What do you see here? A family portrait? Love? Two beautiful, strong women and their amazing children? That’s what I see too. This portrait adorns the living room of Beth and Carolyn. It represents a family wrapped in love, a family with ups and downs, a family with rich traditions and a family that until this past Friday October 18, 2013…didn’t have complete, legal recognition. That last, ridiculous little tidbit of information, became exiled into history when Beth, Carolyn, their two children Trystin and Taylor, and about 10 of their closest family and friends walked into the Vista County Assessor’s office and got married!!
These rings, now on each of the fingers of Beth and Caroyln, carry new meaning. Though they have lived their lives already on their partners hands, they came off in preparation for a legal ceremony, one long overdue. A simple, yet powerful gesture, agreed upon by my two friends (I may say this line again in this piece…I’m overwhelmingly proud to be able to say it). Trystin and Taylor wore them around their necks during the ceremony, and gave them to their mothers upon the cue from the Judge.
Beth, a business owner, advocate for those on the margins, writer, fantastic mother, my mentor and one of my best friends (see their I go again), stood ready to realize a dream she thought “would never happen, nor really cared too much about before it actually became legal.”
Carolyn, a letter carrier, wonderful mother, storyteller, natural community builder and one of my best friends, stood ready embrace what she already had been for years, but only now recognized by the country she’s lived in her entire life.
Always mindful of their children, affording every opportunity to be involved in huge family moments, along with small ones, Trystin and Taylor watched closely as their mothers slipped their rings onto each other’s hands for the second time, this time legally, representing a feat they may not fully understand yet. The energy of the fight of so many, for so many years, permeated every moment throughout the day.
Upon hearing the words ‘you are officially recognized and legally unified together in marriage’, tears welled up in me and the rest of the group in attendance. Love filled the air powerfully as warm embraces unfolded in front of us, first with Beth and Carolyn, and then as a family, the most awe-inspiring hug I’ve witnessed in a long time, if not ever…
This day was about so many things. Equality, recognition, support, love, peace, justice and family. I could go on and on with the adjectives and superlatives that embodied this day…they wouldn’t suffice. I am so proud to have been a part of it.
To Beth and Carolyn, I thank you for the opportunity to witness your love for each other realized in a new, recognized way. It provides me with a new-found, newly-refreshed hope in our future as a humanity. It reminds me of the power of diversity, the power of acceptance and the power of love. Your family is the manifestation of true love…nothing is more powerful than that. I aspire to be as mindful a teacher to my children as the two of you are on a daily basis. This last picture pretty much sums up what I know all people who know and love you feel about Friday October 18, 2013.
Life is full of beautiful moments, some small and some big. Our stories are the threads, the fabric that weave us together in our humanity. This past Friday, this hugely profound, overwhelmingly beautiful moment, represents a story rich in lessons for the future. Let’s capture our stories, this one included, and then share them, over and over again…