( ENSPIRE Feature ) Maryland Couple Publish Their Memoir “The Story of Christina and I” Sharing Their Real-Life Fairytale Love Story.
ENSPIRE Contributor: Diana Yafizova
Everyone dreams of having a fairytale love story, and for Maryland couple Edward and Christina Sledge, they’re currently living theirs out. For them, their romance was predestined, being born in the same hospital and living only a few blocks away from each other for most of their lives. They constantly crossed paths in a series of small interactions during their childhoods until they found true love with each other in high school. Their lives couldn’t be any more different despite their physical proximity, with Edward being encircled by poverty and alcoholism. At the same time, Christina was raised in a tight-knit family filled with joyful experiences. However, a series of events would bring Edward to Christina’s high school, resulting in the beginning of the inspirational love story. They grew closer and eventually got engaged and eloped two months later when Edward was a soldier in the U.S. Army and Christina was a senior at Temple University.
With them being married for over 21 years, they have written and published their memoir: The Story of Christina and me. Their story is both one of resolve and resilience and a real-life urban fairy tale that compels you to find out how they finally get to their happily ever after. They discuss how they navigated life and love by sharing their heartaches and blessings throughout their many years of marriage to create the inspirational love story they have now.
ENSPIRE Magazine interviewed Christina and Edward Sledge to discuss how they came up with the idea for memoir, their marriage journey, advice for new couples, and much more.
For young couples, what is some advice you have to make the relationship last?
We believe each relationship is unique, like a fingerprint. So there is no one size fits all advice. However, we believe that listening, showing respect, patience, honesty, understanding, and communication are vital components in every relationship. We learned over the years that are really listening and offering to understand each other helps make our relationship strong. We also support each other’s goals and aspirations.
With being together for such a long time, what is your favorite moment together?
It isn’t easy to select just one moment over the 21 years we have been married. However, our favorite moments together were our weddings. Our 15th wedding anniversary vow renewal was an extraordinary moment since we eloped for our first wedding. The vow renewal allowed us to share our wedding and celebrate our marriage with our daughters, family, and friends. We were also blessed to have a second vow renewal for the 20th wedding anniversary at Disney World. It was special because it was at Christmas time, Christina’s favorite holiday. It was also the anniversary of our engagement on Christmas Eve 20 years earlier.
When your marriage hits an obstacle, how do you go about communicating about the solution?
Over the years, we learned that sitting down and communicating honestly with each other about the issue or problem is always the first step. We then talk through the possible solutions, including pros and cons. Finally, we always make sure the solution is mutually agreeable for both of us and in the best interest of our family.
What inspired you to share your story about your marriages, and what do you hope your readers get from the book?
After analyzing our differing childhoods and realizing our marriage was predestined (we were born in the same hospital four months apart and our families lived within 2 blocks of each other, we even just missed each other when Christina performed Romeo and Juliet with her class at Eddie’s middle school). There were so many opportunities when we could have met; it was fate when we finally met. Christina was not supposed to go to Eddie’s high school, and a house fire moved Eddie to that specific high school. We both separately and together beat the odds, Eddie narrowly escaping death multiple times and Christina born premature 3lbs 1oz, and we both went on to obtain Master’s degrees. It was a remarkable story that we needed to share with the world. We hope readers are inspired and that it’s not how you start in the world; it’s how you finish that matters also, that your circumstances don’t determine your ability to be successful.
For being a duo writer, what is some advice you have when writing with someone else?
It’s important to create an outline of the chapters to provide a road map for the book. Also, patience and compromise are crucial when co-authoring a book. Finally, it’s important to communicate often to ensure both writers are on the same page.
What was the process of creating your publishing and media company?
We initially started our company to allow us to publish our memoir independently. Then we started coming up with new ideas for more books and then a screenplay for our memoir. So we thought it was important to create a media company to produce films and TV series for our screenplays; this led to starting Sledge House Media to give us the platform to create more content and develop more projects.
The inspirational love story of Christina and Edward Sledge is definitely one to learn more about, whether it’s their ability to find each other despite their different familial circumstances, their dedication to each other over the years, or even just a loving story that explores all the intricacies of marriage and romance. It is also additionally inspiring and impressive to see Christina and Edward work together to create Sledge House Media to independently publish their memoir among other prospects, showing a level of cooperation, dedication, and entrepreneurial spirit that is difficult to achieve and something we should aspire to when pursuing our own dreams.
Additionally, Christiana and Edward are planning to write more books in the future and have their own Publishing and Media Company (Sledge House Media). If you enjoyed getting to know the inspirational love story of the Sledge couple and want to read their book, it can be purchased everywhere books are sold, such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-Million, Apple Books, Target, Indiebound, and Hudson News and Booksellers. You can also stay connected with them on Twitter and Instagram.