By Valerie Fraling, Special to the AFRO

“How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. I love thee to the depth and breadth and height My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight. For the ends of being and ideal grace. I love thee to the level of every day’s most quiet need, by sun and candle-light. I love thee freely, as men strive for right. I love thee purely, as they turn from praise. I love thee with the passion put to use in my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith. I love thee with a love I seemed to lose. With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath, smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose, I shall but love thee better after death.” Elizabeth Barrett Browning

“Love makes the world go round” yet the celebration of love in the Black community oft-times goes unnoticed. Is it taken for granted? I don’t think so because on “Any given Sunday” Etta James sings about A Sunday kind of love “A love to last past Saturday night… and I want a Sunday kind of love…, or Nat King Cole “Unforgettable that’s what you are; unforgettable though near or far. Like a song of love that clings to me. How the thought of you does things to me. Never before has someone been more unforgettable in every way.

John and Beverly Carter, Donald and Joanne Parker, James and Robin Wood, Raymond and Joan Bowen, Mildred and Robert Stephens, Freeman and Jackie Hrawbrowski, Spencer and Bea Williams, Jerome and Paula Stephens, Lenny and Marlene Clay, Larry and Diana Gibson, Hosea and Leslie King Hammond, Charles and Salima Gibbs, John and Lyberia Massey and William and Rosa Pryor Trusty.

A successful marriage is understanding your spouse and being able to love and respect the desires and dreams of each other while remembering “every night is not Saturday night”

“You’ve got to give a little, take a little and let your poor heart break a little. That’s the story of, that’s the glory of love. You’ve got to laugh a little, cry a little before the clouds roll by a little. That’s the story of, that’s the glory of love. As long as there’s the two of you, you’ve got the world and all its charms. And, when the world is through with you, you’ve got each other’s arms. You’ve got to win a little, lose a little and always have the blues a little. That’s the story of, that’s the glory of love. “ Jimmy Durante

Vernard and Yvonne Wynn, AJ and Carole Miles, Kwesi and Tiffany Mfume, Reggie and Sharon Pinder, Gaylord and Jessie Hill, William and Delores Jessup, Almie and Robin McIntyre, Andrew and Jacquie Cromer, Dwight and Aileen Taylor, Elijah and Maya Cummings, James and Sharon Hopkins, William and Mattie Mumby, Bill and Brenda Jews, Donna and Charles Wilson, Richard and Flora Johnson, Cecil and Sheryl Flamer, Ron and Joy Owens and Theo and Blanche Rogers.

The millennials. like Grammy winner Ella Mai tells us to “ Listen to my heart go ba-dum, boo’d up biddy-da-dum, boo’d up. Hear my heart go ba-dum, boo’d up Biddy-da-dum it just won’t stop, it go Ba-dum, boo’d up biddy-da-dum, boo’d up”

Jill and Steven Carrington, James and Vhonda Lewis, Calvin and Lydia Baker, Gary and Karen Brooks, Walter and Aja Hill, Robert and Robin Jacobs, John and Charlene McCargo, Ken and Dale Thompson, Richard and Diane Bell McCoy, George and Marian Russell, Guy and Gladys Bragg, Sam and Lydia Redd, Leonard and Rose Hamm, Otha and Bea Grant, Victor and Lola March, Calvin and Greta Burnett, William and Betty Dorsey, Dino and Annette March and Charles and Pat Payne, Thurston and Carol Jones, and Margaret and Luther Johnson.

In celebration of Black Love month, I asked renowned bartender Derek Palmer of Gordon Ramsey’s steakhouse to create a cocktail for love month.

“It’s getting hot in here” The Horn consists of el Silencio Mezcal, Patron Citrange, Aperol fig preserves, Fresno peppers and egg white foam. It’s just hot enough to be spicy and cool enough to quench your thirst. Now that’s LOVE. Say hello to GM Dalaina Ray and Executive Chef Brandon Sydnor.

“It’s so curious: one can resist tears and ‘behave’ very well in the hardest hours of grief. But then someone makes you a friendly sign behind a window, or one notices that a flower that was in bud only yesterday has suddenly blossomed, or a letter slips from a drawer… and everything collapses.” Sidonie Gabrielle Colette

Keep Blanche Beckham and her family in prayer as they mourn the death of her husband Paul Beckham; Beulah and Jay Brown as they mourn the death of her husband and his dad James” Jimmy” Brown and Brenda Sewell and family as they mourn the death of her husband Ernest Sewell. Remembering our friend Shirley Hicks.

Celebration time!

Our good friend/son Darnell Moses thought he was going to celebrate his 50th birthday without fanfare. Best friends George Ray, Kim Smalls and Tonya Tucker arranged a surprise brunch at the Bygone. After brunch we joined friends at the bar where we witnessed a splendid day and a beautiful Baltimore sunset.

Also celebrating her 88th birthday at Four Seasons’ Bygones was Anna Graves with her three daughters and son-in- laws, Lora Mayo (Milton), Cynthia Wilder (Steven), Anna Gray (Harlin), and her grandson Anwar Graves, Esquire.

Happy birthday Sam Redd, Lydia McCargo Redd, Kim Crew, Michael Shaw, Marsha Jews and my BFF for fifty plus years Paula Johnson Branch.

Forty plus years ago my life changed; I was given a 50-50 chance for survival. I called out to the only one who could save me. Lord what about my children who will take care of them? He heard my cry. So grateful to be celebrating the 50th birthday of my youngest son Michael Gregory Lee on March 4th. Hey, Maxine Gaskins, guess who’s 50. To God be the glory!