Barbara Graves: The Eternal Love of My Life

The Eternal Love of My Life

Win, lose, or draw, I could always count on you. Together we faced the challenges of raising three young black men in an environment often poisoned by racism and hostile to their ambitions. We faced down health crises, including my battle with prostate cancer. We led our business through tough economic times, including seven recessions, always emerging with a stronger, leaner, more competitive company. We stood together in the battle against racism and injustice at home and apartheid and economic inequities abroad. We championed the creation of black-owned billion-dollar companies, the rise of African American executives to the C-suites of major corporations, the creation of multigenerational wealth for black families, and the crusade for educational opportunities for black children. We stood together in loyalty to our country and its ideals, ultimately helping to elect a black man, Barack H. Obama, as the 44th president of the United States.

My beloved Barbara, it’s important to me that you know that the love we share is the most valued gift of my life. It is why I was determined to stay by your side during the last weeks of your battle with gallbladder cancer at Howard University Hospital and even as your mortal frame was transported from Washington, D.C., to your homegoing service in Mount Vernon, New York. My place is and always will be by your side, just as it was on that blessed day in July when we vowed to be wed in holy matrimony and became Mr. and Mrs. Earl Graves Sr.

Yes, Darling, I miss you. How can I not? But please know that I will continue to draw from your courage, your example, and your love, even as I continue my journey in this life, while anticipating the glorious reunion of our spirits in eternity. Until then, I will celebrate our love and your legacy, advance the values, standards, and causes you hold dear, and continue to instill them in our family and in our company. I know that you would not have it any other way.

Barbara, I am truly blessed to be your husband, grateful for your steadfast loyalty and abundant love, and eternally thankful to God for the life we shared. You are and always will be the best thing that ever happened to me.

My love forever,