A former Democratic Pennsylvania U.S. Senator who once served as party chairman and Secretary of Labor and Industry, has penned a moving op-ed detailing the love he felt for his late wife, as well as the love he now feels for the man he is about to marry.
Former U.S. Senator Harris Wofford op-ed was published in Sunday’s edition of the New York Times. He tells of the love he shared with his wife of 48 years, Claire, who sadly passed away in 1996. He also writes of the love he now shares with Matthew Charlton, his partner of 15 years.
“At age 70, I did not imagine that I would fall in love again and remarry. But the past 20 years have made my life a story of two great loves,” Sen. Wofford writes.
“Clare and I fell in love trying to save the world during World War II,” Wofford says. “I had founded a student organization to promote a postwar union of democracies to keep the peace. When I left to serve in the Army Air Corps, Clare became national president, guiding the Student Federalists as the group grew across the country.”
He explains that at 70 years old when his wife passed away, he never dreamed that he would meet someone, fall in love, and now be getting ready to remarry.
“We were both about to turn 70 when she died. I assumed that I was too old to seek or expect another romance,” he says, but five years later he met Matthew Charlton.
“As we talked, I was struck by Matthew’s inquisitive and thoughtful manner and his charm. I knew he was somebody I would enjoy getting to know. We were decades apart in age with far different professional interests, yet we clicked.”
“To some, our bond is entirely natural, to others it comes as a strange surprise, but most soon see the strength of our feelings and our devotion to each other. We have now been together for 15 years,” Wofford writes.
Wofford then includes this poem, written by Robert Frost:
And yet for all this help of head and brain
How happily instinctive we remain,
Our best guide upward further to the light,
Passionate preference such as love at sight.
Wofford goes on to write of how fortunate he is to be alive at a time when he and his partner are able to spend their lives together, officially married, thanks to the landmark marriage equality decision made by the Supreme Court.
“Twice in my life, I’ve felt the pull of such passionate preference,” he says. “At age 90, I am lucky to be in an era where the Supreme Court has strengthened what President Obama calls ‘the dignity of marriage’ by recognizing that matrimony is not based on anyone’s sexual nature, choices or dreams. It is based on love.”
“All this is on my mind as Matthew and I prepare for our marriage ceremony,” he concludes. “On April 30, at ages 90 and 40, we will join hands, vowing to be bound together: to have and to hold, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, until death do us part.”
Wofford’s words are powerful. Thankfully, despite the Republican lawmakers who are so intent on dragging us backwards, as a society we continue to move forward and are beginning to understand that love is love, regardless of gender or any other factor. When we are lucky enough to find true love, it should be celebrated and cherished, all else be damned.
Congratulations to the happy couple. We here at If You Only News wish you both all the happiness in the world.
Featured image via nyu.edu