I honestly don't know how it all got started!
I'm a black woman, married to a Baptist Preacher for over 35 years and I've had a happy life, or at least I thought I did.
My husband and I got married at a late age, he was 29 and I was 28. I had never even imagined getting married to anyone, let alone a Preacher, but you know that life has a way of changing things and that's what happened to me.
Wilson and I were attending an after graduation party at the college we both attended. He's graduated #3 in the class and I was close behind, at #6. While we didn't have perfect 4.0 grades, we both graduated with honors. Wilson was just 23 and headed to Seminary in Oklahoma. I had a major in business and was already accepted at a huge chain store, as a manager trainee, and I was looking forward to getting started with my working life.
Well, at this party Wilson approached me and asked if I'd like to dance with him. Now I love to dance so naturally I accepted and he led me out onto the dance floor, where we stay through 6 songs, all of them slow ones. He help me close and we talked to each other while we danced. He was a proper gentleman and his hands never roamed over my body, though at times I wish they had.
Let me describe us for you.
As I've already stated, I'm a black woman, with my skin the shade of mocha, which I love. Not too black and not too light! I stand just over 5', 5" and weigh ___ lbs. (You didn't actually think I'd tell you how much I weigh, did you?) I keep my hair short and close to my scalp, which I've done my entire adult life. I was never into the long hair thing and I simply detest corn rows or braiding or extensions! To me they make a person look out of place. Besides that, it's easier to keep my hair and scalp clean that way. I tend to dress sensibly and never wear too much make-up, either. I've been told I could have been a model if I'd chosen that profession, but I don't really like displaying myself in that fashion.
Wilson stands just over 6' tall and weighs almost 200 lbs. He's light complexioned and also keeps his hair short. He once told me that he'd shaved his head one time but the razor burn and the nicks and cuts quickly changed his mind. He has a mustache and goatee and is quite handsome, in his own way.
Anyway, Wilson and I danced most of the night and when it was time for the party to end he asked if he could take me home.
I accepted quickly. I really didn't want to lose his company that night.
I didn't realize it right then but the beginning of 'Love at First Sight' was starting to run rampant throughout my body and soul.
Once we got to my apartment he kissed me lightly on the cheek and asked if I'd see him again. I said yes and we set a date for the next weekend. I entered my apartment, closed and locked the door behind me, and collapsed on the sofa. I was dizzy with romance for the first time in my life, but again, I didn't recognize the symptoms at the moment.
I could still feel Wilson's touch as he kissed me and held my hand to the place, trying to keep that warmth right there. Of course it didn't work.
I went to work the following Monday and the day just seemed to fly by. Most of the time I was lost in my mind and my fantasies as I relived that kiss Wilson had planted on my cheek. Several times I had to scold myself and do my best to pay attention to the orientation being given. I made it through the day ... barely, but I made it. The rest of the week went better and I concentrated more on my job and less on romance.
Friday night came and went.
Our date was for Saturday and, promptly at 5:00 that evening Wilson appeared at my door, flowers in hand, and rang the doorbell.
I answered and was pleasantly surprised with the flowers. I took them into the kitchen, after inviting him inside, and put them in some fresh water and set the vase on the table next to my entertainment center, where I'd be able to see them.
We sat and talked for almost an hour. He told me about his plans to be a preacher and that he'd be leaving in two weeks for seminary in Oklahoma City. He told me he'd be gone for 4 years as he studied and that he'd be back every six weeks to visit family. He also asked if it would be possible to see me while he was here.
I quickly told him yes!
The rest of the date was nice. He took me to a local restaurant and we had steak and baked potatoes, along with some very good sweet tea. He'd asked me if I wanted a mixed drink or a beer and I informed him that I didn't drink. I also told him that I never smoked and had no intention of starting. He laughed and told me he didn't do either himself.
The date went well and I had a great time with him. We sat and talked for almost two hours after we'd finished our meal. We didn't have anything else to do and it just felt right to sit and talk and get to know each other better.
When we got to my apartment he tried to give me another peck on my cheek, but I turned my head at the last moment and he got me right on the lips, just as I'd intended. The kiss lingered longer this time and he wrapped his arms around me and we hugged as we continued the kiss. Eventually we broke apart and I think we were both a little embarrassed, but it soon passed and we said good-night.
True to his word, Wilson visited with me each and every time he was home. We got to know each other quite well and we spent a lot of time together. We danced, went out to eat, sat in my apartment and just talked. We never did anything sexual at that time, either. We enjoyed each other's company and I was always saddened when it was time for him to return to Oklahoma City.
The last time he came to visit he invited me to the ceremonies for his 'graduation' from Seminary. I gladly accepted.
When it was time to leave he greeted me at my apartment, again with flowers in his hand - only this time it was a corsage for me to wear to the 'graduation'. It was pink and quite lovely. He pinned it to the dress' left shoulder and we got into his car and left.
It's a 6 hour drive my apartment to Oklahoma City and during all that time we chatted and told each other things we hadn't already said. He has a great sense of humor and loves telling jokes, so most of the time I was in stitches from laughing so hard. The time quickly passed and before either one of us really realized it, Oklahoma City loomed in the distance. I hated to see the trip end, but I was also looking forward to his ceremony.
Wilson 'graduated' at the top of his class and I was so proud for him. He gave a speech before the ceremony started, quoting several passages from the Bible as he did and he got a night applause from the rest of his class and those attending once he finished.
At the end we went to the party afterwards and that's when he popped the question.
To say I was surprised would be an understatement. I truly never saw it coming, but I was glad it did.
Once I said yes the crowd behind us gave a huge cheer. I had never even realized that the throng was there. I turned quite red but was so happy that I didn't really care. I was going to be the wife of a Baptist Preacher!
In May of that same year we got married in a small ceremony officiated by the head of the Seminary Wilson had attended. It was a small ceremony, since neither one of us had any family. His parents had passed away 10 years earlier after an accident. Mine had passed on separately, my mom with Breast Cancer and my dad from a heart attack. They'd died within a couple years of each other. Neither one of us had any siblings, so we decided to forgo the large ceremony and it was just the three of us, plus a photographer so that we'd have pictures to show our kid, when we decided to have a family that is.
Two weeks after Wilson finished Seminary, and the time we got married, we moved to Sweet Tea, Mississippi, where he was to head a church there. Yes, there is such a place as Sweet Tea, Mississippi. Grace Solid Rock Baptist Church had interviewed him before he finished and once they'd invited him he gave it some thought and then accepted - after we talked it over that is. The one thing we did in the early stages of our marriage was to discuss everything with each other.
I wasn't expecting anything huge, as far as the church went, but what I got was something I'd never imagined, let alone dreamed of.
Sweet Tea, Mississippi is in the Mississippi Delta. Another words it's in the northwest corner of the state and the Mississippi River runs along the western side of "The Delta". Poverty is quite rampant there. Now don't get me wrong, the wealthy live there too, but he poor outnumber the wealthy by a huge margin. The city is also about 96% African-American.
The move took two weeks. Not that we had a lot to move, but rather finding a suitable place to live is what took the time away from us. We searched for a small house but couldn't find anything we could afford. As a preacher, Wilson's salary wasn't all that big, so we had to make do with what we had. After looking for a couple of weeks we decided it would be better if we just got an apartment and settled for that for the time being. We found a nice one near the church we could afford and soon moved in and got settled into the life we were about to be a part of.
Our first Sunday at the church was something I'll never forget.
.... There is more of this story ...