Love is so easy to recognize sometimes. On Tuesday of last week, Mike, my mother's boyfriend of seven years, called me to let me know that he would be asking her to marry him. I'm not sure that he was really asking my permission, because he knew what he wanted and was determined to get it. But to be honest, I would have gladly granted him permission any day!
The following Sunday night's impromptu wedding, though a long time coming, was going to happen in a very non-typical way. This wasn't a walking-down-the-aisle-in-a-white-dress-with-flowers type of ceremony. My mom and my new stepdad would be getting married in a hospital room, where the two would make a promise to love one another in good times and bad, and the meaning of "in sickness and in health" would immediately make itself clear.
Mike recently received his second cancer diagnosis within two years -- first esophageal cancer, which he beat, and now AML (leukemia).
My mom, while not a nurse by profession, would soon assume the role of caregiver yet again, to a man for whom I know she would not hesitate to provide anything that he may need, and I'm certain that he would do the same if the roles were reversed.
All of this sudden wedding talk really opened my eyes to a few things. First, it immediately reminded me of the love that the two of them share for one another. While I've referred to Mike as my stepdad for quite some time now, legally it's now legit, though I didn't need legality to know this!
But with the talk of leukemia, and knowing that none of us really knows when our time is up, I got to thinking: What if I were in that same hospital room, needing care, and wanted to share my last moments or days of life with someone who had been by my side through it all, but the law said I couldn't?
Sometimes I just don't understand how the law can tell me whom I can love.
In that hospital room in south Louisiana, a display of love took place. I saw two people promise to keep loving one another no matter what.
Somehow, in the stillness of the 10 or so people gathered in the hospital room (I was present via FaceTime), I was instantly reminded that love knows know boundaries, so love should not have to face limits.
If something had happened to Mike before the wedding, my mom, though already having walked this road with him once, would have been left with no legal say in the final moments of the man she loved. Immediately I realized that my mom could relate to why I will one day want to marry the man I want to spend every minute with, even "in sickness and in health."
Honestly, I'm not sure of the point of this post, besides to show people that love is love no matter whom it's between or in what stage of life it's pursued, and that denying someone the right to love whom they want just doesn't make sense.
It killed me not to be there to see my mom and Mike finally become one, but even through a jittery wi-fi system love makes its presence known and is evident.
As Mike said, this was the first day of many, many, many more that they will spend together, for love knows no bounds, and I believe that Mike will beat this too, just like he beat his last diagnosis.
See the clip of the ceremony that I shot over FaceTime below! (Thank God for technology!)
For anyone who still feels the need to get involved in restricting who can love whom: I hope you realize that love is universal, has no limits, and should never be legally kept from anyone.
Don't you think? As my mom and Mike said, "I do."