On our married journey together we have always taken the road less traveled, tried to live on our own terms and always remained true to our principles. There have been plenty of twists and turns along the way. We have laughed a lot, and cried. Experienced great joy and survived tragedies together. Moved six times, put one and a half kids through college, buried each other’s best friends, and were left devastated after hurricane Sandy. Finally, two years ago, my then husband came out to me as transgender. Through it all one thing has never faltered. The unconditional love and respect we have for one another.
“ONLY NOW, TEN YEARS LATER, DO I KNOW WHAT THAT LOOK MEANS. AS OUR FRIEND INTERVIEWS HIM ABOUT HOW HE IS FEELING, I CAN TELL HE WAS CLEARLY FEELING DYSPHORIC, NERVOUS, AND EXCITED ALL AT THE SAME TIME.”
Ten years married is the first of the big anniversaries. Thinking back on the last decade of our lives makes my head spin. This prompted me to want to watch our wedding footage (which I haven’t done in ten years), to go back and revisit the day it all started. We are lucky enough to be friends with our videographer, so I have all the raw footage of the day. The good, the bad, and the super funny. The video starts out with my “husband” standing in the mirror of the hotel room starring at the reflection, fidgeting and fusing with the buttons on his shirt. Only now, ten years later, do I know what that look means. As our friend interviews him about how he is feeling, I can tell he was clearly feeling dysphoric, nervous, and excited all at the same time. Some of which he had no language at the time to describe.
Our wedding party consisted of our siblings, step siblings, my other half’s two best friends, our three girls, and his little cousin. One by one they filed out of the limo. Everyone looking dapper with ear to ear smiles and love in their hearts. It was a beautifully sunny July day with a little breeze in the air. I remember thinking that I had never seen the sky that shade of blue before, or perhaps it was the tears of joy that flooded my eyes. My father who postponed his surgery to remove the cancer from his body, was glued to my side. As we approached the doors I could hear the beautiful voice of my best friend filling the vaulted ceiling of the church. Finally my day had come. I was about to embark on my happily ever after.
“ONE AT A TIME MY “HUSBAND” PUT A WEDDING BAND ON EACH OF THEIR LITTLE RING FINGERS.”
We had a traditional church mass with our own unique touches. We presented each-other’s mothers with a small bouquet of roses during the sign of peace. (Which, for those of you who have never attended a Catholic mass, is when you turn to the people sitting by you and wish them peace.) After that, I had my three girls line up in the front of the church by the steps going up to the altar. One at a time my “husband” put a wedding band on each of their little ring fingers. There was not a dry eye in the church that day and I too teared up watching it ten years later. Friends and family filled the pews of the church. Most having traveled four hours by car. It was a day full of dreams come true and sitting on my sofa watching it unfold a decade later made my heart smile.
Listening to the vows we made to each other that day with love in our hearts was exquisite. I had a guest tell me that we shared the kind of love that you read about in books. We partied into the night from the catering hall to the hotel we all stayed at and everyone had a wonderful time. As we celebrate this coming weekend, I can honestly say that I am more in love with my wife today than I was with my husband ten years ago. I am not sure that even I knew that was possible. We have an unconditional love and a spiritual bond that has navigated us through the roughest of seas. I know deep within the fibers of my soul that whenever I reach my hand out, she will be there to take it. So as we all go on this journey of transition together, try to remember the things about your spouse that made you fall in love with them in the first place. After all love is love.
Happy Tenth Wedding Anniversary Baby.