All Love is ‘Struggle Love’ – Breaking Down the Humans of New York Instagram Story of Bobby & Cheryl Love…

Hello World,

As the week of love begins today with Valentine’s Day on Friday, I thought I would write about something that has been brewing in my mind ever since I heard the term “struggle love” a few years ago or so. According to the Facebook page “Just Say No Struggle Love,” ” below is the definition of “struggle love” –

And last week, I heard about the curious case of Bobby & Cheryl Love whose love story was featured in an 11-part Humans of New York Instagram Post…The gist of the story is that before Bobby Love was a husband to his wife Cheryl for 40 years, he was a criminal named Walter Miller. After Walter Miller escaped from prison in North Carolina, he traveled to New York where he began going by a different moniker and he married Cheryl, who knew nothing of his past. Bobby Love seemingly became a different man, having and raising four children with his wife and named a deacon in their church to boot.

This charade went on for 40 years until the FBI showed up at their doorstep on morning, and his secret was revealed to Cheryl and his new family. Bobby Love went to jail, but his wife advocated on his behalf, sending letters to the governor, testifying for him, getting testimonies from others who knew Bobby Love not Walter Miller including church members and children he coached. Luckily, he was only in jail for a year as Cheryl’s advocacy worked. After he was released, Walter Miller officially changed his name to Bobby Love, and Bobby and Cheryl are still married today.

 

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(11/11) “I got to work. I wrote letters to the governor. I wrote letters to Obama. I gathered testimonials from everyone that Bobby ever knew: all the kids he used to coach, all the people at our church, all of our family members. I testified on his behalf. I didn’t know a thing about Walter Miller. But I told them all about Bobby Love. And the parole board took mercy. After a year in prison, they let him come home. The day after he was set free, I sat him down and asked: ‘What is it? Are we the Loves? Or are we the Millers?’ And he said: ‘We Love. We Love.’ So I had him change his name legally. And now we’re moving on. I still have my resentments. When we get in a fight, I’ll think: ‘This man better appreciate that I forgave him.’ But the thing is– I did forgive him. And when I made that decision, I had to accept all the territory that came with it. I can’t make him feel that debt every day of his life. Because that’s not the marriage I want to be in. The whole world knows now. We’ve got no secrets. But I think this whole mess was for the better of things: better for me, better for the kids, and better for Bobby. He doesn’t have to hide anymore. He can look at me when I’m speaking. Not only that, he’s hearing me too. My voice is heard. I used to walk on eggshells. I used to just go along. But I told him one thing. I said: ‘Bobby, I’ll take you back. But I’m not taking a backseat to you no more.’ Because I got my own story to tell. I can write a book too. I might not have escaped from prison, and started a whole new life, and hid it from my family. But I forgave the man who did.”

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It was a fascinating love story of forgiveness that is worthy of a book and a movie…While Veronica Wells of Madame Noire writes that Bobby and Cheryl’s love story was “beautiful,” she notes the love story is not “romantic.” She also writes,

“And while I certainly appreciate the story, the fact that they were able to work things out, and that Bobby is a free man. I want the Black community to place it in the proper context. It’s not relationship goals. And honestly, while Cheryl and Bobby seem happy together, I don’t think Black women should be applauding this type of narrative. Women shouldn’t have to deal with not only liars but emotionally unavailable men for decades. They shouldn’t have to marry men who are harboring life-altering secrets. Secrets are a trope in the Black community.”

Veronica Wells did not use the term “struggle love,” but based on the definition above, I would imagine that the writer of these “Just Say No to Struggle Love” Facebook posts would probably put Bobby & Cheryl’s love story in this category. But I would like to submit that all love is struggle love. Yes, I will admit that I would not sign up for Bobby & Cheryl’s love and this is an extreme case of the struggle love, but in all love, there are struggles. I know of another fascinating love story of forgiveness that I also wrote about the Sunday before Valentine’s Day in 2011…I wrote about Betty T. Smith’s story that she wrote about in her book, “Nothing Wasted: When Evil Befalls You, Know That God Keeps You Standing.”

See the description below –

When her husband announces that he has been unfaithful and asks for a divorce after twenty-eight years of marriage, it appears to Betty that her dream has died. However, in the midst of her pain, God gives her a promise of restoration. Clinging to that promise, she chooses to stay faithful until her husband’s return, however long it may take. With candor and courage Betty Smith shares her highs and lows, from the courtship, to the birth of her children, to seeing the man she loved walk out the door, and how she weathered the storm by standing on the promises of God. “Nothing Wasted” is a love story, not just between Betty and her husband, but also between Betty and the God who was always there, always faithful, and who never let her down.

Her husband Bob left her in 1978, and it wasn’t until 2008 when he was sick and about to die that the two reconciled. He revealed to her that he had never stopped loving her and asked for her forgiveness, and Betty confessed her love as well. But secretly within, she grappled with other emotions…

“I had waited thirty years to hear those words, but they came from a broken man, and I never wanted that. I wanted my strong, virile Bob to knock on my door, confess his undying love, sweep me off my feet, and then we would have many more years of wedded bliss. But we were running out of time.”

Bob died days later…After the funeral, Betty went to the cemetery to take fresh flowers to his grave. Mysteriously, one faded yellow rose lay on his grave.

“I took it home with me, for I recognized its name: Acceptance with Joy. My Lord retrieved for me one yellow rose as confirmation that He does not waste anything. He kept every promise and gave me a happy ending.”

Betty dedicated her book to Robert Lee Smith, “her soul mate.”

To me, that story is a “struggle love” story and is a white woman’s story. Truly, I’m not envious of Cheryl Love nor Betty T. Smith, and I hope that I don’t ever have to be in a love that requires that amount of struggle and forgiveness. Though all cases of “struggle love” may not be as extreme as these two cases, trust and believe that if you endeavor to love someone, there will always be a struggle…(Even self-love requires a struggle, but that is another post for another day…)

In the love chapter of the Bible, 1 Corinthians 13, it is stated that,

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

If love is not supposed to be “struggle love,” why does love have to be “patient?” If love is not supposed to be “struggle love,” why does love require not being “easily angered?” If love is not supposed to be “struggle love,” why can’t you keep a “record of wrongs? And then at the end, it is said that love “perseveres.” By definition, to persevere means to struggle…

And in traditional marriage vows, where “better” is mentioned so is “worse,” where “richer” is mentioned so is “poorer,” where “health” is mentioned so is “sickness.” And then at the end, staying together until “death” is mentioned. Staying with someone until they die is a struggle…

I understand that by coining the term “struggle love,” it is meant to keep black women from making stupid choices in love. And there are stupid choices to be made. I understand that Lori Harvey is having fun with Future right now, and I get that as a young woman on the scene to be seen…But chile, please don’t make him your future and become one of his baby mamas…

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But I don’t care if you marry Barack H. Obama, there will be a struggle or struggles…Now, every love story won’t require what was required of Bobby & Cheryl Love or Bob & Betty Smith, thanks be to God who sits on High but yet looks Low, but if you aspire to be in love, know that a struggle will be required…All. love. is. “struggle love.”

With that being said, Happy Valentine’s Day, LOL?

 

Any thoughts?

 

 

Why Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s ‘Megxit’ is a Modern-Day ‘Leave and Cleave’ in Action…

Two of the Most Popular Biblical Couples Show How to Leave and Cleave...

 

Hello World,

I was one of millions of people the world over who watched Prince Harry & Meghan Markle get married on May 19, 2018. A wedding is one of my favorite occasions so a royal wedding upped the ante to royal proportions! In my glee, I even wrote a gushing blog post about the wedding “7 Reasons Why Prince Harry & Meghan Markle’s Royal Wedding Was the Best Royal Wedding Ever!!!”

But the trouble is for Prince Harry & Meghan Markle is that since then, the world has not stopped watching Prince Harry & Megan Markle. And watching, unfortunately, is not all that has been done. There has been scrutinizing which in their case is watching with a sinister twist. This scrutiny has led to harsh headlines…Below is a small sampling of the fevered coverage…

  1. “Getting up at 5am, bombarding aides with texts and her eyebrow-raising fashion: Palace insiders reveal how Hurricane Meghan is shaking up the Royals six months after the wedding.”
  2. “Danny Baker fired by BBC over royal baby chimp tweet”

  3. “’A Complete and Utter Bombshell’: Meghan Markle’s “High Risk” Lawsuit Shocks the British Press”

It got to the point that Megan Markle was painfully transparent about how these headlines made her feel in this documentary about their recent trip to Africa…See below…

In that clip, it is clear to see that change was on the horizon and that change was announced last Wednesday. In what has become known as “Megxit,” Prince Harry and Megan Markle announced in an Instagram post that they plan to “step back as senior members of the Royal Family and work to become financially independent, while continuing to fully support Her Majesty The Queen.” Additionally, they “plan to balance [their] time between the United Kingdom and North America.”

 

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“After many months of reflection and internal discussions, we have chosen to make a transition this year in starting to carve out a progressive new role within this institution. We intend to step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family and work to become financially independent, while continuing to fully support Her Majesty The Queen. It is with your encouragement, particularly over the last few years, that we feel prepared to make this adjustment. We now plan to balance our time between the United Kingdom and North America, continuing to honour our duty to The Queen, the Commonwealth, and our patronages. This geographic balance will enable us to raise our son with an appreciation for the royal tradition into which he was born, while also providing our family with the space to focus on the next chapter, including the launch of our new charitable entity. We look forward to sharing the full details of this exciting next step in due course, as we continue to collaborate with Her Majesty The Queen, The Prince of Wales, The Duke of Cambridge and all relevant parties. Until then, please accept our deepest thanks for your continued support.” – The Duke and Duchess of Sussex For more information, please visit sussexroyal.com (link in bio) Image © PA

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They also launched a new website sussexroyal.com which includes an updated media policy that in which they explain they will “no longer participate in the Royal Rota system.” And they made sure to define this Royal Rota system:

The Royal Rota was established more than 40 years ago as a way of giving UK print and broadcast media exclusive inside access to the official engagements of members of the Royal Family.

Under this system, the rota, or pool, gives these British media representatives the opportunity to exclusively cover an event, on the understanding that they will share factual material obtained with other members of their sector who request it. The current system predates the dramatic transformation of news reporting in the digital age. The core group of UK outlets with Royal Rota access remain the predominant news source through which worldwide media organisations receive content on the official engagements of members of the Royal Family. These UK media outlets are: The Daily Express, The Daily Mail, The Daily Mirror, The Evening Standard, The Telegraph, The Times, The Sun.

On the same day that Princess Harry and Meghan Markle announced their redefined Royal stance, this is the headline The Daily Mail published…”Once Prince Harry was the life and soul of the party, so how did he go from a fun loving bloke… to Prince of Woke?”

Correct me if I’m wrong but there has been a racist tinge to some of The Daily Mail Headlines…Here’s one from before they were married…”EXCLUSIVE: Harry’s girl is (almost) straight outta Compton: Gang-scarred home of her mother revealed – so will he be dropping by for tea?”

From what I understand, the racist tinge to Meghan Markle coverage by the British tabloids is part of what has influenced Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to fight back… Here are two articles that explain this…

“As a woman of colour, I applaud Meghan for refusing to keep calm and carry on” by Natalie Morris

I’m so happy that this couple has taken charge of their family and is launching literally and figuratively into new territory. This principle is Biblical as it is plainly stated in Genesis, the very first chapter of the Bible…

 “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” Genesis 2:24

And there are several examples of new couples taking charge of their family and launching into new territory…Below are two of the most dramatic examples of leaving and cleaving…

  • In Genesis 12, it is stated…”Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee…And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother’s son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came.
  • In Luke 2, it is stated…”And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David: To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.”

I’m not saying that in every case that a new couple has live away from family (especially if finances prevent that), but boundaries of some sort have to be put in place so that emotionally a couple can create a new life as one. I don’t think Prince Harry and Meghan Markle originally wanted to separate from the Royal Family in such a dramatic fashion, but I’ve often found that a breakdown is necessary for a breakthrough. And I believe that now, finally, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle can live happily ever after as royals are supposed to do…

And while this issue was brought on by many tears, I’m reasonably sure, I hope that some of these memes and commentary since Megxit have caused them to laugh…hopefully so, anyway…here are two that made me chuckle…

Reportedly, the entire Royal family will be meeting tomorrow with Meghan conference calling in from Canada (YES!) to discuss these recent developments…Let’s hope Prince Harry and Meghan Markle stay strong on their new stance…

#Megxit…

Any thoughts?

 

See ‘Destination Wedding’ Novel Launch Party Photos & More!!!

Hello World,

It’s hard to believe that the first seven days of 2020 are now in the past…It’s even harder to believe that it’s been just over a month since my debut novel Destination Wedding was released on Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019! After my blog post “Candace Bushnell from ‘Sex and the City’ Has Endorsed ‘Destination Wedding,’ Which is Out TODAY!!!” on Dec. 3, I took a hiatus from blogging but trust I still had more to do regarding the launch of my novel. One of those things was a fun LAUNCH PARTY at Auburn Avenue Research Library African American Culture and History in downtown Atlanta! Since you weren’t there, I’m sharing pics and a video from the big day! I hope you enjoy them 🙂

Isn’t that nice? My book cover on a cake…

A friend and my Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated sister helped me to set up before the event…

Just a few snacks for guests…

Dr. Stewart and my father, Dr. Holness, are from Jamaica so they had lots to discuss…

My supportive hubby taking pictures with my father-in-law in the background…

Guests helping themselves…

Me & Carla Morrison, president of the Friends of Auburn Avenue Research Library…

My line sisters greeting each other. I have the BEST line sisters…

My husband is so handsome…

My line sister brought me flowers!!!

Me and my line sister…

My parents and in-laws…I’m blessed…

They were into the conversation…

We were having a very enlightening conversation if I say so myself…

Dr. Stewart is focused…

It’s going well…

Dr. Stewart breaking it down…

And now book signing…

Why do I look so uncomfortable? Latoicha Andino of luxetipsmag.com says I’m not a good hugger…LOL…

Me and my younger soror and her friend…

So glad that so many of my friends came out and supported…

One of my friends bought SEVEN books!!!

I met one of my Twitter friends for the FIRST time. I had no idea she was so statuesque…

Me and my Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated line sisters who came out…

Me and my beloved parents…

Wrapping things up…We didn’t even plan to wear the same colors…

Also, check out snippet of our conversation below…

So if you haven’t checked out Destination Wedding, what are you waiting on?

Any thoughts?