In August 1994 I was at a friend's cookout, and met my soul mate. When Ray saw me he asked who I was at the same time I was asking who he was. It was truly a case of love at first sight. We have been inseparable throughout the years, and have been there for each other when the going got tough. We were able to comfort each other when our house burned down February 2, 1998. Ray was there for me when my grandfather died the day before my birthday. He was there when they found my first tumor, and I was there for him when his grandmother past away. We have also been there for each other in the good times. We have gone together to several of our friend's weddings, and we share our company equally with both sides of our families during the holiday season. I can truly say that in the 13 years we have been together people have come to know us as one entity instead of two separate people, and I often hear how much people admire our love for one another. If I had the chance, I wouldn't change a thing.
On August 12, 2007, we got married. All of our family and friends came out, not only to share in the celebration, but to let us know that they lovingly approve of our marriage. Allow me to share with you some pictures of this joyous moment, and consider if you will the fact that all people are deserving of such happiness, no matter their creed.
The fireworks that Tom Lang and Alex Westerhoff had at their home for us could have easily been used in a city display they were so grand. I'll try to find better pictures and submit them.
Dick Walsh and Dana Lothrop are our friends who lived on the first floor of the house that burned down. They have been together for over twenty years, and Dana got the Governor's permission to marry us. Dick was my best man, and they are both better friends than I could ever ask for!
Mother and son. I think it is important to note that most people ask me how our parents felt about us getting married. My mother actually bought us our wedding rings. She is someone who understands that discrimination is wrong, no matter the form.
My grandmother is now 86 years old, and she told me she is proud of me for standing up for myself, and all the work I do to try and right the wrongs I see. Don't let people tell you that the elder generation can't see things the same way, she was not the only one of her generation at our wedding for sure!
Dr. Susan Wadia-Ells is a friend of mine who works with me to try and get attention for Ben LaGuer, an innocent man who has served 24 years of a life sentence. She delivered a sobering reminder of how inadequate our justice system is while also delivering a champaign toast from Ben himself.
My Uncle Paul is the patriarch of the Krafton family now. He delivered a champaign toast that was so heart felt and warm, it got a standing ovation! He is an avid hunter and lives in rural New Hampshire, and enjoyed playing serious football in his college days. He's a man's man, yet can still look me in the eye and say he loves me, and is happy I have found the right person. He shows that when a man is truly a man, he combines strength with gentleness, and fortitude with compassion. All these qualities are enhanced by having the wisdom to let people be themselves.
Back at home, just about to take our tuxes off, we pose one more time with our cat, who wears a tux every day! Thank you to Tom Lang and Alex Westerhoff for their extrodinary generousity. Thank you to all those people that came to celebrate, and in their own way make a stand for equality by simply accepting us for who we are. The world is a better place when people like you are in it.