Love Looks Like This: Our Love Helped Me Through My Mother's Passing

"Love would be a reason for me to push on."

Brady King and fiancé Thabiti

Photo by Ha Nguyen

Brides is committed to guiding ALL couples through not only their wedding planning journey, but through relationship milestones and ups and downs. Every love story is beautiful, has its own distinct history, and its own trials—there's no relationship that looks the same. To celebrate that uniqueness, we're asking couples to open up about their love story, for our latest column, "Love Looks Like This." Below, Brady King tells her love story.

Thabiti and I met as a junior and a senior in college. We attended two prominent HBCUs nestled in the heart of Atlanta, Georgia; Morehouse (the men’s College) and Spelman (the adjacent women’s college). Our love story started as so many others do now—on Instagram. After a series of likes back and forth and quick references from friends, Thabiti finally pulled the trigger by directly messaging me, “Are we going to keep playing this game.”

Our story quickly met adversity as I was moving out of the country in upcoming months for a study abroad experience in West Africa. I remember telling a friend, “We’ll see if he is here when I get back." And he was. Little did we know this would be the first of a few attacks to break our bond. 

I returned to the states and after months of Viber calls and WhatsApp messages (pre-Facetime),  we made things official. Thabiti then graduated and got his big time job in the entertainment world as a business exec. The only downside was the gig was in Chicago. From that point forward, we spent the following four years bi-coastal between Atlanta and Chicago and then Atlanta and LA. 

In 2018, I began the worst and most complex journeys I could ever imagine. My mother, [who is my] best friend, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. The pressure, the anxiety, and the trauma of being a caretaker and a young adult took over and we called it quits. Interestingly enough, my mother Gina knew that wasn't the end.  She continued her relationship with Thabiti (at a distance). Never allowing a holiday to go by without sending a card or sending “I am thinking about you” text.

We separated for what felt like forever. We both dated around—me more seriously than him. I even found myself in an actual relationship. December 2019 came around with a lot of pressure as the holidays usually do. Thoughts like “Am I taking x person home with me” started cooking and things got realer. Another year where Christmas time was going to be spent without my person. There must have been synergies emitting between ATL and LA because when I received a random, “do you have time to talk" text. I hoped we were thinking the same. When I think back on it, we moved quickly. We broke up with those we were entertaining and started our visits back and forth between cities again. Interestingly enough, my second 2020 visit to LA turned to almost a year of Covid shacking up. It was so natural for us. It was fun.

Brady King and Thabiti with engagement ring and glvoe

Photo by Ha Nguyen

Our living arrangement came to a halt when I went to caretake for my mom full time, which was truly the most emotional, dynamic, and trying time of my life. Thabiti stood beside me, continuing to make memories with me and my sweet angel. We got engaged during my mom's last weeks on earth. The engagement wasn't grandiose, but was so meaningful because she then knew that as she transitioned, love would be a reason for me to push on.

My mother Gina taught me many things. Among those things was hard work in love and in everything) and to seize the day—as we never know when it’ll be our last. Unfortunately, the same year my father who battled a lifelong battle with multiple sclerosis also passed away.  So when my dad and then my mom passed away—we decided to truly live for us and live for today. That meant a spontaneous weekend to Paris for an engagement shoot and a wedding with a dream setting in Lake Como, Italy. My mother and I traveled there as one of our last trips and I knew, and could feel that our memories together are there, and so is she.  

Thabiti and Brady King in car

Photo by Ha Ngyuen

I'm excited to do everything with Biti—take pointless pics together, see the world together, experience happiness together, and, when it comes—the sad together. Our life philosophy after experiencing loss is truly that life is for living, alongside each other. Our love looks like weathering the highest highs and lowest lows together, fully.

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