On the 1st day of Kwanzaa, my wife, Ayanna, and I, celebrated 39 years together. Spiritually, she is aborisha Oshun, and, I am aborisha Obatala. The most unlikely pair to stay together for 39 years. Even our Sipritual Elder said so.
But it has happened. It has happened because of her strength, her courage, and, her love for me, and, I don’t say that lightly.
When we first met, I was determine not to get into a serious relationship. Not only that, my experience as a Black Panther had damaged me some terribly. I trusted no one. I possed a spirit of independence, which meant, I depended on myself, which kept me pretty much in social isolation. Even so, I was a performing Griot and a community theater writer and director.
Meeting Ayanna was like meeting a Queen and a seasoned Warrior wrapped into one. Years after our marriage, I began to experience the PTSD of earlier years. Slow speed, I began to withdraw into my old Panther self. Yet, Ayanna hung tough, determined to help me find that other me, buried deep inside.
It is now that I understand her sacrifices, and the depth of her strength and courage. Here’s a black woman who survived cancer at seventeen years old. A black woman who was a teen Mom. A black woman who pursued her education, successfully. An actress, who performed with the group, The Sojourner Truth Poets, a W. K. Kellogg recipient. And outside of that, she got up each morning and went to work, sick or well, and that’s just a small fraction of who she truly is.
Ah’m grateful that she found me, rescued me, nourished me, loved me, and, re connected me to my other Self. She is sweetness. She is Laughter, but most of all, She is my best friend.