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With every milestone in my life, I wonder about my mom. Is she proud of me? What does she think about this? Would see approve?

I thought about her a lot approaching my wedding. She kept showing up in my dreams in the background of my regular life. Just realizing she started showing up after my wife experienced the fiasco of telling her mom.

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Your love story is yours to write, and to tell, so make sure the decisions you make are ones that enhance the story for the better. I will also add that sometimes you don’t know when you’re actually writing your love story, so you should always carry yourself to your highest standard. You don’t want to fuck up your story.

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We went to get our marriage license yesterday. Manually filling out a paper form when your name is just as long as the alphabet requires a sill set that takes a few tries to master. We weren’t the only ones told to try again. We joined others at the back of the line while we tried our best to squeeze 30+ letters on a single line. We bonded with the other bad writers as we confessed how we messed up the form, and planned how to better the whole process.

There were older people there. Gays. Blacks. Whites. Heteros. Asians. It felt good to be in a space where everyone was there for the same reason. We were all planning to join our lives with another person. In today’s world, it was comforting to know that love was still present.

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In 7 days, I’m getting married. Next week this time, I’ll be decorating for a small backyard ceremony with the theme of “When life gives you lemons…” This isn’t the wedding we planned, but our love is strong even if the world isn’t right now.

The closer we get to the day, the deeper our conversation get. Unfortunately, these conversations aren’t limited to talks about rings or catering. We’re talking about getting tested for Covid19, and if our city is going to be under curfew. Again.

A black man was killed at my Wendy’s a few nights ago. It’s my Wendy’s because it’s the one closest to my house. I can get there in less than 5 minutes. I recently cancelled Wendy’s because of their support to Trump, and it still felt some kind of betrayal.

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Over the weekend, three handsome brown boys sat on the porch with their one girl cousin. They were brown, not a light brown, but shades of deep chocolate browns. While I called them boys they are grown men in their early to mid twenties. They are boys to me.

They are connected to Bae. She’s their aunt and cousin. They looked to her for answers about all things, eager to ask her questions and to engage. I listened to the varying conversations happening, enjoying the different cadences and tones of their voices.

One asked for a peach cobbler. I wasn’t surprised. And later, he called me Auntie Nikki. My heart stopped. I’ve never been an aunt before. And he, unknowingly, used my childhood nickname. He made me feel like a grown up and a kid all at the same time.

They talked about the protests. They received reminders to be safe out there in the streets. They were encouraged to stay around family. Stay around people that look like you and love you.

Monday, I woke up feeling the weight of being black. Social media punched me in the face. The news punched me in the face. My boss wanted to check in. Sucker punch. The founders of my company. The VP’s. The Directors.

There’s no getting away from it.

Then the mental image of these brown boys sitting on the porch filled my head and I broke.

I broke and I don’t know how to put myself back together again.

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