Courtesy: Daniel Pb Jars
The weather outside is not what we all want, but Mother Nature hasn’t decided to let it snow just yet. We have been above normal across the board for a number of days in a row. The next seven days doesn’t look ripe for snow either, at this point.
My step mother died yesterday. And she was the closest I had to a mother after my own mother walked out on me. For many years after I came out, she was a source of support and love.
It is bittersweet, and I am not sure where I am on the feelings meter.
When we made our final move to the last family home that my family would share, until I moved out, my parents were introduced to two families. It was during this time, that Nancy came into my life.
I call her step mother, but she never was married to my father.
At the time, there were three families that rotated events, holidays and dinner parties. Of the three families, Nancy’s family was the most well off, financially.
From the time I was in sixth grade, through high school and into college, we grew up in each others houses. And Nancy and Fred, hosted the biggest and most wealthiest dinner parties that I had ever attended.
My parents could never compete. Nancy also introduced us to many different couples, gay and straight. It was in Nancy’s home, over dinner that I met the gay men who would be instrumental in helping me into gay life and out of the closet.
My father hated the gays, vehemently. When ever dinner was at Nancy’s, my father’s drunkenness and violence would spike. I had relationships with these gay men for a long time, before I moved out, and my father hated that fact. My father and I never had a sit down conversation after he realized that I might be “queer.”
His goal was to beat the gay out of me at any cost.
Not having contact with my family of origin, puts me in an odd place, because I am not sure what rights I have to my own feelings.
But I am sad, at Nancy’s passing. Because this marks the end of an era, where friends of mine have lost both parents. I have no idea of the status of my family of origin.
At Fred and Nancy’s, we learned the fine art of dining. We grew up moving from the kids table in the breakfast nook, to finding our own chairs at the adult table, when we graduated into that portion of our lives. Fine dining is an art. And it was “fine dining.”
This was also the period of time, when drinking fine wine, liquor and champagne was standard fare. Whenever the dinner party coincided with a holiday, alcohol was the focus. Especially on New Years Eve and Christmas.
This period of time was the best time of my life, and the worst time of my life. My father provided for everything we might want or need, but in the same breath, he was violent to his bitter core as well.
The only period of time that I categorize as the very best of times and the very worst of times, was the two years following my diagnosis and death march. I would go back there in a New York Minute if it was possible.
Nancy introduced me to very influential men and women. And my father was terribly jealous of that. Nancy, was a very important mother/friend/mentor/figure in my life.
The last time we saw Nancy was on our Honeymoon in 2004. When we flew to New Orleans for a cruise to Mexico, where we surprised her being on the same ship together for that week.
I’m nor sure she knew who we were, it was an odd time for her and for us. But it was time we took to spend with her in any case.
In the past week, she had gotten very ill, with kidney failure and vascular disease, and after attempts were made to save her life, in the end it wasn’t enough. Once the organs go, it is forgone that death was imminent.
I mourn her passing. It saddens me in a certain way.
She was an integral part of my youth and she cared about me as well.
Eternal rest grant her and may perpetual light shine upon her.