Amani F’s Bio

AmaniFThe rela­tion­ship started inno­cently enough—like many, it grew from a pla­tonic, work­ing rela­tion­ship. He was a well-respected, promi­nent busi­ness man with a seem­ingly per­fect life, a wife, chil­dren who had grown up to be suc­cess­ful adults, and a reli­gious upbring­ing. I was a 30-year-old col­lege grad­u­ate, up-and-coming exec­u­tive, and a sin­gle, work­ing mother with an adorable tod­dler son, and a not-so-adorable, slowly dying, five-year rela­tion­ship with my son’s bio­log­i­cal father.

On the first clear day of spring, he asked if I’d like to go get a breath of fresh air. We met in a park on the shore of Lake Michi­gan, and it was there, sit­ting on a bench together, that I learned his age. He was, as my father would say, “double-nickels.” This 55-year-old man, hand­some, well-dressed, with just a sprin­kle of gray near his tem­ples, and the calmest, clear­est blue eyes, was the most entic­ing man I’d ever laid eyes (or soon hands) upon in my life! For years, I invested my efforts try­ing to nur­ture a rela­tion­ship with a man my age, giv­ing him 100%; and in return, I received lies, men­tal abuse, and rough, emo­tion­less sex, and my son received emo­tional neglect. And yet there, in the mat­ter of a few min­utes on a park bench and over the course of just a few short months, “Double-Nickels” showed me the most unimag­in­able care and kind­ness through his touch and his soft-spoken nature, his intel­lect and his gen­uine inter­est in what I had to say.

Today, more than 10 years later, after fac­ing our share of obsta­cles, we are hap­pily mar­ried and socially accepted by our fam­ily, and our local and busi­ness com­mu­ni­ties. His adult chil­dren are cor­dial; my fam­ily (most espe­cially my father) loves my hus­band and, best of all, he was able to legally adopt my son—our son, who is now a teenager! Love doesn’t pick an age; it picks a person.