Hello, everyone! Did you miss us? Well, we’re back in a big, happy, gay way!
I’m going to start by telling you a little back-story. When my kids were small and they would often ask me, “Mommy, what does gay mean,” I would tell them “gay means happy.” In my determination never to lie to them, it was my way to give them a truthful answer that they would be satisfied with in their age-appropriate understanding. It also served another purpose. Instead of having to get into a difficult conversation that they wouldn’t even understand, I started a positive word association for them early on.
As they got older, we would have discussions and we would answer any questions in the best way we knew how. Through our discussions Rich and I thought surely they would eventually ask us about Aunt Rosie. But the question never came. I know what you’re all thinking, “How could that be?” I have to be honest and tell you why I was relieved it had not come up before. For years Rosie and I had our ups and downs, not unlike many siblings. Growing up I always felt that I was different than Rosie. We liked completely different things, but we always seemed to have fun. However, as we got older our differences would sometimes feel like a big wedge between us. Rosie would go from being so completely happy to other times when I would see such sadness and pain in her eyes. Sometimes she would even be so down and upset that we didn’t spend much time together at all. I always wished she would just say the words so the wedge would be gone and we could be as close as sisters are meant to be. I remember the day like it was yesterday. I had invited her to a party and she said she wouldn’t come. I was infuriated. Why was Rosie doing this? Why does she want to be so distant? I demanded an answer. Then it came, fast and furious. Rosie yelled at me, “I don’t want to come. I don’t fit in, because I’m gay!” My response was, “So what, nobody cares about that.” And then I followed with, “Phew, what took you so long? Everyone loves you for you.” And that was that. We hugged and we cried for a while.
Rosie came to the party and a load that had been lifted. What an unnecessary burden she had been carrying for so long. If only she had spoken to me sooner. If only I had demanded an explanation for her mood swings. I kept asking myself why I hadn’t approached her sooner. I could have helped her or even just been there to listen. I learned so much during this time. The most important lesson I learned is that everything comes about in its own time, and you can’t force something that’s not meant to happen. Life has an amazing way of putting things in your path at just the right time. Try hard to pay attention to the signs and learn the lessons that come your way. When you have true, honest moments in your life, embrace them and they will change your life forever.