Twenty-four years ago this week my life changed. I married a woman whose college roommate, a mutual friend, introduced us at the University of Wisconsin. Today, as 48 year olds, we have now officially been married for half of our lives!
I have not always seen marriages where men and women respected each other as equals. I am really blessed to have a wife that I love and respect greatly. She has been my cheering section, my prayer partner, my lover, my co-parent, my dream-facilitator, my conscience, co-laborer, and friend. She loves me, my extended family, and my passion to serve others. She is caring, sexy, and beautiful. She has given me a lifetime of joy and a daughter who thrills us to no end. We know how to laugh, cry, pray, rebound, and build together. Nothing is more affirming than to love someone who loves you just as much.
I was hesitant at first to write a reflection about my wedding anniversary because it seemed somewhat odd and self-aggrandizing to do so. As I considered it further, I realized that we really need to celebrate love and family as often as we can in our society. In fact, one of the greatest things that our community can do for African American children is to help African American couples and parents to have healthier relationships. Schools, churches, after-school programs, sports clubs, etc., all have a role to play in the development of our children. However, the family and the home should really be the primary place for the care and support of our children. When the home is not able to be that safe place for children, the greater community should then try to step in and offer alternative methods of support.
In this busy, dog-eat-dog world it is fairly easy for us to lose sight of what is important in life. Many of us are overworked, overwhelmed by family activities, and overstimulated by the endless barrage of information that comes at us each waking moment. I want to encourage spouses to take time for each other. I want to remind parents to make time for recreational activities with their children as well. There are so many wonderful FREE activities in the Madison area that we can all take advantage of.
Love is a great force. We often talk about wanting more bling and swag in our community as if they’ll magically solve all life’s problems. Let’s encourage love. Let’s model love. Let’s set love as our standard for living because love is the breeding ground for honor, service, and respect.
I love serving the great community that I’m blessed to be a part of. It is my wife and daughter- — and time with them — that has refreshed me and reminded me of why I do the things I do in this community. I particularly love and respect my wife, Jackie, who loves and respects me so thoroughly that I have enough to share with my church and community. I celebrate these past 24 years because they have shaped me into the man I am today and into the man I am becoming.
Life is good! Take time for love!!