Quote of the week:

“They'd have to shoot me to get me back to Illnois."

~Abraham Lincoln upon going to WDC to become president

Saturday, January 3, 2009

FULL CIRCLE

After Christmas, I was able to visit my friends Jeff and Lynette, the same who were part of the group of friends I was with when I did the Polar Bear Plunge as written about here
http://randomthawghts.blogspot.com/2008/10/taking-plunge.html
Jeff was the first person I came out to (after my shrink at the student counselling center). At the time it was difficult for Jeff (though he didn’t show it). In addition to being my friend, Jeff was also my minister at the Church/Foundation I was involved with at the time. My coming out was a slap in the face of the theology he adhered to—that he and I both grew up with. Knowing me as well as he did was incongruent to what I was supposed to be in/with the church. He had to rethink and recalibrate his theology and what the church was saying. The night I came out to Jeff, he told me it didn’t matter, that it didn’t change how he felt about me, which wasn’t totally true, but those were the words that I had to hear at that moment in time, and that much he realized, and realized how a negative reaction would have devastated me. He came around. His theology changed (as did mine), and while he helped me through coming out, I was his friend and confident while his marriage was falling apart, and a new relationship was materializing. We were each in our own closets and self and societal imposed hells, in tandem. Before he was willing to admit to himself (or others) during a Christmas break work trip working on a Habitat for Humanity Project, I took him outside one day and said, “Jeff, I expect to be your best man when you and Lynette get married.” That blew him out of the water. –for the record, I was his best man at their wedding(s) the legal one at the court house and the ceremonial one a few months after for family and friends. But that’s another story. Jeff ended up leaving the church. So, in addition to being a godless homo heathen, I can claim some role in taking a hetero minister out of the pulpit. They became Unitarians. I became an eventual atheist, with Buddhist leanings. But I digress, yet again.
Jeff and Lynette have a beautiful teenage daughter (M), (along with Jeff’s son (F) from his first marriage) whom I have watched grow into the incredible young adults they are. They are the closest I will ever get to children of my own. I’m closer to them than I was my nephews and niece growing up (due to geography and strained familial relations for some years.) I have always had a special connection to F & M. M came out to her family about a year ago. She’s currently dating a girl from school. She really wanted me to know about it, and wanted to tell me about it. But I needed to initiate the conversation. I had to get cues from Jeff, as I wasn’t sure how much I was ‘supposed to know’. I didn’t want to say or ask too much, to embarrass her or anger her at her parents for telling me family stories outside. At one point, Jeff & I walked to the kitchen. He said, “M is dying to tell you about her girlfriend.” That was all I needed to be able to go back to the family room and make/find an opportunity to ask M about her gf. I was honored that she wanted me to know.
Jeff and Lynette live out in a beautiful wooded area. It’s like a retreat for me to visit them. Birds, deer, wild turkeys, and other kinds of woodland wildlife are right outside the windows. On Sunday afternoon, Lynette, Jeff and I took a walk down the road(s). It was a bit too wet, icy and treacherous to tromp through the woods. As we tend to do when together, we conjure up ‘Another Olde Lang Syne” and reminisce with wonder about where the years have gone, how gray Lynette and I both are (Jeff barely has a dusting of S&P at his temples and he’s the oldest!) While on this walk, Lynette thanked me for asking M about the gf, and the manner in which I did so. Then, Jeff thanked me for being who I am, and for teaching him so much as it made all the difference in how he responded to M when she came out to them. I was so blown away and so deeply touched. We have been strong, deep friends for almost 25 years. To have this added dimension—to have been able to have this kind of unexpected impact on all of them is the cherry on the sundae, the icing on the cake--choose a metaphor. It’s really an honor. For many people in my large circle of family and friends, I have been their ‘first gay’. Over the holidays and ‘season of reminiscing, others have told me how much knowing me has impacted them and taught them. It’s sort of like my own version of being Jimmy Stewart in “It’s A Wonderful Life”. They are great reminders to receive, and important for the times when I contemplate my worth and value to the universe. I know that there is a legacy that is mine, that will remain after I’m gone.

©wtf4/rle

5 comments:

Frank Drackman said...

"The Theology he Adhered to"???,, Oh you mean "Christianity". Nice post anyway, thanks for not givng me the Broke Back Mounting ending I was expecting...

gay CME guy said...

Do you actually treat patients with this same offensive personality you exhibit on other's blogs.

Frank Drackman said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
mark's tails said...

Frank is an anesthesiologist so he really doesn't have any interaction with is patients.

Nice post Randy and Hope you had a good holiday and a Happy New Year.

GDad said...

Maybe you could be a consultant now.