A day for reflection.

photo-1My ex-husband and I first met Jim and Joe (not their real names) at least twenty-five years ago.  Happily, they have continued to include me in their lives by inviting me to their parties and life celebrations.

Very few of the people I met through or with D have kept me on their social lists.  That includes family.  I have come to understand it isn’t that most of them are cold or uncaring; they simply don’t know how to be inclusive in situations that they fear (real or imagined) may get a little “sticky.”  My fiery temper during our separation and divorce didn’t help.

But this post is not about me, it’s about the remarkable and always inclusive Jim and Joe.

Since gay marriage is still not legal in North Carolina, J and J went to New York a while back and tied the knot after almost thirty-five years together.  Legal or not, they’ve been married all those years.  They never needed a piece of paper for those of us who have loved them and recognized their commitment to each other.  Yet I find myself feeling joyful on their behalf now that they have taken this big step which wasn’t available to them before.

I was not surprised when I received this most recent invitation from J and J.  I had attended their “twenty-five-years-together anniversary.”  But I felt a warm glow when I saw the announcement that they had wed.  And I felt extraordinarily happy that I was considered one of many friends with whom they wanted to share their good news.

At three o’clock on a beautiful autumn day, surrounded by family and friends, J and J had a ceremony on the front steps of their lovely home.  We friends gathered on the lawn in front and celebrated with them.  There were chairs for those who can no longer stand.  A very eloquent gentleman made comments and then J and J reconfirmed their vows of commitment, each in his own words.  We cheered!

As I drove home, I noticed dark clouds gathering on the horizon and the wind was tossing yellow leaves into a whirling dervish dance.  As I drove through one leafy frenzy after another and another, I thought of the many frantic dances my friends Jim and Joe have had to perform as they were growing up feeling different.  As they met with intolerance at every turn.  As they quietly accepted that they had none of the rights that other committed couples shared. I wondered if they did the same dance over and over for each situation they encountered, or did they vary the steps sometimes.

I keep coming back to the last statement “the eloquent gentleman” made about J and J.  He said, “Jim and Joe have taught us all how to live our lives.”  As I shout “Amen” to that, I realize the answer to my pondering in the last paragraph.  Sometimes these wonderful human beings danced a waltz.  Some days they did the twist.  There must have been days when the hokie pokie seemed appropriate.

Now that I think about it, I doubt their dances were ever frenzied.  And the type of dance is irrelevant.  Whatever the dance, they did it together and with purpose.

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23 thoughts on “A day for reflection.

  1. What a wonderful heart-warming post. It amazes me how ‘society’ feels they have the right to judge. How fantastic they’ve come through the dance of intolerance to the dance of acceptance.

    The only person qualified to judge you is you! “Society” would do well to realise that!!

    xxxx

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    • Hi Caroline. I love your last sentence, and agree wholeheartedly. I think Jim and Joe learned a long time ago to ignore what others thought of them.

      As always I’m happy to hear from you. I hope all’s well.

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  2. Isn’t that beautiful. I click on your name in my Blogroll more in hope than anything, but hey presto, there is a new post from you, and what a beautiful life affirming and heart warming post it is. When you do not write, my world is a little smaller, because your perspective is always enriching, and this post proves that point most eloquently

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    • Thank you, Elizabeth. These two guys have a calming effect on me. To you and to Brenda above: I was thinking today that if I had a teacher she would be telling me I’m spending too much time on extra-curricular activities and neglecting my homework. I’m trying to get out of writing desert and back to writing both on my blog and with comments on other blogs.

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  3. How lovely are your thoughts. Thank you for sharing and for having your beautiful nonjudgmental personality. Someone very close to me is having a gay wedding in Texas next week, so I understand your feelings and YOUR inclusiveness. So happy to see you writing again – we have sorely missed you. (If you don’t feel like writing, just type in some x’s and o’s and I’ll be happy just to hear from you.) 🙂

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  4. I am so glad to see a post from you, Pat. You have been missed!! Your story is a lovely one. Your comment on inclusion strikes a sensitive cord in me. With the holidays coming I always experience discomfort over all that goes into deciding who is spending what with whom!!!! It is hard on every family member. Sometimes it might be an “over-inclusion” , like for M and M, who go to two Thanksgiving dinners in a row. Other times it is observing the difficulty for those who try to choose without hurting anyone. Wish there could just be one big party!!

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    • Hi Kathy. I’m happy to hear from you. Someone asked me the other day if I were still writing. I told him I’d been in writing desert but that I planned to get back to it because I still have some things I’d like to say. 🙂 I hope they will be worth saying.

      I understand perfectly about “one big party.” One big party and we’re all happy to be there. I would love that. I’m having Thanksgiving at my house this year. Wish me luck. It’ll be quite a crowd. Thank goodness everyone brings something.

      Take care. I hope all are well.

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  5. There are so many truly committed gay couples, it’s not fair to deny them the legal rights of marr. ied spouses. I’m pleased for you that they have the generosity of spirit to include you in their circle of freinds and that you were able to celebrate with them. Long may their dance continue.

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