It was my sophomore year of high school. On the back row of my physics class sat a boy with a killer Afro, wearing wire-rimmed glasses and flashing the shyest smile I’d ever seen. No, he wasn’t the captain of the football team or the boy every girl would give her eye-tooth to be seen with. Yet, the man-child society oftentimes lumps into the category preserved for Black males who are fatherless and being raised by a single mother—‘most likely not to succeed’, made this sista slow her roll for a long, hard, look.
Over the next thirty-five years, this boy, grew into a man. Somehow, he managed to bulldoze his way into my heart to become not only my lover, but my best friend. Six days after celebrating our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary on January 7, 2009, he quietly passed way after an almost year-long battle with colon cancer. Although he’s absent from me physically, his spirit will forever be anchored in my heart.
As a romance author, readers often tell me the only place a woman can meet a beautiful, strong Black man is between the cover of a romance novel. To my dying day, I’ll dispute this argument. Why? I was blessed to meet my spouse live and in living color! Was his appearance like that of a cover model for GQ magazine with a Bill Gates portfolio? Nope, he was far from it. He was an average brother with a twinge of gray at his temples. Thank God, he had the good sense not to listen to his middle school science teacher who told him Black men didn’t have the intelligence to become engineers. He was the one, however, who delivered the valedictorian address to his senior class, and subsequently received a full scholarship to one of the top engineering schools in the country, graduating magna cum laude with a degree in chemical engineering.
He didn’t drive a luxury vehicle or go head off to work all suited and booted in the latest Dolce and Gabbana collection. He was the father of our four children and the one who occasionally headed out the door sick, but somehow managed to work all day to earn an honest day’s pay in order to support his family. He was the man my children were and still are proud to call “Dad.” He was the one who spoiled me rotten, in spite of my shortcomings. He was the man who honored and respected me with his whole heart and demanded the same from others on my behalf. He was the man who cried with me and for me. He was the man who celebrated my joys and shared my pain. He was the man I entrusted with my darkest secrets and deepest fears, which he safely tucked them away inside his heart and carried to his grave.
What was special about that day? Everything! Little did I realize then, but that chance encounter on a hot, summer day in August 1974 changed my life, forever.
Until next time – stay well and be blessed,
So how did you meet the love of your life? Leave your answer below and be entered to win an autographed book from LaConnie!
About the author
Award-winning author, LaConnie Taylor-Jones, a native Memphian, is a health educator consultant and holds advanced degrees in community public health and business administration. The mother of four and resides with her family in Northern California.
For over twenty-five years, Ms. Taylor-Jones has been an avid romance reader. In the summer of 2003 a challenge from her husband made her seize the opportunity to blend her enthusiasm for teaching health, social responsibility and social justice with her love for reading the genre. Her experience as a health educator sparked a multitude of storylines and her romance, which she defines as the spirit of adventure, played a pivotal part in her road to publication. In a little over four years, she’s authored three full-length novels. In 2008, Ms. Taylor-Jones was the recipient of the 2008 Romance Slam Jam Emma Award for Debut Author of the Year for When I’m With You.
Ms. Taylor-Jones is an active member of the Contra Costa Alumnae chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., the African American Community Health Advisory Committee, Black Women Organized for Political Action, and the San Francisco Area and Black Diamond chapters of Romance Writers of America.
Visit LaConnie online
About the book (January 2010 Release date)
Tinsel Town is about to learn a few lessons from a Southern doctor with the courage to win the heart of a man who swore no woman ever would
If it doesn’t have a scientific basis, Dr. Laney Olivia Houston doesn’t believe in it —and that includes love at first sight. But she meets Raphael Baptiste. One encounter is all it takes; and she realizes her life is changed forever.
Jazz musician, Raphael Baptiste is no stranger to women or their beds. When an illness strikes, his life is thrown into turmoil. But the quiet Southern belle sees beyond his past and bitterness. She sees a man who could love. . .