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Archive for the ‘family’ Category

One year ago today I told my wife I was gay and began this blog. What a year it has been! Over 61,000 blog views, over 1,000 comments and 148 posts.

I know that I made the right decision to come out to my wife and us splitting up was also the right decision for us. Both of my parents have come to accept who I really am and most of my friends have been supportive as well. The following other events occurred over the last year:

The Bad

– My wife made the difficult decision to move to Florida. I continue to miss her and my dogs. Thankfully, she is doing well and seems okay and the divorce preparation has been going well, too. Although extremely difficult, she could not have handled all of this any better

– My grandmother died of Alzheimer’s Disease over the Summer.

The Good

– I was very lucky and found a great boyfriend in Bell Guy a few months after coming out. He moved in with me about six weeks ago and I look forward to many years of continued happiness with him.

– I got promoted twice and have now reached the pinnacle of the career ladder at my company at the age of 31.

– I had the pleasure of chatting with people from all over the world that I have met from this blog. I consider many of you friends, appreciate your support over the last year and look forward to meeting more of you when I have the opportunity. You know who you are.

– I have gotten to do a lot of travel this past year which was great fun.

Looking back, I think the year prior to this one was more difficult for me, as I was making the decision to come out. I am really looking forward to some stability and a “normal” year coming up, as I think most of my challenges are behind me. One goal is to come out to more people as I firmly believe it is important that people see gays as normal people and me coming out will perpetuate that. If every gay person came out, I know we’d be further along in our rights than we are today.

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I’m back from vacation and returning to a semi empty house was weird. No wife and no dogs. All of their stuff is gone too. It made me pretty sad but I am looking forward to Bell Guy moving in tomorrow. Saying goodbye to her a couple weeks ago was tough. Saying goodbye to the dogs last Friday seemed even worse. I think it was because I know I will see her again, maybe as early as a day over Thanksgiving weekend,  but I am not so sure about the dogs. I’ve had about ten months to prepare for all of these changes but I do not think I could really prepare. It was a nice vacation but I am looking forward to all of the moving being over with and getting settled again with Bell Guy. We will put the house on the market after Labor Day but have also talked about buying my wife out. We’ll see.

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As I blogged about a couple month’s ago, my grandmother died on March 19. Arlington National Cemetery has such a backlog of funerals, her service was not held until today. I had been dreading this day for some time because I really do not handle death well and do not like to ever be emotional. (I have no idea how a family is able to deal with losing a son in Iraq, for instance, only to then have to wait up to two months for the service. I know that many have a local service in their hometown, but then having to repeat it again at Arlington, should they want their loved one buried there, must be extremely taxing for them.)

We were worried about rain but it thankfully held off. My wife accompanied me which was nice of her.

My grandmother was a second lieutenant in the army. Therefore, she was buried with full military honors. The service was very small, only the immediate family, and started in the chapel at Fort Myer right at 9am. The chaplain seemed nice and had nice things to say, speaking about serving God and her country. I held it together well during the service.

After the service, which was probably less than twenty minutes, we stepped outside. The band began playing as the casket was loaded onto the caisson. There were probably six or eight horses, nearly thirty band members, a color guard and what seemed to be a dozen honor guard members carrying rifles. They all began to march towards the grave site, which was very far from the chapel, playing music the entire time. We were instructed to follow in our cars.

The very slow journey in our cars took what had to have been over twenty minutes. Arlington National Cemetery is just huge. Even though I have lived in the area for almost ten years, I am not sure I ever really understood just how huge until today. As a tourist you are really not able to comprehend the size of the cemetery and I have never gone to visit the graves of my two grandfathers and step grandfather.

The grave site was about 100 yards from the road and walking through the flooded grass, from our recent monsoon, proved challenging at some points. The honor guard unloaded the casket and placed it on a stand of some sort in front of my grandfather’s stone. He died in 1981, when I was four. I did not get to know him, nor do I remember him. I really feel that he was stolen from us too early at the age of 60.

The chaplain said a prayer and there were three shots in unison from the rifles. Taps was then played. It was during the shots and taps that I felt was eyes welling up with tears but it did not get out of hand. The honor guard folded up the flag with the same military precision you’ve seen on television and the movies and presented it to my uncle, “on behalf of a grateful nation.” An Arlington Lady, a volunteer representative of the Army, gave my uncle a note and had made some comments to him that I could not hear.

That was it. It was over.

My father told me and my brother that my other grandfather was buried about twenty graves down – in the same row. So, the three of us, along with my uncle and half brother walked down. That grandfather, my mom’s father, died six months after my father’s dad. He apparently was fine and at the funeral of my father’s dad, only to get acute leukemia and be buried in nearly the same spot six months later. I have always thought that he was stolen from us too early as well – he was only 58. I didn’t like seeing his grave. It bothered me and I am still not sure why. His wife is my only surviving grandparent.

Throughout the morning, I kept thinking to myself “I hate this place.” Arlington Cemetery has no good memories for me. Fort Myer Chapel is even worse. I attended the funeral of my step grandfather in that same chapel nearly nine years ago. His death was more sudden and the mental images of my grandmother putting his urn in the columbarium, and my aunt’s reaction to that, will be forever etched in my memory. Today was the first graveside service at Arlington and the service of a military officer that I had witnessed. It was all very nice and dignified and memorable. I’m not sure my grandmother would not have liked all of the attention but I am sure she is happy to finally be back beside her husband after over twenty-five years.

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Grandmother Dies

My grandmother died of Alzheimers disease today.

She had been in a retirement home for a few years and had been completely incapacitated for a long time. The last real conversation I had with her was maybe three years ago. I knew things hadn’t been great with her lately but I still wasn’t expecting this so soon. I guess one never really expects it.

I am glad that she lived a good, long and happy life. I am sad that she suffered more recently and that disease really takes a toll on the patient’s family.

I am not upset but I feel weird. I am glad that she will not suffer anymore but I think this will all really set in for me when the funeral takes place. I have no idea when that will be but I expect she will be buried next to my grandfather at Arlington National.

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Plane Ticket to Orlando: $400
Rental Car in Orlando: $150
Telling Your Mom You Have a Boyfriend on Christmas Morning: Priceless

When I arrived in Orlando late Christmas Eve, the car rental company was out of cars. They told me to rent from another company and I’d be reimbursed. I did so, at a premium, and am still waiting on my reimbursement.

I then drove to the hotel, which was out of rooms. They had to upgrade me to a pretty sweet suite and since I had used Priceline and already saved a bundle, this was a nice Christmas present.

I got up Christmas morning and, after wrapping presents on my dining room table, I headed for my brother’s house, where my Mom was also staying. This would be the first time I had seen my Mom (or brother) since coming out.

This was also the first opportunity I had to meet my niece and she is quite a bundle. Born in August, she is a well behaved baby and a fat one at that. I think I will like being an uncle.

We began to open presents and I was given a bag of peanut M&M’s. I offered them to my brother and my Mom didn’t understand why. I told her that I didn’t eat peanuts anymore and she insisted to know why. I told her that I didn’t eat peanuts because the man I kiss is allergic. She was stunned and asked if my brother and sister-in-law heard what I had said. They had not so I repeated it. My brother started laughing uncontrollably, sister-in-law asked if I had a boyfriend and Mom was still trying to figure out how to pick her jaw up off the floor. I offered to take a picture with Mom and the bag of peanut M&M’s but she declined.

After opening presents and answering too many questions about Bell Guy, we played with my sister-in-law’s new Nintendo Wii and I decided that I wanted one.

Mom and I later went to a Japanese steakhouse for dinner and, although I was peppered with more Bell Guy questions, it was an enjoyable evening at my favorite Orlando area restaurant.

The next day was spent hanging out with Mom, brother and niece at Celebration and I left to go home the day after. All in all, a nice visit and Mom behaved herself quite well.

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…than be unhappy being someone you really aren’t.”

That was part of the message from my brother responding to my email last night. He, too, is very supportive. I explained to him the difficulties Mom was having and warned him to expect a call from her. I am not close to my brother because he lives far away and I just do not see him often, but we did go out all of the time when he lived nearby. I wish he were closer now. He has been married about four years and has a daughter that is only a few months old.

***

Boston Guy and I did postpone the trip by a week. I think this will end up being better. He will not have the stress and distractions of the exams and the party. I am going to go up next Saturday evening and return Sunday night. This will give me a lot more time with him but I will also have to tell my wife that I am going to see “a friend.” I haven’t figured out what I am going to say to her just yet. I do know that I cannot wait to kiss him.

***

I watched Carpoolers last night and thought that show was hilarious! Check it out.

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Lot’s going on, but a short post today.

I sent my brother a note telling him that I am gay. He and I are not close so he will not freak or anything. I am hoping this will appease Mom and take some pressure off of me. I have not heard from her since that mess of a conversation Sunday. I am debating telling some of my local friends soon as well.

I am going to postpone the trip to see Boston Guy. He has two exams on Monday and he talked to his Mom about getting out of the party and got nowhere. He is going to come down or I’ll try to go up again next weekend. I’m disappointed, but he reassured me that he is not playing games and is committed to meeting. I believe him. This will be a little more complicated because my wife will be back in town. I guess I’ll just tell her a friend (who she of course doesn’t know) is in town or I am going to see one. She may become irritated but I need to do this. As I told Troystopher tonight, if it doesn’t work out with Boston Guy after we meet, I’ll be disappointed but I will be at peace having had the opportunity to see him.

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