Susan and I celebrate 32 years together on this day, May 1, 2013. We chose May 1 for reasons that we have chosen to keep between each other, just know that if we could have 32 years ago – we’d have a marriage license and a wedding album full of photos and mementos to commemorate the occasion of our commitment to one another.
It hasn’t been 32 years of bliss – It’s been 32 years of husbands and children and parents and families and religion and culture and fear and denial. But always – always, there was love.
I haven’t always been this “out” blogging lesbian – I spent most of my life running from who I was. My family wasn’t and isn’t really – shall we say – gay friendly. Some are – most are not. Some try – most do not. I wasn’t always as strong as I am now – and there was a time when their opinion of who I was mattered. I’m grateful that it no longer matters.
For most of my life I ran away from everything. I was a lost soul wanting so badly to fit in to the world that surrounded me that I tried to be something and someone I was not. When I met Susan, I knew that my world had changed.
She was married with four children; I was married to a man in the United States Navy. We tried not to fall in love, but love doesn’t know gender – love only knows love. The thing is – it was complicated – very complicated. This was the 1980’s and society was certainly not evolving as quickly as it is now. We handled things the best we could – which in looking back – wasn’t all that great – but… the truth is – had we done one thing different, we wouldn’t be at this exact place that we are right now.
I did what I always did when things got too complicated – I ran. When my husband got transferred from San Diego, CA to Annapolis, MD, instead of staying with Susan and finding a way to make things work – I ran – not to some place safe – I ran to my home town which I knew would keep me in my little closet and not make me face the grown-up world of the truth. As far as I ran – it never changed my love for her – ever.
Susan is a stronger woman than I am. She divorced her husband, accepted that she was a lesbian, came out in People magazine, and moved on with her life. She patiently waited for me to find the same courage, but I was not as willing as she was to jump off the gay cliff. We parted ways, but still she waited and still there was love. We got involved with other people – but still there was love. Almost 10 years had passed and still there was love and still I was unwilling to make the jump so when she told me she was done – D.O.N.E. – waiting for me – I knew I had a choice to make.
Within two months of her telling me she was D.O.N.E. – I was standing on her doorstep with my two dogs and my life packed into a truck. Lucky for me – she opened the door – and my life started at that moment.
Now – there is a home filled with love and there are friends and neighbors and always – there is love. Our children are a blessing and have shown us unconditional love. Our grandchildren are such a source of pride for us, and I can’t imagine loving any of them more than I do at this very moment.
In the end – the only thing that ever mattered with Susan and I was love – for 32 years there has always, always been love. Let people say whatever they will – love is simply – love…