about Me

about Me

Saturday, November 22, 2014

LOVE STORY

PHOTOS BY KEN MARSHALL

This morning I was privileged to perform a very special wedding ceremony for two sweet and charming people who are totally in love with each other, and have been for a very long time...

Harold and Dan have been in a committed, monogamous relationship for 45 years, but today they were finally able to make it legal and get married in the state of North Carolina, because of the recent changes there...

We drove up to Cherokee last evening to meet them and to get a game plan for this morning's event...we had a great time getting to know both of them, and hearing the stories of their nearly five decades together...

Dan is 80, and is suffering from stroke-induced dementia, but he absolutely knew what was going on today, and was able to answer "I do" at the appropriate time...he has a very sweet spirit, and we loved him immediately...

Ken's mom died from Alzheimer's disease a few years ago, and after meeting Harold and Dan last night, he told me that Dan watches Harold intently when he speaks in the exact same way that Ken's mom used to watch his dad before she transitioned...he was very moved by their connection to one another, which is now beyond verbal communication, but is undoubtedly genuine...

Harold is Dan's total caregiver, and is one of the most devoted men that I have ever met...Dan is the most important thing in the world to him...prior to last evening, I only knew Harold through FB, where he comes across as a funny, outspoken, (often irreverent) larger-than-life personality...but the man I met last night and spent time with today is the epitome of unconditional love...his absolute commitment to Dan, the love of his life, is nothing short of inspirational...

Today turned out to be a perfect day in every way...every part of it...I/we were blessed to be involved with the festivities...

I hope that Harold doesn't mind me going ahead and writing something about this...Ken took pics today, and put them together in this collage a little while ago, and so I decided to just go ahead and say what was on my heart...

To any person who is still opposed to marriage equality for whatever reason, I can only say that if you could spend a little time with these two gentlemen who have lived together for nearly half a century...if you could see how patient and tender Harold is with Dan, and how completely dependent on Harold Dan is...if you could witness their love in person, I think that you would change your mind...

What God has joined together let not man put asunder...

Congratulations, gentlemen...all the best to you!

48 comments:

  1. "...and that is all that is worth anything, really." ~H. Milk

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  2. Ed Jarnagin said...

    I'm crying here. I am so happy for Harold and Dan and that you and Ken were a big part of their special day! Love this!

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  3. Ed Jarnagin said...

    Thank you for doing this for them. How special this is!!

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  4. Harold Worthington said...

    OMG That was beautiful! You are One Special Man. I could see why People love You so much when We met. Thanks for making this possible. Hugs

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    1. Stacy Viles Coleman said... Congrats and it's about time!!!

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    2. Harold Worthington said...Did You click on the Story?

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    3. Stacy Viles Coleman said...Yep and I loved it!

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    4. Harold Worthington said...

      The Bishop was fantastic. Never thought it would happen.

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    5. Stacy Viles Coleman said... Well, it did!

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    6. Donna Morrison said...:-)

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    7. Bonnie Smith Nichols said... I've know you for a long time, and you have one of kindest
      hearts I've ever met. Love and best wishes for a happy
      marriage.

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    8. Elizabeth Watson Crisp said...

      Congratulations Harold and Dan! I am so happy for you. Glad it turned out to be such a beautiful day in more ways than one!!

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    9. Arnold Kenneth Graziano Keppler said...

      congratulations Harold and Dan on this wonderful day lv ya arnie and ken from ny

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    10. Lynn Corry Lewis said...

      Congratulations! Paul and I are so happy for you! Love you both!

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    11. Lawrence Melvin Thompson said...

      Congratulations! !!!

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    12. Jim French said...

      Congratulations guys :-)

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  5. Neal Campbell said...

    Tears!

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    1. Layne Zimmer said...@Neal - my sentiments exactly!

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  6. Jere Luck said...

    What an awesome story of love!!!! May all religious spirits be broken!!!

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    1. "The highest form of ignorance is when you reject something you don't know anything about."
      - Wayne Dyer

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  7. Nic Pocker said...

    lovely

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  8. Ken Marshall said...

    I love this post you wrote Jim ! I'm going to share it on my page . I was so touched by the love I saw that Harold and Dan have for each other . I'm so glad I got to meet these two gentlemen and hear their story of how they met 45 years ago and witness the beautiful ceremony you performed ! The love that these two have for each other is so real . I'm so happy for both of them and I wish you both many more happy years together !

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  9. Lonna Spencer said...

    A beautiful and heartwarming story. This gladdens my heart. Congratulations to everyone.

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  10. Ken Marshall said...

    I love this post!

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    1. Aubrey Gallimore said...

      So beautiful! And let me be the first to say that in sickness and health you have met and married a vision of the both of you and whoever does your ceremony will see and feel the same love. You and Bish haven't been together for half a century but your love and commitment for each other is a century old. I can't wait to experience the day when you say I do to the true love of your life. I love you both. I love your love. I love your journey to each other and I love the pureness of it. It is a testimony of God's unselfish love in a relationship and that has no color and no gender.

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    2. Barbara Clancy said...Thank you Aubrey. I think many of us feel the same as you.

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    3. Ken Marshall said...

      Aubrey Gallimore , that's beautiful ! Your messages are always so wonderful ! You are a beautiful person and I thank you for always writing from your heart ! Your message made my eyes water and I'm so glad you see the love that we have for each other ! Have a great day and I wish you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving ! Love and hugs ! <3

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    4. Aubrey Gallimore said...

      I love you too the moon Ken. My heart is to meet and fall in love with a man like you who loves me like you love my Bish and I will return that love tenfold like Bish does with you. Nothing less will I accept. We will meet. I promise. I would love to cook you and Bish dinner when time permits for you both. I can cook :-)

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  11. ken and arnie from riverhead new York congratulation on your special day, sorry we could not attened we were thinking about you guys yesterday love you both arnie and ken

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  12. Hannah Aaron said...

    I really have no words. Only tears. Very touching. 45 years? Wow, simply amazing!

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  13. Hannah Aaron said...

    My friend Amy and her gf Lydia went to Connecticut 4 years ago and were married. I wasn't there, but it was definitely an emotional celebration for me. I can't describe the feelings of pure joy & happiness I felt for them.

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  14. This almost put me into an "ugly cry". It filled my heart with happiness to know that these two beautiful people can live out the rest of their days with their commitment to one another validated. It also brought up some sadness in me for the countless others were not given this opportunity. Of course, I think of my life-long best friend who passed in 2009 and never had the opportunity to marry his partner. Let us never stop fighting for human rights and equality for all.

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  15. Jean Wilkey De Sousa said...

    Love that!! May God bless you and Ken for blessing their special day!

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  16. Joyce Marie said...

    Wow but sweet.

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  17. Deb Perkins Muehlstein said...

    That's what love really is...Congrats to Harold & Dan... May they have many more blessed years together... This makes me smile...

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  18. Frances Martin said...

    Thanks Jim Swilley for posting this.I think about so many of my friends who want to be accepted,recieved and loved like this and you were God in flesh for so many.When we obey God..we make him real.Blessings to you and Ken Marshall.

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    1. Ken Marshall said...

      <3

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  19. Cheryl W. Stephens said...

    <3 Love is all there is. <3 Love is All. <3

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  20. Jeanette Bolt Smith said...

    Oh Jim, this is beautiful. :-)

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  21. Harold took the time to friend me on facebook and I consider him quite a blessing. I am so very, very pleased for them both; their level of commitment is unparalleled in most relationships....thank you for making their day special and sharing it as well.

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  22. Jude Carlson said...

    Wonderful writing James Swilley! Thanks SO MUCH!

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