NO is a complete sentence !!!

Who really has our best interest in mind ? Our parents, our family, our husbands, or our wives ?

It has been said that NO is a complete sentence.

If you have heard these words spoken, you know who I got them from.
She is very famous.

As children, our parents are supposed to do the right thing and keep us safe, to keep us from personal harm, and from making mistakes. When my parents said the word NO, it came with usual violence that followed.

I reflect that as a boy, listening to my parents talk among their friends, I learned a great deal about what was coming. The abuse heaped on me was high, and that usually coincided with something I heard them say.

I knew right from wrong. Obviously. Disobedience was usually met with abuse, from both my father and my mother. Alcoholism was the fuel.

I’ve often said that, and I repeated this story earlier tonight, with one of my guys, that as a teen ager, I was an upstanding citizen, employee and friend.

I had the right friends, I had the right jobs. But that all changed when you introduced alcohol into my life. Then, everything went out the window.

I forgot …

How many of us forget things when we drink ?

Alcoholism followed me out into the world, and was waiting to take me down, on the first occasion I walked into a club and drank. Coming out, as I did, IN a club, with the people I wanted around me, with the right music, and experience, made that night epic. And it was.

Nobody was there to say NO. Never, ever.

From twenty one, until I hit twenty five, No was not part of my lexicon.

Until the night I walked into that bar, unawares of who was watching me then. I got my drink, took a stool, and sat down, surveying the environs of that little hole in the wall. It was definitely rough and tumble. And I was definitely looking for rough and tumble.

Then Todd stepped out of the shadows and made his entrance, said hello and changed the course of my life. I’ve said before that encountering Todd, in my memory, was akin to meeting Almighty God, Incarnate.

Because in time, I would seriously need God.

Todd knew I was looking for trouble, and in one cursory inspection of me, inside and out, he figuratively said the word NO.

That was the first time I reflect that thought, here. I’ve never said that before and had not thought of it before.

I got my way into his employ.

My drinking followed.

After a crash and burn suicide experience, and trying to drink myself dead, for the first time, both Todd and Bill, sat me down and tried to get me some much needed help. Suicide survivors meetings, will make anyone drink more than they had originally started with.

A year later … On July 8th 1994, the world caved in on me and I was diagnosed with AIDS. Told to go home, kiss my ass goodbye, and wait to die.

I called Todd home from Provincetown and I told him I was gonna die.

He said and I quote …. NOT ON MY WATCH !!!

Over the next 46 days, I attempted to kill myself.

On the 46th night, drunken and in a coma in a club parking lot, Todd appeared with my friend Danny. That night, Todd definitely said the word

NO !

“This has got to stop. And I am going to make it stop, if it kills me in the attempt.”

As a young gay boy, nobody had ever said the word no to me. I could command, just about anything. Alcohol, Drugs, Sex …

Nobody ever denied me my pleasure, because, I was young, tanned and good looking.

Give someone AIDS, and UGLY goes deep to the bone.

You don’t know what it is like to go from Hero to Zero in twenty four hours flat. To have your family, your friends, and your boyfriend, go running for the hills, never to return, or support you.

I was alone. But was I really alone ? NO

Todd was the only human concerned with keeping me alive. I said this earlier tonight, He could have chosen anyone else in that bar, to save. He chose me. Don’t ask me why, but he chose me.

If I had to hazard a guess, I would call that Divine Intervention.

These stories are all stacked in my PAGES —> over there.

The discussion of the word NO has been on going for the last month, or short a month by a few days.

Todd knew what I needed. He was the only man on earth who knew that kind of information. The day he told me that I could, and should trust him, I knew I could trust him. Implicitly.

He never spoke a cross word to me. He got angry for sure, many times because in the beginning I was willful, arrogant, and stupid.

I learned quickly, that if he looked at me directly, and I saw how either BLUE or GREY his eyes were, told me all I needed to know, without a word spoken between us.

I told my friend tonight that NO is a complete sentence.

We are lucky in this life to be able to count, just ONE other person, in our life, the one who has our best interest in mind. Today, I am that one person for a few people. As is my husband for me.

In reality, my husband does not hold a candle to Todd. They are completely different people. Todd’s role in my life was EPIC. And I will never see that kind of EPIC again.

Many nights, Todd said NO to me for one reason or another. And over time I trusted everything he said to me, as if it was God speaking wisdom, because if you look at me today, and wonder why I am still alive?

There are only two possible answers: Todd read God.

I knew that obedience was key. I learned that early on. In our dynamic leather relationship, I was obedient to one man, Todd.

He kept me safe from myself. He kept me safe from everybody else. I was on a very short leash, so to speak, AND I was sober too. Or getting sober.

The Fidelious Charm he erected over the bar worked its magic.

I spent many, many hours, inside that charm filled space. It became the proving grounds for life lessons, love lessons, and survival lessons.

All that Todd was and is today, is deep within me. Every word spoken, every lesson he taught me, every ounce of love he had for me too. I don’t need anyone’s approval. I can even pat myself on the back if need be.

I don’t need anyone to do that for me today.

Confidence, Humility, Compassion, Love …

The day I said goodbye to Todd, he said these words to me ..

If you do one thing, in this life, you will help another human being the way I helped you. You must carry forwards good fortune and love. Because if you don’t, I was a waste of time.

Todd, for sure, was NO waste of time, or effort, on his part.

It has been many years since the last time I spoke to Todd, but I have. I don’t have his number any longer, because it is filed on an old hard drive that is sitting in a box, in my bedroom.

You never know when GOD is going to step out of heaven and grace your life. Will you know it when it happens?

We are connected to all that is, by the particles that make us human. Those biological building blocks that began the universe UP THERE !!!

A little bit of the universe is found within each of us. Deep within the make up of our bodies. The universe, UP THERE, is filled with the building blocks of life, OUT THERE. It seeded the earth and human came to be.

So that little piece in us, is directly connected to the whole of the universe. We are connected, by invisible umbilical to the universe Out There.

The universe is always listening. For we are connected to it temporally.

The universe knows what we need before we think it. But the universe respects our free will, it never imposes itself on us. But gradually entices us with breadcrumbs, and Angelic, and Godly counsel.

We should be so blessed to recognize God when He shows up.

I know God. I’ve met Him, in the flesh. He spoke to me, He cared for me and kept me alive, to do, this … To talk about Him and what he means to me, to certain people in my circle.

I’m still alive. There is no question God had something to do with it. However, in the thick of dying, I never thought about God, I thought about Todd. Because it was Todd, who had my best interest at heart.

And I would love to think, if he met me in the flesh today, he would be pleased with the man I became.

There is a God, and I am not God, and my navel is not the center of the universe.

If you don’t have humility for the simplicity of life, you loose…


Violence in Sacred Spaces

Al Noor Mosque Christchurch New Zealand

I’ve waited for the dust to settle to speak about recent events. Violence in Sacred Spaces is not an issue that happens in other places, other countries, other provinces, other cities.

Here in Quebec, Alexandre Bissonette walked into a mosque in Quebec City and killed six worshipers, praying in their sacred space. The Muslim community is still reeling from that violence, because it happened again.

This time, New Zealand was the country where peaceful men and women lived, because they felt safe, and accepted by the people of Christchurch, a little over a week ago, a man walked into Al Noor mosque, and a second mosque and killed fifty people and injured many more.

I think to myself, violence in sacred spaces is not new. Dylan Roof walked into a Christian church and killed indiscriminately.

I’m not sure where the notion of killing people in sacred spaces began, I cannot recall, by my memory, where this line of attack was delivered to the masses, that killing of religious people was an acceptable choice.

TODAY … here in Montreal, in one of the most hallowed religious churches in Montreal, St. Joseph’s Oratory, on Mount Royal, a priest was in the middle of saying mass in the main sacred space, where worshipers gather from all over the world, and from our own community, a man walked up to him, during the commission of saying mass, and stabbed the priest in broad daylight, in front of a church full of innocent people, and tried to kill him.

Thankfully, the video shows, how people in the church jumped in to part the two men, and to save the priest from death … The elderly priest was rushed to the Montreal General Hospital, with non-life threatening stab wounds. He was later released, is in good shape, save a little beaten up by the experience, saying … He wants to go back to work, in a place of peace.

I was raised in the church. I served Holy Mother church for many years, and I thought serving the church as a vocation was going to be my lot in life, but God, had other plans. I know today, through considerable reflection about God, He knew the location was not right, nor were the people in that place. I know this today.

Today I serve my God, in many capacities, through the rooms of recovery, and with my friends and fellows. This is the life I always wanted, but it took a turn down a rabbit hole to get here.

I studied Religion and Theology in University and I have two sacred pieces of paper, who attest to my knowledge and my educational abilities.

I just don’t understand what drives people to walk into a sacred space and kill people. I mean really, you could choose any location to do that kind of murder. I believe it is some kind of shock factor that people get a rise out of killing in a church or a mosque, as if to say,

NONE OF YOU ARE SAFE, ANYWHERE !!!

That is just sick and demented.

It saddens me every time we hit this act of terror, where ever it may happen. The battle of the religious groups is historical. It goes back millennia. I mean the world began with conquest and religious strife.

The world moved from rags to riches, because men with religious leanings, got on a boat and traversed the oceans, only to find, indigenous peoples, living their lives, as they did, only to arrive, approach, and kill. So that they could plunder their riches to fill their coffers back at home, and to become filthy rich.

Some by sword, Some by war, and for the most part, by disease.

Indigenous communities all over the world, a millennia ago, were decimated by disease, brought to the new world by the conquerors of Holy Mother Church. Millions of people died, in the first scourges of religious warfare of sacred spaces.

In Europe, the battle between the three monotheistic religions, they being Christianity, Islam and Judaism, built, lived, fought and died, to bring their superior religion to an area, and conquer people into submission.

Killing in Sacred Spaces is not a new proposal.

There is really nothing we can say, as a whole that will make a hill of beans difference, because governments sit on their hands when it comes to logical process of stopping mass killings.

But New Zealand has done something the world over were gobsmacked by. In SIX DAYS, out from the double mosque killing, New Zealand, passed a common sense gun control measure, banning military type guns from New Zealand.

SIX DAYS … Imagine what the rest of the world could do in six days, if we had the resolve and the backing of governmental parties, if we ourselves could make this kind of resolution, and make it stick.

SIX DAYS !!!

We mourn the loss of our brothers and sisters in other places. We pray for them and their communities and their families.

If we were able to say, Never Again, and make it stick we would. But that is just not possible, because crazy, gun nuts, fucked up people are still out there. They just need the right dog whistle blown in their ears, and they too, may one day, commit another heinous act of terrorism.

Killing has to STOP.

We must act, NOW.

Let us pray for our departed brothers and sisters.


Death toll rises to 15 in Saskatchewan bus crash

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CTVNews.ca Staff
Published Saturday, April 7, 2018 7:24AM EDT
Last Updated Saturday, April 7, 2018 10:39PM EDT

Fifteen people are dead and 14 are injured after a bus carrying a junior hockey team to a playoff game in Saskatchewan collided with a transport truck on a rural highway, according to RCMP.

Eight of the dead have now been identified as Humboldt Broncos head coach Darcy Haugan, captain Logan Schatz, 20, and players Adam Herold, 16, Logan Hunter, 18, Jaxon Joseph, 20, Stephen Wack, 21, and Logan Boulet, 21. Play-by-play radio announcer Tyler Bieber, who was travelling with the team, has also been confirmed dead.

The crash occurred on Highway 35 near Tisdale, more than 200 kilometres northeast of Saskatoon, late Friday afternoon. The Broncos were about 20 minutes away from their destination at the time of the crash.

The team’s bus was T-boned by a transport truck, according to the president of the Nipawin Hawks, which was scheduled to play the Broncos in Game 5 of a semi-final Friday night. There were 29 people, including the driver, on board the bus at the time of the collision, RCMP said in a release. All of the injured were rushed to hospitals in Saskatoon.

The truck’s driver was uninjured in the crash and was released after being questioned by police, Saskatchewan RCMP Assistant Commissioner Curtis Zablocki said. The driver is being provided with mental health and wellness assistance.

“It’s too early to comment on the cause of the collision,” Zablocki said.

Ryan Straschnitzki, 18, suffered a broken back, his mother told CTV News Channel on Saturday.

“He apparently can’t feel his lower extremities,” Michelle Straschnitzki said. “I wish we had a time machine and could go back 24 hours.”

According to RCMP, the bus was travelling northbound on Highway 35 when it collided with the truck approximately 30 kilometres north of the small town of Tisdale. The truck had been travelling westbound on Highway 335.

Environment Canada data shows that it was a clear but cold at the time of the accident. There are stop signs with flashing lights for both westbound and eastbound traffic on Highway 335 where it meets Highway 35.

Images from the scene show both vehicles partially overturned with the truck’s cargo littered across a snowy field. The front end of the team’s bus appears to be completely shorn off.

The team is part of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL), which is open to players aged 16 to 20. Thirteen of the Humboldt Broncos players are from Saskatchewan, 10 are from Alberta, and one is from Manitoba.

“The worst nightmare has happened,” the league’s president, Bill Chow, told reporters while choking back tears during a press conference Saturday afternoon. “Our condolences to everybody involved, our condolences to the families, our condolences to the injured.”

The Humboldt Broncos released a statement late Friday night announcing the news on its website.

“Our thoughts and prayers are extended to the families of our staff and athletes as well as to all who have been impacted by this horrible tragedy. Our Broncos family is in shock as we try to come to grips with our incredible loss,” Broncos President Kevin Garinger said in the release.

Matthew Gourlie, a sports writer with the DUBNetwork, told CTV News Channel that the team is a source of pride in the tight-knit community.

“Some kids dream of playing in the NHL. But if you are from Humboldt, you dream first of becoming a Humboldt Bronco,” he said. “I can’t imagine what the community is going through.”

“It has hit us hard,” Humboldt Mayor Rob Muench told The Canadian Press Saturday morning from the town’s Elger Petersen Arena while wearing the team’s jersey. “We are a small community by most standards but the hockey team has always been a big part of our community.”

A vigil has been planned for Sunday at the arena, where counsellors are currently meeting with the devastated community. The Broncos were scheduled to play the Hawks there for Game 6 of their semi-final series Sunday.

A GoFundMe campaign for the team has been set up and has already raised more than $2.5 million as of Saturday night. In Saskatoon, those eager to donate blood were met with a three-hour line as the community rallied around the young athletes.

In a statement on Twitter, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said, “I cannot imagine what these parents are going through, and my heart goes out to everyone affected by this terrible tragedy, in the Humboldt community and beyond.”

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale called the collision “truly devastating” and offered condolences to family and friends of the victims.

“First responders are on the scene doing everything possible to help. Love + prayers to all,” Goodale said on Twitter.

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe said he found the news “difficult to comprehend.”

“To the City of Humboldt, the entire Broncos organization, and the families impacted by this tragedy, please know you are in Saskatchewan’s hearts,” Moe said in a Facebook statement.

“From a grieving province, thank you to every one of the first responders and medical professionals for your courageous response under the most difficult circumstances imaginable.”

With files from The Canadian Press

Thursday: Every Day, a Different Emotion

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Several days have passed since my father died. Two days ago, the eight page letter I sent my brother, was received. And he texted me to tell me that he got my letter, and that I should stop spending money trying to reach him. He does not want to hear from me and that he then tossed the letter in the trash, UNREAD.

I spoke to my aunt that evening and she believes in high numbers that my brother would NOT have trashed that letter without at least reading, in her vernacular “What that fucker had to say…” Curiosity would have gotten the best of him.

My husband has been less than helpful and none too compassionate. He doesn’t want to hear anything any more, he’s tired of listening to me talk to my friends. He told me that I just need to leave my brother alone. Just fucking shut up already.

I’m at a loss emotionally. And every day it is something different. Emotions come and tears fall from my eyes, whenever I talk to my friends. And I can’t help it.

There is a young lady, who is sticking close to the rooms, having survived her first holiday sober, and she is sticking close. Tonight, on my way out of the church she stopped me, and offered her condolences again, and she hugged me and smiled.

I said to her that, “we are both sober tonight, and that’s all that matters.” She agreed with me. I worked very hard at keeping her in the room over the holiday. I worked hard to keep all of our kids, in the room, Sober. That was a success.

My young lady in her own way, gave it back in a simple hug.

I don’t understand many things. I don’t understand what makes people sick, what makes them bitter and what makes them so crazy that they can fuck off and abandon their children and go to their graves with corrosive hatred coursing through their veins.

I don’t understand how a couple can go from the altar professing all those virtues and platitudes of being married, to ending up in separate hospitals, sick, not talking to each other, and at some point in time, fuck off on their vows, leaving my father in a hospice, ALONE to die ALONE.

And that man, who hated me so hard, and in that hatred took two hostages. My mother and my brother. I was the one who got away, and God damned me that I chose to get away and get a life and live that life fully.

I don’t understand how blood of my blood and body of my body, turned away from me and went to his grave never knowing the man I became and never allowing me the privilege of showing him just how well I grew up.

I am nothing like him. I will never be like him ever.

And on the way home I saw Juan and Nadia, coming home from a wedding appointment, and during our conversation I let loose some of my pain, telling them the truth and what I know and what I hope they NEVER do to each other, or their children one day.

I am emotional. I am sad. Angry in a way, and thinking over dinner, stewing …

It was not like anyone in my family to ask … Well, how do you feel ? Nobody seemed to care. Nobody came to ask, or inquire. In all the years after I got sick, they came to visit, together TWICE. In twenty-five years. My father was more forthright in his visits. Because every time he came to visit, he had an agenda.

He wanted to make sure I would die, and sooner than later. His only goal in his visits was to impress on me how important it was to him that I just DIE ALREADY.

My mother never said that to me, but they were a sick couple and whatever line my father took, she was in on the deal, because she married him.

They made a mockery of marriage. Truly, fifty years on, I know what that marriage looked like at every stage of the game. I know every secret they kept, every lie that they told. And those secrets and lies destroyed the fabric of this family.

Knowing the truth afforded me certain abilities that my brother did not have. The truth afforded me certain freedoms that my brother had not. And choosing to use those lies to my advantage, left me at a Disadvantage, because the nexus of Red Blooded American, die for your country, its my way or the highway, was just blown out of the water, and made me persona non-Grata to my parents.

I pissed them off. Resentments that already existed against me, were just made deeper and wider.

And now my father went to his grave, hating me as hard as he did.

And I will never know what was going on in his head before he died, because my mother’s curse that if one or both of them got sick or died, that nobody would call me, well she got what she wanted, that evil CUNT.

And my brother is just as sick as she is, because he hates me as hard as they hate me.

Was it because I left and left him there in that mess ?

Was it because I dishonored my father by choosing the life that I chose to live ?

That I was Gay, that I live with AIDS, that I live in Canada ?

Is he angry or jealous, or does he ever wonder who I am, and why I made the decisions I made? If he read that letter, he knows now.

All I can do now, is feel my feelings, write than down and wait him out.

Eventually that CUNT is going to die, hopefully sooner than later. She doesn’t want me, and hasn’t wanted me for a lifetime. She turned her love of her first-born child into loving a man who taught her to hate her own son.

Hopefully when she spits her last breath, she will remember who I am, and beg God for forgiveness.

Sometimes I wish I had the money and the will to do stupid things, just to prove a point. And thank God I don’t have that privilege. Because I’d seriously fuck some people up.

Because they hate me so hard, for no Godly reason, but for pure hatred.

God forgive me.

Linkin Park Loss: Chester Bennington is dead … Oh My Freaking God !!!

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I cannot begin to tell you what Chester’s death means to my life. Linkin Park has been the sound track of my life for more than a decade. I have every album on my phone. I listen to them constantly. Chester is my voice of rage, anger and angst.

I love this band. I love Chester Bennington more than any other artist on my playlist. This is a HUGE loss for the music industry and his band. It is a HUGE, SAD, loss for me. They were supposed to play here this summer.

There will NEVER be another Chester Bennington.

Nobody comes close to the artistry and voice that Chester had. He was unique and totally and completely a fine artist and singer.

I will miss you terribly Chester. May God Bless you and Keep you forever.

Goodbye Chester …

My heart is broken into pieces.

**** **** ****

Linkin Park lead singer Chester Bennington has died aged 41, LA County Coroner says.

The coroner said Bennington apparently hanged himself. His body was found at a private home in the county at 09:00 local time (17:00 GMT) on Thursday.

Bennington was said to be close to Soundgarden vocalist Chris Cornell, who took his own life in May.

Formed in 1996, Linkin Park has sold more than 70 million albums worldwide and has two Grammy Awards.

The band had a string of hits including Faint, In The End and Crawling, and collaborated with the rapper Jay-Z.

Its album Meteora topped the Billboard 200 chart in 2003 and is regarded as one of the biggest indie rock records of all time.

Bennington leaves a wife, and six children from two marriages.

He is said to have struggled for years with alcohol and drug abuse, and has talked in the past about suicide as a result of being a victim of abuse as a child.

Tuesday: Sorrow in Manchester

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Last night, as I arrived at home, I learned of the great tragedy that struck the city of Manchester. The tragedy of terrorism is abhorrent, when it is visited upon defenseless young people, the tragedy is only magnified times ten.

It has been said that Terrorism’s greatest effect is when it is visited upon young people. And we have seen this kind of tragedy before, namely in Orlando last Summer, and many locations in Europe and beyond.

It pains me greatly, when the victims of such tragedy is visited upon young people, because, in that actions an entire generation of bright minds and souls are snuffed out indiscriminately.

There are no words I can speak, that will console or make this better, other to say that my heart is broken, once again.

The loss of ANY life is devastating. The loss of young life is unconscionable.

Eternal rest, to those young people, and may perpetual light shine upon them.

My heart is broken and we are all shattered over this senseless crime of terror.