Monday, December 31, 2012

Last Post of 2012

As we bring 2012 to a close I have been reflecting on the year that was.  I have to say I am glad to see 2012 come to a close.  This was a year of change good and not so good.  A year of grief for me, grieving not just the loss of my mother, the most significant person in my life, but the loss of a job, which is turning in to a redirection for me. It was not the loss of the job itself, but the way in which it was accomplished. It was painful for me, on top of everything else. 

Now  of not of 2012 was negative, or painful.  I had very positive reviews at my other jobs in Chaplaincy, I had a redefining of what it is I want in life.  Where I hope to go from here, and I began taking small steps in that direction. Its by the inch easier instead of the big steps I try and end up falling.  I lost weight this year which is a good thing, I want to maintain the weight I have and not put it back on.  I am thankful my faith, family, and friends have helped  me through a tough year.

In honor of New Years Eve here is a traditional song

Looking toward 2013, I hope the new year will bring with it a fulfilling of promise and potential for us all.  I look toward beginning an academic program which will lead to a more fulfilling future. The  ability to meet financial goals for savings, and paying for continuing education. I hope for a change in grief toward the new normal I have read so much about.  To have a more even, peaceful life in 2013, with fewer lows. Positive outcomes for us all.


Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas 2012

Today is different from any Christmas in recent memory.  Its the first year without my Mom.  Second this year I'm not working, its a much needed break. I think I was starting to burn out.  I missed the Christmas Eve service at my church.  I had a Christmas eve meal with a friend instead. I planned to go to an 11:00 pm service. However, the churches nearby that usually have one did not this year. So I ended up driving around looking at the Christmas lights. A lot of white lights, I prefer the multicolor lights they are more festive.

This is the year to start new traditions not sure what yet but we will see.

For Christmas The Hallelujah - Choir of King's College, Cambridge live performance of Handel's Messiah


Monday, December 24, 2012

Monday Medley: Christmas Edition

Today is Christmas Eve!  I hope you enjoy your traditions of the season, and Holiday.  Today I am posting four Christmas songs. Traditional Sleigh Bells, Disney Jingle Bell Rock, O Holy Night. and of course Silent Night.
Tonight I plan on attending service at my Church and an 11:pm service somewhere nearby not sure yet where. sleigh bells a Christmas Favorite  slightly irreverent   O Holy Night traditional Christmas Eve Sung by Kings College Choir Finale Silent Night We always end our Christmas Eve Candlelight Service with this Carol while lighting our candles.

Merry Christmas to all!


Sunday, December 23, 2012

Fourth Advent Candle and two Carols

4th CANDLE – (purple) THE ANGEL CANDLE or THE CANDLE OF LOVE – The angles announced the good news of a Savior.  God sent his only Son to earth to save us, because he loves us! “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” (John 3:16-17) 

 Carol of Bells:

Angels from the Realm of glory:


Saturday, December 22, 2012

Some Thoughts on Gun Control

Yesterday a spokesman for the NRA made a speech outlining the lobby groups position on gun control laws.  Here are a few thoughts I have on the issue.  First I have nothing against the Second Amendment, or   people owning a gun for hunting and such.  I acknowledge the fact it would be next to impossible to recall every gun in America for a complete ban. It would not work.  However, it has worked in other countries.  There is absolutely no reason for the average citizen to need or own assault weapons.  Be it a rifle, handgun or other assault type weapon.  There should be a complete ban on those types of weapons.
gun violence
There is an idea being floated about arming educators.  That is the worst idea I have ever heard.  It is NOT the answer.  That would constitute a danger to students, what if a gun happen to get in the hand of a child?  Don't say it won't happen, it can and somewhere it would. 

I'm afraid no matter what the law will be guns will wind up in the hands of the wrong person.


Friday, December 21, 2012

Happy Birthday To My Friend Today

Today is my friend and roommates Birthday.  I point out he is my roommate, because I never thought I would share a home with someone other than family.  Then our friends are our family we choose.

How old you ask?   Not gonna say, you don't ask a woman or a gay man how old they are. 

Happy Birthday I'm glad to know you!

Oh today was supposed to be the end of the world...we are all still here.
as the Bible says No  one knows the hour or the day!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Monday Medley: O Come Emmanuel

Good Monday.  A week from today is Christmas Eve.  In honor of that I have decided to share with you one of my favorite Advent hymns. I remember  as a teenager, processing with the candle lighter each Sunday in Advent to a stanza of this hymn to light the Advent Wreath.  I also remember, as a young adult singing a solo part of this hymn in the church choir. Gone are those days, but this is one memory of my church life back the I look back upon with fondness.  Advent and Christmas traditions provide wonderful memories.  This year is about the memories.  What good memories of the season do you have?

This year, thanks to my friend and roommate, we have an elegant tree adorning our living room. Please see picture below.  It has red and gold ornaments, its gorgeous!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Third Sunday In Advent: Candle of Joy

It seems odd to me that after Friday's tragedy to today be talking about Joy. There is nothing joyous about this THING we have experienced as a nation!    However today we come to the third Sunday in Advent The Candle of joy. The angels message was one of joy at the birth of our Lord.
The angels sang a message of JOY! “…and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.’ Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.’ When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” (Luke 2:7-15)

Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Connecticut Shooting.

Once again tragedy has struck in the form of a mass shooting.  This time 26 people, 20 of them children.  How horrible is this? Very!

My thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims, how this changes their lives, how this changes everything for them! As for the rest of us, it impacts our lives in many ways. It seems we can not go anywhere this kind of thing can not happen.  Not the mall, a movie, out to eat, it can happen anywhere, anytime.  This brings the questions how do we cope? Other question is why? 

First, Why? There is no good answer to this question. I certainly don't pretend to have the answer. We live in a world filled with disease mental and physical. We live in a world that is filled all manner of evil.  Spiritually speaking, we live in a world that is fallen and sinful.  So this is part of living in that kind of world. People make choices that impact those around them.  Often we may never know the exact reasons for the choices they make.  All we know for certain is our world has changed.

How do we cope?  first for those who are angry with God.  Good for you! Its ok, He understands.  Being angry with God is an acknowledgement of the hurt experienced. The Scriptures teach us to be angry and yet do not sin, do not let the sun go down on your anger.  So talk to God!

Second, do your best to take one day, one issue at a time. Try not to allow this to keep you from living your life.  I have speak to myself here, since I have not been to a movie since the theatre since that shooting. Just try to keep things as normal as possible.

Third talk about your feelings, your fear, or concern with those you trust, who will listen and not dismiss you. If needed seek counsel from the EAP at your place of employment, or other counselor.  This is important for healing, peace and is cathartic.

I hope this helps!

Friday, December 14, 2012

It's A Date!

Last night I had a dinner date!  With a guy who responded to an ad I placed on Craigslist.  We had been exchanging emails, then texts and phone conversations.  We met at Ruby Tuesday for a nice meal and conversation.  I think it went why am I not more enthusiastic? 

Well I had the feeling he was not that comfortable, in our conversation he revealed that he is a preachers kid. So I felt comfortable telling him what I do for my living.  He did not appear freaked out, which is a big positive.  We had talked about our hope of finding someone special to be in our lives.  So we decided to explore the possibilities. He is 35, and a bookkeeper, has an established life, never been married. His father Pastor's a church locally. Thing is he made the statement that he wants a boyfriend on the "DL", I understand not being out to his family in his situation, but I'm not sure I'm comfortable with the whole DL thing. I need to talk with him further about this.  He said he is not out, which I understand.

I guess my concern is, I spent so much of my life uncomfortable with my sexuality, that I'm not sure I want a relationship that reminds me of those days; Or puts me back in the closet in anyway.  Not that I want the world to know, its not their business any way.  My impression is he does not want me around, if anyone he knows is nearby.  I don't want to close the door on him, so I will be available to explore the possibilities, ask my questions and discuss the issues.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Monday Medley: Beauty and a Beat

Good Monday to you, hope you had a great weekend.  Yesterday, I participated in the Annual Memorial at the Hospital, it was nice.  I thought I might have a hard time with it since there has not been a service for my mother yet.  However, I did not, and had several things to do in the service so I think that helped.

This Monday I have shopping to do, among  the things to purchase will be a phone, I am deciding between Samsung Galaxy S III, or Samsung Note which has a much bigger screen but also costs about $100.00 more but it might be worth it.  Plus some things to get for Christmas.

Today I have been debating whether to share Christmas music or something else.  I think with all the Christmas music being played around, I'm not going to add to that yet.  I will wait closer to Christmas.  Today I'm sharing the song Beauty and a Beat for Monday Medley.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Second Sunday in Advent: The Candle of Peace

Today we light the Second Candle of Advent, the Candle of Peace. We remember the prophets who spoke of the coming of Christ, of how a Saviour would be born, a king in the line of King David. The prophet Isaiah called Christ "the Prince of Peace". They told us how he would rule the world wisely and bless all the nations.
When Jesus came he taught people the importance of being peace-makers. He said that those who make peace shall be called the children of God. When Christ comes to us he brings us peace and he will bring everlasting peace when he comes again. We light the Candle of Peace to remind us that Jesus is the Prince of Peace and that through him peace is found.
Today i participated in the Annual Memorial Service at the Hospital,  One of the things I did was to pronounce the Benediction.  In my prayer I wish the people to be blessed, may God's face shine upon them may He give you His Peace.
I wish you all Peace this season of Advent and Christmas.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Dear Santa: My Wish List 2012

Christmas 2012 Wish List

Dear Santa,

Its been a long time since I have written you, years in fact. This year I have a list of wishes and hopes for Christmas and 2013.  Its been a rough year, I hope it gets better.  I think it will, time does heal or actually helps to create a new normal from the grief or the grief changes to something else.  Not sure what though.  Don't worry, I'm not going to ask for world peace, or to win the lottery or anything like that. Although your a Saint, and have the ear of a certain someone.

My wishes for this Christmas:
First I ask for a position with one of the Hospitals, where I have regular daytime hours and BENEFITS!
Second, I ask for the funding to finish my graduate degree.
Third, I ask for my friend to be cancer free for the rest of his life.
Fourth, I ask for a boyfriend under my tree.

Now for other things.
A new Galaxy sIII would be awesome
A new suit
A new pair of tennis shoes by Nike
Casual shirts, jeans, slacks,
Cruise Control for my car.

My hope for 2013
 Not falling off any cliffs!
A more stable economy.
DOMA over turned.
Gay marriage in my state
 So Santa can you come through one more time?  Anything on this list would be wonderful.

Thank you and I will leave milk and cookies  

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Master of Theological Studies

Well I have spent time reading degree programs online, trying to find a degree I can do online. I found two programs that offered most of what I need and want. I decided to work on the application for a Master of Theological Studies.  The school is a two hour drive from here, but offers online options for study. This school is a Baptist School but affiliated with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, and Alliance of Baptists.  Both groups are more moderate and promote equality for sexual orientation. I checked the Mission Statement and Covenant, the Student Handbook and saw nothing that concerned least thus far.  The application requires 2 references, I have not seen anything about church endorsement.  It also requires a 1000 word essay answering questions about what the degree will help me accomplish, and why I chose this school. An interview with faculty is also required. Something I like about this particular program is it offers 3 elective course opportunities. There is a course elective that is a Pastoral Counseling Practicum I would love to take, it offers a course in crisis intervention as well. Those would be two practical electives.  One thing I don't like is the Biblical Language requirement, at least it just requires one language in a  two course sequence. However, it will be to my advantage for any further work I might wish to do. Still I would prefer to use those hours toward pastoral counseling or theology. Unfortunately, I am told my Clinical Pastoral Education will not transfer into this program.  Below is the breakdown of courses

One of the following two course language sequence in the Biblical studies area:
MAB1121 introduction to Biblical Hebrew I
MAB1122 introduction to Biblical Hebrew Il or
MAB1521 New Testament Greek I
MAB1522 New Testament Greek ll
Required courses in the Biblical Studies area:
MAB1111 lntroduction to the Old Testament I
MAB1112 lntroduction to the Old Testament ll
MAB1511 lntroduction to the New Testament I
MAB1512 lntroduction to the New Testament ll
Required courses in the Historical/Theological Studies area:
MAHT2111 lntroduction to the Christian Tradition I
MAHT2112 lntroduction to the Christian Tradition ll
MAHT2311 Christian Theology I
MAHT2312 Chriistian Theology ll
MAHT2410 lntroduction to Christian Ethics
MAHT2650 World Religions 

One the following courses in the Biblical studies or Historical/Theological area:
MAB1070 Models of Biblical lnterpretation
MAB1OSO Topics of Biblical interpretation
MAB1091 Biblical lnterpretation in the Church
MAHT2312 Theology of the Church
MAHT2411 Christianity and Culture
MAHI2622 Perspectives on Global Christian Movements
MAHT2652 Jesus in a Pluralistic Age
Three Elective or specialization courses from the M.T,S. program options:
MAXXXX Electives
MA4090/99 Thesis or Comprehensive Exam
Total semester hours required for degree program completion: 51 semester hours. With what I have that will transfer in should bring my required courses to I hope 14.  This looks like a good program.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Monday Medley: Don't You Worry Child

Its Monday again.  The first Monday of December with 22 more days until Christmas! There has been a lot on my mind the past few days, weeks even. Not just about academics, but things in my professional and personal life.  Its seems often no matter how I try, the personal and professional seem to intersect in some way or another. Just have to minimize and live with it.  Yesterday's work was like book ends, started with a crisis, normal work during the day, a long drawn out crisis in the evening ending with a crisis early in the morning. Typical day for me I guess.

I have decided the school I am going to apply to, I will share more about that later.  The program is much better in so many ways than the one I had wanted to apply to.  I still need to reread the mission statement, and check the schools policies. I think it will work out, its not online, but some courses can be online.  There a few things I am concerned about, the cost, travel, transferring credits, and so forth.

Well here is a song I like, Don't You Worry Child" by Swedish House Mafia


Sunday, December 2, 2012

First Sunday in Advent

Many churches follow a tradition each year of lighting candles on an Advent Wreath. Each Sunday during Advent, a different candle is lit along with an explanation of its meaning. By the fourth Sunday in Advent all color candles are lit, then on Christmas Eve the center candle or Christ Candle is lit. See picture below

The first candle lit on the Advent wreath is called the Candle of Hope. The Scripture teaches that Jesus Christ brings hope to all human kind.  Jer 29:11 God has a plan for each of us, the latter part of the verse state the reason "to give us a future and a HOPE" This was to remember the fulfillment of the prophesy given in Issiah 9:6
6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

So today we lit the Candle of Hope


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Tuesday Rambles: Career Thoughts

I continue to consider my future, completing my degree, and work as a Chaplain. I completed two online career assessment tools, which provided similar results.  I am best suited for a helping profession such as Social Service, ie counseling, religious support, or a teaching career.  I found it interesting I scored high on administration, high on persuasive skills, high on intuitiveness amongst others. It has helped to know I am a track that is good for me. Just have to find the right fit in job and education. I am not second guessing my call, or gifting, but I am questioning the direction for my future.  I may do an online spiritual gift test as well and see if that has changed any, also how it compares with the career assessment.  I am looking at other types of work in  counseling, aftercare in a funeral home setting, or even some type of teaching position.

I have done a little online research into schools and their degrees.  I am looking at more moderate to liberal seminaries including a few in my state. One thing is clear, whichever I choose, it will be at a significantly higher cost.  I will consider it the financial cost of being true to myself and the one I believe in. Specific degrees I am considering are...

Master of Theological Studies, two programs I like, one is 52 credit hours, the other is 60 credit hours.  Both require one Biblical language (2 courses), which I am not crazy about, I would rather take a pastoral counseling or pastoral  theology course with those hours.

There is an Master of Christian Leadership at one of the schools, which is 52 credit hours that might meet my need. Another school has a Master of Religious Education (60 credit hours) it can be done on a Friday/Saturday format.  Each of these would give me the credits I need for Certification on the Associate level with the Association of Professional Chaplains. As well as say I hold a Master degree.  Which is a good place to start.

I am not considering a 90 some credit Master of Divinity, since I am already ordained. Also under consideration is some type of counseling degree that would give me a credential toward pastoral as well as bereavement counseling. Originally I was thinking of just adding on courses as continuing education. Or toward the additional credits I need for full Board Certification. This is quite a process.

Looking back I do so wish I had the strength and self awareness to come out when I was young.  I would have had more time making these career decisions! However, I have to believe things come about in life on God's time not my time.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Monday Medley: Take You There

Happy Monday!  Its now the start of the Advent Season, already here.  I have seen quite a few houses decorated with lights, and I noticed in my complex a number of apartments with lights up already.  As for me, I am not ready to decorate for Advent and Christmas yet this year. Not sure I will decorate much this year, maybe outside...Maybe if I get in the mood. No Christmas music yet either.

Today I am recovering from an on call night with not much sleep, the particular Hospital I worked yesterday was very busy in the ED some extremely sick folks. Kept me down there most of the day and part of the night.  Stayed tuned  to the blog for a continued discussion of education and career choices. 

Today I'm posting a song by Sean Kingston, "Take You There"


Saturday, November 24, 2012

The Wrong Question to Ask!

Several days ago I made mentions of a problem with my planned application for graduate study.  Well here are the details...I found an online degree program that had everything I was looking for. it was affordable too. I even discovered my employer provides $2500 a year in tuition reimbursement for my job classification! So I was all set to apply, reading through the online application, I discovered a problem.  There are a series of questions, petty standard like have you been convicted of a felony, are you a citizen, then the question I just do not like or want to answer.  In fact I will not answer, and will not be applying to this school or other schools that ask this question.

The question;  Have you EVER engaged in Heterosexual misconduct or Homosexual behavior? i.e. engage in sex, going to gay clubs, gay chat rooms, talked about gay issues, basically are you a homosexual?  Say what??  Let that one sink in a minute....  and I thought don't ask don't tell was alive and well in the church.  Not the SBC.

Now it crossed my mind to answer the question with a NO.  However, that would be putting myself back in the closet, it would be a lie and counter productive.  Now I also thought about saying yes, but this also would be counter productive.  I am certain it would disqualify my admission and could get back to my home church.  I do not want to confirm any one's suspicions.  Then also I don't think its any one's business what my sexual preference is.

Not only do they basically ask about one's sexuality, to out oneself, they couple it with a misconduct question!  That's the SBC for you. They firmly believe people like me are hell bound, regardless!  Not gonna move them on that one either.  I checked another SBC seminary and it had the same series of questions.  I am disappointed at this, but not going to let it stop me.  I will find a school where its not important. 

A friend sent me a link to United Church of Christ seminaries, since they are open and affirming. I'm looking at them, along with a couple of more liberal seminaries here in my state. Two offer a combination of online and on campus options. The Online option is important to me.

Anyone have any suggestions?  I will continue this discussion in future posts. 


Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving Day

Thanksgiving 2012  Today has been a very good day, I have cooked most of it, when I say cook,  I baked bread, a cake, made stuffing, and roasted a turkey breast to have as leftovers.  Oh and I made gravy.   Tonight its off to a friends for Thanksgiving celebration! I'm taking the stuffing, gravy, and baked goods with me. It should be a great meal. 

This is the first Thanksgiving without my mother, so its different. Still there is much to be thankful for!  Health, work, employment, a roof over one's head, food, clothing, medications, a car to get from place to place.  Then there are my friend's and family I am thankful for those close to me God has brought into my life.  A lot has changed in my life since last Thanksgiving, but that is life right?

Oh I will NOT be out shopping tonight or tomorrow for that matter.  I avoid Black Friday! Hope you enjoy it if you go, just be safe!

A Scripture for today is...
Psalm 136:1-3: 136:1 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,for his steadfast love endures forever. 2 Give thanks to the God of gods,for his steadfast love endures forever. 3 Give thanks to the Lord of lords,for his steadfast love endures forever. . . .


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Transgender Rembrance Day 2012

In honor of Transgender Remembrance Day.  Let us all think of those who have been killed or injured  simply for being Transgender.  For daring to be in public as they view themselves.   For seeking recognition and love as they are for who they are.
Let our community continue to stand against this kind of  discrimination, and hate.  Please take a moment and pray for those who seek to be true to who they are.
Anti gay hate crimes and discrimination need to be included in all non discriminatory laws.

Lets stop the hate!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Monday Medley: Work Hard

Another Monday! Thanksgiving week at that.  Wow how things have changed in my life since last Thanksgiving week!  Well That's life I guess. Enjoy today's selection. I like the tune and movement of this song. Stay tuned for the next post about an issue that has come up with my application for the Master degree.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A Cancer Warrior

There are two definitions of a cancer survivor in use today.  The most common and relevant is the cancer patient fighting and living with a cancer diagnosis.  There is another definition used by the “I Can Cope Cancer Education program,” which states a Cancer Survivor is one whose life has been touched by cancer.  This could be a patient, a family member, or friend, even a health care professional anyone who has a tie to the patient. This is in recognition of the fact cancer impacts not only the life of the one with its diagnosis, but those who are related to the patient in some way. Cancer changes everything for these folks.  Personally, by the second definition, I am a cancer survivor. Cancer has touched my life profoundly as a Chaplain. 
Here I would like to talk about a term used by a friend of mine, which I think speaks volumes about the individual patient’s fight with this insidious disease. Cancer Warrior,  I would define a cancer warrior as the person with the diagnosis who is determined not to be defeated by cancer.  Not to allow it to steal his or her life, joy, or fun. Rather this warrior fights and fights on.  The warrior does not lose hope or the will to live, even in the face of what may look like defeat the fight changes but continues.  
As I mentioned above, I am a cancer survivor by the fact it touches my life through my patients, and those I know. I look back at people I have known in my youth, whom I looked up to, who dealt with this diagnosis.  I think of the patients whom I have known over the years. For Some I was there soon after they heard their diagnosis, and was with them through their battle to remission.  Others I was with them when the battle changed from curative to symptom management.   I am a survivor because I carry something of each of these people and their families with me that impacted me.  As I learned to be present with them, they taught me about living. I received more from them, than what I might have provided. I carry with me the knowledge of their journey as they shared their narrative with me. What I learned from each of them is often used in my work today.  There is more…
I have in my life a close friend who is a Cancer Warrior, the same friend who introduced this term to me. He is one who has impacted my life in many ways over the years.  His approach to life and many of the issues surrounding being gay is teaching me not to take things too seriously and encourages me to live who I am and do what brings me fulfillment.  He is an example to me of moving forward in that he is not allowing his diagnosis to keep him from reaching toward his goals. In fact it may be pushing him forward.  You see cancer is touching my life through him, but in a more personal way than I have ever experienced.  For the first time, someone close to me who I love has it.  It’s different, I find myself thinking about the side effects of the treatments, thinking about how he is handling it all. I know it gets to him, the fatigue, the routine of treatments, going for tests.  There is the hope of remission and ultimately living life cancer free which is a driving force. I want to do all I can to support him through this and celebrate with him in his victory.

My prayer for him is that the treatments will do all for him it can possibly do. That all cancer cells will be eliminated and even washed from his body. For him to live a long and healthy life, free of the thought of cancer.  I pray for him to be enabled to live his dreams of earning his degrees, teaching, writing and being a published author. My hope for his life is healing, and one day the novel he is working on would be on the New York Times best seller list.  Do you have a cancer warrior in your life?

Monday, November 12, 2012

Veterans Day 2012

My father was a Navy Veteran of World War One. We always flew our Stars and Stripes on appropriate Holidays. I always "helped" put up and take our flag down, so I learned at an early age about flying the flag. I always remember on November 11 that it was the 11th day of the 11th month at the 11th hour that the treaty of Versailles was signed ending the "Great War".  Today Veterans Day holds an expanded meaning far beyond the recognition for Veterans of one war.  Today we should think of and pray for all those who currently serve our country all over the world.  We should think of those Veterans who live with their battle scars, be it physical, or some invisible scar they carry with them. Those Veterans who struggle adjusting to civilian life, finding a job, getting an education, living their dreams, coping with injuries.

We need to show them the respect they have earned and deserve. Today remember those who serve our country, who protect the cause of freedom.  Thank a Veteran!


Thursday, November 8, 2012

Post Election 2012

Voting on the day. Well its all over! No more political ads!  Several things I want to sound off on about the election, first the long lines.  Knowing this is such an important election, plans should have been made to have more help at the polls, especially with checking voters in. Second, more voter machines would have helped as well. 

Now for the results.  I am very pleased that President Obama has been re-elected.  He most closely represents what I am looking for on tax and social issues especially.  I am pleased our state elected a democrat to Senate.  However, I am not pleased with the outcome of the House race, oh well I guess.  I had hoped for at least a closer split in the House, that the far right wing tea party people would have their wings clipped.  I feel they have contributed to the worsening gridlock we have in Congress. not sure how things will be in the near future, but time will tell.

It appears Virginia is now a 'Blue" state for the most part at least.

Gay Marriage:  Now the really big results for the Gay community!  Same Sex Marriage has been approved by popular vote referendum in two states!  I hope and think this represents changing in views of the general population. My roommate told me about an article he read where in the 90's many did not know a gay person, (reality check, they did not admit knowing a gay person)  In 2012 a large portion of the population says they have a gay friend or relative.  How times are changing, as Martha would say "Its a good thing" 

Lets keep our country, President, Congress and economy in our thoughts and prayers as they seek to lead and deal with issues we all face.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Day 2012 Please Vote

This morning I went to go vote before going to work.  I wanted to be there when the doors opened, well half of my precinct had the same idea!  The line was down the street! a very good thing too, but not enough time for me to stand in line and be at work ontime as well.  I will leave work early to vote.


Monday, November 5, 2012

Monday Medley: National Anthem Go VOTE

Tomorrow is a very important day in the life of every citizen of the United States.  It's the day we have the opportunity, privilege and responsibility to get out and vote for the candidates of our choice.  I encourage every reader who is a registered voter in this great country of ours to get out and vote! I intend to be there when the polls open. Know the issues which are important to you, understand the party platforms and where the candidates stand on those issues important to you. May I suggest you pray on your decision and vote accordingly. If your a U.S. Citizen and not registered to vote, I encourage you to register for the next election and vote!

Today in honor of our country and Decision 2012, I am posting the National Anthem sung by the military chorus.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Morning After Halloween

My Halloween was uneventful, nothing exciting happened about it at all. I was not home during the trick or treating hours, nor was my roommate, so I don't know if anyone attempted to knock on our door. No lights should have indicated not to, but you never know.  Today and tomorrow are known as All Saints and All Souls day in the Christian calendar.  Observed primarily by Catholic and Anglican churches, these days have grown to be observed by many in Protestant churches as well. 

These two days All Saints is known as a feast to remember those who attained "Sainthood" though many protestant churches recognize any Baptized believer as a saint.  All Souls is to remember anyone who died.  Now this is not meant to be an authoritative definition but just my understanding, and serves to help make my point today. These two days are set aside as a special time to remember those we love who have died.  Some churches do this at different times during the year, some have blue Christmas service to help folk cope with grief through the Holidays. My individual  church does this as part of the annual Memorial day service where a rose is placed on the alter by a family member of a deceased member. In addition to giving tribute to those who died serving our country. 

This year it seems, has been one loss after another for me and my family. I don't recall a time in my life when I have experienced loss in scope or frequency as I have this year. Each loss seems to magnify the other. One part of grief is the recognition that love does not end when the person loved is gone.  The Bible confirms this in I Corinthians 13:13, "Now faith, hope, love abide, but the greatest of these is love" some translations have is as love abides forever. Love changes over time I think, for instance I have a friend for whom I had romantic feelings in the past that he did not have for me.  There was a grief but I still wanted him in my life as my friend, I still love him but differently.  The love I have for him now is returned by him. 

In the same way, my love for my mother is still there but different now.  There is a sadness attached a bitter sweetness. I wonder how that will change as time passes? I look forward to the days ahead, as my grief heals and changes to the new normal I have read about and share with others who grieve.

Thanks for reading.


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween 2012

Though I have not really celebrated Halloween in years, I don't view it as I once did. Its a fun night for the children,  there is nothing inherently evil about the day.  Which some fundamental to conservative folk think exists. They need to study and consider Christian heritage and tradition surrounding both Halloween and All Saints Day. Last year was the first time in a long time I gave out candy, and that was at the church Trunk or Treat.  At home home I don't and won't this year either.  Its not like I have children or know the families in the neighborhood.   This will be a different Halloween for many in the northeast, some communities will reschedule the trick or treating due to the storm damage.  I heard on the news this morning New York Gov. Cuomo said he would sign an order to reschedule trick or treating, and quipped to Election day. LOL!

This year, my thoughts turn to the memories of my childhood Halloween celebrations.  It was always a lot of fun choosing a costume, picking a pumpkin, carving said pumpkin.  I recall the first year I was too old for trick or treating, my sister and I set up the record player and played spooky music out the window for all those who came to our house. Those are good memories. 

In observance of Halloween this blogger shares the images and music below




Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Sandy Is Moving On

Well today the worst of Sandy seems to be over for us here in southeast Virginia.  I think people here did the wise thing in closing schools and workplaces to keep people off the road. We had mostly rain and flooding in our area. the high tide was over 6 feet above normal so flooding was not as bad as it could have been.  I hope people impacted by this storm all up the eastcoast can recover quickly and move on with their lives. We can never underestimate the power of these storms to wreak havoc on our lives.
Keep praying for those effected by the storm. hope for clear skies!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Monday Medley: Storm Edition

It is my prayer and hope that all in the path of this storm be where they are safe from its harm.  I also pray for its strength and effect to deminish as it moves closer to shore, or that it veer to the east and out to sea. For today I thought I would post some calming music to help soothe during this time. Be safe, Be strong, make wise choices during the storm and the days following.


Friday, October 26, 2012

Log Cabin Republicans

Recently the Log Cabin Republicans formerly endorsed Mitt Romney.

Log Cabin Republicans are a group in the republican party who identify themselves as both gay and republican.  Now this being America, anyone is entitled to believe what they want, live how they want, support whatever political platform which suits them. Many have served, fought, and died to ensure this right. I would never deny anyone their rights.  Much the same as I would not want anyone to deny mine as well.  now before I was fully out of the closet, I most often voted republican, and publicly supported the party platform.  However, since those days, the republican platform has moved so much farther to the right, I would not be able to support even if I were still of the mentality I was in the closet.

That being said, I would like to ask, and offer a possible answer as to, how can a gay person actively support a political platform, an ideology that denies his or her rights? That makes one a second class citizen,  a scapegoat if you will?   First, its the choice of the person, for whatever reason. I would like to suggest for some money plays a big role.  Their platform of lower taxes,  fewer regulations on those who make millions of dollars; far outweighs the negative impact of their social agenda on the gay community. On other groups such a equal pay for women, workers rights, consumer rights and protections.

Although I generally vote for the person and not party, increasingly I find myself voting party lines due to the rigidity of the far right republican party.  This is why there is the kind of in civility,and severe gridlock we have in Congress. I hope and pray, our nation goes to the polls this election day and votes in people who will do what is right for the country as a whole and not just for their platform or ideology.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Cooking With Gas!

Having never lived anywhere with gas for heat or cooking, this apartment is a new experience for me. We have a gas stove that is old.  It has two settings, high and off LOL.  To regulate the heat, I have to remove the pan and watch to make sure the flame does not go out.  The other day, I was cooking some meat and the flame went out on me twice, so I set it slightly higher. The pan got very hot, and when I flipped the meat over, there was so much smoke it set the fire alarm off!  I turned the flame off and had to open the windows, the door  ect along with having the range top fan on full. I ended up finishing the meat in the microwave.  In the future I will use my George Foreman Grill. Thus far, I have not used the oven and want do some baking as the Holidays approach. Plus I prefer baked chicken, fish and meats as opposed to fried.  So I'm going to try my hand at the oven.  I told my roommate this, he chuckled and just don't blow the place up! haha! So in the next few days I'm gonna attempt to bake some chicken in the oven. I found a lamb shank steak I want to roast, but don't want that to my first attempt at using the oven. It will be sometime soon though, using my mother's recipe and making the gravy.  I did this for Christmas last year and it turned out very well, the gravy reminded me of what my mother used to make! Imagine that, and I cooked it!  I hope I can do that again. 

Wish me luck!


Monday, October 22, 2012

Monday Medley: Mellow Mood

For me today is a thank God its Monday day! LOL. I'm tired, I worked three nights in a row on call and had calls two of those nights.  Plus two eight plus hour rather hectic day shifts.  Sometimes the pager is unrelenting, and I run from situation to crisis and back again.   I can't say my work is "fun" but its rarely boring.  Except for many hours  on call waiting for the pager to sound off. I sometimes think about doing something different, that gives me more of a life outside work, something that when I say what I do, does not turn other gay men off.  but what?   My work can be incredibly satisfying. Though, I have to say, I wish I had this past weekend off to focus on my self care after the news Friday night of my aunt's death. Shortly after hearing the news, I had to answer a page to a crisis.  It was hard for me, looking back, I should have called the Admin on call for help.  Same thing with my two back to back 24 hour shifts. you would think that by now I would have learned to say help and no!  Just glad its behind me now.

Anyway, today is a day to enjoy, relax, it's sunny, cool-ish.  A day relax, do something fun.  if I only had a boyfriend to cuddle with!

In light of today's mood I have selected a long set of relaxing music. About 55 minutes worth, Hope you enjoy it let it wash over you.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

In Memoriam

Tonight I had a phone call, my Aunt Denyse passed away this afternoon. She was 87, 10 years younger than my mother.  For her it was sudden and quick, for us it is sad. Though she lived a good life, was active till the very end.  Its the end of an era for my family.  Though I was not close to my Aunt, she was the one of my Mother's siblings I related with the best. For the most part, I have good memories of her.

This has been a difficult year so far, for a number of reasons. The thought went through my mind what else is going to happen? In my heart I know whatever tomorrow brings I am not alone, I have those around me who care, and I have faith that I know the one who holds tomorrow.  as my mother would say, "we must soldier on." 

That is what I will endeavor to do...soldier on.

                                                                 Denyse Morrow


Friday, October 19, 2012

A Victory For Same Sex Marriage

When victories occur for the gay community its nice to pause and consider the implications.  I am referring to the NY Court decision declaring DOMA unconstitutional.  The difference with this decision is the fact that a federal judge appointed years ago by a conservative President, wrote basically the gay community has been and is being discriminated against.  That this law discriminates against a segment of american society which has rights under the constitution.  This is significant to for those of us who have the hope of one day being able to legally marry in this nation.
Will I see the day when same sex marriage is not rejected?  I don't know, but I have a glimmer of hope. Of course if I ever find one I want to marry, we could go to a state, or nation where our marriage is accepted. 
Sign me hopeful but realistic.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Monday Medley:Chris Brown

Today I have selected two songs by Chris Brown that I like the beat and music.  Forever,  has been used as a wedding march, the first time I heard this song was in a club. the second Yeah x 3, I like the beat, and the music hope you enjoy them.  Have a great Monday!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Come out Come Out Where ever You Are!!

In honor of National Coming out Day, Won't you take the bold freeing step out and be yourself?  Know YOUR truth...Claim your Voice!

At least acknowledge it to yourself for yourself that is a first step.  John 8:32 "You shall know the TRUTH and the truth shall set you FREE" 

Choose wisely who you acknowledge this too. Not everyone will be accepting. Those who truly love you will accept you.

The most important thing is to be YOU. be comfortable in your own skin, find peace. 

I found peace when I accepted me the way God made me!

Open that door let the light shine in.

A link to It Gets better . org

Hate Mail...Really?

From the beginning of my very first blog post I knew I might draw negative comments from time to time.  Which I have, and I do not post those unless it adds something to think about. Its one thing to disagree, express your opinion, but totally another to be disagreeable and express hatred.  Those kinds of comments are always deleted, never posted. Especially when its from an anonymous source!  If your going to leave a hateful comment at least have the guts (I really wanna say balls) to own your words.   Sometimes its an email, I do not respond to these as there is no room for dialogue. It would accomplish nothing. 

The series of posts on relationships I just completed, has elicited a few responses mostly positive emails, but a couple of negative and down right hateful comments. Now I welcome all comments, I enjoy the dialogue with people.  Sometimes I hear a viewpoint that helps me greatly or at least gives me something to think about.   I draw the line at hate mail, I will not listen to or dignify with a response someone calling me or people who might read this blog names, and telling me I am cursed. Or that I need to repent, and receive healing, seek "re-parative therapy".    One asked how someone like me can do the work I do without bringing condemnation to everyone I meet. There is no room in my life for hate. These from folk who call themselves christian. I won't judge you as you have judged me. God is our judge, and I resist the urge to preach at you through this blog, but I ask you how is that bearing fruit for the Lord and making a difference in a life? How is that edifying? The Scripture says "you shall know them by their LOVE"

My relationship posts talk about love, its often a thread of commonality that runs through the kinds of relationships I spoke about.  Love is created by God, God is love, not hate.

Well enough said about this, I could write more but I will save that for my journal.  I like my posts to be about positive things or at least how I'm dealing with negative aspects of this life.

Again I welcome your comments and emails, I enjoy the dialogue.  If you have some positive insight or a question please submit a comment or email.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Monday Medley Dutty Love love say it

A Good Monday, today is Columbus Day, a holiday in many parts of the country.  I just finished a crazy shift. Sixteen hours of actual in house coverage and thirty-two hours of on call coverage.  Last night I was called 5 times, very little sleep.  I hope they change this weekend schedule!  Its ok at the smaller Hospitals but the place I was covering is ALWAYS very busy.

October is one of my favorite months, we are getting into the fall season, church bazaars are getting into full swing, its the time of year I enjoy antiquing the most.  However, this month is also my mother's birthday. The first since her death in January, so its a very poignant time for me.  I have a lot of thoughts and emotions swirling around which makes me more sensitive, and perhaps vulnerable.  I noted it last night in my work, I do not like feeling so raw emotionally myself in the midst of others crisis.  I feel I lacked the appropriate distance, to be the non anxious presence in the midst of their crisis.  There must be balance?

Today I want to share two songs, rather different, talking about different kinds of love. Just my feeling today.  I am finding how music helps get the feelings out, whether its sadness, anger, or whatever.  The beat, and  and words seem to help.     Hope you enjoy them..One of these songs is a repeat from a few months ago.  Just where I am today. ..

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

That Relationship Thing: The Wrap Up

Well here we come to the wrap up of my series of thoughts on relationships for a gay man.  This of course has been from my perspective and a bit of my experience. However limited that maybe. My hope from the very beginning of my coming out saga, has been to find one man to love and who would love me. As with anything in life, it is so much more complicated than that!  I have found my ideology gets in the way often times.  In a "perfect" world it would be the way my religious background  says it should be.  Of course according to my religious background's "perfect" world homosexuality would not exist.  We know that is not real!  This is why I refer to myself as a recovering Baptist! 

Let me separate ideology from reality right here.  I am a person of faith, it was my faith which helped me "get real" and come out. I distinguish this from the religiosity that kept me afraid and in the closet for the first 35 years of my life.  If you wonder what I mean by this, please feel free to search this blog and find my posts on coming out, faith, and theology of coming out.  The issue at hand is how do I move forward?  Where do I go from here?

The answer is simple, taking a step at a time, one day at a time.  See where these steps lead.  I have to believe what Jeremiah 29:11 states.  God has a plan, its up to me to seek and find the way.  Thus far it has been an incredible and exciting journey.  Taking this journey has brought some special people into my life.  I have loved and lost, and loved again, loved differently. On this journey I have discovered a few close friends for whom I am grateful. I am still searching, will continue.  One of my friends has said, he thinks he will always be looking for something better or different. I think the reality its not always better on the other side of the next zipper. It can often lead to pain.  That is why there are varying degrees of relating, varying kinds of long term relationships which were mentioned in  the early posts of this series.  I think its a coping mechanism, the thread again is love.  There is a follower of this blog who has a husband he loves and is committed to, he is not one who seeks gratification outside his relationship, because of love for his husband.  That is special, that is true love and commitment it does exist in gay relationships.  Someone else I talk with  says that kind commitment is rare.  I'm not so sure about that, we just don't hear much about them. or am I not being realistic again?

For me I will keep on trying and hope for the best.  There is someone out there, one I will meet or perhaps I already have met or know him? Thanks for reading, thanks for commenting, thanks for well wishes and praying!

Staying on my Rainbow Fish Journey

Monday, October 1, 2012

Monday Medley: In The Light & Ocean Floor, fighter

A good Monday to you! Its an overcast, cool-ish day in my part of the world today.  Work and more work seems to be the order of the day.  I have my evaluation today, always an ordeal with particular organization and director.  I will get through it.  I remind myself, God is in control he is my provider and no one else.

Today we have a medley of three songs, two are a repeat from earlier medleys, today they just seem to go together for me.  Guess my mood today after three days of giving care and another night of work tonight ahead of me.  Sometimes my work brings significant meaning to those with whom I see which is meaningful for me, other times its seems like why am I here? Sometimes like at 0200 this morning, I'm just there to document I was there. I'd would rather have stayed home asleep, or watching TV with my roommate.  However, this is provision for my life, and the work I am able to do at this point in my life, so duty calls!

Hope you enjoy these.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

A Sunday Note

Just wanted to post a note that I have not forgotten my relationship wrap up post.  Writing and editing this particular post has been slow going due to schedule and trying to say what I want the way it should be stated. 

Tomorrow I will post a Monday Medley, and continue work on the wrap up.  Here it is already the end of September, how time is passing quickly. Soon fall activities and holidays will be in full swing.  I am not prepared for it this year.

Please keep following.  Thanks

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Monday Medley on Tuesday: Let it Rain Over Me

This past weekend was a marathon.  Then I had three calls on Sunday night, and had a meeting on Monday.  Needless to say I was one tired person; But I had a very pleasant afternoon and evening Monday.

Music is fun, I listen to a wide range of music depending on my mood.  I used to listen to only the christian stations.  That has changed, now as my life has opened to a wide range of people, experiences, and situations, so has my taste in music. with the exception of country, still don't like country.

I am still working on my final post for That Relationship Thing, so keep looking for that in the next day or so.

I think Mark Anthony is cute

Saturday, September 22, 2012

That Relationship Thing: A Boyfriend

In continuing my writing on relationships, I would like to share a success.  Several years ago I had a lunch date with a guy that turned into a relationship which lasted a little over a year.  Until it was time for him to return to his native country to continue his career and care for his parents.

We both knew in the back of our minds that day would come, but it did not stop us from enjoying the time we had together. This also made it easier when time came for him to leave. It was not a live in life partner type of arrangement, rather we saw other as often as possible.  At times during that year it was on again off again, but some how we always ended up together. Our relationship solidified for me my peace and satisfaction with my sexuality.  This was possible, it was was a good thing, I was happy.  There was love in our relationship, that I had not experienced before. 

He was in his 20's, I in my 40's, age and race are not issues for long as one is of age and  old enough to know who they are or well on the way to that place, and know what the they want. Yet he was very mature for his age, and could hold an intelligent conversation on issues from geopolitical situations, cultural events, investing, to spiritual issues.  He was in this country on a work visa to complete a year long management residency.   He was so open about everything, I often had to warn him about being too out with his coworkers, neighbors. One time we were out to eat and ran into one of his bosses, he introduced me as his boyfriend.   He finally learned the lesson the hard way, fortunately he was not hurt in the process. 

Often I had to explain things to him with regards to our laws, and our culture.  One time he received a letter from the DMV, and thought they were going to take his car away.  I explained about paying his taxes, and renewing his car registration. He also helped me see a lighter side of life, and my sexuality.  Its no surprise I often take myself, and the issues I have too seriously.

Experiencing a relationship helped me know that is what I want to have in my life again.  It is what I hope for in the long term.  Someone special to me, for me.  Someone in my corner, who knows me well. 

The day came it was time for him to leave, it was a sad, bittersweet moment.  I still hear from him from time to time via email.

Next Wrapping it all up.


Thursday, September 20, 2012

Today is My Birthday

Well another birthday is here! Wow!  I was reflecting on my life this morning, and how far I have come.  All I can say is, I am thankful. 

Jeremiah 29:11 is my word for today:

 "I know the plans I have for you says the Lord, Plans not for calamity, but for your welfare.  To give you a future and a HOPE"

A Hope! 

I honestly do not know how to celebrate this year.  Its bitter sweet without my mother.  This evening I have two meetings at the Hospital so a nice dinner somewhere is not possible.  Maybe a lunch.  I may wait until Saturday to fix my favorite meal or go out to eat. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

That Relationship Thing: This is Dating?

Dating is like a bag of mixed nuts, you reach in and grab one and never know what your going to get.   I have dated some over the past few years, and met some very interesting and very nice guys.  A few crazies, some gay men are worse than a menstruating woman, sorry ladies.

Most of the time a "date" for me starts from an email or chat online and moves to a face to face meeting at a place where food is served. Some of these dates end there, with no further conversation. Either I'm not what he his looking for, or expecting or he is not for me.  Although I am always open to friendship and conversation. Others continue with more chatting, texting, calling and maybe another date. In the interest of keeping it real, hook ups happen, one is only human.  Rarely do I meet someone in public and end up asking or being asked on a date.  Especially with the work I do, it just does not happen. I would like to share here a few dating experiences that stick out in my mind.

Once when I was living in another part of the state, I had a series of conversations with a guy on the phone that I thought were leading up to a date. Until he brought up the subject of religion, he was a church goer, but struggled with his sexuality and faith. I did not tell him about my work, I was saving that until I knew him better. All I said was I had the same struggle which at that time I did.  He went off and told me I would have to choose between him and my faith. Say What??? Where did that come from???  I told him I could not, nor should I have to do that and he angrily hung up on me. Chalk that one up to experience.

Another guy I talked with on the phone for a few weeks, we had a few serious conversations about life and what we were looking for. We met once for lunch and I was hopeful, until he started acting like we were a couple after one lunch together.  He became possessive calling me wanting to know where I was, who I was with, and so on. That was a turn off, what if we became a couple? What would that be like? I told him how I felt about his questioning andthat i did not think it would work out.  So that was the end of that and I was relieved!  There have been a number of dates that have led to continued friendships. But so far not to the love of my life, my life partner.

There is a good friend in my life that I met this way. It started as an email chat.  Actually I initiated the chat because I liked what I read in his profile.  He was looking for friendship and a relationship, had some witty saying and sounded attractive to me.  That email started a chat that led to texts and phone conversations.  Which in turn led to a meeting at a local Barnes and Noble Cafe.  He told me about a year later, that had I not called him an hour before our meeting to verify it, he was not going to show up.  Well he did show up, and we talked for four and half to five hours.  It did not seem like five hours at all to me, but we closed the store. As they say the rest is history. Today he is one of my closest friends.  A few months ago he called me and we got to talking, and kept on talking.  I fixed my soup and sandwich, he fixed his fish, and we ate "together" over the phone.  That conversation lasted three hours.  Again it did not seem like three hours to me, it flew by.  There is no one else I talk to like that and I am thankful for his friendship. 

There was a date I had a few years ago that led to a relationship.  Next post titled A Boyfriend! 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Monday Medley: Break Your Heart & Like A Heart Attack. A Question

Happy Monday! Well its happy for me since I just completed 72 hours of work. No extra hours this week, at least not as of today, that can change though.  Today's medley sort of goes along with my writing about relationships. 

A question for you.. Is it normal for love to hurt, like an ache?

Break your Heart Taio Cruz  

Heart Attack Trey Songz (Language Warning)

Next Is This Dating?

Saturday, September 15, 2012

That Relationship Thing: Unrequited Love (Revised)

There is someone in my life today who has been a good friend for a number of years.  He knew I am gay before I came to the place in my life where I accepted it.  He actually helped with some of my coming out.

He gave me support at a time in my life I needed it most. There is just one thing. At one point after I found peace to be who I am, I found myself falling in love with my friend. I fell hard for him too. At first, there was mutual attraction, but what I wanted he did not want. For a while it was very difficult and painful to deal with. Another friend helped me understand and find the skills to cope. In time I decided, our friendship was important to me and I wanted to keep this friend in my life. Those feelings remained under the surface for a period of time, but I worked to keep the bigger picture in my mind. Today he continues to be one of my closest friends. We love to laugh, shop, eat, and just enjoy each others company when we can. I still love him, but in a different way, he is family to me. Now I think the romance could ever be rekindled?  If things were to change, anything is possible.  Do I think it will ever happen?  I don't know. Am I waiting around for it to happen? No, that would be wrong.

My point in sharing this that love is what is important.  Those things done out of love, in a relationship of any type are what bond us together. For most I my life, by default, I was sheltered from the ups and downs of romance by my limited engagement. By a closeted existance.  Though through the coming out process, I had been on "dates"  there had never been anything serious up to this point. Now I had experienced a falling in love, and the disappointment that could happen. It was a life lesson.  What do I want? Who do I want to be and be with?  Not sure I have fully answered either of those question since I have discovered I am growing.  What I want tends to change as I grow.

What to share next?  Is this a date?

Friday, September 14, 2012

Happy Birthday to My Nephew Today!

A big shout out to my nephew!  He  is 24 today!  Happy Birthday, hope your day is filled with all the things and people you treasure most!

24 ah to be 24 again but know what I know now!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

That Relationship Thing: Adendum to Romance

In the last post, I failed to address the relationships that are truly Monogamous.  Those who stay faithful to one another because of love, and commitment. There ARE those successful relationships in the gay community, we just don't hear too much about them because they work.  I have no idea what percentage of the LGBT community are in long term committed relationships of the type described above.

Any relationship, whether a close friendship, a love relationship takes work on both sides.  It takes communication, the ability to give and take, and so much more.  A follower of this blog has shared his story with me about what works in his marriage.  Love outweighs the road blocks, brings surprises, and makes the commitment work.  The key is Love.  Finding and keeping that kind of love is something worth working for.

Question: Does the love of my life truly exist? Or is love for now the reality?

Next post I plan to share some of my personal journey.


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

That Relationship Thing; What About Romance?

When it comes to romance, like everything else in life it can get very messy, and complicated in a hurry. There are all kinds of romantic entanglements in life.  We find everything from a one night stand, a “no strings attached” sex partner, a friend with benefits, to a serious love relationship with variations of all the above.  There are strictly platonic, monogamous, and open relationships.   All these are alive and well in 2012 no matter what your sexual preference.  It all depends what one wishes for, but finding anyone of these can lead to frustration, disappointment, and heartbreak.

I am acquainted with several gay couples who have relationships like listed above. One thinks of themselves as monogamous, but in reality they are not.  They know they are not; it’s ok as long as the other does not “know” about anything his partner does outside their relationship and vice versa.  These two went to Las Vegas and exchanged rings in a commitment ceremony, and they have been together 15 years.  Another couple has been together 12 years, are in an open relationship.  This apparently works for them; this is not what I am looking for.  Though at one time, I thought I could consider an open relationship for the “right” man.  In honesty, If one came along, I might still consider it…for love, could I handle this? I don’t know.

Another aspect I read about and hear about is the amount of cheating that goes on. Even among “committed” couples.  Some say its “natural” to cheat, it helps the relationship.   It seems there is an idea of finding out what the next guy has to offer, even though there is some kind of “love” between one and the current guy.  There seems to be unsettledness in life. There is also the concept that, “I’m going to cheat on him before he cheats on me. Or because I know he is cheating” There are a few others I am acquainted with who work hard at their commitment and relationships and it works out.  The common thread among these couples who have stayed together is a commitment to each other that is grounded by love for each other.  One calls it an unconditional love.  

Another thing I have seen both in those I have chatted with, and in my work at the Hospitals.  There is an amount of abuse in relationships.  The abuse can be emotional, financial, physical or a combination of all three. Sometimes it is “put up with” because he loves me, or I need him.  Who else will have me?  I don’t care; there is no excuse for abuse, or living with abuse if one is aware of it.

Another aspect in gay relationships are the number of married men, who think of themselves as “straight or bisexual” who sneak off to have affairs with gay men.  There are quite a few, most justify it by saying they can’t help themselves.  In my opinion, they are in denial and lying to themselves, their wives, and lovers about their sexuality.  I don’t believe in bisexuality, I never hear of gay men of sneak off to have an affair with a woman.  Some legitimately have not dealt with their sexuality, and find themselves at a stage in life where they are confronted with it. They don’t know how to handle it.

As you can see life relationships, romantic entanglements can be messy, complicated and a lot of work. But I believe they are worth the effort, they are needed and essential to living a full life.  Gay or straight.
Next That Relationship Thing: My Personal Story.