I've got one-of-a-kind grandparents. (maybe you are lucky enough to have these kind of people in your lives, too - but, I doubt it ;o) Gram & Gramp have been, well - 'Gram & Gramp' to an army of 'grandkids' over the years that extend well beyond our biological family. They have housed all of us at various times over the years, always with open arms. So say they are active and supportive grandparents doesn't even come close. They were in the stands at every game, every concert, chaperoned field trips -- you name it. (Once, in high school I hosted a 'sleepover' party for the entire softball team and we camped out in their barn... early Sunday morning a construction company just down the road a piece started crashing and banging equipment in the wee hours of the morning and Gram marched down there and asked if they could 'hold off on that racket' until a decent hour - she had a house full of teenage girls up the road sleeping!) We have shared meal, after meal, after meal around their kitchen table... we've played dominoes into the late-night hours, and we've talked about everything under the sun together. Under their wings, my siblings and I have learned about all the important qualities in life - to be truthful, honest, dependable - and maybe the most important thing, to always be kind to other people.
My grandparents have been tireless supporters of equal rights for all people their entire lives. When I 'came out' to them, this wasn't a process for them to work through - there was no hesitation in their voices when they replied, 'well, that's no surprise to us! we've known for years!'
They have written supportive letters to the editor, they've marched in parades -- and, this past Sunday they were interviewed by a film crew from the Maine Freedom To Marry campaign. Let me tell you, for those two hours - there wasn't a dry eye in that room. They spoke eloquently, passionately, and respectfully about being 'kind' to all people. Gramp spoke of the war (WWII) and how he didn't understand how anyone who had gone to war could ever be cruel to another human being ever again - and, that's what denying marriage rights to all people is - cruel. Gram spoke about marriage, about their marriage of 59 years - and how they felt that ALL of their grandkids should have the same right to marry, because it's the 'right thing to do'. They spoke about love, and our family - and, I've never ever been prouder. They spoke about Alex and I, and Mikayla.. and how they believe we're some of the 'best parents out there', and - that gay parents are some of the best parents because they have to work so hard to have families that they don't take that for granted.
Gramp has told me many times over the years that he believes I'm one of the 'bravest people he knows'. That it takes courage to stand up for what you believe in. Well, let me tell you - there aren't many people out there any braver than my grandparents. With any luck they will appear in a tv ad this fall for the Equal Marriage campaign, and if that happens -- let me tell you, there's no possible way we'll lose this election in November. My grandparents represent a generation of folks who haven't been all that supportive to gay people -- the elderly. But there's no possible way people won't take their message of love & kindness with them to the polls this November. No. Possible. Way.
I mean, just look at these two:
|Our wedding ceremony, Aug. 22, 2010|