Dear Children, I Apologize For The Behavior Of My Fellow Adults

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Dear Children,

I am so very sorry that many of us have let you down.  I am sorry that we disappoint you on a daily basis by engaging in the very behavior we urge you not to engage in.

From a very early age, we adults encourage you to share your toys, say please and thank you, mind your manners, be kind and respectful to others and to never to be a bully. We take you to church, socialize you and expose you to people who are different.  We teach you tolerance and acceptance and hope that you will grow up to be a kind and happy adult.

But in reality, we fail.  We ourselves don’t share.  We are demanding of others, we do not take accountability for our actions, we blame others, we are not kind or respectful to others and we do the bullying.  We model the exact opposite of what we want you to become, and for that, I truly apologize.

I apologize for the times we yell at your coach during your sporting event.  I apologize for giving the finger to a driver that forgot to turn on his signal.  I apologize for saying bad things about your friend Tommy’s mother.  I apologize for calling your teacher stupid.  I apologize for judging our foreign neighbors and the gay waiter at the cafe.  I apologize for encouraging you to always fight to get your way and to question all authority.  I apologize for making you think that you are entitled and owed the things you want.

I am sorry that you saw the mean things we wrote on another person’s Facebook page and for the heartless tweet we retweeted.  I am sorry you witnessed us threaten to sue someone because we didn’t get our way.  I am sorry that we are not the adults we are supposed to be.

I am forever embarrassed and appalled that you have to witness adults engage in insulting rhetoric toward one another.  Everywhere you turn, there is an adult not behaving like an adult should.  An adult with no respect for others and absolutely no civility.

I apologize with all my heart that you have to hear our elected officials, the very people who are supposed to serve us, engage in preposterous rhetoric and behavior.  I am sorry that they have made a mockery of a diplomatic and respectful process our founding fathers worked hard to develop.   I am sorry that even at the highest level, there is bullying.  I am sorry that you are being held to the highest standards at school and punished if you bully someone, yet the adults around you get away with it day after day.

I am truly sorry.

I can only hope that you see how the behavior we are engaging in, does not work.  That the wisdom beyond your years helps you recognize how flawed we are and that in spite of it,  you choose to follow your little kind and growing heart to be the person you are meant to be.  That you let your pudgy little hand reach up to the sky and grab the opportunities that await you.  That your developing eyes see no colors, no borders and no walls.  That your innocent and caring soul knows without a doubt that spreading love and kindness is the ticket to a happy and fulfilling life.

I apologize on behalf of all adults.

When They Slip Away

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9words.ca

There are people we come in contact with throughout our lives that make a significant impression on us, be it good or bad.  Those that ignite our sleeping flames and make us think.

The ones that impact us in a positive way are the ones we marvel at.  They talk the talk and actually walk the walk.  Be it their attitude toward life, their values, the way they treat others or simply, their smile.  We look to them in admiration and wonder what made them so remarkable.  We ask ourselves how we can change and vow to mimic them from that day forward.

When They Slip Away.

I mourn the loss of two such people, today.  Two acquaintances that impacted my life when they were living and even more, after they slipped away.

A 45 year-old mother of three adult children.  Head cashier at the local market where she was like a ‘mother’ to most.  Beautiful red hair put up in a bun, sparkling eyes to compliment her welcoming smile.  A laugh to remember and a heart of gold.  My children worked with her and adored her, as did all of her co-workers.  I saw her weekly as I waited in her line at the check-out no matter how many customers were ahead.  Her kids were her source of pride and she reveled in the fact that they had all moved back in with her and were once again, a family.  

A brain aneurism.  No warning, no sign.  Gone, just like that.

When They Slip Away.

A 55 year-old avid educator who was happily married with three children, also gone.  Someone whose children I gave Spanish lessons to, who was father to my daughter’s friend and school trip travel partner of my husband’s.  

Gastroesophageal cancer kicked his ass for three painful years, ultimately taking his extraordinary life.  It robbed him of his plans, his goals his explorations and his dreams.  His thirst for knowledge was insatiable.  He devoted his life to inspiring, encouraging and motivating the people in his life as well as those he came across. Everyone and anyone who interacted with him was touched and felt the magic-like effect of his presence.  You knew your life had been enhanced by the mere fact that you had met him.  An undeniable gift to all.

When They Slip Away.

These two people were not members of my family nor were they close friends of mine, yet here I sit today mourning them as if they were.  That my limited interaction with them while they lived inspired me immensely, speaks volumes about who they were.  That upon their death, they leave me with immeasurable lessons about how I should live my life going forward, is absolutely mind-blowing.  These two souls have undoubtedly changed me.

When They Slip Away

I leave you with a poem read by a relative at one of the memorial services I attended: 

Success

To laugh often and love much;

to win the respect of intelligent persons

and the affection of children;

to earn the approbation of honest critics;

and to endure the betrayal of false friends;

to appreciate beauty;

to find the best in others;

to give of one’s self;

to leave the world a little better,

whether by a healthy child,

a garden patch

or a redeemed social condition;

to have played and laughed with enthusiasm

and sung with exaltation;

to know that even one life has breathed easier

because you have lived,

this is to have succeeded

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Why I Love Gay Men

i.marbella.com It's Raining Men

i-marbella.com
It’s Raining Men

Who doesn’t have that gay friend/relative who is so much fun to hang out with?  I hope you do because let me tell you, I love my gay men.

I have always instantly bonded with gay men.  For some reason they love me.  I can’t explain why that is but I immediately love them back.  The gay men I know are like the bffs you always wanted without the competition.  Girlfriends rock too but there is nothing like a gay friend.

When I am in the presence of gay men I can let my guard down and completely relax.  I know they are not “checking me out” and don’t have an ulterior motive (like wanting to get in my pants.)  At least I think they don’t – although some have been questionable.

Of course, my all-time favorite gay men in the world happen to be my brother in-laws.   Mr. B’s brother M, is the most loving and caring soul you will meet.  Cultured, hard-working, kind and always willing to step up when needed. I always joke that I married the wrong brother because M is always watching out for me.  His husband, G is quite the character.  He lights up a room as soon as he enters it.  I am in awe of his positivity and happy demeanor.  He doesn’t have a shy bone in him and is a Jack of all trades.  There is nothing G can’t and won’t do.  They have both worked hard at getting our family together and love us all to the moon and back.

M & G are exactly the kind of people you want to hang out with.  They are fashion-savvy, love theater, fine dining (and drinking) and will complement you all day long.  I always feel fabulous when I am in their presence.

Did I tell you the time they invited all the sister-in-laws (5 of us) to their beautiful home in DC for a weekend? They greeted us all at the airport with a single rose for each one of us (the producers of the show, The Bachelor, obviously copied the idea from them.)  As we settled into our bedrooms we saw that there were gift/swag bags (like at the Oscars) for us.  Get the hell out, right?  Inside were gift cards to spas, restaurants, shops and tickets to a show.  The menus for the weekend were printed in nice paper and posted on the fridge for all to see.  Can you say completely pampered and spoiled?  As a bonus, some of their gay friends came over for dinner one night and I laughed so hard that my cheeks were in severe pain for several days following.

There are other gay men I have bonded with.  Like the waiter in a fine restaurant that was the most beautiful man I had ever seen in my life.  I asked Mr. B permission to tell this waiter exactly how beautiful he was (in the event he had not realized this fact about himself.)  He thanked me for the compliment and we flirted all night.  Oh, I forgot to mention that this was a special dinner and anniversary Mr. B and I were celebrating.  Oops.

Then, there was the time at a gay bar in Provincetown when my new buddy, Madonna The Transvestite, introduced herself to me and told me how much he/she loved me and wanted to party with me, that is, until she looked down at my feet and saw that I was wearing Crocs.  The look of horror in her face said it all.  She informed me that we could not be friends after all because she did not “do” Crocs and was clearly appalled.  She did have a point.

Dancing to my favorite song, Brick House inside an elevator with a hilarious gay guy I had recently met is also up there as one of my most memorable gay-men experiences.  

The new memory to add to my gay-men collection happened a couple of days ago while on vacation with family, including M & G.  It was the last night of vacation and there were only four of us left at the house.  M & G had made reservations at a fabulous restaurant they had been to before.  This was a new quaint farm to table restaurant only serving two seatings.  One at 5:30 and one at 8pm.  We arrived right at 8:00 and were given complimentary Prosecco as we took our seats.  

Every seat was filled including a large table that seated a group of about 14 men.  My ears perked up as I listened to them talk.  As we ate our seven exquisite courses each paired with the right wines, I had to visit the ladies’ room.  Low and behold, can you believe that I had to walk past the table of gay men to use the facilities?  On my way back I stopped at the table and commented on their good looks and fun gathering.  That was it.  It was love at first sight (with all of them) and I instantly became their bff.  They greeted me, serenaded me and took selfies with me.  Mr. B came to my rescue ( though I didn’t really need rescuing) and he was also given a warm welcome followed by some…catcalling.  Oh, they LOVED Mr. B and he was a great sport about it all.  By the end of the night, we all were hugging, kissing and taking more pictures together.   Another wonderful evening with M & G and the other gay men.

As an aside, I also love gay women and have my share of fun stories with them, but today is all about the men.  In particular M & G whom I absolutely adore.  

As new laws are passed and walls are torn down along the journey to a more loving and accepting society, what really matters is that we love the person for who they are, regardless of their gender or sexual orientation.   I am blessed to have met wonderful people along this journey and am a better person because of it.

Do you have a gay bff?