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From couple, to father and son, to husband and husband: And it only took 53 years.

When the state wouldn't recognize their union, Bill and Norman decided to get creative.

Bill and Norman met at a wedding in 1963 and have been in love ever since. Their story shows what happens when people try to stop love — and it wins anyway. Cue the feels and watch:

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Bill Novack and Norman MacArthur are an adorable and happy gay couple who've been together since 1963.


Image by Upworthy and MSNBC


In 1995, they moved from New York (a state that legally recognized them as domestic partners) to Pennsylvania and were all set to live happily ever after, but one tiiiiny thing stood in their way. Well, technically, a not-so-tiny thing.

Pennsylvania was one of those pesky states that didn't recognize same-sex marriage.

So while New York saw Bill and Norman as domestic partners, Pennsylvania saw them as strangers. Why in the world would one state recognize a domestic partnership and another wouldn't? Well, for some reason, there are people who genuinely believe that letting same-sex couples marry is somehow going to "ruin the sanctity of marriage."



GIF from "The Bachelor."

Yup, that's right, I'm looking right at you Juan Pablo from ABC's "The Bachelor." If you aren't familiar with "The Bachelor," it's a charming reality show where 20 or so women in ball gowns fight over one eligible man week after week. There's drama, there's alcohol, there's helicopter dates, and there's even some sex thrown in. The prize? The bachelor's hand in heterosexual marriage.

Where you at marriage sanctity?!

Bill and Norman weren't asking for the right to fight for their love on reality TV. They just wanted to make sure that they were legally protected.

In New York, Bill and Norman were free to live as a married couple, with all the same rights as everyone else. Things like joint income taxes, home ownership and health care were right at their fingertips in New York. It was glorious! But in Pennsylvania, their legal protections went right out the window. Say, for example, Bill or Norman was to get sick and be hospitalized. Because Pennsylvania does not recognize them as married or blood related, they could be denied the right to see each other.

My face if my hubby was in the hospital and I couldn't see him.

That's a pretty terrifying thought. So terrifying, in fact, that Bill and Norman knew they had to do something. They knew they couldn't get married, but they wanted to make sure they were legally protected just in case something happened.

If the state wouldn't recognize their marriage, they'd have to come up with something else. That's when they had an ingenious idea. Adoption.

In 2000, Bill and Norman decided to legally adopt each other. And while the idea of a father and son being married sounds like a strange (and illegal) one, for Bill and Norman it was the perfect loophole. As father and son, they were still able to file their taxes together and stay on each other's health insurance! Even though their new home of Pennsylvania wouldn't recognize their relationship, they found a way to honor it in their own way. Now that's one heck of a beautiful testament to how powerful love can be.


Who's cutting onions? GIF by ebengregory.com

But in 2015 the moment they'd actually been hoping for finally arrived.

After 53 years as a couple, and 15 years as "father and son," Pennsylvania overturned the state's same-sex marriage ban.

Although Bill and Norman could've continued on as father and son, they jumped at the chance to make their marriage official. In May 2015, their adoption was vacated so they could legally wed. And while it was nothing short of a joyous occasion, even Bill couldn't help but chuckle at their truly unique wedding story.

"So literally we had a 52-year engagement and a quick marriage." — Bill Novack



image by Upworthy and MSNBC

It's wonderful to see any couple last for 53 years, but the odds that Bill and Norman faced to honor and protect their love is nothing short of incredible. I can't see how anyone could look down on a love like that, no matter what orientation the couple might be.

Thankfully Bill and Norman's story isn't the only happy ending.

On June 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage nationwide. No other gay couple will ever have to jump through hoops and loopholes to have their union recognized in the United States — finally love wins for all.

All images provided by Bombas

We can all be part of the giving movement

True

We all know that small acts of kindness can turn into something big, but does that apply to something as small as a pair of socks?

Yes, it turns out. More than you might think.

A fresh pair of socks is a simple comfort easily taken for granted for most, but for individuals experiencing homelessness—they are a rare commodity. Currently, more than 500,000 people in the U.S. are experiencing homelessness on any given night. Being unstably housed—whether that’s couch surfing, living on the streets, or somewhere in between—often means rarely taking your shoes off, walking for most if not all of the day, and having little access to laundry facilities. And since shelters are not able to provide pre-worn socks due to hygienic reasons, that very basic need is still not met, even if some help is provided. That’s why socks are the #1 most requested clothing item in shelters.

homelessness, bombasSocks are a simple comfort not everyone has access to

When the founders of Bombas, Dave Heath and Randy Goldberg, discovered this problem, they decided to be part of the solution. Using a One Purchased = One Donated business model, Bombas helps provide not only durable, high-quality socks, but also t-shirts and underwear (the top three most requested clothing items in shelters) to those in need nationwide. These meticulously designed donation products include added features intended to offer comfort, quality, and dignity to those experiencing homelessness.

Over the years, Bombas' mission has grown into an enormous movement, with more than 75 million items donated to date and a focus on providing support and visibility to the organizations and people that empower these donations. These are the incredible individuals who are doing the hard work to support those experiencing —or at risk of—homelessness in their communities every day.

Folks like Shirley Raines, creator of Beauty 2 The Streetz. Every Saturday, Raines and her team help those experiencing homelessness on Skid Row in Los Angeles “feel human” with free makeovers, haircuts, food, gift bags and (thanks to Bombas) fresh socks. 500 pairs, every week.

beauty 2 the streetz, skid row laRaines is out there helping people feel their beautiful best

Or Director of Step Forward David Pinson in Cincinnati, Ohio, who offers Bombas donations to those trying to recover from addiction. Launched in 2009, the Step Forward program encourages participation in community walking/running events in order to build confidence and discipline—two major keys to successful rehabilitation. For each marathon, runners are outfitted with special shirts, shoes—and yes, socks—to help make their goals more achievable.

step forward, helping homelessness, homeless non profitsRunning helps instill a sense of confidence and discipline—two key components of successful recovery

Help even reaches the Front Street Clinic of Juneau, Alaska, where Casey Ploof, APRN, and David Norris, RN give out free healthcare to those experiencing homelessness. Because it rains nearly 200 days a year there, it can be very common for people to get trench foot—a very serious condition that, when left untreated, can require amputation. Casey and Dave can help treat trench foot, but without fresh, clean socks, the condition returns. Luckily, their supply is abundant thanks to Bombas. As Casey shared, “people will walk across town and then walk from the valley just to come here to get more socks.”

step forward clinic, step forward alaska, homelessness alaskaWelcome to wild, beautiful and wet Alaska!

The Bombas Impact Report provides details on Bombas’s mission and is full of similar inspiring stories that show how the biggest acts of kindness can come from even the smallest packages. Since its inception in 2013, the company has built a network of over 3,500 Giving Partners in all 50 states, including shelters, nonprofits and community organizations dedicated to supporting our neighbors who are experiencing- or at risk- of homelessness.

Their success has proven that, yes, a simple pair of socks can be a helping hand, an important conversation starter and a link to humanity.

You can also be a part of the solution. Learn more and find the complete Bombas Impact Report by clicking here.

Joy

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Part of what makes the beauty of fall unique is that it's fleeting. Mother Nature puts on a vibrant show as she sheds what no longer serves her, inviting us to revel in her purposeful self-destruction. It's a gorgeous example of not only embracing change, but celebrating it.

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