“I love you because the whole universe conspired to help me find you”
- Paolo Coelho, in his book "The Alchemist"
By Marcus Harden
When I think about role models of “love” as we know it — not in the heart shaped boxes or the hallmark cards, but in that true connection that endures — honestly, so many pairings of people who have made the choice every day to love and honor each other come to mind.
The narrative of Black love being dead is yet another sad narrative that lacks full truth. That said, when I think of couples that exhibit what it means to love, two come to mind.
Matt Reese and Tiffany Reese embody to me what “young” love looks like. Role models for what it means to not complete each other but to complement each other. If you’re around them, you know that love means laughter, love means respect, love means compromise, love means change, and at the end of the day love means being centered in their highest value of love, which is God the creator.
I’ve had the pleasure of watching them grow together since the beginning, and what strikes me isn’t the date nights or the pictures on top of a mountain or the professing of love (that’s all cool tho, lol), but it's the day-to-day of modeling what it means to be vulnerable in love, to be frustrated in love, to share your dreams in love, to watch the kids while the other one goes to workout in love and to grow a business and a life together in love. They get it honest and it appears to be a Reese family tradition (see their Father and Brother for other evidence).
Carolyn Berry Tipler and Kenny Tipler embody love that endures all, the love that truly embodies the vows that so many people have said together. It’s the love that lives in acceptance and forgiveness, it’s the love that opens itself up to others to show them more. It’s the love that doesn’t grow “old together” — it’s the love that just grows.
It’s rooted in family being first, we over me and us over I. It’s rooted in two seemingly different people coming together, ordained by and for love and choosing the union over and over again, against all odds, all outside voices, but staying true to what love is... patient, kind, does not envy, does not boast, is not proud, keeps no record of wrongs. They embody this and are a shining example for any couple, young or almost young (😂), on how to do it — not perfectly, but beautifully.
This is why the Reeses and the Tiplers, on this day of love, are Black History, Today.