Tuesday, December 20, 2011

It Will All Come Back To You

Tomorrow, my parents would have celebrated their 37th wedding anniversary. Normally, I repost an essay I wrote a few years ago on the subject (Why Didn't I Get Married, for my FB friends). This year, I felt I needed to say more. As I look back on a year filled with highly publicized scandals and divorces, I feel like it is time to revisit my beliefs on love and marriage.

If you know me, you know I am a huge fan of Mike and Regenia Woodberry. As a married couple, they went through just about everything a couple can face: the loss of all four of their parents; the birth of four children and the tragic death of one; the loss of siblings and friends; literally, for richer and poorer and in sickness and health. In the thirteen years I spent observing their marriage, I did not see perfection.

I saw, however, more good days than bad days.
I saw a husband and wife who refused to quit, even when they could have.
I saw two people who were committed to God, to their children and to one another.
I saw love.

But times are different. Today, fewer and fewer Americans are willing to jump the broom. That's asking too much. We should settle for being tagged on Facebook and mentioned on Twitter. If we really like each other a lot, maybe we can sign a lease--but not a marriage certificate.

Every day, a politician or entertainer is releasing a statement to the media, apologizing for marital indiscretions. Deion and Pilar Sanders, Kobe and Vanessa Bryant, Kris Humphries and Kimmy K, Matthew and Tina Knowles have all said "I don't" this year. Divorce attorneys are raking in more coins than Scrooge McDuck.

Domestic violence is now more common than ever. Men and women continually use their fists and weapons to voice their anger and frustration, leading to the demise of countless mothers, fathers and innocent children.

I consider myself to be a fairly intelligent woman. Knowing what I know, is marriage a risk I am willing to take?


Please believe me--the rose-colored glasses are off. I have been cheated on, disrespected, hurt and rejected more times than I'd care to admit. I no longer believe that Prince Charming is going to whisk me away from a world of despair into Happily Ever After.

I just believe in love.

A love that...

...laughs at the corniest jokes.
...will eat that disgusting enchilada casserole and pretend to love it!
...notices a new hairstyle or weight loss.
...pumps the gas because it's freezing outside.
...gives the courage to share anything.
...prays with me and for me.

A love that never fails.

On what would be the last anniversary my parents shared together, my father played a song for my mother: "When You Love Someone" by Anita Baker and James Ingram. I have had that song on a cassette tape, CD and every mp3 player I have ever owned. It has followed me from high school to college to the tail end of my twenties. Every year, I play that song on December 21. I close my eyes and let the tears fall as I think about my parents and their love...about my life and what I hope to have one day. If I'm by myself, I sing it at the top of my lungs.

Of course, I know the lyrics by heart:

When you love someone
And you love them with your heart
And it doesn't disappear
If you're apart
When you love someone
And you've done all you can do
Set them free
And if that love is true
When you love someone
It will all come back to you

FBRs, here's to the reciprocity of love.
May the love you have shared--and the love you will share--ALWAYS come back to you.



  1. That was beautiful. And honestly, my sentiments exactly.

  2. Wow! How powerful and true. I really found this article touching. My parents also have that kind of wonderful rare marriage and it is something we all aspire to obtain one day.

  3. Thanks for sharing that! Love never fails.