Thu | Sep 20, 2018

A true love story

Published:Saturday | June 20, 2015 | 12:00 AMLauntia Cuff
Marcena and Lindel Williams.

Forty-five years ago, in 1970, when Lindel Williams (Lee) met his wife Marcena (Enid) Johnson, he was sure that she was the one. She, however, having been in a relationship that had ended badly, needed some more convincing as she was uncertain she could trust his intentions. Now, after 36 years of marriage, both of them told Family and Religion that they would gladly marry each other all over again.

"[There] was a store and I would always go there and buy, and when I go there most time, he ask me if he could buy me a gift, and I said, 'No'. He said, 'I will buy you a powder set or a cologne set or something', and I said, 'No, sir. Me no want anything from you sah!'" Enid recalled.

Lee also recalls her reluctance when he first tried to show interest in her.

"Me ask her all the while if she want me buy her something and she say no. She turn to me and she say somebody mess her up already, and I turn to her and say, 'Seven brothers, seven different minds'," he remembered.

He said she continued to visit the store and they would continue to communicate until she finally gave him a chance.

At the time, Enid already had two children from the previous relationship, but Lee did not mind as he had already decided that she was the one for him.

"She was a humble person and she was caring. She didn't have any kids for me yet, but the two kids that she had, I helped her with them, grow them up, school them, do everything. I take them as my own. They say, if you [love the] mother, you have to love the calf," he said.

Enid came to realise that Lee was a good man and her fears began to subside. She remembered a time when she had to work and he had been between jobs. The way he cared for the two children that were not biologically his showed her how good of a father he would be.

"He was different from the first lover. I used to look after a little boy and him stay there during the days. Him cook, him look after the two children, [clean the house] and him bathe them and him and them sit at the doorway [waiting on me to come home]. So [I said], if [they are] not his [children] and him look after them so good, he will do good to his own too," Enid explained.


industrious man

In 1973, Enid gave birth to Lee's first child, a daughter.

"After that, he got a work [doing] construction. When rain fall and him work, him come home half-day because they pay them for half-day when rain fall; and him come home and him cook and him wash him baby things," she said with pride.

They would later have two other daughters in 1975 and 1977, respectively. Little did they know that tragedy awaited them as their third daughter would become ill and die when she was only nine months old.

At the time of the child's death, Lee had moved away as someone in the community had been trying to cause mischief with him. Although they would still see each other, Enid admits that it caused a strain on the relationship.

The death of the child, however, brought the relationship back to life as he quickly moved back home to be with his family and, together, they helped each other overcome their grief.

In 1979, the Seventh-day Adventist Church held a crusade which Enid would attend and, every night, would go to the altar, but she struggled with the decision to be baptised.

"It was the last week, [the Bible worker] said to me, 'Every night I see you go up there and you not making any move', and I say, 'Because I am living with my baby father, so I can't do it'," she said.


quick marriage

The Bible worker asked to see Lee, who agreed. After meeting with the Bible worker, Lee decided to marry Enid so that she could walk with the Lord. However, he did not get baptised.

They were married on the morning of April 22, 1979, and Enid was baptised that same night. They said while they did not have the money to do a big wedding and opted for a small ceremony with witnesses, they were in love and that was all they needed.

"Even when me married, him never have any ring; the ring come after," Enid said.

After they were married, they had twin daughters in 1980 and twin boys in 1982, one of whom died at hospital. This tragedy they had to again overcome together.

Lee would much later decide to get baptised. He said that when he finally made the decision, it was as a result of the influence of his wife and her godly life.

When asked how he felt having achieved such a milestone as 36 years of marriage, Lee was overcome with emotion and could barely get the words out. With tear-filled eyes, he could only manage to say, "Very good. Everything just come the right way. [I'm] glad for her.

"I know that it's God's grace that keeps us. We are learning to trust God more, and the more we [are learning] to trust him, the more [he is working] out a way for us."