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12/15/15-

Dear Tom,

In 2006, my mom married my step-father, Jerome. My brothers and I had just arrived back in Memphis when she told us that she went on a date!

My brothers and I did not like the sound of that at all! When she told us it was with Jerome, the only thing that popped in my mind was, “Ma! That’s the man that I saw looking at your butt!”

When we first met Jerome, he was super nice and caring, but honestly my siblings and I tried not to get too attached. After the wedding, it was hard not to fall in love with Jerome just as my mom did. Our biggest concern was our mom’s happiness, however after seeing how much he made her smile, we knew he was alright.

As the years passed, Jerome was no longer a step-father, but a dad. With two kids of his own, Jerome took the position of daddy over three more kids with no problem. From parent-teacher conferences, sports games, school programs and even getting us out of trouble with our mom sometimes, Jerome became the best thing that could have happened to our family. With me being the baby girl, me and Jerome’s connection was inevitable and still is to this day. He always assures me that I don’t have anything to be scared of as long as he lives. In 2010, I was invited by People to People to tour Europe. Instead of complaining about the price, Jerome took on another job just so that I could take the trip. The summer before my freshman year of college, it was hard for Jerome to face the fact that I was leaving the nest. After dropping me off at the university, I could see in Jerome’s eyes that he didn’t want me to leave, but he didn’t want to hold me back. To this day, Jerome and I still have the same connection. Jerome is the true definition of a real father and a real man!

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