- I stopped in the collar aisle at the pet store recently to check out prong collars as a possibility to help with our dog's significant leash pulling. I flipped over the tag in search of a price to find the following warning: "Not intended for use on children."
- This week my grandmother celebrated her 93rd birthday with brownies with my mom and my kids and phone calls with family who live out of town. Her Alzheimer's has continued to progress, changing most everything about her. I have mentioned it many times, but as my daughter approaches 13, my grandmother continues to regress to a younger age. They were the same age when Gwen was about 7 or so. But behind the confusion, the silliness and some of my own sadness, she is still there. I see her peek out sometimes and it makes me smile.
- My husband and kids are addicted to a game called "Plumbers Crack". Gwen and Jason are currently on their respective Ipods discussing what objects they are tossing into the plumbers crack for crack bucks. I am not sure if I should laugh or cry.
- I believed I wasn't smart enough to excel. I graduated at the top of my college class. I believed I couldn't live without anger fueling me. I somehow learned to let go and found how much I had missed. I believed the doctor who told me at 19 I would not have children. I just tucked one in bed and the other is watching yet another Disney show while commenting on how much she dislikes One Direction (if you don't know who they are, consider yourself blessed!). I believed myself every single time I found a reason not to push myself to take care of myself. Even as I shed pounds, I didn't believe I could do a lot of physical things. I can always think of a million reasons not to try something. So last night I decided to ignore my sore toe, the fact I was tired, my pants fit wrong and all the other reasons. I put on my sneakers, grabbed my ipod, and I ran. It wasn't a long distance, but I RAN!
I can't believe I am going to put this in writing, in public but here it goes: In October, I will be doing the Dempsey Challenge 5K. My ultimate goal is to run it, though I will be happy if I can combine walking and running to finish it.
- Earlier this week, my father sent me an email. That may not seem like a huge thing, but his words immediately made me cry. I cried because someone I love shared something so personal and beautiful and heartbreaking. But I also cried because I realized how selfish I have been. All of these years, I have spoke and written about how being the child of a gay parent has affected me. I never stopped to ask him how his journey has affected him. I never looked beyond how it impacted me. And frankly, his words knocked me on my ass. I am proud of my father. He isn't perfect. But he is an amazing human being who has been through so much and it has gotten better. I asked him if I could share them again, and he agreed with the hope that it will reach others who may need some hope and understanding:
Last evening I attended a concert by the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus at Davies Symphony Hall. It was an evening of the music of award winning composer, Stephen Schwartz (Wicked, Enchanted, Pippin, Pocahontas, to name a few.) Mr. Schwartz joined the chorus for the evening. He also wrote a new song specifically for the Chorus and this concert inspired by the IT GETS BETTER PROJECT. It is called "Testimony". As that group of 275 gay men sang this number I couldn't help but think of my own life and how it has gotten so much better.
I remember growing up with that feeling of absolute despair that somehow I was not worth as much as others. That I was somehow defective. I remember those feelings that I could not talk about and that I could not get rid of. The feelings of alienation, hatred, rejection that dominated every single day of my life. I remember trying everything and anything to deny who I really was and in the process led a life that was deceitful and hurtful to others. There isn't a phrase of "Testimony" that I did not feel. I remember the hateful words thrown out as barbs that pierced my self esteem and destroyed my self image. Those who uttered those words probably had no idea how much they hurt and cut and even destroy someone else. And,I remember trembling with absolute fear when I had decided to tell my Dad who I really was. I was convinced because of his ultra-conservative outlook that I would be thrown out the door and totally rejected as a person and a son. And I remember how totally surprised I was when he said, "I would never throw you out the door." For me, that's when it really GOT BETTER. As the last line of "Testimony" says, "and when it's time to go, I want to come back as me."
Please take the time to view this video and to pass it on to anyone you know who may need to know that it does get better. - Brian