Keeping my Vows as Black as possible
This past Wednesday I got married to my best friend and love of my life. I never thought writing vows for someone you love would be so difficult. I wrote them the day before. It was so hard to find the words to say.
Once I wrote them, i knew i had found the words and all of my feelings. After the ceremony, a number of folks said that our vows were the best vows they have ever heard and i wanted to share mine here. And yes, I made them as black as possible:
“Dear Lance Kyle Leon Bennett,
Michelle Obama said, “for me, becoming is not arriving somewhere or achieving a certain aim…instead it is a forward motion, a means of evolving, a way to reach continuously for a better self.” Although I am extremely excited to start this journey with you; I know that Becoming your wife is not going to be my highest achievement but instead the beginning of an incredible motion forward into our future.
Before I met you, I thought I knew how I defined Love; but, you have shown me that love is more than a 90-minute hallmark movie filled unrealistic scenarios. That love isn’t always some dramatic grand gesture but it is all of the little ones.
It is spending hours in a coffee shop doing our homework—because love is accountability. It is holding me through an anxiety attack—because love is like the weighted blanket applying pressure to reassure me it will all be okay. It is taking my glasses off when I fall asleep reading—because love knows I cannot afford a new pair of glasses! It is reminding me to eat when I am stressed out—because love is nourishing. And it is even sending calendar invites for chipotle lunch dates—because love is respectful of time.
I wish I could say that the phrase “Until death does us part” did not cause me to start having a slight panic attack. Not because I am scared to love you, but because I am twenty-five and forever seems like such a big word with a lot of weight. (and plus I planned on being twenty-five for the rest of my life).
When I close my eyes and try to imagine my forever, our forever, I see three dogs, a big house with a lot of books and your grey haired beard wearing your Eagles gear yelling at the TV during each game. I see us sitting by our fireplace having long discussions about our days, new academic budget models and all the books I have completed.
Lance, I promise that our forever will be one long journey of me figuring out all the ways to love you better—because love is a verb.
Love is putting my coat in the closet and not on the back of the couch because I know it is annoying to you. Love is making you a “to-go” plate when we leave Mrs. Sproles house because I know the following day you’ll want some of Lonnie’s ribs and be upset you forgot to make a plate.
Often times people say marriage and relationships are 50/50 and give and take. I don’t believe that.
So Lance, here are my final promises of the night
I promise to give 100% of myself to you. That includes my deepest fears, imperfections, and insecurities. That I will only take what I need and replenish you with all of my love, support, and corny jokes (and cartoon movies).
I promise not to eat the last bite of ice-cream without telling you. And I promise I will not curb my book and shoe purchases but will at least organize them better. But most importantly, I promise to be yours and only yours for the rest of your life and even after that because my time knows no boundaries of space and time.
Nikki Giovani said that “Black love is Black wealth” and we may not have everything but your side and with our love, we will always have more than enough. “