Anniversary of Mom’s Death

I think this is the first year I haven’t been sad during the anniversary of my mother’s death. It snuck up on me and the grand day arrived before I even knew it.

In year’s past, without even realizing it on a conscious level, I would get sad for anywhere from a few days to a couple weeks. I’d start searching my thoughts and feelings to figure out what was wrong and realize it was her anniversary. And for you long-time readers, I’m sure you know I’m referring to my foster mother, not my step-mother.

I’d like to think I’ve reached a point of happiness and contentedness in my own life that I no longer yearn for her in my life. She was only in my life for a few brief years as a child but all my best memories of childhood revolve around her. Even though I was adopted1, I never felt like she treated me any different. I was her baby boy and the memories I have of her are full of love and good things.

For most of my adult life I always wished she was still around. I felt like I needed her. I felt like if she’d survived that brutal fight with cancer my life would have been vastly different. I can’t know for sure how things might have been different. My soul ached for her in the early (miserable) days of adulthood. I still remember crying myself into exhaustion on her grave one year in my late 20’s. I’d been away for several years and felt like I was disrespecting her memory. I was so lost as a person back then. I felt robbed of her love and potential influence. I remember being embarrassed it took longer than I thought it should to find her plot. The cemetery had grown and changed over the years and many of the familiar markings were gone. I remember how completely adrift, cold, and utterly alone I felt when I left her grave that day. It was probably the second saddest day in my life.

Obviously, I survived and moved forward. And yet, every year around this time a wave of sadness would hit me. Some years I knew in advance and embraced it, other years it just happened and I would scramble to figure out why I was so sad. This year the big day came and I was fine. It was a shock to look down at my phone and realize the day. I felt a small pang of sadness for a moment and then smiled.

I still remember her and wish she had been a bigger part of my life. I still wish she was here in this world with me. None of those things have changed. So what has changed? I haven’t forgotten her. Is it just time and age? It might be a bit of both but I like to think it’s another sign I’ve grown up. Gone is the injured boy locked inside the body of a young adult man. In his place is a man mature and experienced enough to handle the world and his own shortcomings head on. It’s certainly been a struggle but I like to think that. I think she would be proud of the man I’ve become.

The memories of her grows slightly more fuzzy every year now. It used to be so crisp and firm in my mind’s eye. I still remember her face but even it is starting to change. I don’t have many pictures of her but the few I do have help me keep her face alive in my memory. I have zero contact with anyone from her side of the family. I haven’t seen any of them in over 25 years. (Many of them didn’t like that I was adopted, from what I’ve been told) There is only my older brother and myself now to remember her. He is in prison and he never talks about her. We’ve never discussed her once since she died actually. He is many years older than me and we were never overly close, even back then. I certainly wasn’t the little brother he wanted. But, as long as he and I remember her, she still lives.




  1. I didn’t know it at the time. []

Trip 

​I’m headed to the big state of Tennessee next weekend to see my little brother. It just so happens to be Halloween weekend as well. I didn’t really want to go on said weekend, but it was actually the cheaper weekend to fly. Who knew? 

Anyway, I’ve only been to TN and that was a few years ago. Actually, almost 3 years ago to the month. I went for some extended work training related to a software project I had been assigned to at the time. I did get to see him then briefly. I’m looking forward to seeing my little brother, my nephews and nieces, and meeting some of his new extended family.1  They seem to treat him well and he has really taken to them so I am happy for them. My little brother felt a bit alienated after both our parents passed away. He, being the youngest and still living at home, obviously struggled with it. Having found a new extended family has been very good for him. 

Of course, I’m also a tad leery. My little bro and I had a huge falling out a few months back. It ended up being a big misunderstanding and we patched it all up; however, we know each other. I do not know his extended family yet. I will do my best to keep politics off the radar. My little brother doesn’t vote and has never even registered to vote so his opinions on politics are often tolerable. That said, I’ve already admonished my little bro to have them keep politics off the table as well. If you read me with any regularity, you know I ain’t shy and I sure as hell won’t be silent. But, I expect it to go ok. He knows me and knows we see things a bit different. He also doesn’t want us to fight. It’s a short trip.

I’m going for the obvious reason, I’d like to see my brother. I’m also going because he’s been having surgeries for degenerative bone disease in his back and neck. Poor thing, he neglected some previous health problems that have led to this. Anyway, he just finished surgery #2 and will probably have to have at least 1 more at some point. They are fusing some discs together to help him regain some mobility and movement. He will never be able to go back to being a volunteer fire-fighter or any job that requires a lot of physical activity. He will (hopefully) be able to go back to some form of work but it’s all still up in the air for now. He is really depressed over it and I know a visit, even a quick one, will cheer him up immensely. He’s already so excited and texting me all the places he wants to show me.  

Unfortunately, it’s only for a weekend. It sucks a big chunk of time is wasted commuting. The three hour time difference really eats up the time off. But some is better than none and as I said, I know it will cheer him up. I’d things go well with his new extended family, I’ll try to plan a longer trip in the next year. 

I might also get to meet a famous blogger I’ve been dying to meet for years! Lol It’s a short trip so timing will factor in heavily, but I’m hoping to finally meet my friend and long-time fellow blogger Large Tony!




  1. He got remarried a few years ago and I have yet to meet anyone beyond his new wife. []

Stuff

I haven’t really talked about my ‘stuff’ lately, or not in the sense I used to here. And that is totally a good thing! For over a decade, I’ve used my blog to air out my doubts, fears, demons, and general thoughts on life. I started out blogging for fun. It was new, exciting, and totally inline with a desire to chronicle my life. It quickly turned into an outlet to work on my failings. I felt adrift in so many ways for so long and finding an outlet that gave me an opportunity to focus on myself was a life-saver. I don’t say that casually. Thru my struggles here I have become a better person. And as I age and move thru life, the new habits are becoming set and I am stronger than I’ve ever been.1

*Note – This started as a quick update and Jesus, Mary, Joseph, & John it turned into a long winded rant! Grab some coffee*

Lately, in almost a weekly occurrence I’ve observed or experienced small happenings that I would have reacted to in a completely different (read ‘bad’) manner in the past. And I am continually grateful that I can see past things that would have also hurt me in the past.2 If anything, I’m feeling a little sad at how many people I encounter who are so adrift in life like I was for so many years.

I used to think what I did wasn’t really that unique. I’m discovering it really isn’t that common at all. And I’m not sure what made me unique. Was it the resilience I developed from years of mental abuse as a child? Was it learning how to be introspective? Was it blind fate? All of the above? I don’t know. It is hard to express outwardly how far I’ve come. I’ve gone on and on here ad-nauseam about it I’m sure. I struggle to put into words how my mental framework has shifted over the years. And to see me in person, you would notice some differences but you probably would never know otherwise.

I’ve always been good at hiding my personal demons. Call it an unexpected gift from childhood. Not many folks, even my closest friends, really knew how hard it was for me to get by at times. On a related tangent, as hard as my early life was, I was so rarely depressed. The brush with suicide gave me a renewed energy and to this day I can’t help but wonder if that one moment saved me continuously over and over. Now that I think about it, not being depressed made it quite easy to hide everything else. Back on topic, my crippled little id hopped along adapting or borrowing coping-mechanisms as fast as I could find them. The best and simplest exampled involved crossing the street. Yeah, you read it right. I would develop so much conflict in the act of crossing the street at an intersection when cars and people were present. There was this prevailing idea that every person in their fancy cars could see how worthless I was. And they were judging me for my failures and inadequacies. Inadequacy was at the heart of my existence then. I felt unworthy of the simple act of existing. And lest you think me joking, yes I felt that every time I crossed a f**king street alone!

Now imagine the conflict that ensued when my logical and not too terribly unintelligent mind ran into that every time I engaged in life events. Going to a bar was an experiment in how well I could hide the pain while desperately seeking someone to fill the void of loneliness, thru sex or companionship. Picture me trying to reconcile that I’d rather be a top in bed but felt so unworthy of the act I made myself bottom for others. Oh yeah, shit just got real! lolol I made myself into a stereotype (on varying levels) just so I could feel accepted. Most people would kill to avoid being a stereotype and there I was molding myself into one.

It easy for me to laugh now. And even though words fail me at times, these are the examples that really demonstrate the degree of dysfunction inflicted upon me. And to have successfully dragged myself out of that will always be my biggest life’s achievement. One might think it a low bar but such a simple change in focus radiates thru everything I do and am now.

Now I find myself struggling with a way to share this with others and help them grow. Trying to explain it doesn’t seem to do the trick. I’ve tried a few times and it didn’t work. How do you help someone see something they aren’t yet ready to see? I don’t have the answer for that one….yet! *scratches head*

Hope springs eternal…




  1. Who says a bitch can’t work on the outside AND the inside?! heehee []
  2. Hurt is such a simple word but covers a whole host of sins we inflict on ourselves or allow others to inflict upon us []

D&D

Today marks the anniversary of my Mom’s death. She died when I was young. For some reason this year I’ve been thinking of her a lot. She always pops into my mind around this time but this year it seems more insistent. It has been almost a daily occurrence for the last few weeks. A memory will randomly pop into my head or something will invoke a memory of her.

It has been long enough now the memories are beginning to get fuzzy. Some of them used to be crystal clear and others were always fragmented. I was so young at the time. There are a still a few memories that feel so real and vivid. I think I’ve mentioned different memories in past rants. For whatever reason, I have a lot of good memories of her sewing. She enjoyed it so I think I picked up on that. Anyway, she’d be sewing away and randomly look up to see what kind of mischief I was into. On one particular day she paused and looked up at me and to her surprise, I was looking back at her rather intently. She asked what I was doing and I just stared at her. She smiled, I smiled and the moment was gone. She went back to her sewing and I went who knows where to get into mischief. I wasn’t thinking anything overly important or specific. I’m not even sure why this one memory is still so strong. I might have been 3 or 4 at the time. I wasn’t 5 because that’s when the cancer diagnosis came and my life went crazy for awhile.

The anniversary of my dad’s death is only a few days from hers. While my dad’s death is much more recent, it doesn’t seem to invoke the same type of memories for me. While he and I patched things up at the end, we were very distant for a good chunk of my life. I’m sure that is why the memories are different. Anyway, I remember my mom’s hair, the scrunched up face she would make during moments of deep concentration. I remember her kind smile and even the thin line her lips made when she was angry. I remember she always liked having me with her. She never made me feel like a nuisance or a hassle. I had a habit of walking into the kitchen and just snuggling up against her leg rather absent-mindedly while she was cooking. I remember my little rocking chair that I absolutely loved. It was in the shape of a horse and it was one of those fixations that kids sometimes get with certain toys. I remember it breaking in the middle of the night one time and I cried and cried. My mom made my dad go out that night and find a piece of wood to fix it. He took it in the back room, patched it up and even fixed one of the little eyes that had come loose. I was beyond gleeful and grateful.

I don’t really know why she is on my mind so much this year. I miss her though. I wish she’d had a chance to see me grow up. I can’t say how she would have taken my being gay but I can’t help but think my life would have been better back then had she been around. She always seemed to be the warm spot for my dad. Oh they fought and sometimes like cats and dogs, but they always made up. Ironically, the best memories of my father are the short years between my mom’s death and him remarrying.

There isn’t any sense romanticizing about what might or might not have happened. My life is what it is and I am where I am because of my life. I talk about her here is so I don’t forget her. She is alive in my memories and if I keep those alive, she will live with me. And even though I probably view her thru the eyes of a small child, I still remember and that is enough for me.

Runaway

I took a call the other day about a runaway child. For whatever reason, it reminded me of some of my own attempts to leave home as a child. I can’t remember if I’ve ever mentioned it here but I ran away a few times when I was young. Ok, more than a few, 4 times total before finally leaving for good. Are you ready for this? The first time I was around 5 years old! That particular time I wasn’t running away so much as running from my oldest sister’s house to my aunt’s house, where I believed my dad was. It was right before my foster mom passed away. I was feeling particularly lonely considering my dad spent all his time at the hospital. As a child I couldn’t rationalize the fact my mom/dad couldn’t be with me. All I knew is I was left w/my very mean older sister who didn’t seem to like me much and salvation wasn’t far away. Obviously, I made it fine, but it is not the actual story I wanted to share today. hehehe

Fast forward many years, my dad had remarried to my step-mother and things were not good at home. I was still in junior high at the time. If I remember correctly, I think I was in 5th grade. It was 5th or 6th grade, I can’t remember for sure at the moment. The point is I was bored in school so I routinely cut up in class. I was mischievous and hyper active so it shouldn’t have been a real surprise to anyone. And being bored meant poor grades. My dad also had a temper and was prone to fits of rage when he felt he was being challenged.1 He knew I was smart so he assumed I did it on purpose. I’d previously survived a round of whoopings due to said grades and he told me if I got any more F’s on my report cards, I was in for a doosy of a beating. And trust, I believed him! He’d been particularly thorough in his last attempt to set me straight. I knew if I came home and showed him my report card w/three F’s on it, I was in for a good whooping. The kind that left bruises and made me walk/sit funny for a few days.

Report card day arrives and I get off the bus at the road that leads to our place.2 I was alone that day and the fear took over. With no thoughts to how, why, or even where, I ditched my books and fled. I didn’t stay on the paved road as I was afraid my parents would drive by and see me. This was the piney woods of East Texas. There wasn’t much development back then so it was easy to just run through the woods to avoid being seen. I remember making a diagonal line to avoid subdivisions that I knew existed. At this point I’m driven by fear of the coming beating and a little excitement. I loved being outdoors so had little fear of the woods. I knew what the woods held and not much scared me.

I made it about 3 miles the first day. Having realized I didn’t bring anything with me and it was getting chilly, I meandered back toward places I knew where people lived. I spent the first night in the a ceramic storage shed behind the house of one of my school mates. They rode rode the bus to school with me every day. Having been there before with my parents for ceramics, I knew there was plenty of stuff to keep warm so I settled on hiding out there overnight. I covered myself in shredded paper used to stuff boxes. I can still remember giggling at the idea of being a hamster. I got a nice surprise the next day when I found a box of twinkies that made for a lovely breakfast (It is odd how certain moments stick with you over time).

I start out the day knowing I have to head deeper into the woods as I’m approaching more populated areas. It must have been close to winter because I had a lite coat on and it was definitely chilly out. I remember at one point ditching my very tiresome cowboy boots at a rest stop that was along several of the paved roads I had to cross along the way. They were my favorite boots but I was tired and couldn’t bear taking them with me. It helped I had my gym shoes in my school bad. I zigzagged through the woods for most of the day. It wasn’t until I started getting hungry that doubt crept into my mind. I trekked on until it started getting dark again. I’d now been gone more than 24 hours. I started getting cold and hungry. It was then I realized I had no idea where I was going or how I was going to survive on my own. My fear of getting a whooping shifted to fear of my future. I had no idea where I was going. Of course, a kid that young can’t really rationalize properly. I started crying and decided to turn myself in. I remember thinking that to myself. lol

I made a bee-line for the closet rode and by the time it was almost completely dark I made it. I’m only about 10 miles from home by car. Considering how much I zigzagged I probably walked over 15 miles. The first car driving by stopped and picked me up. I was crying and they managed to get it out of me that I ran away and wanted to go home. I pointed out the way and they drove me all the way there. Good lawd was there a ruckus going on! There were 3 game-wardens, a sheriff cruiser, and several other random cars parked by the road side. They had passed out radios to people and a lot of really nice people were looking for me. Apparently, the way I ditched my books turned out to look very suspicious and everyone thought I had been abducted. God what a mess I had created. The lovely folks who picked me up were super sweet. And in the midst of all this fuss, I can remember the very handsome man riding shotgun that let me sit in his lap! Even then I was incorrigible.

My dad arrives in short order and is overwhelmed. Even my stepmother looked relieved to see me. Anyway, I kept my mouth shut as to why I fled; I was afraid my dad would get in trouble. As everyone left and things returned to normal, my dad came back to me and we had a talk. I told him why I ran away thru tears and a death grip on his neck . It was one of the few times I saw my dad look vulnerable. He hugged me, told me he loved me, and told me he never wanted me to scare him like that again. I promised I wouldn’t.

So, in the end I actually didn’t get a beating. lol Even more amusing, my siblings were all amazed I made it so far on my own. I think they saw me as weak and didn’t think I had it in me. Now that I think about it, both my older brothers treated me a little better after that. There was less teasing and being treated like the annoying little brother. My older brother actually left home for good not long after that. I always wondered if he felt I had one-upped him by running away.

*

Wow, that was a lot. I didn’t sit down to write all that out. It just sort of came out the more I thought about it. It amazes me how fearless I was. I don’t think I ever realized how ballsy I was back then. I can also still remember the color of my cowboy boots. Which by the way, we went back for the next day and they were still there! This led to another conversation about how far I made it.

Oh, and the call I took? The kid was fine. He ran away because he was mad at his mom for taking his xbox away. He took MUNI down to the Metreon for the afternoon before being returned home. These youngin’s today. If they only knew. hehehe




  1. Ironically, I never referred to it as rage but looking back on it, that is pretty much what it was []
  2. We were a mile from the paved road []

Family

This post has turned out to be a lot harder to write than I originally thought it would be. I’m digging into my past again and stirring up old memories. It is no secret I’ve never had very close family ties beyond my younger brother. I keep in loose contact w/my other siblings but my younger brother has always been the glue holding me to the family.

In a moment of ‘something’, I recently added my little brother to my FB profile. This of course creates a gateway to the rest of the extended family that he routinely communicates with. I’m still mixed up about it but I think it is time to either open the bridge to the extended family or tear it down completely.

Backing up a bit for a little history lesson, I was adopted as an infant. My foster mom died when I was around 5 years old. My dad re-married a few years later, my younger brother’s mom. I love my younger brother and I never once resented him but after he was born my step-mother changed. I never understood it then and I still don’t now. After his birth any feelings she had for me turned to resentment. And in that resentment she made my life a living hell. There are no words to explain the mental torment she put me thru on a daily basis for years. She was, and still is to a degree, the only person I ever truly hated in this life. She tormented me so much that at one brief moment somewhere around 10 or 12 I almost poisoned her to death. I covered the gory details in a previous post years ago. To this day I still bear the shame that I could even consider such an idea. But as a child then it seemed like the only escape. Even a child’s id eventually snaps. My younger brother of course doesn’t remember a lot of what I went thru. He was simply too young. And I know it hurts him to hear it so I’ve always avoided the subject with him.

It should come as no surprise now to know that when I did leave home it was freedom! I was finally free and she would never be able to hurt me again.1  Leaving early cost me as much as I gained. I spent a couple years being homeless in pursuit of stability. But even that wasn’t enough to send me back. I don’t think there was anything that could have driven me back. Frankly, I would have rather lived on the streets for the rest of my life than go back to the misery of before.

Later, after I moved to SF in my early thirties I struggled to find myself. Having finally gained some financial stability, I turned my attentions inward in an attempt to discover what type of man I wanted to become. I felt like a blank slate waiting for an imprint. I spent the better part of a decade conquering the insecurities and demons from childhood. I replaced self-loathing and abandonment with confidence and integrity built on the knowledge of who I am. I shed the ignorance and fear that crippled me for so long in my life.

For all my struggles over the years, I’ve kept a wall between myself and my extended family. It wasn’t hard. Distance, time, and logistics made it easy.  And to be honest, I resented them for many years. It doesn’t matter now that that resentment was misplaced. I was a child. I resented them because they saw what she did to me. In my eyes back then they saw what she did and yet did nothing. I can remember time and time again feeling elated and excited when the extended family would visit. It meant a reprieve from the mental abuse and I got much needed interactions. God, I must have looked so pathetic back then. This doe-eyed child practically begging for any scrap of attention. I also remember the absolute despair that would grip me when they left. When they left to go home it meant my reprieve was over. I guess it is no surprise I resented them somewhat.

But I am a man now and the pains of childhood are a distant memory. I harbor no more resentments. I harbor no fear over their acceptance of me, or not. They will or they won’t. That is their path. My life is my own and I will live it honestly and without fear.

Ironically, and on somewhat of a tangent, most of the extended family I miss were on my step-mother’s side. I learned many years later my adoption created a rift in my foster family. My foster mom’s family was very much against it. However, since it was my foster mom who made the decision, you can see why thy were distant. My dad’s side was more connected but living in a remote rural area and most of them being poor meant less contact. My step-family were a tad better off and we saw much more of them over the years. I guess it makes sense.

Back on point, it is time to shed the last of my walled gardens, so to speak. No matter the outcome, I will still be standing.

And you should know what I’m about to say now. hehehe 

Hope springs eternal…




  1. Sadly, even that turned out not to be true. []

Trip

Moe, Bro, and his hoe….

Yet another non-Pup related post. Aren’t you proud of me?! lolol

Anyway, I am on a work trip to Nashville, TN as we speak. lol  This means I am missing part of GHHD #3 in SF.1 I could have gotten out of the trip but my younger brother lives here in TN and drove over to meet me. I was also hoping to meet one of my long time fave bloggers and buddies, Large Tony. Sadly, timing wasn’t on our side. He had to work and I had a conference to attend. As for my brother, I haven’t seen him in almost 5 years. Since work is paying for the trip, I’m killing two birds with one stone. I also have comp tickets to the Grand Ole Opry but I’ll likely skip that. *yawn* My brother wants to go but it’s already sold out and I can’t ‘reassign’ him my ticket.

I’m staying at the Gaylord Hotel/Resort, which is freaking massive! This place covers 9 acres of land and has over 2000 rooms! The shuttle driver said they have just over 4000 employees. That’s bigger than some small cities. Lolol They have sectioned the place off into regions almost like states. lol Everything for your room is coded to your region. It is not uncommon to see people just wandering in a daze, lost and confused as to where to go.2  It’s gorgeous and incredibly scenic but honestly way more than I’d ever do on my own. The rooms aren’t cheap and honestly, I’d forego the wonderful scenery for a larger onsite gym and a pool that was open past 10pm. The room is incredibly generic. IMHO it’s just overkill to sell this place. It takes 15 minutes to walk from one end to the other, no exaggeration. I’m not complaining just expressing a POV. I’m sure some that come here would absolutely love every minute of it. It can be a little breath-taking for the scenery.

The trip itself deals with the project I’m currently working on. The vendor that develops our software puts on a big conference every so often to solicit interest/feedback for it’s product(s). Agencies/vendors can see it for the first time and/or provide feedback on problems or needed features. It’s basically a PR campaign but it will be nice to talk with other agencies that use the software. The vendor comped my agency this year since we are currently going thru an upgrade. Originally, it was supposed to be me and two other co-workers but both of them decided not to go so I’m solo. I like it because I can multi-task  between my brother and the conference and not feel like I’m abandoning my coworkers. lol

My brother got married a couple years ago and his 2nd son was born just two short weeks ago. It has been wonderful to see my brother and meet my new nephew! He’s took a couple days off from work and crashing in the hotel with me. An extra guest doesn’t cost anything so it all works out. hehehe I almost cried when I saw him. Even though he always seems to have reverted further into redneck territory every time I see him, I love him all the same. lol We were always the closest growing up and I have truly missed him.

I’m coming back to SF tomorrow, Saturday. I really miss home. It’s funny because I’ve been so looking forward to my cruise in November yet I get a trip away for a few days and I’m lonesome for home. Lord, I think I’m turning into a homebody. That or I’m just totally spoiled from living in SF. So many friends of friends are in town (that I want to meet) so it seems I’m definitely doing the fair on Sunday. I was rather wishy-washy at first but now I can’t miss the opportunity. The Pup isn’t coming up for Folsom. Considering he’ll be here permanently in just under 30 days, it didn’t make sense to try to squeeze another trip in. Lawd knows I miss him something fierce but sometimes I ‘gots’ to use the head vs the heart to make decisions. I seem to find ways to love him more every day and I don’t even know how. He seems to just appreciate and accept all of me. I often find I’m just overwhelmed from feeling so accepted.

Oh hell, I’ve diverged into gushing over him again. Ok, time to end this rant and head for my next seminar. I’m ‘be dun learned’ about GIS mapping configurations, VPN socket hardware/software systems, enhanced data image layering, sms/mms upcoming emergency protocols, blah blah blah. Today’s seminars actually deal with some of the meat and potatoes of the work I’m currently doing so can’t miss it.




  1. Folsom St Fair []
  2. Remind me to discuss the details of my rather loooong flight and my cranky arrival. []

Connect

Oh look! Another post not Pup related! lolol

As technology becomes more pervasive, the ever present choice of connecting with my family on social networks keeps coming up. Up until now, it hasn’t really been much of an issue as most of the direct family I do assoicate with is not at all computer friendly. My youngest brother and I are the closest and he is and has been pretty much my only link to the rest of them. He asked me the other day if I was on FB. I guess in speaking with some of the cousins, they expressed an interest in connecting with me. I didn’t reply at the time but I’ve been pondering it ever since.

Growing up the way I did, I’ve been very disconnected from most of my extended family. When I did know them, it was rough and they knew it. They didn’t care a whit enough about me back then to intervene or offer up help so why do I need them now? Nor did they ever make an effort to reach out to me anytime since then. Now that social media has made it basically one-click access to my life, suddenly they’ve found an interest. I am struggling to find any value in that. Of course, my younger brother, being closer to many of them, sort of creates an unavoidable bridge. But is it a bridge I care to connect to?

To be clear, there is nothing in my life to hide. Just the opposite, I live openly and honestly. But at 42 years old I also have zero desire to hear the scandals, stories, and whispers about my life and/or actions. Ultimately, the question is do I feel a stronge enough connection to my extended family to weather said drama?

I don’t have an answer yet as I haven’t made up my mind.

Dad

Continuing in the last vein of thought, I’m looking back over my life with my father. Much of it was harsh but in the end, I felt we made a strong closure.

My dad only passed in the last decade so naturally his memories are stronger in my mind and nothing has blurred. I remember the early days with him when my foster mom was still alive. I remember moving from Louisiana to East TX with an extended layover in Houston.1 I remember how happy my dad was to be in the country.2  I remember how he embraced our new life in the wilderness. He was a man alive and it was obvious he loved his life at that time. I remember him building our house. I remember being curled up in his lap sitting in the giant window overlooking the new wilderness we lived in. I remember him reading to me in that same window. His reading sparked my own love of reading and zest for knowledge. I remember him guiding and counseling me when I was plagued by nightmares and spirits. He didn’t make fun of me or make light of what I was feeling. I remember the pain in his face when my mom started getting really sick. I remember the nights after she died when he would pass out drunk on the floor in misery. I remember not understanding how someone so big and strong in my eyes was capable of tears. I remember the sadness that came after. I remember being left with my older brother while he worked longer and longer hours.

A couple years later, I can remember meeting what would become my new step-mother. I can remember seeing my dad smile again. I remember how that first year with her was warm and good. I can remember the birth of my younger brother and how happy it made him. I can also remember how hard he worked just to keep clothes on our back. I can remember seeing him so tired from manual labor he would sleep for a solid night and day to recover.

Unfortunately, I can remember the growing rift my step-mother forced between us. I can remember the lies she told him to prevent me from telling him what was really going on. I can remember the bouts of anger when he would lash out at me. I can remember the bruises that remained after. I can remember the day I came out to him when he hurt me like he’d never hurt me before. I can remember for the first time in my life being afraid of him. I can remember the anguish knowing he didn’t love me anymore and that in his eyes I no longer existed. I can remember wondering why I couldn’t be like his real sons. I remember the many years never speaking, never knowing if he ever thought of me.

I remember when he got sick, the kind of sick you don’t recover from. I can remember my brothers telling me to hurry back home before it was too late. I can remember seeing the husk of what used to be a strong/vibrant man, now ravaged by cancer. I can remember for only the 2nd or 3rd time in my life seeing my father cry as he told me for the very first time he regretted what he did to me. I remember seeing the relief that flooded his soul upon hearing I had forgiven him years before for all that he had done. I remember him telling me he loved me and that he was proud of the man I had become. I remember him not wanting me to go when I left to return to SF. I remember knowing in my heart that he would be dead soon. I remember the call sitting in my voicemail when arriving in SF that he had passed. I remember the relief I felt for him then and now. I remember being happy I could give him peace before he died.

Dad, I wish our time together had been longer. I wish we hadn’t lost so many years while I was growing up. I miss the bond we had when I was young and you were my shining light in the darkness of a big bad scary world. We weren’t the closest but I still remember the good that you gave me.




  1. What I didn’t know at the time was this was when my foster mom was first diagnosed with cancer. []
  2. Which was even more remote than my home town, if you can believe it. lol []

Mom

*This was supposed to be a post about both my parents but it evolved into a post about my mom.  I’ll do a follow up post regarding my dad.*

 

It’s that time of year when I look back on my life. The anniversary of the deaths of both my adopted mother1 and father are upon me. While decades apart in occurrence, the calendar dates are weeks apart.

It pains me at times that the memories of my mother’s features are becoming less and less distinct in my mind. I can still see her in my mind but the image is a bit blurry now. Ironically, the memory of our time together is still very strong. I can remember spending hours just watching her sew. I can remember her humming while she cooked dinner at night. I can remember her consoling me when I would hurt myself playing. I can remember her feeding the chickens in the yard. I can remember riding in the back seat of the old car. I can remember how I felt when I realized at the ripe age of 5 she was sick, and not the kind of sick you get better from. I can remember begging her to hold on until I turned 7. I can remember her crying because her heart was breaking seeing me so innocent; begging her to stay, knowing she was powerless to do anything. I can remember after she died watching her family go into hysterics at the funeral. I can remember thinking, "if mommy is with god now, why is everyone so hysterical?" I can remember deciding I would never attend another funeral in my life2 I can remember going to her grave site years later begging her to take the gay out of me. (This was when I didn’t understand there was nothing really wrong with me.) I can remember crying on her grave, collapsing in a heap of exhaustion, because I felt guilty for almost taking my own life out of despair when I lost my first love. I can remember the sadness the day I realized I’d lived longer w/o her than I had with her.

Mommy, I still love and miss you. The pain of your loss has ebbed over time but I still remember the love you gave me. I remember when you had no reason at all to take me into your life, you took me with no questions asked and brooked no argument to the contrary from anyone. I’m grateful that before the years of torture and pain from my stepmother that I had a mom I can look back on with love and fond remembrance. And even though I can’t say I think of you as often as I did in those days, I still think of you. I still hold onto the good that you gave me. I hope that where ever you are you know that you made a difference in my young life.




  1. No, NOT my stepmother. I almost never think of her and when I do there is usually a curse word on the tip of my tongue. []
  2. and I haven’t. []