Monday, March 30, 2009

Things That Go Bump In The Night

I consider myself to be a spiritual person.

I have regular times of devotions and meditation.

I read the Bible and try to keep centered spiritually.

I am not one to see visions....or predict the future....or anything out of the ordinary.

But I have to tell you. I had an experience night before last that rattled me a bit. It has stuck with me very profoundly.

So, I am going to share it with all of you and record this experience here so that if something comes of this, we know that I was "warned."

I got into bed very late on Saturday night. It had been a very busy day...and I was exhausted. I went to sleep and slept soundly.

At around 2:30 a.m. on Sunday morning I was awakened.

Fully awakened.

I laid there in the comfort of my bed listening to my dog snore. I wondered if I needed to get up and let him out. I then was trying to figure out whether to go to the bathroom or not....when I heard a voice.

As clear as a bell, the voice said, "Frank, your life is getting ready to change."

It jolted me.

I sat upright.

Clearly my dog had not heard this because he was still snoring. I turned on the light....and sat up....

I breathed a prayer and said, "Oh God...haven't I had enough change in the past 5 or so years? Can't we make this change be something positive -- really positive?"

I sat there for about thirty minutes until I calmed down.

I then turned out the light and went to sleep.

But the words are seared into my mind.

What kind of changes are we talking about? What is God trying to tell me?



I have several tales to tell. So I guess I should write them all down before I forget something.

So, there are probably going to be several posts today.

Feast or famine.

Whew...I'm definitely in a writing mood.

There is new drama involving Lovey these days. But this time there is a key difference as far as I'm concerned.

I have reached my life-time capacity of her and her drama. It became readily apparent back in February when she severed my relationship with her on FACEBOOK... It happened as a result of the series of emails we had exchanged over her blessed ordination...and the kids....and how devestated she was at not being able to share Thanksgiving with her children at my parents' home.

Very old history now.

But I am now operating under a "season of silence" with her. I don't wish her any ill will. But, after all this time....enough is enough.

Friendship with her is not going to work.

So, let's stop beating the dead horse.

The latest drama involves her use of my last name.

Back at the time of our divorce she had all the paperwork drawn up to change her last name. She emphasized the fact that she always wanted to keep my name so that her name would always match that of the children.

Well, I hear through the grapevine that she is in fact going to change her name back to her maiden name and she doesn't want me to know it. As I hear it, she wants to be the one to tell me.

Now, this is going to be good since we aren't her request.

I can't wait to see how she chooses to communicate this to me.

Do you suppose she thinks I give a fig about her last name?

I mean, she is the one who made the big deal about NOT changing her name to begin with.

The grapevine says that she is doing this in order to be "more independent." I asked the grapevine if this means that she was also going to drop her alimony too? We all laughed at that one!

We know the answer.

You see, for all the talk of independence, she can't live without her financial dependence upon me.

Sad, but true.


I know that I have been very bad lately and not written as I should. My life continues to be fast paced, and I must stay, highly enjoyable.

It's hard to believe that I have been writing this thing for three years now. If you are one of the faithful readers, you know that I have had my shares of ups and downs and that the life of a married gay man....going through the trauma of separation and not necessarily an easy one.

You have seen me whine.

You have heard me on the mountain top.

You have seen me in the valley low.

Still, I plod along and keep moving forward -- even when there have been times when I haven't felt like moving...or that I didn't have the energy to move one foot in front of the other.

But here I sit....three years later....and I have survived.

I am thankful. After all, I have learned so very much about myself. I think I am a better man for having gone through all this stuff -- pain and all.

So here is an update of the past few weeks.

First, Frank has a boyfriend. Yes, a full-fledged one. Not one of those fly-by-night varieties. Not the ones who are married.....and are part-time gay. Not the ones that are partnered and only want you to meet their physical needs. Not the ones that start out really hot....only to end in a blaze of glory and to return to a former love.

This is a living and breathing man who is interested in me. Warts, gray hair and all.

He is 36 years old.

He and I met through another friend when he was dating someone else. We became friends...and I found that the relationship he had been in fizzled -- big time. And, "we" just happened. He comes to my church and we sit and hold hands. It's so refreshing to be open and to be honest.

I don't have to hide anything....or feel like I must be ashamed of this relationship we have.

He and I have talked about things. We're not saying we're gonna move in together. We're not saying that we're running up to Massachusetts to get married. We're not even saying we are going to be life partners.....or that we are "in love".

We're just enjoying the time we have when we are together. He and I are very much alike in some ways. We think alike. We also enjoy our alone time. So we do not have to feel like we are joined at the hip. He says that I have the most energy of anyone else he has ever dated....and he struggles at times to keep up with me.

I find this highly amusing.

Me, the old guy, having more energy than the 36 year old!

Life is great.

This morning I got a card from my daughter in Nashville. It read in part,

"Anyway, I was thinking about you and about how content you seem to be these days, and I am so glad for you. Glad you walk regularly with folks on Saturday mornings, glad you are so active in your church and Bible Study, glad you're in a bowling group, and glad that you're challenged professionally! You have so many wonderful things happening in your life and I am so very proud! I love you."

So, I suppose that the word for today is "contentment."

I've become involved in a running club. Oh, don't get the wrong idea. I walk. It's fun. I've joined a bowling league composed of gays and lesbians. It's fun.

I'm active in my church.

Sunday, March 15, 2009


I awoke this morning very early and did two loads of laundry, cleaned my kitchen, threw dishes into the dishwasher and ran it. Then, I ran up the stairs to take a shower and get ready for church.

At one point as I was talking to God about the blessings He has bestowed upon me, I began to do that activity that I have become quite proficient at: I beat myself up.

Oh, I use time like today to assess all the stuff that I feel like I screwed up. In today's edition, I gave myself quite a thrashing over the fact that I feel like I haven't been too spiritual lately. I told God that I was sorry....and that I would try to do better. But I also told him how much I appreciate all the good things He has given men and how He has guided the rebuilding of my life following a series of personal traumas.

I told Him that I would not have survived these past few years without Him.

For all His faithfulness and help...I felt totally awful about my shortcomings.

I pledged to do more.

Then I ran off to church.

I am a member of a wonderful church in Fairfax VA. It's a fairly young congregation. Today it celebrated its 28th anniversary of being organized As a part of that celebration, it gave out a series of Anniversary Awards.

I was settled in for a wonderful church service when the first person was called up to present the first award.

It was the "SPIRIT" award.

Imagine my shock when they said that the 2009 SPIRIT award was being presented to me!

I was so shocked.

They gave me a certificate and a t-shirt. The certificate celebrates 28 years of life-changing ministry.

The certificate reads: "The Metropolitan Community Church of Northern Virginia proudly presents this SPIRIT AWARD to Frank in recognition of his spiritual depth and giftedness and in gratitude for the many ways in which he serves and inspires our community. Presented on the 15th of March 2009.""

I was speechless: one of the few times in my half-century of life that I had nothing to say.

They applauded. People smiled and nodded.

I returned to my seat. Folks I sat close to patted me, squeezed my shoulders and told me how much I deserved it.

Then, the tears began to well up in my eyes. I discreetly left the sanctuary and went into the lobby area. I lost it. The tears flowed.

So even when I feel like I am so insiginificant and that I have done very little, apparentlly my perceptions are a bit warped and I am not seeing things so very clearly.

God never ceases to amaze me with the depths of His love.

My church never ceases to amaze me with their unconditional love, support and acceptance.

I could never have come back from the abyss without all of them!