Paideia Tribune

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2020-01-10 Anthony KaDarrell Thigpen EMOTIONAL

It was 16 years ago, August 15, 2004, standing on the misty banks of Niagara Falls, when both Beauty and Powerunited.

The rushing water couldn’t compare to my racing heart – I’m still glad you said, “Yes.”

I remember those days so clearly.


I’d spent 6 months of my life falling in love with the woman God predestined to accelerate my purpose forever.

Istillbelieve “when a man finds a wife, he finds a good thing and obtains favor with God.”

The reason I knew Clara was “agood thing” is not simply because she’s pretty and smart.

People are constantly blindsided by her eye-catching beauty, strong sense of style and her savvy professionalism.

As a result, they only scratch the surface of the phenomenal woman I see.

I See You…

Clara, every time you read this blog, know that I saw you then – and I still see you now.

I see her mixture of vulnerability and strong work ethic.

I see her combination of humility and perseverance.

I see her ingredients of faith and prayer.

I remain in love, in awe, and inspired by“The Woman, The Wife and The Worshipper”– Istillsee her best on her worst days – even when she gets on my last nerve.

What makes us authentically perfect is how the pieces of our life puzzle fit together even with all our imperfections – “This Is Us.”

My Promise is Forever…

This is us laughing. This is us crying. This is us hurting. This is us traveling. This is us learning. This is us broken. This is us happy. This is us afraid. This is us against the world. This is us aging gracefully. This is us making love last forever.

Our journey is no fictional fairytale, we work to make our relationship survive, yet every reality is worth reliving – and I’d make vows to do it again and again.

Our love quickly developed into an epic tale that officially started at sunset on Niagara Falls.

With my silver suit blazer draped over her soft shoulders, she carried a huge black book of poetry in one hand and cradled my arm in the other.

I’d given her a book of handwritten poems weeks prior to our Canadian vacation – it maintained the original seal.

After gaining the approval of her family and mine, I’d cut a hole in the center of the book and inserted a diamond ring for our unsuspected proposal.

For weeks, she possessed my promise to love her forever, without even knowing it.

I kneeled in honor of my queen, unveiling the deepest sentiments of my heart, and then I asked, “Will you do me the honor of being my wife?”

The Niagara Falls

Her eyes said yes to the ring, but her heart definitely said yes to my love. From that point, everything happened so fast.

Ten months later, I was a husband – Ten months after our wedding, I was a father.

Since then, we’ve had far more ups than downs, more tears of joy than sadness, and made more amazing memories worldwide than most couples create in a lifetime

Unfortunately, there’s no such thing as a true love story without pain: and there’s no such thing as true love without forgiveness.

So, there we stood,“Beauty and Power,”gazing into our future at the Niagara Falls.

My Leading Lady…

This month I will turn age 50, although I still look 34-year-old, life has given me so many experiences. I am the epitome of growth, gratitude and a heart of repentance.

It’s true what they say about favor, it’s not fair – because I’ve done nothing to deserve this wife or this life.

I changed her last name, but she changed all my titles, I became a husband, a father, a protector, a provider, and the head of a household.

Trust me when I say, on July 2, 2005, two complicated individuals became one.

Ours is no cookie cutter union defined by controlling expectations – we’ve learned the art of allowing happiness to permeate from within.

Yet, she stands by me during my successes, failures, weaknesses, strengths, confusion, determination, anger, disappointments, and times of sickness.

We are committed for better or for worse – not only do westillbelieve in marriage; westillbelieve in one another.

I amstillin love, publicly, privately and inwardly.

Most importantly, whether during my greatest victories or my worst defeats, I listen to her.

When she fails to find the right words to say and I get angry beyond explanation, I still hear her heart and I feel her energy.

As a result, she’s been my chief pillar during the most relevant years of my adult life.

She means more than our first dance, more than our favorite love songs, and more than life as we know it, she is literally the love of my life.

So, Clara, upon reading this blog, know that I’m forever thankful for the longest standing leading role that you continue to live as the leading lady in our epic journey of love – “This Is Us.”