Friday, June 30, 2006

Orgasms and Motorcycles

This post is going to ramble. I feel bear with me.

What a week I have had!

For openers, my basement got flooded due to all the rain we got this past week. It was the worst I've seen. Thirteen plus inches of 48 hours.... This was a flood of biblical proportions.

My carpet in the basement is ruined. Insurance won't cover any of it.... So, the carpet place is taking measurements on Monday.

My son the marine (MSM) is coming home tonight and spending some time with us. It will be nice to have him. So, I'm gonna be busy!

#1 and I have spent a lot of time bonding during this time of transition. It's interesting to hear her talk and to listen to her view point. She's a great kid and definitely one that is a plus to have in one's corner when the chips are down.

I am careful about what I say to her. Some opinions, ideas and observations I keep to myself. I find that I learn so very much if I just listen when she speaks. For instance:

She told me about Lovey's oldest sister, who is about a year or so younger than Lovey.

I've always viewed her as the Sister-In-Law from Hell. She's the authority on everything. She knows everything. She's our resident critic. Although she's never had any children of her own, she's the first to tell us what we're doing wrong in raising ours. When I had a dear friend help me with a wallpapering project, she was the first one in the door and pointed out a small flaw in an obscure corner. For purposes of this blog...and to maintain her privacy, I will say that her first name begins with the letter J. Further, to show just how seriously I've always taken J and her pronouncements, my kids and I have this little game we play.

A few years ago, the fad in Christian circles was the slogan WWJD. It stands for "What Would Jesus Do?" The kids and I hijacked the slogan and now, when we are in a dither, we say, "What Would "J" Do?" It gives us all a real chuckle. If only "J" knew! LOL!!

Well, as #1 and I were cleaning the basement, she tells me about J's latest pronouncement.

"Dad, 'J' told #2 and me about what the secret to a long and happy marriage is."

I thought, "Hmmmm...can't wait for this one."

"Orgasms," #1 intoned. "Is that true Dad?"

I couldn't believe my ears.

After I composed myself, my only response was, "Goodness.....God help them if their plumbing ever breaks down."

#1 and I fell out laughing.

#1 then grew serious again and said, "She also told Aunt M (Lovey's baby sister) that part of her problem was she hadn't had an orgasm in a long time. She could tell by looking at her!"

Wait! I'm getting a vision! J should get her own program on the Discovery Channel. It could come on between Sonya the animal psychic.....and the Dog Whisperer...what's his name. Her program could be called "I've Got An Orgasm!" or "What's My Orgasm?" or "The Orgasm is Right" or "The $10,000 Orgasm"......or, my favorite, "Who Wants to Have An Orgasm?" mind wandered.

"What did your Aunt M say?"

#1 looked at me and said, "She told J....'You're telling me! It's been ages!"

I offered no further comment. I had learned more than I ever wanted to know about those people.

Today, coming into the office I had a nice visit with my mother on my cellphone.

My mom has always been great to talk to. We talk about everything....and everybody. And, man, can we ever gossip about the relatives.... No topic is off limits.

Mom announced to me that Lovey had called her yesterday.

I nearly lost control of my car.

Why? Because in almost 25 years of marriage, Lovey never seemed to give a fig about my parents.

"She called to tell me that she had heard through the grapevine about my medical issues and wanted me to know that she was praying for me," Mom said.

I could tell that mother was moved beyond words.

"Has Lovey told you about the Harley yet?" Mom asked.

"Huh?" I said, nearly choking.

"Well, for goodness sakes don't say anything to anyone that I told you, but she says that she is seriously thinking about getting herself a Harley to run her errands around town," Mom continued. "She wants to save on gas."

Suddenly I had visions of Lovey, the new pastor in her conservative small town.....flying through the streets....her alb flapping in the wind.....helmet on her head.....goggles on her face.....Bible in her leather saddle to minister to the sick.....the shut in.....the downtrodden.

I haven't been so amused in over a year.

"Your secret is safe with me, Mom!"

Thursday, June 29, 2006

The Fog

Back in 1980, I saw that movie, "The Fog".

It was a thriller that had ghosts haunting this seaside town in California and they would strike out of the fog.

As I recall, you never could quite see the ghosts...other than the dark forms as outlined in the fog...or their hands grabbing for their victims from out of the fog...

Somehow, today, I feel like one of those victims.

The picture accompanying today's post, although from the recent remake of the old film, pretty much illustrates my fog.

My fog is my gayness....and the ghosts are my activities from the days when I was married....happily so..... 23.5 to be exact.

One of my ghosts is named adultery. I come from a very Christian background. The wedding vows are pretty straight forward...and in 1981 I believed them with all of my heart. I worked hard to keep my vows. Of course back then, I had been advised by my pastor...among others, that all I needed to set me on the right path was a "good woman." "A hot session in bed with her," said he, would totally change me.

It didn't.

It was very foolish to even believe such a thing. I probably needed to have had my head examined to ever think, that in spite of all that I had read....and all the stories I had heard at the time, that I, "Frank the Fag" could ever beat the odds and "change."

But that's probably fodder for another post on another day.

So, despite all my best efforts...I failed miserably at keeping those vows. And like a lot of other guys in my situation, I started playing.

Play, I did.

I won't go into all the gory details.

So, now, I feel like I have the scarlet "A" on my chest. This is all because I am human and I gave in....and then I told "Lovey" about it....all in the name of honesty.

I also apologized a number of times.

Not once did she tell me to quit.... or to "choose" between her and my gayness. She seemed to accept it with great grace. I truly loved her for it. (She later emailed my mom and said that she had encouraged me to be who I was -- in case you've forgotten...that would be "Frank, the Fag.")

But, she didn't fully accept it. It ate away at her, along with a lot of other issues.

Still I'm haunted by the ghosts of adultery from out of my fog.....

I'm sure there are others...

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Changes (A Breakthrough!)

I sense some subtle changes in the wind for me.

Yes, there has been a sense of profound loss now that "Lovey" is no longer in the picture. For example, every song I heard on the radio this morning coming into my office made me well up with tears. At one point they spilled over and trickled down my face.

Last night I heard her voice on the speakerphone and I felt very depressed.

BUT...I wouldn't go back to those married days for anything.

The disagreements....

The yelling....

The tears....

The control....

The knots in my stomach....

The gay thing was just a small portion of the problems that did our marriage in.

Two therapists said that I had all the classic traits of an abused spouse, my only difference was that my bruises were all emotional and internal that were derived from years and years of trying to keep her happy. I would have done anything to keep her from one of her outbursts....or one of her crying jags.....or one of her stomping fits. Everything was always about her.... Anything done around the house had to be done her way...or it was WRONG.

So I stopped.

(Even that got me into trouble....remember my talking about the arrival of the cocker spaniel.....the wooden spoons in the dishwasher.....the raised toilet seats....and how that was all a reflection of my disrespect for HER? I got to the point of not being able to remember all the different rules in my house.)

Now there have been subtle changes at my house.




Some laughter....

Some relaxation...

There've even been some impromptu late night visits to the movies with #1!


At bed time I sleep without the assistance of any medication.... Migraines haven't happened.... I seem to have more energy....more motivation to do stuff around my house.

I even organized the linen closet the way I wanted!

Still...those sad times come....I call them my speed bumps... However, I think they are from mourning the way I wished things had been -- not how they were in reality.

I think I am on my way (finally)!

A Note To Bea

Today, as I was reading the blogs that I keep tabs on, I came across the post by Bea. Perhaps its because I have been on edge all week....perhaps it's just because I'm becoming old and cranky....perhaps it's because I'm tired of Bible Thumpers who think they have all the answers....perhaps it's just because.

I read Bea's post..., whose husband's disclosure of his gayness to her has helped generate a ton of questions...and rocked her faith somewhat, and it made me want to jump on a soapbox. Her husband is a minister. As he has come out to her...she has joined legions of women like her in their own closets.

So, in response to her writings, I wrote the following comment on her recent post, GOING to heaven! or not?

I struggled many years trying to change and to conform to what I believed that God thought about my gayness. I went through all the change ministries. I was a member of Homosexuals Anonymous when they only had 12 steps (they are now at 14). I've prayed, fasted, cried, had demons cast out of me...considered suicide...only to finally sit back...take several deep breaths and listen to what God was saying to me.

In His still small voice, he said: "What if the way I have chosen for you is not what you have chosen for yourself? and, what if the way I have chosen for you is not what other would choose for you?"

I have never felt that God condemned me for being Gay. The only condemnation I have felt is from folks who have a pretty Pollyannaish view on life: black or white; either/or; yes/no.

Life is diverse....God made it that way. As you look around at the world you can see this concept in all aspects. Why should sexuality then be so limited?

So many times, I've looked back on my life and feel that the church....and people's matter how haywire....are sort of responsible for situations like mine and perhaps yours: my wife of 25 years is divorcing me.....

All this pain and suffering could have been avoided if gay people like me...and your husband could have not experienced the shame....the pressure.....the need to change -- to conform..... If only we could have been allowed to just "be".

It truly grieves me to see the Bible thumpers continuing the tradition.... Think of all the Eddy's and Frank's out there who are feeling the need to marry even now...because "that will change them"....or that they just need to get in bed with a hot woman and that will fix things....

And think of all the Bea's and Lovey's out there....who will learn in years to come....that it can't be fixed.

The pain and suffering continue...

Monday, June 26, 2006

One More Valley -- One More Hill

What a very busy weekend I have had!

Friday night I visited my gay married men's group meeting. I decided to go there since it has been ages since I was there. I needed to feel the camraderie....the closeness...the bonding of being with other gay males. Even though I got there kind of late, I got to listen to a lot of the discussion...and I even was able to put my two cents worth into the mix.

The place was packed with men of every shape, size and age. All of the stories were different, but still strangely the same. Each man travels his own path....on this journey. There is no one really right way.

I then went home....and got up early the next morning to travel to another town about 100 miles away to check out a cemetery. Since photography is my hobby...I really enjoy checking out the funerary art out at some cemeteries....and some of it is really striking. I love taking pictures of the more unique tombstones or monuments. I did this with a friend and spent some time talking to him about his issues. Again....very different...but still very much the same.

I returned home and crashed.

Then Sunday morning, I met another friend for lunch...and then it ws off to a gay choral concert.

This morning, I got up....and #1 announced that I needed to get ready...we were invited to breakfast at grandma's...with "Lovey." I tried to be as gracious as possible....I didn't want to go....I figured that the less I saw of Lovey, the better of I would be until I made it past the transition.

With #1's prodding...I went. It was okay....but I didn't linger long. #1 and I had tons to do. Later on in the afternoon Lovey called me on my tell me some things.... I almost seemed like old times. My heart jumped to hear her voice again.... She was asking my advice about cable modems....and other computer stuff. I told her what little bit I knew. Then she told me that she was getting ready to leave.....and that she had the cat......and that she would be back in the area at the end of July.

I could feel the tears beginning to well up in my eyes... And there I stood, with the middle of The Container Store. Number 1 asked me if I was okay...."what's wrong?" she asked.

"I want so bad to jump in and fix....take charge...." I said. "But I can't do that....not now... I just wish your mom hadn't called me."

#1 put her hand around me. "it's okay Dad."

Came back home to the empty house. Davy, the cocker spaniel was elated to see me.

Bed time....

Another new week...

The first new week in my brand new life.

Friday, June 23, 2006

To Begin Again

What do you do with a blank canvass when you have never painted before?

How do you begin a new life, when you feel that you made the old one such a mess?

How do you know where to start, when your life feels like it is in shambles?

How do you become a happy, well-adjusted gay man when you’re not feeling so happy and well-adjusted?

How do you succeed when you are so afraid of failure?

How do you look forward to the future, when you can’t begin to get over the past?

How do you live again when you feel so dead inside?

Thursday, June 22, 2006


Part of writing this blog was an agreement with myself to always be honest…warts and all. So, that’s the kind of post this entry is going to be. Honest. Brutally so.

I have now returned from my trip.

I spent 3 days at a resort, in the middle of the desert. It was so very quiet…I was able to spend some special alone time that I don’t’ get to do much of. It was good to just meditate…ponder my life….and to decompress….to wander the desert….to experience the heat….the desolation of it all.

I wish I could say that I was strong upon my return and glided happily through coming home to an empty house. But, I can’t.

When I awoke yesterday in New Mexico…a sense of dread began to gnaw at me. As I made my way to the airport…on the plane….during the layover…..on the next plane…it was like dark clouds gathering on the horizon…with occasional flickers of lightning and the sound of the distant rumbling of thunder.

The closer I got to my destination…the sadder I became. The closer those storm clouds became. The thunderheads grew.

I kept telling myself, “Frank, you can do this. It will be okay.”

We pulled into my driveway. There was my front door. My gut ached.

Time to face the demon…head-on.

#1 threw open the door and gave me a big hug of welcome….and Davy Dawg (my cocker spaniel) was glad to see me…his tail wagging feverishly with delight. And there I stood. In the middle of my empty house.

Waves of sadness began to overtake me and I could feel the sting of tears welling up in my eyes. I walked from room-to-room…looking….silently….. #1 was chirping on about her adventures while I was away to Zack. I didn’t hear a word they were saying.

Someone said something about a “new beginning…” But I was in another world…numb….overcome with emotion….with sadness…..and those old familiar feelings of failure. Of things that could have been….of things that never were…..of things never to be…..

Except for the few little piles of dirt and other debris from the movers, the rooms were stripped bare. It was overwhelming in a sense. I have to start all over. I have to begin things anew. New furniture……organizing….throwing away…..selling stuff I no longer want or need.

I ran the vacuum…..and swept away the debris. Things are looking a little better.

I’m tired. I sit down on the floor and slump against the wall.

“I’m afraid of the future,” I say aloud. I feel like I’m in my own private desert. My own private desolation….my own private heat.

#1 comes over and sits down next to me….as close as is humanly possible. She puts her head on my shoulder.

“I know Dad. I know.”

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


Well, today has finally arrived.

The day that I have been dreading.

The day I have been so afraid of.

Here in Albuquerque, New Mexico, a thousand or so miles away from's greeted with kind of a yawn. Yeah, I know what's happening. Am I bothered...? Not like I thought. I've thought about calling #1 to see how she is faring. But I know the answer to that. She wants her mom that we can get on with the business of life.

A friend is picking me up today to take me to see the sites in Santa Fe. I've never been there. I have my camera in hand....and so, I'm excited about doing something different.

So, I'm going to have FUN. It's time to enjoy my life...

This is the first day of the rest of my life.

I want it to be happy...and good....

Monday, June 19, 2006

Shadows of Sadness

One more day to go....and the day that I had so dreaded will be just a memory.

I'm writing this from my hotel room in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I should say that this isn't just some little simple hotel....or hotel room. This is a resort with everything you can imagine: horseback riding, swimming (3 pools), a variety of hot tubs, spa treatments, hiking trails...all in the middle of the desert, mountains in the distance....and did I say peaceful. Whew. I think when I need to get by myself, and meditate...or write....I think I'm going to blow the kids' inheritance and come here for a week.

Yesterday, after I landed, I got calls from all the kids to wish me a Happy Father's Day. The cards, as I said earlier, were spectacular in their own right, but, yet, to here their voices....well, it does a daddy good.

Yesterday was Lovey's final Sunday at our church. #1 told me all about it...and it appears that they gave her a fine send off. I found that as I sat down to breakfast alone afterwards, a shadow passed through my mind bringing with it pangs of sadness and guilt. Sadness for what could have been...what should have been.....and what it is now......and guilt for failing.

I know...I can chew me out for this one....and I probably deserve every bit of it. Still, this whole divorce thing has been the most difficult thing I have had to deal with EVER in my entire life.

After breakfast, I went on a four mile hike....and found myself on the banks of the Rio Grande. I remember learning about this river in the fourth grade....and it was how I pictured it -- a body of water, shallow...not very wide. I sat down....there...and as I watched the current...I thought about my life. I thought about all the good times....and the bad times. It's funny how when I think of the bad times, they all seem to be concentrated in the previous 12 months.

I have good days....I have bad days.... On the good days, I feel guilty about feeling so relieved that Lovey is out of my life.....on the bad days I find that I have guilt for the failure of my marriage. I just can't seem to win.

#1 had a moment of disappointment with Lovey this past week. She said that it really surprised and disappointed her...and made her sad in the process. She said that at bed time, Lovey came into where she was getting ready for bed and said, "Did you or your dad do something with my wedding ring?"

#1 was dumbfounded....she followed her mother into her the jewelry box....and there it was...where it had been all along. Lovey had just been overlooking it.

She didn't apologize to #1 or say anything further.

#1 grew silent as she told me about this.

I said, "I know how you feel...I've been accused of a lot of things by your mom over the past few months. Having that happen, I can understand why she would want to think that I did something to her wedding ring...but I don't understand why she would accuse you this way."

I hugged #1....and told her that I loved her.

I'll be very relieved to have Lovey gone from my that little exchanges like this don't happen.

I'm still sad...

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Father's Day 2006

Well, here it is, Father's Day...and I'm exhausted.

I spent all day yesterday doing a variety of tasks. I had to do some work at my office (budget season) because of being out for several days this week, I wanted to get some things done. Then #1 and I spent a lot of time organizing things so that my stuff wouldn't wind up in the new place with Lovey. (Lovey was working on her farewell sermon that she will be delivering this morning at church....and, darn, I have to miss it because I'm off on my adventure out West!)

Since today is Father's Day, and I won't be posting for a few days because of my trip, I thought I would share the cards that my daughters gave me. It makes me feel rather nice:

#1 gave me a card with dalmatians on the cover. It says: "It's Father's Day. Let the happy happen." She wrote: "Pop - I know it's not Pop's day yet, but this card reminded me of you. Listen to this message and perhpas it will come true. There is no one quite like you. I love you! Love, #1!" (She gave me several Father's Day cards a few days ago.)

She gave me another one on behalf of herself and #2, because she didn't know that #2 would send her own from Nashville. It says: "From the two of us with appreciation on Father's Day. This Father's Day wish comes to tell you that we really appreciate you and all the thoughtful things you do -- We hope you know how much you mean to us, not only on Father's Day but every day throughut the year." She wrote: "You have absolutely NO idea what it's like to have a father like you. It's amazing. A once in a lifetime (duh) -- I mean -- millennium sort of deal. We were lucky. Just talking with you brightens our day and fills us with peace and comfort. It's hard to explain. Kow that we love you so very much and wish you the very best Father's Day 2006. Love always, #1 and #2"

Then, from Nashville, #2 wrote: "Dad, I love you. Happy Father's Day." She wrote: "Dad, DON'T CRY!! I just want you to remembers today (and every day) just how much I love you and remember this especially when I call to talk about student loans. I ask you all the questions because I respect the knowledge and experience you have with so many things. I'm sorry I couldn't be there last weekend to celebrate with #2, but I'll be thinking of you this coming Sunday, so grateful to have a father like you!" #2

#1 also gave me the card from the dog addressed to "That Man": "From the Dog, wishing you a Father's Day filled with your favorite treats...but anything that falls on the floor is mine!" She wrote: "I love you even though you hog my bed....Love, Davy Dawg"

#1 finally gave me the card from the cat...also addressed "To That Man". The cat and I tolerate each other....and I'm glad it's moving along with Lovey. It says: "From the Cat. You tolerate me, I tolerate you. That's about it for the compliments. Have a good Father's Dy or whatever." She wrote: You know you'll miss me! Love, (...and tolerate_ Snoee....a.k.a. The Pisser."

So, as you can see, in light of the coming changes of this means so very much to still have the love of my children.

I love them more than words can say.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Life's Little Mysteries

We humans are complex beings.

Have you ever done something and when all is said and done you wonder why you did it?

I had such a moment in my life this morning.

I was getting ready to go to work, when there was a knock on my door. It was Lovey.
She wanted to know if I would be home sometime this evening. (Aren't I home every evening???) I said I would. She said that she had the final separation agreement. (I'm psychic. What did I tell you in an earlier post? She's only had it since October.)

I said that it would be fine to receive...and that I had to schedule an appointment with my lawyer to go over it to make sure things were okay. She nodded.

She then walked over to the bed and sat down.

She proceeded to share with me the fact that she had gotten ill at her church conference and wasn't able to celebrate her commissioning as she had originally planned. Her last day she had suffered from a "virus" and had been in her bed for the whole last half of the day.

Traveling home on Wednesday, she found out that she is allergic to Dairy Queen Blizzards. She broke out into hives...and was itching all over. (I think this is translated: STRESS.)

She then talked about how her neck hurt....her back hurt....and she was just so exhausted by all that she had to do. (She's miserably behind in her packing and the movers will be here early on Tuesday! Surprise....Surprise!)

I told her that I was going to be out of town Sunday Morning through Wednesday Afternoon. She was very mellow about this.

I went over to my dresser and picked up the Father's Day cards I had received and showed them to her.

She said, "Oh, how nice. We have such wonderful children."

Then, I did something I have no idea why I did it. I said, "Well, at least I did something right..." Tears started rolling down my cheeks.

I didn't break down....or sob....or run voice didn't break......or crack.....the tears just rolled down my face fairly substantially.

"You've done a lot of things right," she said, her voice breaking into a sob.

I went on about getting ready. I dabbed my eyes.

She then chattered on about other things.....tears running down her face. I didn't hear a word she said. I was on auto-pilot.

She then apologized, "I'm so tired....It makes me so emotional."

The real odd thing about this is that my feelings about June 20, 2006 have changed. They are not as I had expected. I thought I would feel overwhelming emotions of sadness....of failure.

These all appear to have melted away to a feeling of great anticipation...of relief....of peace.

Still, I'm not sure where all the tears came from this morning, or why my reservoir of tears seems to be just below the surface, ready to erupt at any moment.

Yes, we human beings are very complex.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Coming Out

I just came out to someone at my office.

It's not something I had planned to do. It just happened.

I have known this woman for many years here at the office. She's very matter of nonsense.....and she's a lesbian. She's out....she's proud.....and she's partnered....very happily.

She had come to see me about a business matter.

About six months ago she had caught me in our cafeteria where I had taken refuge from my drama for a cup of coffee. It was not a good time. She could see it written all over my face.

I told her of the divorce....she was supportive.

Today, as she was leaving my office, she turned and said....

" are YOU? How are things?"

I gave her an update....told her about June 20, etc.

Then I felt a nudge... I don't know where it came from. But an inside voice said, "Go ahead and tell her."

So I did.

She hugged me.

She said that she was honored that I had told her.

She told me to be strong. "I know that you are already," she said. "We'll talk more."

She gave me another big hug and left.

I Can't Believe It!

Perhaps I expect way too much or maybe my standards are a bit high.

As I said in my last post, yesterday was my twin daughters' birthday. They turned 22. They were excited and happy. So was I.

#1 arose early yesterday...and peaked in my room. She whispered, "Dad, can I come in?"

I said, "Sure, it's just me and the dog."

It reminded me of when she was much smaller.

She ran and jumped into my big bed....and snuggled up close to me as I sang to her "Happy Birthday." She then asked if I would scratch her back.

I must say it was a whole lot different than those days when I had three kids, two dogs and a cat leaping into my bed (of course Lovey was already there too) and asking me to scratch their backs.....or rub their backs.....or just to hug and hold them. I suppose I shouldn't be too surprised that the old mattress is beginning to show some wear and tear...

While #1 was in my bed, I reached over to the telephone and called #2 down in Nashville. Sadly, all I got was her voicemail....but we sang to her anyway. In a few moments after hanging up, she called us back...and I got to tell her how much I loved her...and that I hoped she had a great birthday. She then asked to speak to her sister.

So, there they were....the 22 year olds have an adult conversation about their birthdays....telling each other how much they missed and loved each other. Then I heard #1 say, "No, I haven't heard anything from her. She's probably forgotten. I'm not worried about it."

I knew what/who they were discussing.

"Lovey" was still at her church thingy....I suppose still celebrating her new credentials...

She was scheduled to return yesterday. But we didn't know when.

After they finished their conversation, I spoke with #2 again, and told her to be looking out for her package from me. Being the music/media person she is, I got her one of those fancy, high capacity iPods.

I gave #1 her card, and we had agreed that I would give her, her combination birthday/graduation present after "Lovey" is gone. Still, I planned to take her to dinner last night and to give her a $100 gift card for her favorite book store.

Throughout the day, I checked on #1. Between one and two o'clock, I called her to see how she was. She sounded a little down.

"Have you heard from your mom?" I asked.


"Ah," I said.

"I heard from #2 though. She's not heard from Mom either."

I didn't say anything. What could I say? I definitely couldn't be honest with her and let her know the evil thoughts I was thinking about "Lovey". After all, this was typical "Lovey"...her ministry always comes first...and boy, it sure does.

I left my office a bit early, and on my way home I called #1 to tell her that I was on my way.

"I heard from Mom," she said flatly.

"Oh?" I responded.

"Yeah. She and Grandma are on their way home. She will be home late because she has some Internet work she needs to do at Grandma's. No mention of my birthday. #2 still hasn't heard from her."

I boiled inside. But, I didn't let it show. I changed the subject and told my estimated time of arrival, and that she should be ready to go to dinner.

By the time we were on our way to dinner, #1 told me that her mother did call back. She and her grandma sang Happy Birthday to her. She also had done the same thing to #2.

When we returned from dinner, Lovey was indeed back from her trip. She had been too tired to join us.

No card. No gift.

Yes, I expect way too much. My standards are a bit too high.

I think a parent should honor their child on its birthday...and remember....and thank God for it.

I expext way too much.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006


Today my twin daughters turn 22. It's an amazing milestone.

Regardless of the fact that I am gay and the fact that my marriage is a thing of the past, practically, these two individuals, along with their adopted brother, constitute the ultimate products of Lovey and I. When all is said and done, they are my children. I cherish them.

The favorite part of being married was the part of becoming a dad. From my earliest years, I remember thinking about how I would be a good dad. I decided that I would spend time with my children. I would try and be at all their events. I would be there for all their hurts and failures. I would be there at all their triumphs and successes.

Most of all, I would love them fiercely.

I'll never forget seeing my daughters arrive in this world.

They were delivered via C-section. When #1 was delivered, I saw the doctor reach in and pull her butt first into the world. (I kid her now by saying that I've known her butt longer than her! She just rolls her eyes and shakes her head.) After the initial oohs and ahs by the hospital staff and my holding her...and her mom holding her, they wrapped her in a warm blanket and put a hat on her head.

Then, we focused on the arrival of #2.

#2 was lifted from her mother. The doctor had his hands under each arm. From the moment she arrived, she squirmed, she whimpered, she cried, she wasn't happy about being disturbed and being brought into the world.

After initial introductions, I was allowed to follow them to the nursery to be weighed and checked. I didn't take my eyes off of them.

These two squirming naked bundles of flesh were put under warmers. #1 yawned and went to sleep peacefully. #2 was still mad...screaming at the top of her lungs. I went over and stroked her left cheek with a finger and whispered...."It's okay little one, I'm here....I'm your daddy."

From that moment until now, I've worked at being a good dad. I kept all the promises I made to myself long ago. I spent much time with them. We went to the park....we went swimming.....we went to see plays....we explored the town where we lived....I played with them.....I talked to them......I listened to what they had to say. I went to all their school events. I tried to kiss all their boo-boos....I laughed at all their adventures.

One of my favorite things was getting to see the world through their eyes. I got to see them experience the world. And it taught me so very much.

And here...22 years later....they are each beautiful young women.

Each with their own talents and dreams.

And I'm still here...loving them fiercely.....cheering them on from their balconies.

Now I count them as close friends....

"For my daughters on their birthdays, I loved teaching you things when you were little girls... but did you know how much I was learning from you at the same time? Seeing your reactions to the world, listening to your fresh, new outlooks, and sharing in things that were important to you taught me a lot about the responsibilities -- and joys -- of being a parent. And watching you turn out to be the wonderful young women you are has reinforced something I've known all along -- you're each very special daughters! Happy Birthday with all my love, Daddy"

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Lovey's Big Day

Yesterday was Lovey's big day!

Yes, at the annual meeting of her denomination's state delegates, she became commissioned. She is now, a full-fledged, probationary member.

In three short years, she can be ordained.

So, this was a day that had been before us for quite sometime. As you can see, June has been filled with such important dates: June 9, June 12, and June 20. Two down and one more to go.

Yesterday was filled with very mixed emotions for me.

I really didn't want to be there.

I knew that I would feel out of place.

I felt that it could open up some recently healed wounds.

Yet, I went...not for Lovey...but because #1 wanted me to go be with her as she attended her mom's function. #2 and my marine were unable to come see their mother go through this all important ceremony.

So, there I was, camera in hand...taking pictures of Lovey.

See Lovey enter the colliseum.

See Lovey march down the aisle in her flowing robe.

See Lovey pray.

See Lovey and her mom march to the stage.

See Lovey be prayed for and have the state big whigs lay hands on her.

See Lovey receive her certificate.

See Lovey be surrounded by all her fans. See Lovey get hugged. See Lovey eating it all up.

I got it all photographed for posterity.

She's all set for her first pastorate to begin and all the blessings of God to follow.

I drove 200 miles back home with #1 and got home at 1:30 this morning.

It had been a very long day.

Sunday, June 11, 2006


Oh God!

Today, Daughter #1 and I continued our celebration of Gay Pride by going to the street festival. Hundreds of people milling around, enjoying the music, the food, each other...what a great day. The weather couldn't have been better either. It was relatively cool, the sun appeared through the cloud occasionally.

My daughter and I wandered throughout the festival. We saw cocker spaniel adoption centers, gay hikers, gay swimmers, gay video stores, gay hikers, gay-friendly churches, gay square dancers, gay singers and gay male porn stars....what a diverse commnity.

And there, in a line for cold drinks, there he stood!

I couldn't believe my eyes.

I grabbed #1's hand....and said....

"Do you see that young blond man in the green shirt in line there?"

"Yeah, what about him?"

"That's Matt! My architect! The one I've been writing about this week It's him!"

Number 1 looked at me and shook her head.

"Go over and say hello."

"I - I - I can't!"

#1 got annoyed.

"Dad. Get a grip. You're gay! You're at the Gay Pride Fesitval for goodness sake. He's here too. What does that say about him?"

"You've gotta go over with me...I can't go by myself."

"Oh, all right," #1 retorted. "Go!"

So, I timidly made my way through the crowd and tapped him on his shoulder...

"Hi Matt! How are you?

I sounded so matter-of-factly....

He turned around

There it was...

That smile. I swear I heard the angels singing again. My heart felt like it was gtoing to leap from my chest.

He laughed heartily.....shook my hand and said, "Welll are you?"

"I'm fine."

"I assume, that this is the prime reason for your divorce?" he said smiling still.

He remembered what I had told him!

'Yeah, I guess it was... So are you having a good time?"

"Aw...yeah....but it doesn't seem to be as good as last year."

"I'm having a grand time. Oh...and this is my daughter, #1."

#1, who was wearing her button that proudly proclained, "I"m Proud of My Gay Dad," smiled pleasantly and said, "It's very nice to meet you."

I was tongue tied....and flustered....and I stammered.

I can't believe that I get like this.

"It was great seeing you," I finally said.

He grinned...gave me a hearty handshake and said, "It was good seeing you too. Have fun."

I gently squeezed his left bicep and smiled broadly.

"Take care....and Happy Pride."

"You too," he said.

And with that, we all were swallowed up in the swirling masses of diversity -- going our separate ways.

Whew! What a great day!

Friday, June 09, 2006


Today is Matt's last day.

He's the cute architect that has been seen skulking throughout my offices this week and capturing my attention. Whenever he's been around, it's almost like everyone and everything else has disappeared into a fog.

I saw him briefly today.

In the chance...

There he was with his blueprints in hand.

We locked eyes again....

The blinding smile appeared....

He paused.

"Hi! How are you?"

"I'm fine," I answered.

"Good," he said. This time I felt his left hand touch the small of my back.

Goose bumps went from my head to my toes....

I'm sorry today is his last day.

A Roller Coaster

Today is an anniversary of sorts.

One year ago today, "Lovey" announced that she was "raw inside."

She said that she no longer loved me.

She said that she wanted a divorce.

She uttered all this at bedtime.

Thus began my year from hell. The ups and downs of the world's best roller coaster could never begin to match the ride I've been on during the past twelve months.

Although at times I feel like all this blog has accomplished has been my "whinefest." I can see substantial growth. I can see that I have come a very long way.

Even my personal physician has told me, "Frank, divorce agrees with you." She says that my body chemistry has begun changing for the better. I'm diabetic so I take a whole host of meds -- no insulin -- for a variety of ailments inlcuding blood pressure, cholesterol, and the diabetes. My sugar levels have plummeted from their norms. My cholesterol is lower than at any other time in my medical history. I'm now at 149.

My friends and family members say that I even look different. They say that I look younger.

I'm amazed.

Stress does a lot to someone like me. I spent so many years attemptiing to keep "Lovey" happy. I failed miserably, but not for lack of trying. I've now reached the conclusion that her personality type is such that I doubt she will ever find true happiness and peace.

Even the last few months before her pronouncement, I was working myself to death to install hardwood floors throughout our house. She said that she was allergic to the carpets. Literally as the last plank was set into the floor is when she announced to me her decision.

So, here I am exactly 12 months later -- somewhat different, a changed man -- yet still the same old Frank -- the same gay old Frank.

...and it's okay.

Thursday, June 08, 2006


There he was….wandering through my offices again!

Yup, the guy…the young one…..the one that I wrote about two days ago…the one that made me stutter….even stammer and who made my mind wander.

We locked eyes.

He smiled. God, that smile again.

The room exploded in light. Birds chirped….the angels sang….my heart felt like it would leap out of my chest.

I got flustered.

“Friday is my last day,” he said matter-of-factly.

“Really?” I said, trying to be nonchalant.

“Yeah. I got a job that is seven minutes from my house. I’m excited about it.”

“Congratulations,” I answered.

“So, do you have any plans for the weekend?” he asked.

“I’m going to do a few things with friends,” I said. “How about you?”

“Aw, when you’re recently out of college, your friends have all kinds of plans that never pan out.”

“How long have you been out of college?” I asked.

“Oh, two years. But, I have lots of plans.”

“Well, good for you!”

Over the span of the next ten minutes, I learned that he lived in another city about an hour north. He’s originally from the farm country of Ohio. (Somehow he looked “homegrown” with that physique….working in the fields….perspiration dripping down his shirtless chest…..those muscles glistening in the noon day sun…..)

I digress...

He owns his own house. His name is Matt. He’s an architect. He’s renovating his house. “I’ve been putting in new studs throughout,” he says proudly. (Don’t go there.)

He wants to own his own firm within 10 years. He’s 24.
There was that smile again.

He shook my hand. Great grip. We lock eyes again.

Maybe I’ll see him again…

Gee I hope so.

What a great diversion from the drama of my life.

Sorry Zack (again)!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


I really must be gay.

Today I saw him. He’s the young kid – a contractor in my office who is going around reviewing air ducts, electrical outlets and wiring issues relating to an impending “restack” of the offices within my building.

He must be 25.

He’s got blond and curly hairy.

When he looks at you with those little puppy blue eyes and grins to expose those perfect pearly white teeth.

Aw….it’s enough to cause someone like me to melt – like butter on a hot griddle.

I’ve seen him now wondering through my office space now at least 3 times in the last two days. Each time he pauses and smiles at me.

Today he actually spoke to me. He told me how nice I looked…and that I must be going to an important meeting. I got flustered and stuttered…or was that stammered….that really, I wasn’t going to a meeting, but I had a funeral to attend.

He paused, and locked eyes with me…deeply and intently, while putting the blueprints he was carrying to his side.

“I’m sorry to hear that,” he said compassionately.

I explained that it was for Mrs. Boss… He actually paused and there it was…that smile. He told me to take care.

He smiled again….picked up his blueprints and walked away…but turned and winked at me.

Did I remember to say how well he filled out his relatively snug dress slacks? Or how cute he looked as he walked away?

Mercy sakes!

Monday, June 05, 2006

The Countdown Continues

Two weeks and one day are left before the big day!

As of this writing, there is still no movement on the separation agreement front.

I have a prediction to make: “Lovey” is going to give me the separation agreement to sign at the last moment before she leaves. She will huff and puff and perhaps stomp her foot when I don’t jump and sign immediately. Perhaps there will even be more tears. Who knows?

I shouldn’t be expected to sign it immediately. I mean, after all, she has had the agreement since October…eight full months. I need to look it over carefully, and have my attorney look it over and provide suggestions.

In the meantime, “Lovey” took two carloads of stuff to her new abode on Friday. By looking at what’s remaining in my house, you can’t tell two carloads are gone!

She also reports that she does not have air conditioning in her house, there is mold in the house, and, there’s D-con mouse bait under her bed. She has a well, and a septic system. Hmmmmm, these aren’t good things for a woman with chronic allergies and other ailments. However, I refuse to worry about it…or get sucked into this brewing drama.

This was her goal….this was her decision to move….and to pursue HER ministry.

But it is difficult for me not to be concerned…to not be sucked in…to fix the situation…. For the past 24 or so years, that’s been my job – the protector, the caretaker, the provider.

Now I have a new role: bystander.

Will this ever get any easier?

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Gone In An Instant!

Yesterday I had a wakeup call. You see, I am guilty of taking things in my life for granted: my family, my children, my health, my job, my blessings, and yes, even my cocker spaniel, Davy Dawg. I guess I should even be thankful for my gayness too!

But yesterday I had a wakeup call…or rather should I say JOLT!

Since Thanksgiving weekend last year, my boss’ wife (for the sake of this blog we’ll refer to her as Mrs. Boss) has been in and out of the hospital for a host of ailments. Now, keep in mind that Mrs. Boss is about my age…and Mr. Boss and her have 2 boys – ages 8 and 9. These people are not senior citizens.

On Mother’s Day, Mrs. Boss was taken to the hospital for yet another ailment, and was immediately placed in ICU. Since that time, until yesterday, she’s floated in and out of consciousness and they have had to revive her on four separate occasions.

I don’t really need to go into the deep dark specifics.

Yesterday she passed away.…

I was there…with a co-worker…supporting our boss. He’s devastated….his wife was the center of his universe.

She’s gone!

Seeing all the sadness and the grief he’s experiencing has kind of put my life back into perspective. Yes, this is my wakeup call. I need to be more thankful and conscious of my blessings….and be very thankful for those in my sphere who love me and are still able to.