Marriage is like our home city of Chicago, it’s a big, complicated, hard working and not always pretty institution, but it’s something to be proud of and something we all should be able to experience.
And when I mean all, I mean everyone, that’s right gay & lesbians too.
I’ve been married almost three years and let me tell you, it’s hard work, you better put your boots on because it’s like a construction site on the west side some days, you better work hard at building that foundation and be prepared to get your hands dirty.
Some days it’s like sitting in traffic on LSD or the Kennedy (something I did plenty of in my DePaul days), you just sitting there helpless waiting to move or get to the next stage.
Other days like sitting in Millennium Park at a concert at night, watching the stars and taking in some beautiful music. And for the record, I proposed to my wife in Millennium Park.
It’s also like my alma mater DePaul University, it’s an education, a daily one that never ends, and you learn about your spouse, their view of the world and learn about yourself and how you handle all kinds of situations.
These vows you take are the truth and what you will live by, just like the courtrooms at Daley Center and can be as rough at that corrections facility at 26th & California.
But the important thing is to be as fair as the truth, fight fair, love fair. Have the balance as do Chicago’s finest (CPD), and keep it orderly and at times you will have to have the valor and courage as the Chicago Fire Department being a paramedic/fireman and handle emergencies with professionalism and quickness.
Honor & respect your significant other just like we look out at Lake Michigan in adoration when it’s calm on a beautiful day on one of the beaches and respect that lake when it’s choppy and you should not go boating or swimming when you see white caps and an approaching storm.
You should learn your partner in marriage like reading books at Harold Washington or one of our numerous and wonderful libraries. You can’t love someone without getting to know them, give your love the honor it deserves by giving your all, your time and attention.
Neglect is the worst thing you can do in a marriage, you must give that person and your marriage food, for it is a living thing that dies in the dark without sunlight & warmth, just like Grant Park, Jackson Park & Washington Park, you must tend to it like the Park District workers. But no yellow vest or raggedy truck required.
Marriage is to be taken seriously; it is a right but not just an achievement or trophy. It’s like the Chicago Bulls, yeah six trophies in the case are nice but we want a great team to follow, another party in Grant Park (after a championship), and a hero to cheer for in Derrick Rose. All of us can be Derrick Rose and be the MVP of our home when we succeed in marriage. But we need a “bench mob” or supporting group like he does.
Our homes are just a building but a happy marriage can make it the Friendly Confines like 1060 W. Addison and be warm like a Cubbie day game, or “Cold Steel on Ice” like the Madhouse on Madison when the Blackhawks don’t play well on a power play at the United Center.
As a man of color I don’t believe in anything less than 100% diversity and an equal playing field. Show me prejudice and I’ll show you the biblical mustard seed that strains to grow in a field of thorns. But show me a level playing field where we all can succeed and enjoy life and I’ll show you the young African American community worker who rose from a neighborhood organizer to being elected the highest office in the land and residing at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
We all (and I mean all), need the light of the sun to have our best days and that means everyone should have the chance to walk down that aisle, profess their love to the one who has stole their heart and they wish to grow old with and have that official marriage license from the lower level of Daley Plaza that pronounces them married.