My great aunt, who is 82 years old, married her partner of 54 years this weekend.
When I first heard word of the plans, I immediately started crying tears of joy.
I couldn’t believe that after 54 years together, they finally decided that they wanted to get married.
My tears turned into full-fledged water works when I realized that it took this long for them to be able to legalize their union.
My aunts Patty and Bernie have been together for 54 years, which is the longest-lasting relationship I’ve ever known.
I have no memories without them together, and I’ve grown up in awe of the love and support they have given to each other throughout their lives.
Their wedding was beautiful; it was an intimate ceremony with about 15 friends and family.
My mother officiated the ceremony, my sister, cousin and I served as flower girls and my aunt and cousin served as witnesses.
The party that followed was intimate and low-key, which perfectly suited their tastes.
While eating cake, we all took a moment to realize how incredible and special this union was.
A couple who, when first dating, had to hide who they were out of fear of being looked at differently.
Despite being in a loving, supportive, monogamous relationship, they had to combat decades of criticism and judgment.
The hoops they jumped through, and the pain they endured, just to be together is a testament to how deep their love and commitment towards one another is.
Fifty-four years later, my aunts stood together, supported and surrounded by their friends and family, and vowed to (continue to) love each other through joy and sadness, sickness and health.
It was one of, if not *the*, most incredible days of my life thus far: to see my aunts finally be able to do what they’ve wanted to do for years.
It made me realize how beautiful and rare it is to find that one person who is your world.
Someone who you will put before yourself; defend and fight for, and most of all, do anything for in order to be together.
Cheers to my aunts!
Thank you both for teaching and showing me the true meaning and beauty of a partnership worth having.