PAYING HOMAGE TO BLACK LOVE
I love being in love and love knowing someone besides my family and Jehovah have my back. Being in a full unconditional and unadulterated love is an amazing feeling but it isn’t for everyone. I woke up one morning in May and discovered that my Uncle and Aunt that helped raised me to be the woman that I am were celebrating their 37th wedding anniversary. May is just a beautiful and prosperous month because, on May 26, my husband and I will celebrate our four year wedding anniversary. My husband and I are still conquering this thing called love and marriage.
When I think about Black Love, I don’t look at Jay-Z and Beyonce or President Obama and Michelle Obama, I think about my Uncle Sonny and Aunt Peaches. My Aunt and Uncle have been married for 37 years, raised five children, and grandchildren in rural Alabama with limited resources and career opportunities in Atmore, Alabama. My Uncle treats my Aunt like the Queen she is and my Aunt treats my Uncle like the King he is. No matter how tough things get, my Uncle and Aunt weathered the storm together and I love and appreciate that. As a young girl, I have witnessed some of the difficult times and didn’t realize times were tough for them but they stuck it out and kept it moving. I know if I was to ask my Uncle and Aunt about how they overcame their difficulties, temptations and challenges, I know the answer would be as simple as this: Having faith in God, forgiveness, loving one another and being honest with one another.
My Uncle and Aunt are like my second parents. They helped raised me when my parents decided to divorce and go their separate ways. Since the age of 10, my mom sent to Alabama to spend my entire Summer with my Uncle, Aunt and cousins. Not only did I get to witness true unadulterated and unapologetic love from my Uncle and Aunt but I witnessed true partnership. I remember saying to myself that my cousins have it great because they have parents who truly sacrifice for them, love them unconditionally and will fight for their well-being. Me coming from divorce parents, I partially received this kind of love from my mother, while my Father loved me in the way he knew how to love.
It was important for me to see a healthy and whole man like my Uncle Sonny because my Father didn’t display these qualities and attributes. My Uncle Sonny is such a stand up man. He isn’t afraid of showing his feelings and emotions. Every time, my mom side of the family get together he starts crying because he is moved by love. My Uncle is so unapologetic about his feelings and love for his family. When I moved into my dorm freshmen year at Tuskegee University, my Uncle and Aunt was there alongside my mom making sure I had all my dorm and school essentials. When times got tough for my mom and I, my Uncle and Aunt held it down in Alabama since my mom was back in Boston. My Uncle started crying on campus because he couldn’t believe that his niece was attending this prestigious University. My Uncle cried at all my graduations (high school, undergrad and graduate school) and brought a Tuskegee University tag to represent me. My Aunt gave my Uncle permission to cry each time and didn’t give him no heat nor judgement about it. I also give major props to my Aunt because she just held me down despite the fact that I am just her niece by marriage.
I am proud of my Aunt and Uncle because you don’t see people especially Black people married for 37 years and counting. I love how they still court (date) one another and my Uncle proudly still open the door for my Aunt. They are so stinking cute and I love them both. Look at their picture above. I love them and owe a lot to them because they are part of my village. I know I can call them up anytime and anyplace and they will be there.
I am paying homage to my Uncle Sonny and Aunt Peaches because they showed me how to stay committed to my husband, helped raised me to be a faithful, unapologetic, loving and imperfect wife.
My husband and I have been friend for 18 plus years. We worked our first job together at Star Market now Shaw’s in Back Bay Boston. One of our good friends kinda sorta linked us up. At the time, I wasn’t into him because I felt that he was lame. I was into the 6’4, tall, dark, handsome and ball player type of guy. I played basketball and wanted someone that did too. My “lame friend” at the time was always sending me cards, writing love notes, sending flowers and blah blah blah. I just wasn’t into that stuff because I was 14, living my life, making money, playing basketball and going to school.
So, I friend zoned, my husband. Even while being in the friend zone, he never went away. We still hung out, I checked out some of his football games, he came through to check me out on the court. I was dating other people and so did he. When we went away to college and came home for the holidays, we would always hang out. Every single time! Everyone and I mean everyone use to tell us we would get back together one day. While people told us this, I would give major side eye and rolled my eyes at the blasphemous statements. He would get so excited and probably started concocting the ultimate master plan. Our chemistry was very strong that every last ex-boyfriend, ex-fiance and ex-husband felt threatened by our friendship even though it was strictly platonic. We only kissed one time when we were 20 at my now mother in law’s house. Our friendship was strong, loving, pure, fun and patient.
I knew that he would have my back forever because we just had that unbreakable bond as friends. I remember being in a tumultuous engagement and counting down the days for it to be over. My husband had my back through thick and thin and vice verses. I remember when he got engaged twice and I remember asking him each time, was he sure on being married to these two young ladies. I had no ill feelings towards him but he wasn’t the same fun-loving, energetic and positive man that was my best friend. Our energies were always in synched despite being in different regions and being thousands of miles away.
My husband and I’s marriage is not for the faint at heart. We love one another unconditionally, we give one another permission to be who God created us to be, we have days we don’t like one another but we still love one another, there are days we want to walk out the door and never come back and at the end of the day it isn’t worth it. When things get tough, we talk them out without involving social media, our friends and family members. Everyone is not capable of handling your difficulties and marriage difficulties is for folks who weathered the storm. Instead of passive aggressively handling your martial issues, talk to one another and seek professional help.
We have a strong village of family members, friends and colleagues who support our Black, Zulu Love. Are we perfect? Heck nah! Do I want my husband to be perfect nah. I accept his smelly feet, big booty, pigeon-toed, bow-legged, fufu and soup eating self and he accepts all my business savvy, no-nonsense, natural hair wearing, Brown Girl From Boston blogging, HBCU reppin’, pro-black, and life coaching self.
Marriage isn’t easy! If marriage was easy, we all would be married and staying with one another instead of being tempted to leave where the “grass is not greener”, divorce rates would be lower and there would be less shacking up. My husband and I fight everyday to make our marriage work for us. Our marriage isn’t like my Uncle Sonny and Aunt Peaches’s because there is no one size fit all marriages. In the Imafidon’s marriage, there is a show up and show out policy, forgiveness policy, putting the Higher Being first policy, put your feelings on the table policy, and love me at my ugliness and best policy.
I knew my husband was a keeper when we were 14 years old working at Star Market. I knew one day our souls would connect on a deeper level. I knew I had to marry my husband because he accepted me for being me and that is difficult to find whether it is a spouse or a friend. My husband mirrors all my greatness, he picks up the slack when I am fatigue and dealing with my hypothyroidism disease. He make sure I am being Holistically FLY when I don’t want to be. My husband love me for me and I can’t ask for anyone better because I had my fair share of being in an unhealthy engagement and marriage. He didn’t judge my past because he have seen me grow and progress into this beautiful brown girl butterfly. I am thankful for my husband and our four years of marriage and I will continue to pay homage to our Black Love!
What is Black Love?
- God is love
- Love is cooler than the other side of the pillow
- Love is bendable but unbreakable
- Love is a partnership
- Love is God
- Love is patient
- Love is kind
- Love is smelling your spouse hot breath in the morning
- Love is telling your spouse that we are going to get through a tough and horrible diagnosis (me being diagnosed with hypothyroidism)
- Love is when you spouse have two left feet but dance with you anyways because you love to dance.
- Love is giving your spouse permission to stand on their truth and be their authentic self.
- Love is being true to yourself and being true to your spouse with no strings attached
- Love is loving yourself and caring for yourself in order to become a better spouse
- Love is seeing the God within your spouse and your spouse is seeing the God within you
- Love is respect and love doesn’t hurt
- Love is embracing and celebrating one another success
- Love is unapologetic
- Love is FLY
- Love is fearless
- Love is Dope
- Love is “I might not like you right now but we are going to make this thing work”
- Love is walking up in the middle of the night discussing your vision together
- Love is Black People’s birthright
- Love is having your own lingo and inside jokes
- Love is an investment and commitment to one another
- Love is being part of a village to help others become successful
- Love is not knowing what to eat and going back and forth with your spouse
- Love is holistic
- Love is simple but kinda of complex
- Love is a feeling, an action and emotion all at the same damn time
- Love is spiritual
- Love is having similar but different interest
- Love is necessary and essential to progress in life
- Love is beyond the engagement ring, picking the right wedding arrangement and your beautiful wedding day
- Love is unselfish and selfless
- Love is doing the ugly cry with your spouse when you just had enough
- Love is getting butterflies over and over whenever you kiss your spouse, make love to your spouse or seeing your spouse doing the damn thing in life
- Love is being great enough
- Love is 100/100 and knowing when to pick up things when your spouse is lacking in
- Love is wholesome
- Love is fun
- Love is creative
- Love is unadulterated and unapologetic
- Love is knowing your boundaries and knowing your spouse boundaries
- Love is mature
- Love is contagious
- Love is expressing yourself to your spouse
- Love is being there through thick and thin
Some people can’t handle this love because they haven’t learned how to love themselves first. Remember, you don’t have to look toward celebrities when it come to Black Love. Look at the elders in your family who have been together for eons as the old folks would say. Ask the elders in your family, how did they conquer Black Love and you will receive the answer.
Don’t give up on love, love!
Much Love, Light and Blessings!
Written by Andrea C. Imafidon, LMSW, Founder of Brown Girl From Boston
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