Love is a Mountain
Shannan and Alan first met in May of 2005 while attending college in Atlanta, Georgia. At the time, Alan was the managing editor of the Maroon Tiger, Morehouse College's weekly student-body newspaper, and Shannan, a junior at Spelman College, had decided to interview with Alan for the position of Maroon Tiger copy editor.
Neither could have imagined that such a routine meeting would be the start of a fruitful and loving relationship. Alan distinctly remembers the moment he first saw Shannan--how he was immediately taken by her, not only by her stunning natural beauty, but by the warmth of her smile, her poise and her presence, the passionate and spirited manner in which she spoke to him. Shannan remembers seeing a man whom she could only describe as a regal lion among peasant sheep, a virile and radiant figure who stood before her proud and strong as the great African general Hannibal himself, with a visage so handsome and bright she could scarcely look at him for fear of being swallowed up in the brilliance of his eternal light.
Naturally, Shannan, a meticulous and indefatigable maven of the written word, was hired for the job.
Over the ensuing months, Alan and Shannan cultivated a strong professional relationship predicated on mutual respect, cooperation, and understanding--core tenets that would serve as the foundation of their bond for years to come. Eventually, this professional relationship would grow into a close friendship, and then, before either of them had realized it, it would blossom into love.
And like the delicate blossom that springs up through a mass of heavy concrete, and stretches towards the sun under the shadows of trampling feet, Shannan and Alan's commitment would be tested in the face of many harrowing challenges--the death of Alan's father and cultural icon Dr. Alan Clarke, the catastrophic knee injury that would dash Shannan's dreams of Broadway.
And as each faced the unpredictable vicissitudes of life, found themselves wracked and beaten down by the hammer of an unforgiving world that crumbles even the strongest of stones, Shannan and Alan would find a shared strength in each others arms, a mutual courage in each others eyes--cultivated, bolstered, and tempered by the everlasting love kindling in each others hearts.
Through it all, Shannan and Alan began to understand about love what the late Dr. Clarke had said during his final days, that "Love is not an open hole you trip and fall into by chance. Love is a mountain you must climb; an ocean you must cross; a storm you must withstand; true love doesn't happen by chance. It happens by choice. You must choose to love each other...and then each day exhibit the grit and fortitude to earn your way a little higher up the mountain, hand-in-hand, together."