Even during the most difficult of times, Islanders are celebrating their love through the bond of holy matrimony.
“They have been close friends ever since I was four years old,” Dolores Borza said of her mother and her new spouse.
Borza’s mother, Lillian Anderson, 74, and Marion Cardoza, 98, were married on the front steps of their home after being inseparable for more than 50 years. Borza said Cardoza took her mother under her wing after she moved to America from France.
“Over the course of many years, they grew so close that they were never not with each other, they were absolutely inseparable,” Borza said. “The love was always there, the companionship was always there, but with this virus thing, we figured it was the right time to show that love.”
While Colleen Morris officiated the marriage ceremony, with guests at a 6-foot distance, Borza said that her kids were strolling by and happened to see the family gathered on the front lawn.
“It was the most fabulous luck, the kids happened to be going out for a walk and they saw us all standing around,” Borza said. “It was my son and his girlfriend with his kids. It was so incredible, we had multiple generations of my family all together.”
Borza said she feels as if her son and his family were meant to be walking by when the wedding occurred.
“I am a firm believer that things happen for a reason. The universe wanted to bring us all together for this special occasion,” Borza said. “There were only nine people there, so we still kept it under the 10-person limit.”
Borza congratulated her mother and Marion on their marriage, and said she is happy they were able to solidify such a strong and long-standing bond.
“I am so happy that they are so blessed to be able to have this kind of friendship last for so long and seal it like this after all this time, it was really special to see,” Borza said.
And that wasn’t the only special ceremony to happen on the Island.
Jarrett Campbell and Courtney Campbell planned to get married on one of the properties that Jarrett manages up in West Tisbury and invite their families to attend. They had planned a reception dinner and celebration at the Harbor View Hotel after the wedding.
“It was all set up, and then all of a sudden, this whole thing happened. It was lock down, stay home, don’t gather in groups,” he said.
Jarrett considered going through with his plans, but said that he has asthma and his mother is in her 70s, so he decided not to take the chance.
“With the Harbor View being closed and my wife being a nurse, I figured we could postpone it to a later date, after this thing is over,” Jarrett said.
But Jarrett said he didn’t want to wait to marry his beloved, and started to consider the option of a virtual ceremony.
“I was thinking that my friend Sasha Robinson-White got a one-day marriage designation, and maybe we could just do it through Zoom,” Jarrett said.
Before the wedding, Jarrett said Courtney was on a Facetime call with her friends, and told them that she was getting married.
Her friends raced into action to gather other folks who wanted to surprise the couple after their wedding, and within 45 minutes, Jarrett said they had set it all up.
After settling in post-wedding and climbing into their pajamas, the couple were surprised when they heard cheering and honking coming down the driveway of their Oak Bluffs home.
“We had absolutely no idea, it was such a great surprise,” Jarrett said. “All of a sudden I hear all this noise, and it was all our family and friends only an hour or so after we had the ceremony.”
At the surprise celebration, folks stayed in their cars and cheered, honked their horns, and some even got out of their cars and danced to music blaring from car stereos.
“I thought the Island needed some positive news. We just stood at our front steps and waved and laughed,” Jarrett said.
Jarrett said he feels grateful for his family and friends, and gave special thanks to his wife and all the other medical personnel, frontline workers, and business workers who continue to work while they face danger.
“This is a very tough time for everyone, but we will get through this,” Jarrett said. “Once it’s all over, we are going to have a huge party.”