Wednesday, February 13, 2013

There's a lot of love in this photo - Feb 13th

I had heard of the Hiltons (Mariann's dad was my friend's thesis professor at BYU) but didn't meet them until they arrived in Boston for Bruce to attend grad school at MIT.  We became fast and close friends.  Their three oldest (of six) kids were born in Boston.  I used to visit them a lot and we share lots of fun memories from that era in the Arlington Ward -- celebrating birthdays and holidays, taking day trips, playing games, playing pranks, trips to Maine and the Cape, and lots of babysitting and one of my favorite things; borrowing their kids Conor, Alistair and Isabel.

Mariann and Bruce were born a day apart (same year) and they are first cousins (their dads are brothers).  The whole cousin thing was intriguing but they are seriously awesome (and normal).  Before you freak out (and say you would never marry your cousin like I would say) --- they didn't grow up knowing each other.  They met the first time at a family reunion when they were teenagers.  Bruce joined the church and went to BYU.  I think he played soccer so went to Provo early and stayed with his aunt/uncle/cousins before the dorms opened and they started to get to know each other.  Bruce went on a mission to Taiwan.  Mariann served a mission in Louisiana.   Then they realized they were in love and wanted to get married.  The interesting part of the story (at least to me!) is that you can't marry your first cousin in Utah but you can in California!  So plans were in motion for their wedding in the Los Angeles Temple in December.  An added twist is that Bruce's brother and Mariann's sister were also considering marriage.  So Mariann's dad, Gill (who passed away recently), who was so cool, sat them down and suggested since both families were going to be in California for Bruce and Mariann's wedding, why didn't they have both weddings there in December.  So they did.  I think Bruce and Mariann were married one day and the siblings got married the next day and somewhere inbetween Bruce's brother was baptized.  They have six awesome kids and there is a lot of love in their family.

One day a bunch of gals in the ward were having lunch together and talking about keeping your middle name.  Mariann said, "I don't get what the big deal is" and Karen Hovey quickly said, "I guess you wouldn't, Mariann Hilton Hilton."  Mariann would get annoyed when people would try to figure out how she was related to her kids since they were also her cousin's kids.  And when their first baby was born and Mariann's mom came to visit to help out, there was confusion in Relief Society when she introduced herself as Colleen Hilton, Mariann's mom.  I said one day, "Since Bruce is your cousin and your husband, he's like your cusband."

The Hiltons are some of my closest friends.  They live in Idaho now and when I go to Utah I either drive up to see them or we've met up in Utah at the Hilton homestead.  They are wonderful friends and I love them dearly and like most of my friends that have left Boston, I keep hoping they'll move back.


Jodi said...

That IS a crazy story! I was going to say- isn't it illegal to marry your first cousin? But I guess not everywhere! I still think it's weird because they did know they were cousins before they fell in love. But I guess people used to marry cousins all the time!

Queen Elizabeth said...

Wow. Great story.