'Love Doctor' Taylor scores 100

'Love Doctor' Taylor scores 100

Sympathy, compromise and lots of romance keys to successful marriage, he says

Staff reporter

Monday, January 11, 2021

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In the 65 years that he has been married to Marrian, centenarian James “Doctor” Taylor says they have never had a serious argument. He attributed the longevity of the marriage to his wife's calm nature, the strong bond of love between them, sympathy, compromise and a lot of romance.

“When you love, you must sympathise with each other. If you say you love, and you can't sympathise, then you don't really love,” the spry Taylor shared when the Jamaica Observer visited his home last weekend. “We've been married for 65 years, and all now we don't have a good quarrel.”

The agility of his step, clarity of his speech and sharpness of his memory and wit betray the fact that he is 100 years old. The jubilant Taylor was delighted to share that he is still able to care for his 87-year-old wife. He made no secret of the fact that he is the one who does most of the cooking and cleaning around the house. Doing household chores is just one of the ways in which he shows his wife that he still cherishes her, he said.

“If you love each other you must show it,” he continued, adding that frequent physical intimacy has helped their marriage to stand the test of time.

“You must touch one another. Every move you make, make a touch. That little touch goes a far way,” he encouraged younger couples.
Taylor laughed as he recalled one instance when he forgot to touch his wife, and she had to initiate physical contact.

“She was in the kitchen a cook, and I went in the kitchen and a come out and didn't touch her, so she hit mi in my back, so mi say to myself, 'Hmm, she want her kitchen touch,' ” he related. “So mi turn back and touch her up, and she look up inna mi face, and when mi look in her eyes mi see sentimental journey… And then mi just feel something start to move from my head come down to my root. And all I could say to her was that 'later will be greater'.”

Taylor also learnt over the years that compromise is key to lasting love. Though he has been a vegetarian for half of his life, he will still cook chicken for his wife.

“I used to work at the slaughterhouse for a little time, and some things that I saw turned me off from eating meat, and it used to make me sick, so about 50 years ago I stopped eating it,” he explained. “But she love her chicken, so mi don't stop her. Mi mek she have her way. Mi buy it and mi will help cook it, but mi nah eat it.”

Taylor admitted, though, that he was not always the loving and caring man that he is today. Before he met Marrian and gave his life to Christ at age 35, he was a gambler, smoker, and womaniser.

“Gambling was terrible. You win sometimes but you lose most of the time,” he said. “Sometime mi lose til mi cry. I used to smoke my tobacco and cigarettes, too, and I used to run up and down with the girls too much. I wasn't a one-woman man. I was what you call a 'pass-through' man,” he confessed.

But, as he got older, Taylor was no longer satisfied with fulfilling the desires of the flesh. He asked God to grant him a new life.

“What plenty men don't realise is that you — the man weh a work — you can't beat the man that doesn't work in gambling. Him have time to sit down and study that. You weh a work just going there to support him,” he said. “I used to cry and ask the lord to change me, because sometimes what I did with the girls would reflect in my mind…”

In the same year he became a Christian, he met Marrian, dated her for six months and got married. He brought three children into the union and she brought one. They had none between them. Taylor dedicated the rest of his years to doing the Lord's work, becoming a founding member of five Seventh-day Adventist churches in Kitson Town, St Catherine.

Though many people in his small community of Penny Piece, close to the Kitson Town Square, assume that the man they have come to know as Doctor Taylor was a medical professional before retirement, he confessed that Doctor was just the nickname he was assigned at birth.

“I am a twin, and they called me Doctor and called my twin sister Nurse,” he chuckled. “But I was never a doctor. I worked at Innswood in irrigation for about 12 years, and then I left and took up carpentry, and that is what I did until I retired.”

As one who had very little opportunities to further his education after leaving Kitson Town Baptist (now All-Age) School, he lamented that today's young men don't seem to be making use of the opportunities before them.

“One time we use to have to pay to learn trade, now Government paying them to go learn trade, and they still don't want to go,” he argued. “What troubles me right now is that the younger men are not looking up — most of them. All they want to do is smoke the ganja and walk with their bottom a door. They get the children and leave them out there. That is our problem — too many fatherless children.”

In order to stem this, he recommends that parents try to pay the same amount of attention to their sons as they do their daughters.
“Most parents will open their eyes on the girls, and they won't open their eyes on the boys. “The same way you want to keep your girl child as virgin, it's the same way you should want to keep your boy too, so they go around and give the girls baby and leave them and don't care.”

Taylor said that after living through all that he has, between August 18, 1920 and today, he is not afraid to die. Instead, he is prepared for eternity.

“I feel comfortable with my life, and what I am doing now is preparing myself for eternal life,” he said. “I put my trust in God. What is to happen, will happen. If COVID-19, or anything, is to kill me, a so it go, but if God say no it can't, then it can't hurt me, so I put my trust in God. I eat and drink and do what I can, and prepare for death. I follow the Lord's instructions, so I love people, and I do what I can to encourage them.”

Though these days he mostly stays home, Taylor plans to continue evangelising as long as he is strong enough to.

“I have life. I am healthy. The only thing that trouble mi is a little high blood pressure, but as long as I have the strength, if anybody comes near me, I will tell them something about the Lord,” he said.

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