Saturday, January 07, 2012

Rising up LOVED.

This is a very long-overdue blog post. It's the day before my 1st wedding anniversary - and I suppose you could say no news has been good news. Or something like that.

Shortly after the new year last year, I was privileged to be able to marry my wife, Theresa, in a wonderful, snowy, intimate ceremony with so many beautiful friends and family in attendance.

An online community I've been involved with had their conference in Denver. Since many of our friends go to this conference, we decided this would be a perfect opportunity to celebrate with many people who normally wouldn't have been able to make the trip here. We were surrounded by dear friends from all over the country, Canada, and Australia.

Since Theresa and I decided not to invite anyone who couldn't be happy for us and celebrate with us, we were happy to have Theresa's mom, grandma, and an old family friend join us. I also had a relative there and it was nice to have someone there related to me who wanted to celebrate us.

Standing in for my parents were Bob and Mary Lou Wallner. Mary Lou lost her lesbian Christian daughter to suicide after she refused to accept her daughter being gay. Mary Lou and Bob have traveled all over to tell their stories and educate about the consequences of homophobia and we've ended up at several of the same events and conferences and gotten to know each other through the years. I was so honored to have them be at the wedding, in light of my own family's non-acceptance.

Our dear friend Joe was the officiant. We decided that we wanted the wedding to be interesting and surprising to us as well as to our guests, so we asked three different couples to do something during the wedding - taking up to 5 minutes to do whatever they wanted. And we didn't want to know what they were doing until they did it.

One couple read a haiku and then burst into a song about our relationship to the tune of The Brady Bunch. Another sang one of our favorite songs and wrote a beautiful third verse for us. The last couple had one person talking about us and their own committed relationship, while the other half of the couple played a very perfect love song on the piano. Our friend Ling read an e.e. cummings poem, and another friend sang a beautiful song for us.

Our rings were passed around in a bird's nest during a ring-warming ceremony. Since we are non-religious but many of our friends are people of faith, we decided to use this as a way to include them, and asked everyone to hold our rings and take a brief moment to make a silent wish, pray a blessing, or fill the rings with warmth, love and some good juju.

We wrote our own vows which made each of us cry and some of our guests gag (and I said "Follow your shiP" not "shiT" people, just sayin'), had a wonderful time and celebrated us in front of the friends and family who give us unconditional love.

The reception was in the same art gallery as the ceremony, and our friends gave such wonderful toasts. Another friend put together a Newlyweds game for us, and we couldn't stop laughing.

It was an entirely perfect wedding, except for the absence of some friends who were not able to come. You know who you are!

It's amazing to me the life we've created for ourselves...the love that we give and receive...the ways that we bring wholeness to ourselves and to others.

It's been an amazing first year, this first year of being with Theresa for the rest of my life. We had sickness on the honeymoon (pneumonia for Theresa, bronchitis for me), a flooded basement on our return, great visits with friends (and wonderful visits with my nephews for me), board games and cabins, work and play, the death of a very dear friend, being apart for Christmas (that will never happen again)....all of it. It's just life, and it's what is real, solid and good. I wouldn't trade what I have in my relationship with Theresa for anything in the world. I'm looking forward to many more years to come.

Happy Anniversary, baby.