Marrying a Mission

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Marrying a Mission
MLK's daughter explains how hard it is to find love after losing a hero.

Last night, I caught “Eyewitness to Murder: The King Assassination” feature on CNN that all my friends had cleared their schedules to watch. I couldn’t tear myself away from the screen as images of a hero snuffed out at his prime flashed across the screen.

As Soledad O’Brien (CNN girl crush) narrated through possible scenarios of how Dr. King’s murder unfolded, my friends and I couldn’t help but wonder what our political, racial and social landscape would look like if he were still around. To us, he was a man who challenged ethics, who inspired new dreams and supported our most scared ones.

But isn’t every good father a hero to his family? And if America shed tears when he passed on, how did it affect the lives of his immediate family? In a recent article that focused on the CNN special, his youngest daughter, Bernice – now a 45 year-old minister – claims that if her father were still alive, she would probably be married with children. Her father set the bar so high, she worries as she recalls something her mother, Coretta Scott King always said, “I didn’t marry a man, I married a mission.”

Bernice goes on to say, “For me, a spouse is more than just a companion. It's someone to fulfill your destiny with. And I think in my case, because the destiny is so great, because you had a man whose life was cut short and there was some work that had to be completed, that you now have a responsibility to participate in, that makes it a little more difficult."

Her brother, Martin King, III likewise, feels he wouldn't be having his first child at age 50 had his father not been killed. "I wasn't clear that I even wanted to bring a child into the world," he says.

Pretty deep. Made me realize how a lost parent – heroes in their own right - can cause a void that affects a child’s (love) life way down the road. Our parents, our roots, are responsible for more than just food and shelter. If allowed, they can often shape our standards for what we crave, detest and deserve in a partner. So as many of us (even Bernice King) yearn for a love that will reflect greatness, don't lose faith. Dare to dream.

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