Tuesday, November 25, 2008

All I want to do is live my life more honestly!

Funny, I just typed up an email to my friend..and thought..hmmmm everything I just said here is exactly something I would've liked to blog about...so here is the exact email:

WOW I've been so darn busy at work!! Yikes sorry I haven't responded to you in ages..it's not you it's me :D how cliché...

So what's up..any good developments in your life lately...how are you growing how are you changing...I only ask because someone asked me that last night...and 1. I valued the question immensely (I have the coolest people in my life) and 2. it was still on my mind this morning...stuck with me....my answer is well crap what is not changing in my life..EVERYTHING is...constantly perpetually changing..thank heavens for that!! As well...It's ironic I find myself preparing to move away from Jersey..a place that has been so difficult to live in..because of circumstances..not because of location or people..and I've been here for 2 years almost..and it seems that only recently have I started to establish my life here..as far as building relationships with people. So I'm building into these people..and being moved and changed and inspired by them..and I truly find that I love them..and now I'm leaving..it's odd...makes it hard for me to leave this place that was so unkind to us. What is EVEN more odd is that 2 of these people that I've built friendships with never even knew Katie...they didn't know "Katie and Karen"..the tag that has been mine for all of my adult life...and so is is interesting trying to meander this life now allowing people to develop a new tag for me..and I expect that with all the traveling we'll be doing this upcoming year this is going to be a regular occurrence...what a strange thing. She was such a safety net for me..I was able to hide (sort of) behind her HUGE personality..and let her break the ice..let her do the "uncomfortable" stuff...and then I could easily just come in and pick up..once it was easy..and now..I've lost my net..and I'm being pushed and challenged to step out of myself..and that's hard too! AHH but those are the ways I'm growing and changing.

I've also been packing and purging and deciding what to keep and what to get rid of...and wowee is this ever a CRAZY task...what I realize is we had WAY more than what we ever needed...and it's just annoying....I NEVER in my life want to find myself having as much stuff (dare I say junk) cluttering up my house again...GOOD lesson to learn in your younger years...wish I had learned it in my EVEN younger years..hope to pass it along to the boys...experiences not things experiences not things experiences not things!!!

SO...I think I realized that I just wrote and wrote and wrote....sorry if I've overwhelmed you with my thoughts...I think I actually may just copy and paste this entire email as a blog..hope you're cool with that!!

Have a fantastic Thanksgiving!! Hope you feel like you have lots to be Thankful for!!!



Thanks to my friend for allowing me to share this..even though I didn't wait for your permission :D

Thursday, November 13, 2008

This business of discrimination

RTV right :D well here goes....I typically am not one to "step up on a soap box" to discuss the hot topics of the world..or tough morality issues that will get a crowd all hot and bothered...I'm more of a let your life do the talking on the morality stuff, you know actions are WAY louder than words, but all this talk about proposition 8 in California has me thinking...mostly about how it is impossible for anyone to take away my profound love for another just because they say it shouldn't be allowed.

We elected a tremendous man as our President...even more historical was the fact that he was African American...on election night my son and I were having a conversation about Barack Obama.  Aiden wanted to know "does he look like me"?  As I started to tell him that well..kind of, but...Barack was older, and much taller, his eyes were darker, I had to pause and think should I call out to my 4 year old that Barack was "a different color"?  I realized in that moment I didn't want my young son to yet realize that we in America classify people or place them in a category or stereotype them simply because the color of their skin is different.  So I withheld this information.  I remember feeling such a tremendous amout of pride watching the new first family walk out onto stage that night, in fact I nearly cried at the sight.  I remember thinking WOW we've come so far and I LOVE that this family stands for THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, awesome!  Then came the rather surprising news that proposition 8 had passed in California...and I'm left scratching my head thinking we took huge strides in one direction only to take huge strides in the exact opposite direction still as a nation embracing discrimination and hate.  My moment of joy and wonder at my new diverse first family was cut far too short by this news.  

I'm going to say some things that I know will upset my gay friends..I've already said it to my close friends, and caused some dissent..but I SERIOUSLY believe this...while I don't agree with the passing of proposition 8 and while I will say that it is terribly hateful to deny a person a right they should be afforded as an American...I have to also say...YOU KNOW WHAT just because someone tells me they think the person I love is wrong and the act is immoral and disgusting and whatever else...all of these things said and rights withheld..IT DOESN'T MATTER to me..did I stop loving Katie because someone told me it was wrong...well for a time yes..but I got over it..pulled my head out of the WATER (I'm being kind) breathed in the greatest breath of life and pursued life and love and happiness spent with Katie.  

No matter what rights we were or were not afforded as a couple, we had a wedding, we vowed BEFORE GOD to be faithful to one another, to live a life pleasing to him, to be together until death parted us..WE STILL DID IT...and so it was..and so she was indeed my wife, with or without a piece of paper to declare it as such.  We had a home together and we welcomed people, lots of people, gay and straight, at our dinner table, and we laughed, and we cried, and we made memories.  Best yet, out of our love came 2 beautiful people, who know at the core of their being that 2 other people love them immeasurably.  And wow all those "disbelievers" say our boys should be very disturbed at their core...I would invite anyone who believes this to come and meet our children because they are astounding individuals at the ripe age of 2 and 4..they are profound and more importantly they are so stinking happy and quite frankly more adjusted and well behaved than many that come from a more "traditional" dwelling.  

So I don't know, I find it so interesting, what do all these people who vote this stuff down think? Because I'm here to say just because you say it isn't so...doesn't mean it deters me or stops me or hinders my relationship in anyway.  If anything it made us fight harder to make it work to go the duration...and we WENT the duration...ACTUALLY Katie and my relationship was probably put to the fire far more often and withstood the test in far more trying circumstances than that of our "married" counterparts who had the "paper" and the "rights"....emerging from the fire or the tests with a tighter union and connection or bond...growing our live in the midst..THESE are the great things which define a family or a marriage and mine was strong...stronger than most...we just didn't have the rights..but we didn't need them to make it any more real or legitimate.

ALL of these things are what I will pass along to our boys about diversity, real family values and acceptance.  Do you agree?  If not...come sit at my dinner table...I'd love to go back to my core and allow my life to speak for itself.


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Refining and Becoming

I must admit, I've had a hard couple of days. Lately I've felt so heavy with grief I can just not get my head or more specifically my heart ahead of it. I think, as ironic as it may sound, Halloween was the trigger. It was a holiday Katie truly enjoyed..it was so fitting to her crazy, zany personality. She recalled being young, how her dad would play spooky music and was "the scary" house on the street. She wanted so badly for our own home, in Ohio, to be this same place. She downloaded the scariest music she could find, brought her ENORMOUS sound system to the front porch and took to the mic...NOT in her usual manner but rather she would drudge up the scariest voice she could find to lure children to our front porch. What is HYSTERICAL about all of this is that after our first Halloween on S. Huron we realized our street was not visited by ANYONE. LUCKY for us our friend lived on THE most visited street in the neighborhood, so Katie quickly set up shop there....EVEN better there were bushes to hide in and SHAKE at this house, so Katie had found her Halloween calling. Many children were scared, and that pleased Kate to no end, it is a memory that even today makes me laugh as I recall her antics.

We moved away to New Jersey shortly after Halloween 2006, and soon thereafter this disease reared it's ugly head. We faced many MANY trials from May - October in 2007. Katie completed 7 1/2 weeks of radiationt treatment at the end of September, and by mid October was feeling better than she had in some time. We chalked it up to being no short of a miracle, and praised God daily as her strength returned at an amazing pace. The picture above is our family during Halloween last year. As I stare at this photo I feel so much. Tears, well up in my eyes, and sometimes just won't quit. I am in awe at what a difference a year can make. This time last year was so filled with promise, and hope, and we were strong. Katie was getting better everyday, and while I CHERISH (beyond belief) the months of good health we had throughout all of the holiday's last year, I can't believe the contrast of where I find myself this year, and this picture above simply digs that dagger of sorrow in a little further.

I had a fantastic time trick or treating with our son Aiden this year, he was marvelous, what a perfect age. I found a street just a few short blocks away where every house put up amazing decorations and everyone in each family was dressed up and participating with as much excitement and eagerness as Katie would have. It was bitter but it too was sweet, she would've loved every moment of it all and I thought of her the entire way.

I don't write all of this to be a downer or to make anyone feel uncomfortable. There are no words of comfort when you feel at your lowest...there just aren't. For me, what has proven to help the most is just writing, just venting, just having the freedom to throw it all out there and say "take if for what it's worth", there's no one I'm trying to impress, no one I'm afraid to offend or upset. The BEST tid-bit of advice I have receivd thus far was this:

Take care of yourself
No one can feel your pain so don’t worry about them.
Just do whatever, spend whatever, and go wherever you want.
Never mind what people think.

*thank you Kerri-Lynne

I know I am in the process of being refined, of "becoming" and while it BURNS and it hurts, and I wish for the brighter days, I do know they will come..there will be a time..it is just not yet...and the holidays well they only seem to make the pain worse...but my head is up, my feet are on the ground, and the boys and I we just keep marching on!