My stepdad has been with my mom for 34 years
And today marks 27 years of marriage with a total of 34 years together. There’s a total of 6 children and 16 going on 18 grandchildren. They truly have built themselves a legacy.
I am the oldest of my mother's 5 children and I have seen and endured a lot. So as an adult child, watching my mama and stepdad remain married over the years has taught me the value of commitment. Commitment by far is what I have learned to be one of the biggest qualities of marriage. In the 27 years that my parents have been married, there were considerably a few times where my parents simply did not like each other. We weren’t raised in a conflict free, perfect home. But even through everything that they went through…they always modeled commitment.
My stepdad was always the bread winner, so my mother never had to worry about anything. We were good during his time working for a trucking company as a CDL Driver. But when he lost his job many years ago, my mother didn’t run, fret, or lay down. I visibly remember her working two jobs to help take care of our family during that season. Love didn’t make her stay when he got fired….it was her commitment to stand by her husband and children. I watched my mother worked tirelessly, day in and out, to help contribute to her family, all while raising five children. And I can say the same for my stepdad. My mother was indeed crazy! And after giving birth to five children, maybe she had every right to be. But even through her craziness, my mother never had to question my stepfather commitment or loyalty to our family. He was and STILL is a working and family man. He’s always committed himself to providing and taking care of his responsibilities. My mother has always been it for him. There were never arguments of infidelity. And with the negative portrayal of black men, my stepdad dispelled the notion that black men were incapable of being viable fathers and husbands.
Again I want to highlight that we went through a lot as children. My mother went through a lot as a wife. And there were times in my head, as a child, I questioned why they continued to stay together through their differences. But oftentimes, when I reflect on my childhood, I know divorce would have been the absolute worst outcome. Their marriage wasn’t always the best example of conflict resolution. Again, my mother was crazy and her maiden name is Maxwell. (Mom I hope you laughed) But I learned that hurdles in marriage should not equate to divorce. My parents marriage has proven to be an anchor for myself and other siblings. Their ability to commit to each other for 27 years paid dividends in ensuring the success of the children that they were able to raise together. I will share the deets on all of us in a later post but 3 out 5 are married. My sister is scheduled to be married next year. And 3 out 5 have college degrees! The power of a two parent household is not a myth. We are all successful in our own way. And I pray that God continues to bless our family as we are proof of how impactful structure and a strong marriage can be for children.
In the last 6 years, my parents have been able to travel around the world and enjoy the fruits of their labor. They have grandchildren all over who absolutely love and adore them. I told my mother a few weeks ago to just breathe. I told her to just take in all that God has blessed her with and simply enjoy it. They are both well deserving and worthy of the life they now have. The struggles we went through as a family was worth the life God allows us to live today. It truly is amazing to watch how they have prevailed over the years.
Happy Anniversary...I love you both! I hope this tribute made you laugh, cry and reflect on the good bad and ugly. You both continue to teach me what it means to be committed when you take an oath under God.