All marriage vows contain the line “to have and to hold” I’ve had the privileged of being married to the “man of my dreams” for the past fifteen years! It doesn’t seem that long until we go down memory lane and begin talking about different decades of our lives together, memories of childbirths, special occasions shared, good moments and even rough times. The highlight of every memory is that we were in high school together! To know that I’ve known this man for the last 24 years of my life and to have so many memories that involve this one man is simply delightful!!! So let me share how our love story began!
The love of my life is Marques Darnell Evans aka (Big Cleve) I call him Kez named after two basketball players and he has the height and stature to back it all up. Marques and I met in high school at St. Peter Chanel. Our paths crossed in the hallway one afternoon as I was going to the bathroom and he was sitting in the hallway on the stairs. There we had our first conversation and instantly became friends. As time moved on we would become very good friends because we could talk to each other about anything! We called ourselves brother and sister, then best friends and eventually husband and wife! No matter what title we gave our relationship the bond that we have together is something that remains strong today!
What age do we define love? When you meet someone so young and have such strong feelings for them you really get to know yourself and your feelings. When I was eighteen and Kez was sixteen I told him that I felt like he was my “soulmate”! Of course he thought I crazy but he could not deny that he also had strong feelings for me as well. Could I truly define love at the age of eighteen “Uh No” and he certainly could not either. But, Kez and I knew that there was something special about the other person and that was what made our relationship so strong. (Side Note: Let’s talk about our age difference. While in high school I would not date Kez formally because he was a freshman and I was a junior. So the age awkwardness only became more prevalent when we got married at twenty-five and twenty-three. Now at Forty and thirty-eight, I’m like hurry up and get to your Forties so we can enjoy this decade together)!!
So back to “having and holding” each other which is quite a joy to stand alongside someone on this life’s journey! The strong relationship that we had when we were younger is what we always remember when times get rough! And let me tell you times have gotten rough!! To have and to hold sounds lovely when everything seems to be going alright but during those rough times when your relationship is tried and tested we do need our constant reminders to stand strong through those times.
Now, Marques and I are complete and total opposites!! We don’t like the same foods we don’t have the same favorite color, we don’t like the same seasons, we don’t listen to the same music, we don’t like watching the same types of movies. When I say No similarities we are two totally different people!! So how does this work for our marriage? Well, I love the fact that he is nothing like me at all! We are actually able to celebrate our differences which allows the other to try new things. I love the fact that he is willing to try new things (sometimes) and we laugh about these experiences. Of course this has come with time and lots of compromise. Compromise is truly a gift and once we attained it in our marriage we have truly come to value it! You see it is not easy to try new things at any age. And it is very difficult to accept something that you have never tried or experienced in your life. But we both have come to be very open and willing to try what the other likes. There is a special feeling you get in making the person you love happy and these are moments that we have come to cherish!
Today Kez and I celebrate our 15th year Anniversary!! Time has truly gone by and our life together continues to evolve as we get older, raise our children and figure this life journey out together. I appreciate his grind for our family and his patience with me. He has taken the time to understand my complexities and still love me for the complicated person that I am! He’s on the journey with me and I’m so grateful to walk beside him!
All in all I’m truly glad to “have and to hold Marques Evans”, we have essentially grown up together and my prayer is that we continue to grow old together. Marriage is not always good times and but knowing how to “have and to hold” during those difficult times makes it so worth it in the end! Can I truly say that we are having and holding the right way? Absolutely Not! But our way is good enough for us and I’m so grateful for having and holding him in my life at all the time!