Spread love; it’s the Brooklyn way!
A Brooklyn couple found love after 50 and are sharing their story to inspire others, Essence reports.
Gina Keller, 53, and her fiancé Steve Brown, 54, first met when they were just children. Keller was six and Brown was seven, and the two were raised in the same Brooklyn neighborhood, only seeing each other when Brown came to play with her brother.
“He had this big red afro. I always thought that he was cute,” Keller recalled.
When it was time for them to go to college, Brown attended Long Island University (LIU), and Keller went to Syracuse, the two briefly dating before going their separate ways.
“We tried dating, but he seemed preoccupied. I always tease him that there must’ve been a girl at LIU who held his interest. It never really turned into anything,” said Keller.
The two said they both witnessed loving marriages, raised in two-parent homes, Brown’s father and mother were together until his passing earlier this year. They would both build families of their own, Brown moving to North Carolina with his family and Keller marrying and having a son of her own. Keller eventually got out of a decade-long marriage, and five years later, Brown would return to New York after being gone for 20 years and ending a marriage of his own. Keller said that just weeks before Brown messaged her on Facebook and the two reconnected; she had begun to think about what she wanted out of her next partner.
“Two weeks before he reached out to me, I’d written a list of 10 things I wanted in my next relationship. When we started talking, I realized he had seven or eight,” she said.
The two began dating in 2014 and fell madly in love, knowing that they were perfect for each other early on. Keller admits she was hesitant at first, relishing in her newfound freedom as a single gal after a decade. But there was something about Brown that was just different.
“Steve is a very gentle soul. He is very, very laid back—more of a take-it-all-in -before-responding type of person. I’m very outgoing and social...At this point, I know I wanted to be married to him only. I would tell him, you know if you ask me, I will say, ‘yes.’ Now what if I had been firm on him having all 10 of my [desired qualities]. I would have missed out on love,” said Keller.
Brown asked Gina’s parents and her son Gavin for permission before proposing. The two had already planned their wedding, picked a dress and venue before the pandemic hit. Now they’re waiting for the pandemic to end before they walk down the aisle. Their love story has touched many, the two starting a YouTube channel, Car Chronicles, where they discuss relationships, parenthood, date nights, and life, as well as a brand, myBKlife, selling merchandise that inspires others to spread love the Brooklyn way.
“It’s our signature of what Brooklyn means to us. It’s about raising a Black boy in Brooklyn, you know, who’s about to go to college. It’s about Black love and families,” the couple said.
The duo said they hope their story inspires others. And while they are still patiently waiting to walk down the aisle, Keller says she knows for sure that she is “marrying the love of [her] life.
Congratulations, Gina and Steve! You can support the couple on their registry.
Photo Courtesy of Gina Keller/Steve Brown/Essence