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Emotional State of Matt #8 - HONORED

A week and a half ago, I married my mom…

…to her longtime partner.

They wanted a quick and fuss-free ceremony, but a Justice of the Peace marriage wasn’t available in Ithaca. When they asked my brother and me if one of us like to do it, I jumped at the opportunity. 

In less than a minute on the Internet, I became an ordained minister of the Universal Life Church, legally able to perform marriage ceremonies. It was the most interaction I have had with a church in 40 years. 

I was excited, because why not? What a wonderful fucket list item! But also, it was much more than that. 

In my lifetime, I have seen my mother in three other serious relationships, including the marriage to my dad. Although there was love in each of them, and she was cared for in different ways, she never seemed truly happy and fulfilled. There was always something missing, and she seemed to carry a sense of sadness because of it. 

After the last one, she shut down. It took her years to move past the heartbreak. She told me she didn’t have the will to try again. She had already gracefully let go of any hope for grandchildren, and the thought of her growing old alone without the love of a partner hurt my heart. 

He is the yin to her yang, the R2-D2 to her C-3PO. His quiet, unflappable Midwestern steadiness is the perfect counterpoint to her often anxious, frenetic energy. Her broad network of friends and love of hosting makes him more social and draws out his charm and humor. She cooks, he does the dishes. They garden together. 

I stayed with them for two weeks leading up to the wedding - more time than I have spent in Ithaca since leaving almost three decades ago. Watching them navigate the stress of their annual solstice party, followed by the gathering of siblings and their spouses for the wedding, made me smile. 

I am currently working through a divorce, having been an active participant in a communication breakdown within my marriage. It was beautiful to watch them handle the friction, frustration, and fear of the moment with collaborative compromise and communication. It reminded me just how much can be accomplished and overcome when two people are truly invested in each other. 

Two Fridays ago, as I squinted in the late morning sun, performing the world’s shortest marriage ceremony, I couldn’t help but feel grateful that these two had found each other. I am relieved that my mom will have a partner to grow old with, especially one that I like. And I am happy to gain a stepfather. It was such an incredible experience to witness their happy marriage, and I’m HONORED they asked me to participate in it.

Congratulations you crazy kids!

Yes, and…



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