Thursday, December 22, 2016

I didn't ask for it, but it is mine nonetheless. That is what the year has taught me. About all of my life. Doesn't matter how it wound up barreling down my avenue of life---it is mine. As someone recently said, "It isn't the selection of music you hear, it's how you dance to it."

Thursday, April 7, 2016

New Avenues

"I didn't ask for this," I said to God, standing on the deck. "I didn't ask for this." My grown daughter was drunk and plowed into the rear of a vehicle parked over on the shoulder of that four lane, killing the 60+ year old former school teacher who'd gotten out of the vehicle and was standing in front of it, and her new daughter in law who was seated in the back seat. The older woman's daughter, another passenger, was injured as well. It's amazing my daughter survived. That was a few weeks ago. Three families explosively met and their lives have intertwined. All are good families. Every single life altered forever. Three women who will not--because they are dead or incarcerated--will not see their daughters marry. They won't see their grandchildren born. Their menfolk mourn, and will do without them. Even though my daughter survived, there are nonetheless three families whose members died--or might have well have died--in that horrifying instant. I didn't ask for this. My wife's leukemia. My estrangement. I've probably actively gone out looking for the unfortunate, bizzare things that have filled my life. I didn't ask for her leukemia, but I accepted it as part of what God dishes out to us to test us. But this--I didn't ask for this; there was no Divine Intervention here, just a woman who wasn't able to manage what was going on her life and turned to booze and wound up killing two people because she couldn't handle her life. I didn't ask for this. The victims and the perpetrator--life has all dancing a macabre dance of grief and disheartenment. There is symmetry there, yes, but it still isn't right.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

A Whiff of Mortality

I've been terribly sick, but much better now. The type of 'much better now' where you're grateful you don't feel so bad. Doctors decided I'd had piggybacking viruses, one after the other. Four weeks of being really sick. It gives you a clear perspective on your life. I have two wonderful chlldren that I love the most in the world, but for whom I'm simply an acoutrement in their lives, not a part of it. I have a wife I love very deeply, for whom I am an appendage of some value. I'm the guy who has the apartment in which a self-absorbed 21 year old lives on the other side for whom I'm an unnecessary impediment to his living a life of youthful abandon. I have had three loved family member die this past twelve months. Two of them gave no though to me in their passing but used me to unknowingly handle things they didn't want to in their passage. Younger people I guided or assisted these past few years have strayed into drugs, or other forms of self-destruction. A drug addict I got into rehab only to see them emerge and crash and burn. I'm the simple good guy who always thought about others before himself. Yeah, I'd put myself out there, incur debt, or provide knowledgable advice or guidance to them. And it looks like it was all for naught. The opportunities for betterment came to nothing. I'm not depressed, I'm not down. But in looking at my life I see a trail of assists to others that failed. Plantings that bore no fruit. I see a failed garden. And I intend to find out how I failed, and to try again and not repeat whatever mistakes I made.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Checking In

Summer is slowing down, certain trees shedding their leaves early, the evening temperatures dipping (at last!) below 70. Life has been frenetic. Those about me in my life, family, friends, all have had situations developing over the last year or year and a half, the conclusion to which all are seeming to converge at the same time. Younger brother and wife both having cancer surgeries and procedures. D-1 not able to escape any longer the attentions her new husband showers on her daughter finally calls the police. Roommate enters plea today in legal matter arising out of stupidity. Friend's impetuous jump to a nearby town for an un-met 'friend' and job opportunity finds out he should have looked before he leaped, and I'm picking him up at a gas station today and returning him to Atlanta. And the Mrs.' slow . . . diminishment . . . in functioning (a result of the leukemia five years ago?) is seen a little too readily these days. Work is cascading to the point that I'm just swimming in it. But--as another friend says--it's all good. After first feeling like I was drowning with all these events conspiring against me, I've learned the lesson that I cannot control things. Hmmm. Just wish I'd learned it earlier.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Hot Summer

It's too hot to sit outside. The air conditioning inside doesn't quite make it. It's summer. Work is a roundtable with no corner to turn, so sense of accomplishment--of completing anything. This can be distressing when you are a goal-oriented person. My life fine-tunes itself. I've learned that a soft heart doesn't mean a soft touch. But try informing others of that when you're telling them they've overstepped their bounds with your charity. Roommates turn out not to be the person you thought they were when you acceded to their pleas to let them crash there for a night or fifteen. The Mrs. had her second replaced. I was there for two weeks, and then every weekend since. And this weekend--she's off with the boyfriend. A part of me wants to dump her and walk away and never have another word. But the rest of me is in love with her. That's it for tonight. Just checking in with a brief say about what's been going on. Hope you all are having productive lives which bring joy to others.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Laying it out

OK. let me lay it all out, amidst the celebration and joy and tidal shifts of change. I am gay. When I was in my mid twenties, I walked into a bar and saw a girl and fell in love. Fell in love with my heart, not my body. Four decades later, with me now being out, and with two remarkable kids--one of whom accepts me and one of whom cannot--I am still in love with that girl. We are still married. I meet so many people, guys who want a relationship, and I am not able to give them what they actually seek (despite the sexual posturing and "come hither" attitude. My heart. Five years ago, months after I came out, leukemia struck her. She almost died. Now, she is recovered, back on her feet, engaged in entirely new avenues of life, and working. But the girl who survived is not the one I married. Chemo changed her. Medically, chemotherapy leaves the patient the same as someone who has had a head injury. It's them, there, standing before you, and yet it isn't. It's a slightly different person, different, not the same. Limited. Fewer internal safety gates, so that what they think with those fewer brain cells is not held back, it comes out without filtering. I was raised old fashioned. 'Til death do us part' means exactly that. She works, she has a social life, she has that boyfriend of four years, but she is still . . . . . limited. She has surgery Monday morning. A hip replacement. Again. I will be there beside her. The fact that he won't, doesn't even register with her. The fact that I have always been there for her, that will on the surface mean little. The emotional stunting caused by the chemotherapy is permanent. But she needs someone to take care of her. And I still love her. And I will be there. Somewhere deep inside in some inexpressible place, she knows this. She just can't show it. I know she depends on me, and rests secure in the knowledge that I will take care of her. Love is like that. Your love for the other person strives to overcomes the obstacles, the shortcomings, the . . . diminishment. The fact that I ache to soul-deep for someone to love me, well, it scars me. I want her to love me back the way she did years ago, a way that disappeared as the decades passed. But that is not possible. I suppose I become caretaker. Because I am still in love with her. Which brings me back to this week. I am gay. But I married the person I wanted to. Now everyone has the right to marry those they love. I worry, though, that today's gay and lesbian citizens do not fully understand what marriage is. For better or worse. In sickness and in health. Til death do you part.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Later on in the Avenues

It's been a while since I posted here. I tried to resurrect my first post--from 2007--but it appeared as being fresh, and not the original post. OK. So it's May 15th. Just got out of a law school graduation for one of my mentees through the bar association. Two and a half years, I've helped him--we've both helped each other--academically, and personally. I am so proud of the guy. This is the second mentee I've seen graduate. I hope my help during the years has been beneficial to them. There were several deaths in the family last week; two funerals. The first was everyone coming together; the second was filled with drama and bloodletting. D-1 and I had a chance to talk; I hope her anger over my coming out is something she can work through, since instead of directing it at me, she's blasting it all over the family, and had been creating harm and havoc, hopefully not irreparable. D-2 has re-enrolled in school to change professions from saving the Earth to saving people medically. More immediate results; better pay. She studying to take the MCAT, in fact. The Mrs. and I have been working our way through structuring a new relationship. We deeply care about one another, and have psychological profiles which leave us involved with one another. I've taken in a tenant, a 20 year old college student, for various reasons. I had not counted on raising another kid, though, and he's doing all the stuff kids that age do. Phone calls in the middle of the night 'cause the car got booted; broken heart stuff; lots of energy and drive but no direction. And an absolutely total absence about what laundry and kitchen cleanup is all about. Work continues, and intensifies. Busy from sunup to sundown. In Public practice I find I work harder than I have ever worked in my life. As as for me? I'm lonely. There's no one there to make me feel special, to make me feel safe. To make me feel like I count. And at my age, that's as deep a void as it is for anyone else.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Better late than Never

News reports indicate that blogging has peaked, that it is on its decline and only the most dedicated and persevering will continue with it. Well, I'm reminded of Rhett Butler as he left out to defend what was left of the South---a lover of lost causes. I'm starting, and I'm here.

It's a miserable, wet, gray day; yesterday was wonderful, clear blue sky and moderate temperatures. But just as the weather changes, so do the avenues of life we travel down, and this blog will chronicle my avenues, and those trod by the near and dear about me.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The Truth

We sat there, the two of us, with the therapist. Traffic had kept me late; I walked in 20 minutes into the session. We got to it immediately. I told her to her face from the bottom of my soul my love for her. And she told me she loved two men. The therapist questioned, so--bob--how do you feel about an open marriage? Ah!! Time's up; sessions over. I will not share her heart. Perhaps everything else is negotiable, but not that. And with that realization, I came into my own. Immediately, totally, painlessly. I have great worth--greater than anyone else's. Certainly his. And she's not willing to love me exclusively. The drive back, this evening, I was overwhelmed with a total absence of hurt (that's over with) or disorientation. I have value. I have worth. And I am definitely worth the effort. And she's not willing to pay the price.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Pulling it all together

Living apart from the wife now for almost a year and a half. Seeing a counselor with the wife and the younger adult daughter about how this all affects us. Estranged from the older daughter due to her behavior. Just now no longer reeling from the sudden passing of my sister. All those disparate periods of my life colliding and jostling and rubbing up against one another, sliding over one another as they juxtapose depending on the company I'm in or where I am. And suddenly they all consolidate, become one. I'm me. Thank God.