in front of my friend if I would like to go to see Janet Paschal at Rehoboth Baptist Church in Tucker, GA. I told him that I would have to finish my lesson plans before I could go out for the evening and that I would call him. He says he assumed that when I called I was going to pass on the concert. When I said yes, he asked, “Are you sure?” We went to the concert. Those who know either one of us know that neither one has difficulty making conversation. Especially me! We talked non stop. This led to going to church together many Sunday nights.
In November I turned 40. At midnight, November 20, I was sitting in my studio apartment, surrounded by papers I was grading at the end of the semester. There was a decided knock on the door. I opened the door to see him standing there, smiling and holding a large Hershey’s kiss. “I wanted to be the first to give you a big kiss on your 40th birthday!” Well, that year he was the only person who remembered my birthday, so naturally he scored a few points! He even called my family to remind them. Thanks to his reminder my family sent me flowers the next day … my classroom looked like a funeral parlor there were so many flowers!
That November night began our “dating relationship” compared to months of buddying around and going out to eat. We fluctuated between “you’re too young” to “maybe I should date younger girls” until the summer of ’93. Sometime during the summer the tide turned and we realized that we were heading in a more permanent direction. This was promoted by his dad who often asked me how things were going. Finally I caught on and started answering, “Probably the way you would like!” Then I was frequently asked; “Are things still going the way I would like?” I just smiled and answered, “Maybe!”
In May 1993, the Hunts invited me to go to the beach with the family. We had a great time and I was welcomed by his extended family with open arms much the same as his parents had greeted me months before. We shopped for rings and then Scotty proposed at Panama City in August when we returned to the beach again with his family.