Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Jessica & Rachelle
Rachelle and I became pen pals when we were 14 years old. There was no way for me to know then that when we finally met in person 3 years later, my life would change forever. Falling in love with a girl was something I had never thought about but from the second it happened I knew there was no turning back. They say first loves never die and now I would have to agree. Rachelle has always lived in Philadelphia and I have always lived in Austin, Texas. We broke up when we were 17 knowing that going to college and trying to make "us" work wasn't possible at that time. We lost touch with each other for 5 years; yet there was never more than a few days that would pass that I wouldn't think of her. It wasn't until New Year's Eve 2003 that I would see her again. She heard I was in New York City on vacation and found my phone number. When I picked up the phone and she informed me that she'd like to come up and see me. I felt that nervous sickness that being in love always causes. What amazed me most is that when I opened my hotel room door and saw her, it was like no time had passed at all. I have always claimed that we had some undeniable connection that I have never felt with anyone else and that moment proved me right. From that day on we have rearranged our lives to be together. As a first grade teacher I have the helpful bonus of summers and vacations off of work; so after spending a summer with Rachelle in Philadelphia I knew I would be moving there. I had to finish the school year in Austin but we have managed to see each other every few weekends and every extended vacation this year. We decided to get married in San Francisco on March 15, 2004. After planning our trip there and securing a professional photographer and a friend to serve as videographer we were devastated to get the news on March 11, that the California Supreme Court had halted San Francisco weddings. Through the sadness we regrouped our thoughts and decided to go to San Francisco on Saturday as planned and then fly to Portland, Oregon on Monday just for the day to get married there (our flight home left that night at 1 a.m. from San Francisco). As I arrived in Philadelphia from Austin a few hours before our San Francisco flight, I had a voicemail from a friend in Portland saying that their City Commissioners were going to put a halt on weddings until noon on Monday (our wedding day) and then announce whether they would continue with them or not. Not being able to fathom being in Portland and hearing that we were once again not allowed to marry each other we decided to cancel our entire trip a few hours before we left. Although we felt incredibly sad and hurt by this and could not understand why our love for each other and desire to make a lifelong commitment to each other would ever be forbidden by law, we also decided we were not taking no for an answer. The next day (Sunday) we woke up and drove 8 hours to Vermont and had a civil union on March 15th, 2004 (our original wedding date). I am moving to Philly next month and then our lives together will truly begin---FINALLY- after 10 years.

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