“Why do you do this?” I asked.
“Because Ada was my best friend,” he said, and started to tear up. “That woman made me feel like I could take over the world. You know, there’s nothing I wouldn’t have done for her.” As we sat on the porch that morning, my granddaddy told me all kinds of stories about he and my grandmother: how she waited for him to come back from WWI, how she helped spare him from being lynched, and how they got their family through the Great Depression. He also took time to tell me that the first time he ever kissed my grandmother was when the minister said, “You may now kiss the bride.”
They were married more than 60 years and raised 12 children together. So it was obvious that after they said “I do”...they did. The last thing my granddaddy said is the thing that I still remember the most from our entire conversation: “You know, I don’t know anything about any other woman and I don’t want to, because Ada...well, she was the stuff.” I remember taking a deep breath in awe.
That’s what I wanted. I knew from that moment on that afternoon in Alabama that I wanted what my grandparents had. I wanted to be like them and wait until I got married before I had sex.
I didn’t want to be like other girls in my community, pregnant at 15 years old with stomachs sticking out and sayin’, “Where my baby-daddy at? You seen Ray-Ray? Where Ray Ray is?” I didn’t want to be an episode of The Jerry Springer Show.
I wanted “till death do us part.” Now my granddaddy didn’t have more than a third-grade education, and he didn’t know anything about safe sex. All he knew is that he loved this woman more than life itself, and he was true to her throughout his entire life. That was the vision he gave me at 11 years old that helped me see abstinence as the means to reach the desired end: a deep and lasting love.
This is an excerpt from Lakita Garth-Wright's book, The Naked Truth. Lakita Garth-Wright is a former Miss Black California, motivational speaker and author.
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