Since you asked…

7 Nov

After eleven years with Kelly – an international move, three local moves, adoption, working together to parent a teen, more than one family health crisis, after… well … eleven years of sharing meals, job struggles, job changes, cars, friends, pets and travels, (there is no way to put this into perspective, but) after eleven years of life together, Kelly and I are engaged.

She accepted my proposal via Facebook. She said, “Dear Roi, since you asked… I’ll answer. YES.” The day the Illinois House voted for equality.

This is when elation finally lifted me over the clouds like a super-helium balloon. For years, this has been a civil rights moment to build for, an unrealistic goal, a pie in the sky dream, a possibility, an eventuality, a likelihood, a shocking inevitability and then BAM, it’s done and not only that, but now it’s a romantic moment, too, and my whole heart explodes. How do I express this? I cannot.

We have details to decide – size and style, timing – but there’s no rush. The law doesn’t take effect until June, when Illinois will be the fifteenth state to affirm same-sex marriage. Have you heard the radio reports?

We told the girls, of course. They are happy. All night, Miss E kept saying, “I’m so excited!” Grace called us, and posted to her Facebook page – where more than 80 of her friends clicked “Like.”

And yet… we’re here already. Right?

How many times have I explained us as married to Miss E’s friends, referencing the white gold band on the ring finger of my left hand? Talking about promises, vows, love, our life together. How many times?

Will marriage change our everyday lives?

There have always been more important things to fight for, so many important struggles – more tangible, more urgent, closer to the ground, more central to survival. I know this. Some of these are fights I’m fighting now.

But there is something magical about this moment and I am deeply grateful to the people who would not let go. Now. This. Is a cultural shift. This feels like my heart exploding. Simply love, simply being who we are. How does the law touch me like this, at my core?

I continue life today as I lived it last week and the week before. I travel to the office, to school and home. I interact with my daughter’s friends (and sometimes my own). I eat, sleep, write. I watch TV with my loving partner, our days and nights punctuated by the barking of dogs.

Summer 2013 Ice Cream Eating DogsBut there is something new here now. Inside me. Security? Bravery? Resolve? There is something in me that doesn’t worry anymore that my life as I know it will one day be taken away. The fog around the edges has cleared. Because of Kelly? Because of the law? It was never a conscious worry – but it was there, nonetheless, and now it is gone.

Is it really this simple? No. There is something more. Something I cannot explain. But this – this feeling – is something I want to save. To savor. Even if some of the words are not yet right. This is the beginning of something new. A moment in history. So –

Thank you to everyone who made this happen. Just – Thank you for hanging on.

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16 Responses to “Since you asked…”

  1. Daniel Block November 7, 2013 at 10:38 pm #

    Wonderful news RoiAnn!!! Congratulations!

    -Danny

    ________________________________

    • RoiAnn November 8, 2013 at 8:11 am #

      Thanks, Danny! 🙂 ❤ 🙂

  2. Darcy November 7, 2013 at 10:46 pm #

    My husband and I planned to attend a “commitment ceremony” last August that became a wedding because the law changed. And while the original idea celebrated our friends, this new opportunity for a wedding and a legal marriage DID in fact change everything. Their lives and love recognized legally…not a dry eye in the audience to witness this wonderful event!

    Embrace this great time and have fun! So excited for you and your soon to be legal spouse! I am happy for you both and for your lives togethers to be recognized FINALLY for what it clearly has been for years – a commited, loving, marriage :)! Woo Hoo to you!!!

    • RoiAnn November 8, 2013 at 8:15 am #

      What an excellent story! Thank you for that, Darcy. Sending you – and your husband – and your friends – a great big bear hug. And another Woo Hoo!!!

  3. Shannon November 8, 2013 at 7:24 am #

    I am so incredibly happy for you, RoiAnn, and for your family, and for every citizen of Illinois. Love to you, my friend, to you and your beautiful family.

    • RoiAnn November 8, 2013 at 8:20 am #

      It’s an incredible time to be here. Thank you, Shannon. I had one of those cliche moments on the way to work Wednesday morning, when I imagined saying to a future grandkid, “Oh, yeah – we were around then. You know, we weren’t married under the law ’til your (mom? aunt?) was nine years old! I know – can you believe it?!” xo

  4. DeCaf November 8, 2013 at 8:05 am #

    Congrats!! I can’t really offer any perspective, I’m young enough that I got legally married before we’ve done anything that required a huge commitment (albeit initially it was just recognized in states we didn’t live, oops).

    • RoiAnn November 8, 2013 at 8:22 am #

      You have no idea how happy that makes me – that you got married simply because you had reached that moment in your life together and you COULD. Now, THAT is a perspective I very much appreciate. Thank you, and all my best to you both.

      • DeCaf November 8, 2013 at 8:39 am #

        We wouldn’t have gotten here without couples who were committed despite the lack of legal recognition though. If you look at the marriage equality cases/hearings it’s largely gays and lesbians who have been together for many years and were showing people that yes, we’re able to do this just like you. Like you and Kelly have done.

  5. debweeks November 8, 2013 at 8:49 am #

    With all the things this State gets wrong, they have gotten this so very, very right.

    Congratulations to you and Kelly! Enjoy the excitement, planning, and every moment leading to the day you have waited much too long to share. Your wedding day!!

    • RoiAnn November 8, 2013 at 1:09 pm #

      Yayyyyy!!! Thank you 🙂

  6. Georg'ann November 8, 2013 at 1:30 pm #

    Talk about exploding hearts… your post made mine explode with happiness for you all. just want to add my voice of support and my tears of joy. 🙂

    • RoiAnn November 8, 2013 at 1:48 pm #

      You’re awesome, Georg’ann! ❤ Thank you ❤

  7. Anonymous November 8, 2013 at 2:26 pm #

    You dont know me, but i am a friend of Veril. I love your blog and reading today’s brought tears to my eyes. I am so happy for you and & Your family. Cristina

  8. Kathy November 8, 2013 at 3:39 pm #

    FABULOUS NEWS!
    So happy for you our beautiful, loving, wonderful daughter and daughter – in – law; has
    been a long time coming. love, love, love you both so much!
    Mama Kathy

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. My LGBTQ Family | Are you the babysitter? - June 2, 2014

    […] This coming Saturday, Kelly and I will have been together twelve years. Our state began officially supporting marriages like ours yesterday. We haven’t done the paperwork yet, but it’s on the horizon. I promise to post pictures when we do – not of the paperwork, but of us signing on the dotted line to make our union, our marriage, our lives as a lesbian couple with two kids, a matter of public record. More thoughts on marriage here. […]

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