I remember the night my husband proposed to me like it was yesterday. I remember having a funny butterfly feeling in my stomach all day and thinking that something extraordinary might be in the works. I kept my outfit simple (jeans and a black shirt). We went to dinner and had some cocktails and talked about life and where we thought it would go…life that is. We left dinner and I remember thinking there was nowhere else I wanted to be. We decided to go for cocktails to a place where we had drinks on our first date. While we were in the parking lot my husband bent down to tie his shoe and the next thing I knew he was proposing. I will leave out all the personal things he said but I will share this: I screamed with joy the moment I realized he was not in fact tying his shoe. I kissed and hugged him and screamed YES at the top of my lungs. I smiled and thanked all the on lookers who clapped and congratulated us.
We went into the restaurant for a couple of celebratory cocktails and I proceeded to call my parents, my sister and a couple of my closest girlfriends. Each phone call was greeted with tears of joy and over exaggerated good wishes. I was in fact on cloud 9. It was the moment…the one I had dreamt of from the time I was a little girl. It was the moment I knew a journey was beginning that would start with a wedding and lead to so much more.
We planned a wedding within six months, no I wasn’t pregnant. I was just shy of thirty and he was thirty two. We knew what we wanted and we weren’t going to wait. Our wedding day was exactly what we wanted it to be. We had our vows, our pictures, our loved ones clapping, our first dance, drinks, food and a night filled with fun. It was the day that our journey through this life began. I remember feeling that there wasn’t anything we couldn’t do together from that moment on.
We have since done all the typical couple things… bought a house, adopted a dog, had some kids… but we have also been through some not so typical things. When our oldest was only 18 months my husband went for a regular physical and during that visit the Dr. discovered he had an Aortic Aneurism. In what felt like only moments our world changed in such a big way. We discovered this on a Monday and by the following Thursday he was scheduled to have open heart surgery at the age of 36…yes 36. Our families gathered around us like some type of bandage. They took care of our son so I could spend every moment at the hospital and we got through it. We got through it with the love of our families and us…the vows we took to get each other through anything, through sickness, through health and well basically through hell. I can tell you when you stare into the possibilities of hell; it is then that you know you never want to see it again.
We are by no stretch of the imagination perfect but we are in love. We may not like each other on a Monday or a Wednesday but we are in love. We may despise each other by Friday but on Sunday there is no one else I want to see. You see love is about life and life is about ups, downs and the middle of the road. Love is about perspective, knowing where you have been and where you want to go is usually what leads you to know exactly where you want to be.
Where I want to be is here. I want to be here in the home my husband and I have made. I want to be here with the children we have been blessed to bring into this world. I want to be surrounded by family (no matter how ridiculous it becomes) at the holidays. I want to celebrate mile stone birthdays, anniversaries, accomplishments and disappointments together. I mean who doesn’t? Who doesn’t want to share life’s biggest moments with the person they love. Who doesn’t want to share it all with the one person who can make the cloudiest of days suddenly seem clear? Love isn’t easy to find let’s face it. There wouldn’t be so many damn dating shows if it was, but while it’s not easy to find it is the one thing that is there, it’s there if you’re looking for it.
It is strange to me that love is something our government thinks they have the right to vote on. I mean the Bachelor doesn’t even allow America to weigh in with a vote and why do you think that is? I’ll tell you why…because TV executives know that their audience would find it ridiculous. We would find it silly that we should tell someone who they should love. I mean honestly love isn’t something you can force on someone (otherwise my brother in law would have been fixed up ions ago) it’s something you feel. We all know that.
I’m not sure anyone really knows what love has to do with it (ok maybe Tina Turner) until they are in it but I know that from the time I was very young I had amazing role models. I had couples all around me showing me what it was to love, respect and be someone’s partner. My mom and dad have been married almost forty years and while they may not always be perfect their love is. I have two sets of grandparents who loved each other until death parted them and beyond. I have Aunts and Uncles who have been together for years, I have cousins who have ran the marathon and came out winning. All of these people have raised children, had careers, taken care of sick parents, siblings or loved ones and yes some of them have been gay. I never understood why being gay was something to talk about. My two favorite people on this planet are in fact gay and I knew this from a very young age….7 years old tops. How did I know? I knew by the way they loved each other. I knew by the way they laughed together and hugged one another at family parties. I knew by the way they looked at each other. No one ever told me they were gay…because no one ever had to and to be honest I didn’t care. To me they were a couple to strive to be like. They respected each other, they worked towards amazing goals together and I felt like a better person when I was around them.
They are still a big part of my life. They attended my wedding. They support me. They love me. They are me. You see that’s what it comes down to…we are all the same. We all love. It doesn’t have to be the same that’s what makes it awesome. We have all been in a relationship at some point in our lives that someone didn’t understand and it sucks: The girl who just wants her father to like him, the guy who just wants his friends to be okay with the fact that he has a girl, the band geek dating the football player, the artist dating the cheerleader, the football player with the math geek. In all of these scenarios you want to scream. You want to scream what is the big deal?! I like them….what do your feelings have anything to do with it?! Now imagine being gay…and you have to worry about what our government dictates is ok.
It’s ridiculous. I don’t have any eloquent words for it. It’s ridiculous. I want equality. I want equality for the next generation and the generation after that. I want my children to be able to celebrate getting engaged to whomever that may be. I want my children to be greeted with applause in a parking lot when someone puts a RING ON IT! I want gay couples everywhere to be able to walk into a bar and announce they just got engaged and have everyone applaud & buy them a round. I am not asking for world peace (although it would be awesome) I am asking for something much simpler, I am asking for equality. Tonight my oldest son asked what the red with two stripes on a friend’s Facebook page meant so I told him, well it’s a symbol that we are all asking for equal rights on who to love. He replied: Why does anyone have to ask for that? We can’t help who we love it’s just a feeling. I kissed him and said buddy you are so wise beyond your years. I love you so much...to which he said I love you too mommy but do I have to ask somebody first?
It’s enough already. This isn’t about religion, after all church and state are separated no? And if your argument is religion well let God decide…just wipe your hands clean and be a nice person for once (I promise it won’t kill you) we live in a world with big problems; you know our deficit, poverty, hunger, disease. I could go on and on. It seems too silly to a 4 year old and well to his mom that the question of who we are allowed to love should be taking up time at the Supreme Court.
Its’ time America, tomorrow has to be better. It is in fact about me and you. Love has everything to do with it.
This seems fitting...