This evening my 83 year old Father took me to dinner for my birthday which was last week. I had decided to use the occasion to tell him that Brad and I were planning to get married. The result was not unexpected but not exactly what I expected either.
After we had talked about the Garden, work, each of our health, the new iPhones and a slew of regular topics, I took a deep breath ad said, that I actually had really big news. His eyes lit up, and he listened. I told him that Brad and I had decided to get married. And then I waited for the response.
He said, he wasn’t surprised, and had been expecting it. He said that while he personally didn’t like it, if it made me happy then he was happy for me.
He said he was happy for me. It wasn’t quite congratulations, but it seas still far more positive than it could have been.
He wanted to know why since “it” was still not legal in PA, and I explained our thinking and our timing. It was clear he understood that we were doing this as a way to care for our family, to take care of us as partners. It was another way we solidify our relationship- we have been together for 16 years. His only request was, please don’t invite him to the wedding.
Now, we hadn’t any plans to have a wedding or invite anyone for that matter, so that wasn’t a problem. Some may be offended by the comment, but I wasn’t. I had the feeling that while he didn’t want to be invited, if I did invite him, he would struggle through his feelings and would end up being there. As it stands, our plan is to go off to NYC or Niagara Falls and get the license one day and then be married, probably by a Justice of the Peace the next day. Sometime after we return home, we plan to have a big party reception. I may invite him to that party. Time will tell.
Perhaps the storybook story has my Father in tears of happiness as he watches his oldest son get married, but in real life I valued having a real, honest and meaningful conversation with my Father. I valued his honesty and his ability to both own his own feelings and also express that he was happy for me.
After we left the restaurant, and I was climbing into my car, he said something about how everything was looking up for me. The new car, work, my health.. and he said, “and your getting married!” with a big happy smile on his face.