The human heart was—and remains—a mystery to me. But I’m learning. I have to. —Anthony Bourdain

To Real Love

Let me tell you something about our Nay and Tay.

BRB, crying happy tears

Their actual names are Nikki and Vince. For us early on, we called them Nay and Tay because we spent hours on the road in their car. It is a testament to them being reflexively parents first that they picked us up and dropped us off as we went to team meetings, training and interviews together.

And while we’ve known them relatively shorter than most of the guests at their wedding, who from what we’ve heard are friends from elementary, high school and college, we’ve loved them from the beginning.

They’ve powered through more things than I can imagine in a lifetime, and had their families behind them all throughout the the highs and the lows that if I detailed one by one of what I know, sounds almost ridiculous.

I cannot imagine one without the other, and while we met Nikki first, we call ourselves Vince’s kids/friends now too. It is amazing what they have accomplished together and what they continue to do as a unit, as parents, partners, and now and then, colleagues.

Life has not dealt them the easiest cards, but I think they are perfect together. Nay’s passionate drive complements Tay’s calm demeanor. While they joke a lot about Nikki’s temper, when he talks, the grin that breaks through her face is one that lights it up like I’ve never seen.

I’ve learned a lot from them on how to handle relationships, and while this is more theory than practice from me yet, I will continue to marvel at how they navigate the complexity of modern partnership. It is insanely difficult to find someone you love out there, that you also respect and want to be with in all the days.

The wedding was short and sweet as religion and tradition allowed, but the extent of their relationship really shone through how their loved ones were there for them, in the rain, on a Tuesday afternoon, with work looming at midnight, presentations early morning the next day, and exams for others. I was one of the few people lucky enough to be witness to the exchange, and believe me, it was only the idea of ruining the professionally applied makeup that kept me from blubbering like a baby every 10 minutes.

It is incredibly cliche to call them relationship goals, but I sincerely believe that they are something to aspire and work to. Because relationships are hard. They take commitment, grit, patience, and kindness towards each other, with a regularity that transcends the honeymoon phase. They know how to make love last, and I was fortunate to have been there to see them commit to themselves in front of their loved ones, God and all legalities for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, till death do them part (that part always gets me).

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I am celebrating a love that lasts, and now a love that anyone, law, country, Church now also recognizes as a full union. The Nay and Tay I know and love are the same loving couple, only now they share a last name.

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