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Posts Tagged ‘Family’

Coming Out in A Faithful Family

25 May

When a family has been exposed to one of our group (the LGBT community) in a positive way, they’ve the opportunity to grow and evolve past the prejudice that may have been present before. We have to remember that prejudice is first learned and cultivated in a vacuum of evidence while it is dissipated through experience and an open mind.

For young adults and teens growing up within the confines of religion and religious families, I completely understand the reasons behind the fear of coming out (or being out’ed).

It isn’t easy to take that leap of faith, in the hope that your family will react favorably to the news that you aren’t what they’d assumed you were (all these years later). You and I have had time to reach some level of comfort with and acceptance of our sexual orientation. Even while some members of our family may have “suspected” it at times, the “news” that we are gay is still that; news that they have to process.

I always tell young people who are contemplating the act of “coming out” to their families, the most important preparation for that day is to be certain that you love and respect yourself and as well, that you have a support system in place to fall back on if your “coming out” doesn’t go as well as you may have hoped.

Growing up I was surrounded by family members who were very religious. I was fortunate in that they didn’t “seem” to be the kind who would react dis-favorably if and when I came out to them. (That didn’t make it much easier.)

All but one has been fine with the disclosure. A few were, and are, perhaps uncomfortable talking about the subject matter but that’s only because they, like so many others, seemingly think of it as being only about sex and little to do with who we are in our heart of hearts). For those persons, I wish you would understand that in the end it’s no different than how you feel; it’s a matter of whom we feel most comfortable sharing our lives. That’s it.

I came out years ago (to my mother first, around 1988 and the to the rest of my family the following year.

To be honest, I don’t for the life of me understand why they never figured it out on their own. I never dated [girls] and if anything, the hidden young man’s underwear section of the Sear’s catalog in my bedroom along with what Mom repeatedly described as my “snot rags” (ROFL!) back in those days should have been cause enough to clue the family in.

People see what they want to see I suppose.

I’m well aware there are families that are more religious than mine, whose members have spoken and acted out hatefully while discussing homosexuals, our pride events and/or actions intended to bring about understanding, equality and tolerance. I understand the hesitation and fear [some] feel over the thought of coming out, even in this so-called more accepting and enlightened age. The truth is there are no guarantees and it’s that “not knowing” that often paralyzes us into inaction.

Prior to coming out, take stock of the situation carefully. Gauge your circumstances and come out when YOU are ready to do so, not a moment before and certainly not at the bequest or perceived need of another (a boyfriend or girlfriend perhaps). Will it be as though a burden has been lifted? Many have said it’s like finally being able to breathe. I know that sounds like every reason to do so but I always tell young people to not act in haste; to come out only when they are in a position to care for themselves if necessary (or have verified they’ve the support of others if worse comes to worse. Sometimes this means waiting until after you’ve completed your secondary training (college, etc) and don’t for a moment feel guilty about that.

The world is a wonderful place but it isn’t always fair; sometimes it is anything but [fair]…

The day arrives, and…

Sometimes it goes well and at other [times], total chaos and dissension ensue. I’m aware of young teens who were disowned and told “leave and never look back.” {sigh} It’s heartbreaking to me when I read of this happening (and obviously worse yet for the young person who’s lost all of the family he ever knew growing up). It isn’t right and depending on the circumstances, can lead to any number of bad decisions on the part of the youth; actions taken just to “get by” and/or secure love and affection from anyone who will accept him into their life.

My response to every young person who experiences the worst from their families after coming out is, “YOU are still the very same person you were before they knew. You are worthy, intelligent, loving and certainly deserving of a happy future. Don’t let the ignorant, unreasonable reactions of others, even if they are your family, make you feel any less of a person than the blessing that you are. If they are incapable of seeing you for who you are, that’s their loss. Don’t make it your own by losing faith in yourself.

In closing and to those reading who are young and contemplating coming out under what may prove to be difficult circumstances and duress. Look to those “you trust” for the support that you will need. Be very observant, careful to recognize the signs if a person is offering his or her shoulder to lean on (but in truth, has a personal agenda). There are good people and bad people in this world; some have ulterior motives and their “support” is anything but free and without strings attached. I want you to be liberated of your own closet (when you are ready) but please try to do so without stepping from one set of confines into another that may be much, MUCH worse for you in the long-run.

To put it bluntly, do everything within your power not to become a statistic; one who is taken advantage of emotionally (and perhaps even physically) during the process of coming out to your family.

Namaste,
Michael

Resource Links:

  • LGBTQ Youth Rights by Vickie L. Henry, Director of GLAD’s Youth Initiative — On first glance, this appears to be a fairly comprehensive and well thought out resource for LGBTQ youth growing up in families of faith.

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Family Dynamics and How They Change

28 Dec

Why are “family dynamics” so contrary and difficult?

Family, they’re people we grow up with. We start out our lives knowing aunts and uncles as the adults who know everything and then they become the adults who don’t understand us. LOL

Of course, when we are young we’re all about the cousins, the aunts and the uncles and doing things with family when they come into town. We’ve no idea what it means to be an adult. It’s impossible to imagine what a shitty responsibility it is to pay the bills that make those occasional trips possible or dealing with the disagreements that inevitably occur when people of different backgrounds and life experiences come together.

Then we get older and we’re like, “What the hell? I just want to go back to being a kid and not having to deal with all of this shit!” {laughing}

(Tell me, honestly, this isn’t something you haven’t told yourself on at least one occasion. I dare you to deny it! LOL)

As a child, I had one brother I grew up with (he was a pain in my backside, or so I thought back then) with whom I get along GREAT with now that we’re adults.

I had/have another brother and a sister by the bio-father (neither of which I was raised with but of course, knew and loved in my own limited way) and had as well, a step-sister from my bio-father’s third marriage. Billy Marshall wasn’t very successful when it came to relationships; Billy was the paternal spectrum of the “gene” pool that made my life possible. I could speculate as to why his relationships weren’t successful but the closest I could come is to say he was self-centered and thought mostly only of what would make “himself happy” (regardless of any responsibilities he might have created along the way). That’s the way it seems to me anyway. It’s difficult expressing this, knowing his sisters (my Aunts) might be reading this post and they likely saw other sides of him we kids never saw. (After all, there MUST have been a reason my own mother was once attracted to him; I hope, I hope.)

But when one has three kids from three different marriages and has done little to be much more than a “physical presence” in their lives, having seemingly expressed little to no interest in understanding those children. Well, at some point or another, the children (now adults) have a tendency to quit thinking of the person as much more than a member of the gene pool. It’s difficult to have respect for someone who showed so little interest or respect for you growing up, even if he’s since passed away.

But this [blog] entry isn’t intended to be about Billy; it’s about the dynamics between myself and the rest of that side of the family.

You see, when I was growing up I got teased unmercifully about the “little red-headed girl” (Hell, I can’t even recall her name now … LOL … Margaret, I think) next door. My uncles figured it was funny, teasing the little nephew about girls and such, having no knowledge that even as far back as in my early years of Elementary School I pretty much knew I was “different from the majority of the rest of the kids.” Sure, I saw myself growing up and having a family; just not with a girl.

Those feelings weren’t because of anything I’d gone through — or hadn’t experienced — as a young child; they just “were.” Seeing myself as a man one day, with my arms wrapped around another man was as natural to me as what I’m sure any straight boy can imagine, visualizing a woman in his own arms later on in life. (Okay, at that age, girls are “icky” but you get my point.)

Even so, I felt it was best not to let anybody know how I felt on this particular subject at such a young age. Better to just live my life, as a kid in a family that played cards, rode motorcycles in the summer up in the mountains and enjoy my youth with family I loved/love rather than distance myself from them with my very different ideals of what the future held “for me.” There would be time enough to figure all of that out years down the road.

The years went by and we kids grew up. Puberty came and went and I couldn’t wait to get out of the smothering, conservative little town I’d grown up in and move to the big city. I’d “finally” be able to just be myself and explore the side of my life I’d dared not speak of to others. You think it’s difficult dating and coming into your own as a straight boy or girl? Just IMAGINE what it’s like when you don’t feel safe asking the football jock you’ve had a crush on since mid-high [school] out on a date. After all, “he might not be gay and despite the fact that you are considered a friend, he might ‘spill that secret!’ Then you’ll be the butt-end of every damned joke in town for being the local queer boy.” (Yeah, it wasn’t fun…)

So I moved to the city — and I immersed myself in a culture of dating, hooking up, equal rights activism, etc. To put it succinctly, I grew up.

Just understand that “growing up” doesn’t necessarily mean “maturing, developing the skills and resources necessary to make good decisions and effectively being able to see things from another person’s point of view.” What it means is you now get to pay your own damn bills, live your life (make mistakes) as you get your ass handed to you, repeatedly, learning from all of the bad decisions you make along the way. …and trust me, I’ve made (and likely, more will follow) my fair share of hellacious mistakes over the years!

Which brings me to the point in time where our family dynamics changed … and not necessarily for the better.

I got involved with an asshole ex- (whom I couldn’t trust to keep his dick in his own pants when we weren’t together). I had good reason not to trust him; I’d discover just “how justified” those reasons were AFTER we broke up (actually, I’d find out many years later).

At this particular point in time, I didn’t feel I had any option but to take him with me to visit family in Carlsbad. This was during the summer of 1989, twenty-five and a half years ago. Sitting at the kitchen table in my grandmother and grandfather’s home, it was obvious to all (but granddad, bless his heart!) “what the score was” and the dynamics shifted. It wasn’t my best and brightest move but at least the veil had [finally] lifted and perhaps my uncles would finally get off my damned ass about the “little red-headed girl next door.” You’ve no idea how frustrating it can be, even if they don’t know what they’re doing, to constantly be reminded “you are different” because family members are pushing you along a trail on some ridiculous journey you know isn’t intended for you. Again, I knew I was gay long before I ever hit puberty.

But on that day, the day when we were all sitting at the table in my grandparent’s home; THAT was the day that the dynamics between myself and the extended family I loved so much would forever change. Oh, sure… nobody is perfect and we all make mistakes — but I was “the fag.”

And twenty-five and a half years later, long after my grandmother, my grandfather, my Great Aunt and the biological “gene” that made my presence on this earth possible have all passed — I’m told they still don’t understand that this isn’t a “choice one makes.” If I’d had a “choice” in the matter, does one really think I’d have signed up for a life of second-guessing and ridicule (if not openly, at least behind the scenes)? Does one really think we “want” to be made to feel unwelcome (this was more so back then — not so much now) around family? ..and do you truly think a person wants to be made to feel “less than” because, in the committed relationship he or she might share with that special someone, taking the next logical step and get “hitched” (married) will always be problematic because it’s either illegal (in the state one lives in) or it’s seen as some kind of an attack on the sacred institution of love and commitment. (Seriously, I wish I had a dollar for every person who feels that his or her own “straight relationship” is any more important than a loving relationship between two persons of the same gender.) The last time I thought on the matter, I came to the simple conclusion that “love is love.”

Anyway, does any of this sound like a rational reason to make a ‘choice’ to identify with the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community? Does doing so make any sense to anyone at all, who wouldn’t be into sadomasochism. For the record, I’m not into S&M (I’m actually quite vanilla). LOL. I’ve no doubt my family loves me but to this day I question whether they’ve taken time to investigate and really open their minds to the possibility that they “might actually be wrong, in that being gay really isn’t so much about making a ‘choice’.”

(To their credit, it doesn’t help that there are so many [people] in the world who identify as bisexual, able to swap love interests from one gender to the other. Compounding the matter (and thus giving “some” family members false hope for a different outcome), many so-called bisexuals give in to the implied (or directed) pressure of conformance, feeling “encouraged” to at least make the effort, if only initially, to be “normal” (I’m being sarcastic and the translation here is “straight” for those who might have missed the point) by dating and/or having a family with somebody of the opposite gender. I know of at least one young man who likely feels as though the love and approval of his mother are fully contingent on his “fitting in and wearing the shoes of a straight male.” The judgment on his mother’s part has motivated him to make decisions that were fraught with risks, as well as consequences (and one blessing) he will have to live with all of his life. (Fortunately, I’ve confidence in him and think he is strong enough to have a happy life, regardless of the strings his mother keeps attaching to the love she feels for her boys.)

The most heart-felt and precious gift a family member can give someone is his or her love and an honest attempt to understand that which seems so foreign.

So again, I won’t say there isn’t cause to speculate “being gay” is a choice; especially when it seems so many appear to be able to be in relationships with both, the opposite and the same gender. But I suspect for the VAST MAJORITY who identify as gay or lesbian, it’s never been a matter of “choice.” It is simply a part of who and what we are, no different than the color of our eyes or the tint of our skin.

Neither is it so much about sex.

Certainly, I have (and will continue, I’m sure) made plenty of comments about the bodies of handsome, young sexy men — but in all honesty, it’s more about the “feeling of total attachment (in a healthy way) and attraction” that I feel for somebody swathed in the body of the male physique … more so than it is about “what parts fit where.”

I might enjoy the sex… (be honest, who of us doesn’t enjoy a great orgasm?) but for me it’s more about my feeling “at home” with my arms wrapped around a man — or his arms wrapped around me, for that matter. It’s about being fully attracted to somebody, in every aspect; on a sexual/physical level and as well, on an emotional/intellectual plane.

The only “choice” I ever made was to accept myself for who and what I am. So for those who fail to understand, yes, there was a choice; it just wasn’t the one you might be thinking it was.

Namaste,
Michael

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Time For Change

14 Dec

It’s been a difficult year for many; at least from the perspective of dealing with political and moral issues across the land (including a lack of confidence in our law enforcement agencies).

With regard to the latter, a calling for many on the force was once seen as commendable and honorable. What else could it be when one’s future responsibility, encouraged by his or her own life’s experiences or simply cultivated by a history of familial service, all but guaranteed a quest to protect and serve others within his or her community?

Sadly, the focus of our law enforcement agencies has slowly devolved. Rather than serving their communities (much the same as politicians were once elected to “serve their constituents”) those on the department are now encouraged to do little to nothing more than enforce the law. They’re often discouraged from deviating from procedure, lest they be disciplined by superiors or embroiled in lawsuits brought on by society’s adoption of a more litigious nature. Compounding the problem of an already frustrated force, Federal factions have negatively influenced our local departments by further encouraging an “us vs. them” mentality by providing local law enforcement with military grade weapons every time the country steps away from an initiative overseas. When you combine all of these factors, how could our police officers NOT become more brutal and desensitized over time?

In order to change that we need to break down the walls that separate the average citizen from those tasked with protecting and serving him or her. I’m not in the state-of-mind right now to say with certainty that we can accomplish that. I’m hopeful we can, but unconvinced right now.

Economic Recovery? For whom?

Along other lines, we’ve witnessed a recovery in the economy (not wholly but the economy is doing better). However, personally speaking (and there are likely many who will agree) I feel my own situation has improved only slightly. It seems while companies are realizing more profits and influence in Washington, D.C., the same isn’t true of the average man or woman on the street.

The cost of fuel to run our vehicles has dropped [considerably] over the past several months but it cost more to put food on the table, a roof over our head and health insurance, if you can afford to pay for it, is an ever-growing JOKE!

The “Affordable Care Act” has done little, in my opinion, to better the lives of those living in this country. In fact, it’s had a negative impact on my own situation and (I believe) on the lives of many of our aged and our veterans.

Lest you think I’m faulting Barack Obama, I’m not. I’m blaming every damned politician in Washington, D.C. (both parties, Democrat and Republican alike) who has failed to work together to positively influence the lives of those they were elected to represent.

Then there is the stress of watching helplessly on as both parties battle for dominance (negatively impacting the average citizen in the process).

My own Health

Health remains a concern for me; perhaps more so this year than in years past. I need to get a handle on my weight (which became an issue after treatment began for Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2006, as well as having to commence taking meds for my HIV that same year). I’ve gone from an estimated 180 pounds in 2006 to 280 pounds as of this month — and I feel that it’s high time I did something about it. I don’t believe I can continue living like this. I’m fat, I feel much older than “I should” at fifty-one and I’m depressed because of the weight (intensified by other factors in my personal life, not the least of which is my having given up on any hope for a relationship in the future).

Let’s face it I’m just not feeling very attractive or optimistic these days.

But if one need find something to give thanks for, I’ve this to offer…

We are (a) alive, (b) most have food on the table and a roof over their heads and (c) for those of us who are LGBTQ, marriage equality is fast evolving from a “hope” to something real and concrete in more and more states around the country. (Good news for those who are fortunate enough to be in relationships.)

It should be said that for all of the good that may come into our lives there is always room for personal growth and improvement.

Given my depression of late, that has been my focus this past week or two. It’s a sure sign I’ll be doing a lot of soul searching and will [hopefully] have the strength to implement a lot of changes in my own life over the next twelve months.

Friends and Family

I cherish the friendships I’ve made over the years but as with so many things, you must sometimes let go and move on with your life. That became obvious for me at a point earlier this year with regard to a couple of friends I’ve known for almost twenty years. Our relationship had become strained over the past decade. I’m certain there are things I could have done differently to improve the friendship but the tension wasn’t all one-sided. Both are good people in all other regards but I rarely came away from a visit without feeling as though I’d been judged. One always went out of his way to mention an event they were scheduled for “that was only open to couples; not singles” (like I needed to be reminded yet again that I’m single). Both felt I wasn’t involved enough in the gay community and both made it a point of reminding me I’d not been attending church as often as (in their opinion) I should. I’ve been a member of the same church since 1986 but the atmosphere there has changed over the years, seeming much less like that which first motivated me to join decades ago. Besides, my faith is very personal for me. I don’t have to be “in a building, on a Sunday” to worship. In fact, I’m more comfortable relating to God in a one-on-one situation, like out at the lake or simply in a meadow in the country.

Anyway, you get the picture. Simply put, I felt that my friendship with them was taken for granted and that I would never measure up to the standards they had set since they met one another.

I [eventually] came to the conclusion our friendship had run its course and made the difficult decision to part ways. It has been HARD the past several months because they did play a large part in my life once — but there were tensions neither seemed willing to acknowledge and work on, so…

I put that chapter and their friendship behind me.

The same may [sadly] be said of some of my family members soon. There are those [family] who’ve yet to grow the hell up; they are [still] very homophobic or so I’m told. (This is especially frustrating as they relate fine to me in person but the grousing and complaining is alleged to be going on behind my back.)

A little bit of history.

My family discovered I’m gay when I was about twenty-six; that was twenty-five years ago. It seems some cannot wrap their heads around the fact that one doesn’t “choose” to be a homosexual or a bisexual. Whatever your sexuality is, it is. YOU can work through the process of accepting who you are but you’ve little control over what others will ever think of you. They either put in the effort to learn more about sexuality; what is true and what isn’t — or they stay the same, never moving forward in such a way that they can accept you for who and what you are.

After having given them twenty-five years to accept me I’m about ready to just leave the whole lot behind and move on. If they “want to be a part of my life” THEY can make the effort to do so.

I’m not perfect but my sexuality is one thing I can’t change about myself — and I’m tired of having it brought up as a tool to “shame me” when I least expect it, or as a means for some family to undermine me with others.

To paraphrase one family member, “Fuck it; I’m done.

So…

2015 promises to be a year of change. I fully intend on changing my eating patterns and exercising at every opportunity I can. I’m going to lose this weight if it’s the last thing I do in this life; I refuse to go to the grave weighing two-hundred and eighty pounds.

For the time being, I’ve given up on believing our elected leaders will ever pull their heads out of their asses and do “the right thing” for their constituents. They’re simply too busy doing for themselves and the plutocrats who support them. I’m losing confidence that the police across the nation give a damn about the citizens they should be “protecting and serving (they’re too busy acting the parts of bullies and flexing their fucking biceps).

I’ve no control over the latter two but by God I have [some] control over my body and it’s time to implement the change I desire or die trying.

I’ll likely be spending MUCH LESS time on social networking sites (as I expect the time I’ve “been” spending on them would be better spent doing cardio, working out in the weight room and even reading).

Doing so should reduce the “drama” in my life. One thing I’ve learned over the years — repeatedly — is that you just can’t please everybody. You say something that makes one person happy and agreeable, you’ve three or four more assholes who are pissed off at you (who are often only interested in feeding their need to foment drama).

I’m tired of drama, which means it may be time to cut some people “out” of my life. I’m just me, people. I’m not perfect and I CERTAINLY have a lot I want to work on in my life “but if you can’t get over the fact that I’m queer, or that on some issues I’m quite conservative (while on others, I’m very liberal) then we will be parting ways.”

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, folks!
Michael

This will likely be my last blog entry for 2014 (not that I have blogged nearly as much this year).

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The Loss of a Loved Pet

02 Nov

Today’s entry is written with two very close friends of mine in mind. They are [sadly] going through a difficult time as they witness what seemingly is the final act of their fur-baby’s life. (Hercules has always been such a SWEET canine companion, as was his best buddy “Okie” when he too was alive and well. Okie was a friend to one of my own fur-babies, Cassie, when she was alive and we lived next door to Mayra.)

Cassie was my rock for 16-years and a week; in all honesty, it was the thought of what might [have] happened to her that kept me from taking my own life one evening during the summer of 1999. (I’ve struggled with varying degrees of depression, usually rooted in “bad relationships” during a fair part of my adult life — and this particular time of my life was what I can only describe as the darkest period of this man’s journey here on earth. Fortunately, I’ve seemingly broken that pattern and now live my own life “happily single.” Less of a damn hassle! LOL)

Anyway, when I had to make the decision to have my fur-baby euthanized on July 14th, 2000, only one year later, it was the most difficult thing I’d ever experienced (before and since). Oh, certainly — I’ve had other pets and one in particular was very near and dear to me — but Cassie and I just clicked in a way that felt “so right.”

For many of us who have pets, they are not “just” pets; they’re like family.

They have their own personalities and a way of relating to us as most any other [close] family member might. They can be both aggravating as hell at times and loving, devoted and attentive when we most need them to be. They know, before we do ourselves what we need in order to get through a difficult day — and if we can’t find the energy and motivation to smile, they’ll be right there by our side to commiserate with us in their own way. (Of course, I’m talking about dogs mostly; cats usually just look at you as if to say, “Go ## yourself but before you do, put my damn food out on the floor so that I can eat, you dumb two-legged servant!)


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The Mayonnaise Jar

08 Feb

Jar of pebbles

When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day is not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and two cups of coffee.

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him.

When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and fills it with golf balls.

He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured it into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls.

He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else.

He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous “YES”.

The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

“Now,” said the professor, as the laughter subsided, “I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things – God, family, children, health, friends, and favorite passions. Things, that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the things that matter like your job, house, and car. The sand is everything else — the small stuff.” he said.

“If you put the sand into the jar first,” he continued, “There is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you…” he told them.

“So… pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Worship with your family. Play with your children. Take your partner out to dinner. Spend time with good friends. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the dripping tap. Take care of the golf balls first — the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.”

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented.

The professor smiled and said, “I’m glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend.”

A friend on Facebook shared this with me earlier this evening. The story and the analogy were such that I just had to share it here on my own blog. Thank you, Taft, for sending this to me. As I said earlier tonight, you are special. Never lose hope and always remember that change is both, inevitable and often times for the better. You are in my thoughts and my prayers.

Namaste and peace be with you,
Michael

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Cancer, Mothers and Custody Battles…

13 May

Photo of Alaina Giordano with her two childrenShould a mother lose custody of her children just because she’s been diagnosed with breast cancer?

If you think like I do, you’re thinking, “What the hell? Why on earth would they even consider such a bold and ludicrous decision?” One judge, Nancy E. Gordon has passed down just such a ruling against a North Carolina mother (Alaina Giordano) who is fighting to survive Stage 4 breast cancer.

A petition has been circulating in the hope that the governor of the state of North Carolina will step up and convince the judge that the ruling is not in the best interest of the children. However, as with any “tale” there are always two sides to the story. The judge expresses a number of concerns that are revealed upon review of the order.


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Respect, Given and Received

04 Dec

There are a few movies I watch fairly consistently, once every couple of years. This (“Torch Song Trilogy”) is one of them. It couldn’t be — yeah, right — because Matthew Broderick appears in the movie and looks so damned delicious in a tuxedo!

But setting Matthew aside (which I do with difficulty)…

There’s a scene in the movie that [again] caught my eye last night. It’s a wonderful scene that so many of us in the world would do well to watch and allow to sink in; an attitude, the principle of which we should make an integral part of our everyday lives.


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Lemons into Lemonade

01 Sep

Photo of homemade lemon merignue pieSometimes when life hands you lemons, ya just gotta make lemonade (or in this case, homemade Lemon Meringue Pie).

Mom often compliments me on my cooking and tries to be dismissive of her own influence in my life as she goes on and on about how she can’t cook (which isn’t true, by the way — she can cook just fine when she puts her mind to it).

The thing that upsets me about Mom — and perhaps I even do this with myself, to some extent — is she doesn’t give herself enough credit. None of us is perfect and I don’t pretend to suggest that Mom is, but she’s quite admirable and has given up a lot over the course of her life to see to it her family was/is taken care of. She and Dad both did, though Dad was stubborn and had his own demons (depression) he was squabbling with after my Uncle Bill died many years ago.

You see, I’m the product of a family that most would call “broken” but in truth, what was “broken” did eventually evolve into a loving, productive (in my opinion) and tight-knit family.


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A little bit o’ Glum

24 Aug

Photo of yellow flowers taken at Lake Whiterock in Dallas, TexasHave you ever felt … um, despondent because you were looking back instead of toward the future?

That is what I’m feeling today; it came upon me ever so slowly, as I was sorting through some things here at home and revising my resume to submit for consideration with a company I worked for quite some time back.

In the process of looking for something else, I stumbled across the obituary for a friend and classmate (Deanna). Deanna had passed away last summer (June 19, 2009) when she had a terrible accident in her car. My brother was one of the first responders and, not knowing that she and I were friends, he had called to tell me about the accident later that same day.


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The Origins of “Marriage”

08 Aug

montage of wedding photosThere has been a lot of talk about the origins of marriage over the past ten years; especially, during the last year or two.

The discussions are important and those on both sides of the issue are passionate and have a right to their opinions. On the one hand we have those who believe marriage is rooted in religion and that the institution is reserved ONLY for couples comprised of one man and one woman.

Others believe marriage has little to do with the gender of those involved but more so with whether or not the two love one another and are committed to live out their lives as a family, devoted to and willing to share in the responsibilities that are inherently involved in such a relationship, setting aside any ties to religion altogether.


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