Tuesday, December 07, 2010

A Christmas Memory: Day Seven - Married

As I said in an earlier posting - I was away for the weekend and unable to post stories. I was away, on a road trip, making a new Christmas memory.... I was getting married.

For many years Pat and I declared that we had no wish to marry. People asked, repeatedly, what our ceremony was like or when we were having our wedding. We always scoffed at them and at the thought. You see, we believed that, since it was not legally binding for gays to marry, there was no point in going through the motions of a dress up and make believe ritual. However, as we have aged, as our relationship has gotten stronger and more important to us, we felt like we SHOULD be able to have that walk down the aisle. Then, a few years ago, some of these United States began to legalize gay marriage. Well. That was enough for us.

These last few years, gays have become the soapbox upon which many a political campaign is built, not to mention the crucifix upon which many a religious campaign is hung. I have little to say about this except for: I am appalled. I cannot believe that it is almost 2011 and people in this country that was created by people fleeing oppression still have such widespread bigotry and judgement to pass on their fellow men and women. Women fought for equal rights, blacks fought for equal rights... the gays have been fighting for decades and we still are. How pathetic of this country to deny others inalienable rights granted to the masses. It's heartsickening and disgusting.
What is neither heartsickening or disgusting is two people in love.
That's me and Pat.
So, to celebrate our love, we decided to get married. In every state where gay marriage is permitted.

So on Saturday we piled into a 12 seater van with some of our dearest family of friends and drove to Vermont and had a wedding in the home of our friend Maureen. We asked our friend Laurelle to go through an on-line ordination process so she could perform the ceremony. We asked Brady to be our Man of Honour and Michael to be the Best man. Our Jennifer made the wedding cakes (her baking is TO DIE FOR: www.thischickbakes.com ) AND she wrote and performed a song for the occasion. Maureen was our ring bearer and her gorgeous daughter Lillie was the cheerleader (had you heard her screams of delight when the ceremony ended and the grooms kissed, you would understand) -- the next day Lillie said to her mommy "we were at the wedding!". Our hero and artistic example, Allan, filmed the entire event for us.

The ceremony was simply lovely, filled with spirituality, blessings, crystals and insence. Brady recited some Truman Capote, Michael spoke with many delish quotes about love and marriage and, on the spur of the moment, Marci (who was there when we became a couple!) met the challenge of saying a few words about watching us go from two people to one couple. And when all was said and done and the kissing and screaming was over, we sat to a wedding dinner that Maureen had created (dinner? Feast!) and then came cake, champagne and blissful sleep.

The next morning, all arose inside Maureen's farm and sat down to a winter morning breakfast.

The trip was not over, though...

The wedding party from Vermont and the witnesses at the farm all had their breakfast and showers and got all dressed up so that we could pile into the van, once more, and head down into another state...

New Hampshire.

There is a town called Lebanon that is 30 minutes away from Maureen's farm. There, we found one of the many lovely covered bridges of New Hampshire and there, in the cold, cold, light of the winter day, we married once more.

The New Hampshire wedding was a completely different feel, though equally as beautiful and moving!

That is what happens when family comes together for an adventure.

The minister for the New Hampshire wedding was our friend, Vince, who had gone through a similar ordination process on-line, just so that he could marry us. We knew his ceremony would be eloquent and literary and socio-politcal; and we weren't disappointed. He did, indeed, use literary references; and he did, indeed, speak of the struggles for equality in this country and the beauty of love. When his service stands next to Laurelle's service, it is a perfect complement. They are like that yin - yan symbol: together, Laurelle and Vince gave the most complete wedding service ever. Everything that needed to be said was, indeed, said.

Vince quoted some literarture in his service; then, our Maid of Honour, Jane recited a Shakespeare sonnet, followed by the Best Man, David, reading from Corinthians. There was a moment in the ceremony when Vince asked Pat and I to say some lines by Craig Lucas (from Prelude to a Kiss) and for our vows, Pat recited Shakespeare (Richard III "see how this ring...") and I recited ee cummings ("I carry your heart with me...").

When the time came, our ring bearer, Liz (ALSO present when we met!) held out her freezing, shaking hands (dudes, it was SO cold on that covered bridge) and presented us with the rings; all the while, Allan and his own fiancee, Jennifer (of baking and singing fame), were filming (I loved this - Jen was perched high on the beams of the bridge, filming, just as she has seen me do in photo shoots over the years - because she is my stylist too, doncha know).

It is so important and wonderful to have friends/family (they are the same thing, you know) that loves you and supports you. It is so perfect to travel through this life with people who have known you so long that they know who you are.

I have kinfolk who do not approve of this marriage. They don't mind if Pat and I are together and they love us - they just don't believe that gays should marry. I can deal with that. I don't like it; but I can deal with it.

I can deal with it because I have a family that is much bigger, that goes deeper than actual blood itself.

This is that family.

This is my wedding day to the man of my dreams... my soul mate.

I'm lucky. I have a lot of best friends and a lot of soul mates. Pat is one, my mother is one, all the people in these photos are. Best friends, family, soul mates... whatever the label, this is my clan.

I am so excited about the weddings that will follow these two. They will take place in these next few months and will involve the rest of my best friends, soul mates... family. It's going to be a great ride, a fun adventure, a stunning wedding tour.

I'll always remember, though, The Winter Weddings that happened

This Christmas


Anonymous Janet Graham said...

Oh you guys!! Congratulations! Twice! This was such splendid news to read and I appreciate your sharing. I look forward to reports of more of the marriage tour and updates on FB of what you guys think of being married as time keeps dancing by. Blessings and happiness, from Janet in Dallas who married Cheryl in the back yard one night years ago when we paused from laying bricks. :-) Love you both. Xoxoxoxoxoxox

10:11 AM  

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