Posts Tagged ‘marriage’


By Vernalee
To be loved is a desired emotion for most. For sure, “It’s never too late to find love!” Play it again Sam! Though love is a sought after emotion, finding it may be difficult as we cannot read other people’s hearts. Then we have the other issues. Complacency can be substituted for the phrase contributory negligence. It alongside the fear of rejection can become front and center in our lives and even convince us that we are happy when we are walking in a stream of loneliness and unhappiness. Our older ears though filled with wax become fearful of hearing unpleasant words. It’s easy to settle. It’s just as easy to find comfort in discomfort; to give up without really trying; to convince yourself that you are happy when you know that you are not. Everybody needs somebody! The older you become, the less you desire to hunt. It’s too risky; it definitely won’t conceal your exposure. Lest not forget the prospects of being hurt! So now what? Do you do nothing and let the unhappy days become unhappy years? Do you distant yourself from selfish people whose selfishness places you leap years behind your desires? Or do you seek, search, and find love? What steps should you take as you look for love gingerly in the right places? How discreet should you be? It is not realistic for you to expect to open your front door and find your Prince Charming standing there. It is highly unlikely that a scenario like that will play out. Looking for love and dating can be intimidating processes at any age. For certain, they are labors of work. Another job, you don’t need! But get ready to rumble! Looking for love can be tantamount to punching a time clock of sorts.
The older you are and the longer that you have been out of the dating game, the lesser your dating skill set has become. Needless to say, your skills may be rusty. It can create anxiety and cultivate doubt. Just ask Tina Knowles!
Beautiful, successful, and in the spotlight was Tina Knowles, the Mother of superstar Beyonce. Then, after 33 years of marriage, she found herself divorced and all alone.
“Where am I gonna find somebody at 59 years old? Where do you meet men? Where do you get them? They’re all gone.” If Tina asked those questions, multiply mine and those from other middle aged women by 10.
But then something magical happened. She took the initiative to find love and happiness. She was reunited with a man that she had known for over three decades. Actor Richard Lawson entered the picture and the rest is history. By her wedding day, Tina’s tone had changed.
“To walk down the aisle and see all my friends and family and to see my handsome man standin’ there, and to know that at 61 you can still find love and have a magical day like that … it was really beautiful,” says the bride as she walked down the aisle to India Arie’s “Ready for Love.”
Yes, it takes courage. It takes tenacity. It takes getting out there and making yourself available. Though you don’t won’t to necessarily wear your singleness on your sleeves, it is necessary to declare your availability. We sometimes tuck our single status in our back pockets. Revelation is part of the process. Rejection may be encountered, but determination will ultimately bring positive results. Sharing your life with the man that you love is a beautiful thing. Companionship is great! God knew that it was not good for man to be alone, thus he created woman. Love, companionship, eternal bliss of marriage will never grow old. Yes, read my lips. I can’t speak for you, but my preference is not to grow old alone. I declare – loneliness is for the lonely; it is no fun! I have seen the effects of it and how it torches your spirit.
Several years ago, I adopted a three part process that I unveiled in my first book, “I’m Doing Me.” The triple A’s as I call them – Admit, Address, and Act – are paramount to move you from where you are to where you want to be. All 3 of the A’s are necessary to execute change. Get up, go, and find your soulmate. He’s out there. Sure, you can ignore your bed of unhappiness, loneliness, and unfulfilment. You can fool yourself and others. You can even become a serial busy body. Filling your day with work, tasks, and activities are not cure-alls. They are merely timekeepers to pass the day. I say, “Wake up and smell the coffee.” Don’t be left out in the cold. Brrr! Besides, 60 is the new 40.
Photo credit: (Richard and Tina).

PostHeaderIcon My favorite married couple / “To know them is to love them”

By Vernalee


With sagacious wisdom, she told me, “Whatever it took to get him, it will take the same things to keep him.” No wonder her daughter- in- law said, “He (her hubby) looks at her like a sizzling steak!” Yummy! Alright, women listen up; take heed; keep it together for your man!

If there was a marriage made in heaven, I am sure that this husband and wife (my favorite married couple) are wearing halos. Married almost 50 years, I admire them individually and collectively. More importantly, they admire each other. Their love radiates in your presence. It has a life of its own. They are indelibly strong in their love for each other. Even Superman’s kryptonite could not weaken them.

There are so many attributes that I love about them that it is hard to enumerate them all. I truly believe that they celebrate Valentine’s Day every day. They shower each other with love on a daily basis. Their spoken words even have a majestic ring. Until I observed their consistent enamored conduct, I had never witnessed a continuum of love and affection like this before. In fact, I thought that it did not exist to that magnitude. What they have is remarkably unbelievable! Of course, their abundant outpouring of endearment is spellbinding; it is like a never ending love story. They make Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet look like neophytes!

Because of their smoothness, I wondered if they had arguments, but I remembered my Mother’s famous words, “It takes two to argue. If you keep your mouth closed, listen, and let the other party talk; you will never be in an argument.” How true! Maybe, they heard my wise Mother too! They are incredibly harmonious. All matters can be worked out with a conciliatory spirit and demeanor. They know this better than me; they are masters of the game.

If you don’t believe the magic that they share, take a stroll with me as we observe their lives.
Speaking of fulfillment, they enjoy themselves. One of their favorite pastimes is dancing. Their dance precision is as crisp as Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. Their feet effortlessly glide across the dance floor as they “boogie woogie” the night away. Their awe-inspiring togetherness does not stop there.

I suspect that Patrick and Gina Neely might become a tad bit jealous when they see them cook together. Since they can effortlessly “cook up a storm,” they would be the Neely’s match if the Food Network ever invited in married cooks who can synchronize their showmanship. I have seen them prepare dishes together with seamless integration. Speaking of “sugar and spice and everything nice,” their scrumptious meals taste like the sweetness that they exude. You can gain a pound just watching them toss the salad. When you are their dinner guests, they are so majestic and naturally kind in their speech and treatment toward each other and to you that you feel as though you are dining in Buckingham Palace. Oh my word!

Their conversations are amazing. Not only do they finish each other sentences, they are graciously considerate of each other. I once told them that they remind me of a mature version of President Barack and First Lady Michelle Obama by their conduct and appearance. How’s that for being Presidential! What a vision!

Regularly, I seek her advice. Her wisdom and guidance have tremendously helped me take educated, informed steps. My friends want to get in on the program and claim her as their own. Giggling, I routinely tell them, “You can reach out to her; I will share her for a day, but she belongs to me!” I am so possessive! She is amazing; a big sister, a counselor, a spiritual woman, a role model …all rolled up into one intelligent being. I have often pondered how so many positive attributes can be packaged in one person. Just wait until you meet her and you will see what I mean.

I could talk about her and the two of them (she and her hubby) all day and night. There isn’t enough room on your computer screen even though it has infinite capacity. Their splendor will make you desire and search for a mate who possesses similar unselfish traits. You may be even tempted to “jump the broom.” You get the picture! Right?

Photo Reprint:

PostHeaderIcon My brother’s ex-girlfriend wants me to be in her wedding / A bittersweet moment

By Vernalee (As told by my daughter)
imagesCARSZCRZ black bride photo
About 15 years ago, my brother started seriously dating this girl. She was with him incessantly, 24 / 7. They became as “thick as thieves.” In hindsight, I believe that I was jealous. Being that he was 8 years older than me; I was always his little girl. Now, this intruder was in our midst. I always boasted to my friends that I had two Daddies, my biological Father and my big Brother!

A big brother has its pros and cons. I am glad that my Mother only had two children; one of each gender. I probably would have been miserable with an older sister. Although my brother regularly got on my nerves, we were not in each other’s space. He and I share so many wonderful childhood memories. One of my fondest was my 12th birthday hotel party. I begged and conned my Mother to go home and rest her weary soul so that my 20 year old brother and his best guy friend could chaperone my six girlfriends and me. Mommy bought my trickery. The minute she walked out, I shouted, “Let’s get the party started!” My brother let us pillow fight, go the mall, eat at McDonald’s and stay up all night. He was not “stiff” like Mommy or a disciplinarian. We had freedom! Sorry Mommy!

It was around that time that he met his true love. She was shorter, but the
same size as me. That became a problem once they got “tight,” because she could wear my clothes. After she and my brother became an item, she wanted to carry my purses and stuff. A few times, she did not seek my permission. Taking up all of my brother’s time and wearing my clothes, it was too much! What was she trying to do? I just wanted to scream and I did! It wasn’t long before she and I began to argue like cats and dogs.

For the first time, my immature brother acted like a grown up. Go figure! He called a meeting. I will never forget it because I was shocked at how he exercised control. “You both are my girls; love you both; but you got to get along.” Did those words come out of his mouth? Surprisingly, they did. Had I not been an eyewitness to his testimony, I would have not believed that he had a Confucius bone in his body. He didn’t take sides, but demanded that she and I get it together. Unbelievable!

Then my only nephew, my heart, the apple of my eye, my King was born! My brother’s girlfriend suddenly became my sister. Miracles do happen! She was forgiven for all of her previous transgressions. Babies do that. Years later, despite their regrettable breakup, we have maintained a sisterly closeness. We had an eternal bond – her son, my adorable nephew!

Now, she is engaged. I was one of the first people to which she sent a photo of her ring. She was getting married. I was happy for her; ecstatic in fact. Then a bittersweet moment entered my presence. Strangely, I secretly wanted her and my brother to magically reunite. This time, it was a miracle that wouldn’t happen and I knew that, but I can dream the impossible; it eased my mind.
Next, unprepared, I heard her “stop me cold in my tracks” request, “I want you to be a bridesmaid.” As I always do, I immediately called Mommy Dearest. “What should I do? I love her, but I can’t be disloyal to my brother. I can’t make him feel uncomfortable.” “Talk to him. Get your Grannies’ opinion,” were my initial words. As for me, I am happy if she is happy. I consider her a surrogate daughter and love her dearly. I want the best for her and my Grandson. Children fare better with happy parents, particularly their Mother.

Sometimes, you have to make difficult choices. Sometimes, you have to make unpopular decisions. At all times, you must follow your heart and ask God to order your steps. I believe in the unity of family. I later provided this advice to my daughter, “Talk to your brother. Consider his thoughts and feelings. At the end of the day, the same blood runs through your and his veins. Remember that! Through thick and thin, you will always be sister and brother. Do the right thing that will keep you and him in love with each other! The bride will understand and respect your decision that you have to live with.”

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PostHeaderIcon Marital vows / Take them seriously

By Vernalee
bth_the-vows photobucket

“I,_______take you ____________to be my __________, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; for this day forward until death do us part.”

Most of you in my reading audience have heard these sacrosanct vows. If you are married, or have been married, you have recited them or something similar. Many of us know the words by memory. Often times after the wedding ceremony, we don’t think of the words, they resonant into oblivion.
But those revered vows, though they are simple statements carry a powerful and meaningful message. The execution starts immediately after they are uttered. These simple words are in effect contractual covenants that bind a couple’s love.

One of my best girlfriends is confronted with the testing of her marital vows now. “In sickness and in health” is the section that she is experiencing. Around the time that she turned 50, she and her hubby were on vacation on one of the islands. While there, he fell. It was a fall that had a pronouncement of other maladies to follow. Now, several years later, he has been diagnosed with a debilitating ailment. Once a very active man, he is now unable to mobilize himself as he had previously done. Then, the devastating blow came; he was no longer permitted to drive. That prohibition stripped him of his total independence. He became dependent upon others for his mobility.
Thus, all the responsibility of driving, taking him places, picking up needed household items and the like were transferred to his wife. Slowly, but surely, her responsibilities increased. He lost his maneuverability; she acquired the responsibilities that he once maintained.

Symbolically, her life had become like Atlas, because truly the weight of their collective world now rested on her shoulders. Imagine holding up your and his world on your shoulders! The weight gets heavy. In fact, it can wear you down.
When you have a spouse, you share all things proportionally in good times and in bad. The test always provides the testimony; it separates the wheat from the chaff. My friend “took to heart” her marital vows. She was and is obedient to the words that she stood before God, her family, her church, and her pastor and repeated as she and her husband respectively confessed their love to each other. Now, those marital vows are being put to the test. “In sickness and in health,” she remains attentively committed.

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