On November 14th, just after 7PM, Cheryl and I did what thousands of couples before us have done – we were legally married. We’ve been together for nearly 19 years and it has been an amazing ride. We’ve gone through home ownership, trying to have children, having grandchildren and more. Our journey isn’t ending, but this new beginning is, well, just something.
I honestly didn’t think that when I awoke on the morning of November 15th that I would feel any different. After all, Cheryl and I had married in 2001 in a ceremony complete with gowns, unity candle and the breaking of the glass. I have considered myself married for the last thirteen years. How can a piece of paper make that much of a difference?
Well, it does. I feel closer to Cheryl, more involved, safer. I know that my family would never be the kind that would toss her out on her ear if something would happen to me and I’m pretty sure her family wouldn’t do that to me,. But, I’ve been kept out of her hospital room (not for long) and a nurse did tell me that I wasn’t Tommy’s grandmother, so I wouldn’t be able to be in his room. No one will ever be able to tell me that again.
Cheryl’s daughter, Kim, has always treated me as a true step-parent. She’s always respected our relationship and I’ve always treated her like a daughter. Dustin took a little time to warm up – accepting your wife’s family can be
overwhelming – but he’s always called my parents grandma and grandpa and he’s been a pall bearer for my family, I think more times than for his own. His acceptance of Cheryl and I extended to his family. Having all of them be a part of our wedding day was amazing.
The outpouring of love from friends and family was amazing. Having our relationship be recognized by the state, as well as people close to us is an indescribable joy. I can’t wait for the whole country to come to their senses and legalize gay marriage.
Going to the Chapel and we’re gonna get married…
By now, I’m sure you’ve heard that the Supreme Court refused to hear the appeal cases for Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia and Indiana. This means that marriage equality in those states have won. Virginia has already changed their forms.
This morning at around 11:30, I called the Racine County Clerk’s Office and spoke with Pat. She very sweetly informed me that yes, they were issuing marriage licenses to gay couples. I cried.
I’m really torn and stunned by this. I’ve overjoyed that Cheryl and I can now make it legal, but I wish my mom was still here.
For a very long time, my mother was against gay marriage. We went round and round. Then, one day, I either explained it better or she just gave up the fight, because she agreed with me. For the rest of her life, at least once a month, she would say to me, “Why don’t they just let you get married?”
Now, they are letting us get married and she’s not here to see it. In the year and four months, since she’s been gone, I don’t think I’ve missed her more.
So, now, Cheryl and I have to pick a date. I think we’ve narrowed it down to two.