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5 Jul 07, 10:04 PM - Invitation to Party

Posted by Dave Hingsburger

I'm going to dinner! And I couldn't be more excited. Those who know me know that I'm not very social in person. In fact, I'm quite shy. I don't socialize much, by choice, and prefer watching BBC box sets here at home. So this excitement isn't quite the norm. But in today's post we got a letter from a town in the States that I don't recognize. I openned it and was surprised to find a letter, written in childish script it couldn't have been more adult. It was from a couple with intellectual disabilities that I met over ten years ago.

I had met them when consulting to the agency that supported them. The agency wanted to go from a 'no sex' policy to a policy that welcomed relationships. It had been fun working with the agency and we struck an advisory committee to oversee the process, this couple had been on that committee. They wanted to marry so badly, they wanted to pledge their lives to each other. They came out of the institution as a couple and move into an agency that didn't allow their relationship room to grow or flourish.

Now, times were changing, attitudes were finally catching up to these two - who always knew what love was, even if agencies didn't. They married. I've visited with them a few times, had dinner once a long while back. But their letter said that they were about to celebrate their 10th anniversary and they wanted all those people there who supported them, who helped create a place for them in the world.

I'm going.

We have nothing scheduled in that area, but heck, it's summer, a wee trip sounds fun. I need these moments. Over the last several years I've worked hard to bring sexuality and relationships to the table, to have agencies understand and discuss the adult rights of people in their care. And now a couple is celebrating their tenth anniversary. A couple that others mocked. A love that people disrespected. A relationship thought cute - not serious. That relationship hits ten years. Ten years.

So, I'm going to the party.

Joe's book the dates and got mapquest to figure the route.

Their invitation is hand made. It's a blue heart, ribbons are taped at each side and the word 'love' is at the bottom. Turn it over and it says: Celebrating !0 years of marriage and 20 years when they wouldn't let us.

And in case we didn't get it it says in red pen scribbled on the bottom.

That's 30 years.

I'm going to the party.

• Visit Chewing The Fat

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At 12:29 AM on 06 Jul 2007, Andrea wrote:

Please tell us how the celebration goes! My partner and I have now been married 9 years, which seems quite short compared to their 30 total!

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At 08:26 AM on 06 Jul 2007, Linda Tristram wrote:

This story struck a cord as me and my late husband both disabled,fell in love and was scorned. We finnally eloped (after a lot of planing) to Gretna Green. We were married only 3 short years, but they were the happiest.

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At 12:10 PM on 06 Jul 2007, AJF wrote:

lovely story -that love can last
The cynic in me says " and how many of those who disapproved can match this couple's length of marriage let alone the length of their time together"

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At 12:52 PM on 06 Jul 2007, Dave Hingsburger wrote:

Linda, I'm sorry that you went through that, I'd like to hear more of your story ... if it's not to painful to write.

AJF, I so totally agree, given that almost 50% of marriages fail before the 10th anniversary.

Andrea, congrats! Many more!

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