Those of you who keep up with me on Facebook know from my posts over the last couple of weeks that I just returned from visiting my oldest son and his precious family in Canada. And those of you who don't keep up with me on the mighty book of faces, I suppose that now you know as well. Spending an extended time with my two young granddaughters served to reinforce a mysterious truth I came to know the moment I held each of them in my arms for the first time. I deem that truth that swept through my heart on those life-altering days mysterious because there is simply no way I can begin to adequately give description to the depth or scope of the instantaneous, overwhelmingly magical love I felt, and continue to feel, for my two amazing and wonderful little Canadians.
Though I always enjoy every minute I get to spend with my grandgals, this trip was extra special to me for reasons I will probably never share. I will say, however, that should my heart one day tell me I can return to blogging, my recent trip most definitely provided me with much fodder for future posts. I mean seriously ... try to imagine the plethora of ideas that raced through my mind when my little Amelie asked with the utmost sincerity that only a 3-year-old can have, "Ghee, why do you have armpits?" One of my favorite things about my yearly excursions to the Great White North is that not one of them is ever the same. Each journey provides me with the opportunity to experience life in a different way than I normally do. Perhaps it's because I'm better able to tune out the noise of daily life when I'm away that helps me to be more open to learning important lessons I've somehow managed to keep at bay or accepting certain truths I've tried desperately to ignore.
Such was the case last week as I lunched at an outdoor cafe with Matt, Becca, Coraline and Amelie following an outing to a kids' puppet show at the annual Fringe Festival. The girls were growing restless as we waited for our food to arrive, so Becca suggested we play a game called "What's Missing?" Since I'd never played the game before, Coraline quickly schooled me on the rules regarding what I needed to do, and more important, what I needed to never ever do, should I desire to win the game. In a nutshell, one player looks at an arrangement of items on the table and tries to memorize what's there. Said player then closes his or her eyes while another player removes at least one of the items from the table. Points are won or lost based on the player's ability, or lack thereof as the case may be, to accurately determine what was removed from the original arrangement of items. My pride adamantly prohibits me from disclosing how poorly I performed in the game ... let's just leave it at I did not win and call it good.
As I was getting ready for bed that night, I finally admitted to myself that I was unable to convince the name of the game to vacate the spot in my mind which it had apparently decided to establish as its new place of residence. Try though I might that night, and all the subsequent days and nights since, I couldn't understand why trying to erase those words from my mind was proving to be an impossible feat. I spent more than a few hours attempting to uncover a reason for obvious refusal of the words to leave, and the harder I tried to find some sort of meaning or lesson or truth within them, the more they pounded within my brain. What's missing? What's missing? What's missing? It wasn't until last night as I was walking with Ollie that I finally understood ... those words were about today.
For those of you who've been writing to me over the last several weeks asking if there would be a post tonight, what is by now obviously missing is the traditional ... well, traditional for the past four years anyway ... joint post penned by myself and the two women who graciously agreed to help me mark the significance of what happened in a small conference room at my office on this date in 2012. I am truly humbled that so many of you remembered why the importance of today will remain seared into my mind forever, and I am deeply honored by your anticipation of the words that might be posted this evening. I am profoundly sorry for the disappointment you must assuredly be feeling now that you know my feeble words will be the only ones you'll be reading in tonight's post.
With the realization that the "What's missing?" words had lingered in my mind because of their meaning for me today came tears and I was, as I have been countless times before, thankful for the cover of darkness as Ollie and I quickly made our way home. Tonight, those words continue to thrash at my heart and hammer away at my soul, unyielding reminders of what once was. What's missing tonight is so much more than the collaborative words of three women marking the anniversary of the day I broke down and told the truth about my sexuality. What's missing is the feeling that I could somehow make a difference in the world. What's missing is a sense of connection and belonging. What's missing is being able to believe not only in the goodness of the hearts of others, but in the goodness of my own heart as well. What's missing is the security of having a safe place to be. What's missing is the peace of knowing that I'm worth the effort. What's missing is the contentment of equality. What's missing is so very much more than a joint blog post, my friends ... so very, very, very much more than a joint blog post.
I know some of you are thinking that tonight's post should have been one celebrating my momentous 5-year coming out anniversary and some of you are probably downright pissed that it isn't. Honestly, I had long envisioned a completely different kind of 5-year post to mark the day that completely changed the course of my life for all time. And in that regard, I'd like to leave you with a little kernel of truth to hang on to. It's important for me to accept and acknowledge what's missing, but in doing so, I am also keenly aware of what remains ... the love I have for my children and granddaughters and theirs for me in return ... the loyal and caring remnant of folks who, for reasons I will never be able to understand, continue to value and appreciate my presence in their lives ... the support and patient encouragement so freely given by all of you ... the snoring little wiener dog stretched across my lap.
So ... here's to five years. May you be kind to one another, friends, in all you say and do. May you mark the special days in each other's lives, and may you mark the not so special ones as well. May you love and cherish each and every precious person who joins you in your journey. May you just be you, awesome you.