Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Keeping the Train in Motion

As dawn breaks over the DC metro area, your gay pal Frank is busy at work trying to determine the best course of action to take in order to get estate issues settled for his parents...and moving down the track of his life.

So, Friday of this week, I am headed back to my parents' home....which is now my house....to continue the renovations that were begun in July. I plan to spend all of next week there...cleaning and getting rid of paper....and just unusable junk, which, for whatever reason, my parents did not feel the need to throw away. I also have to dig into the clothes closets to see what is there and get clothing to Goodwill or Salvation Army.

Then, I need to tackle the attics (there are two of them).... One I investigated was chocked full of "stuff." The other attic which is on the extreme top of the house I have never been in. So, I have no clue what's up "there."

There's the outbuilding....that is again filled to capacity with "stuff." Finally, in the large crawl space under our house is where my parents stored all the toys I ever played with. So, I cannot wait to see those things.

Then there is Mom's china and glassware collection, photographs, furniture, a victrola or two, old recordings, tapes, video cassettes, etc.

So, I have my work cut-out for me. AND, it's just going to be me. I know tht I can't get it all done, but I am going to take my time....and possibly mourn...alone. Then, beginning next Thursday, I have an impressive group of friends from my MCC church here coming to be with me to help paint....do yard work.....box up....etc. They are traveling EIGHT HOURS one way to be with me. I can't begin to tell you how much this means to me.

They will be spending the entire Labor Day Weekend with me....

The house is going to have new siding and windows installed. I've already redone a couple of rooms...painted...recarpeted....etc.

So the train has left the station and is slowly moving forward.

I am also thankful for the community of friends that have been introduced into my life over the last 5 years. They are quick to say how much they love me...and what a blessing I am to their lives. (I'm amazed by this.)

My main fan club is a posse of about 15 lesbians. They are firmly entrenched in my corner. A couple of them have said privately that if they were straight....and I was straight.....we'd be married. So, for a gay guy....this is indeed a high honor to have two lesbians say this about you.

But, **sigh**, I am not straight....and I have the longing for a special man in my life. There, too, however, I am blessed because in my sphere there are a few men who fit that bill. They are also of the romantic relationship quality...but the current relationships I have with each does not include romance....although at times I wish it did.

So as this train continues to chug down the track and pick up steam...there is so many goals I have.....so many dreams I have....and then there are the wishes....

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Where Do I Go From Here?

When one is an only child, one contemplates the death of parents almost from day one. I was always afraid of being left as an orphan...a helpless, lonely orphan. In my childhood, I always had a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach when my parents would go on trips...or we would be in the car together. My mind would always picture them not coming back....or us having an automobile accident where I would be the only survivor.

It was scary.

As I have grown into adulthood, I had backup plans in place. I thought I would have my wife standing nearby to help me through the bad times. When one parent died... I thought I would have the support of the other parent until they died.

I thought my dad would always be the first to leave, and that Mom would live to a very, very old age and perhaps live with me.

But then 2005 happened....my wife became my ex. Mother was the first diagnosed with cancer. She died first and in the process of her dying, Dad, too was stricken with cancer. His mental state was not the best and he started suffering from dementia. He had to move in with me and was unable to care for himself...or his finances....or his house. He was like an orphan...and I was the parent. I cared for him until the very end.

Then he died...and now I am left as an adult, helpless and lonely orphan.

Oh, I did have the support of my children....and yes, the ex-wife did show some compassion.

But I have had to make a lot of heavy decisions...ALONE.

The gay thing has also been at work in a bizarre sort of way.

So here I am, trying to sort out the little things: what am I going to do with my parents' belongings, the house, the antiques, the china collection, the furniture, the coin collection -- all the stuff that my parents held precious and priceless.

I am surrounded by countless friends who mean the world to me. They call me to find out how I am doing. They support me through the good and bad times.

God has been faithful.

A group of my church friends are traveling to my WV house on Labor Day to help me.

I can't believe it.

I am learning to accept care....and love....and help...with out that old WV pride intervening.

I am also learning what it means to be a good friend. Gosh, I hope I have been as good to others as they are being to me at this time in my life. I will definitely pay all this forward.


Well, I have returned from the beach....all rested and refreshed. The only problem is that the time literally whizzed by. But I had a super good time. I really needed the vacation a lot more than I ever suspected. The years working with my terminally ill parents had certainly taken its toll. Now I am working to settle the estate stuff...and get my house in WV emptied so that I can have it rented over the fall.

Returned home and fired up my shiny new IMAC desktop....and it crashed. I don't believe that there is anything sadder than a sick MAC. Normally they work flawlessly...but something made this one die prematurely....so I wound up wiping out the hard drive and reinstalling the operating system and all the software. Things seem to be working a lot better now...but I still have not resurrected my email or ITunes....all my picture libraries are safe and sound....THANK GOD. Keep your fingers crossed.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

The Beach

As I write this, it is late at night. I am locked away in my condo on the 17th Floor Condo at the beach. From my balcony, I can watch the Atlantic Ocean as its waves crash to the shore. It is incredibly soothing to be able to just sit and to be.

A few weeks ago, as I was contemplating my life of losses during the past 12 months, I decided that for my own wellbeing, I needed to get away ALONE....to process all the stuff I have been dealing with. I needed a place where I could just sit and cry if need be.

So, the only place that I felt I could really be "at home" was the beach I went to as a child with my parents. We came here first nearly 50 years ago. I've found the places we used to go. It is just so amazing now to sit and see it alone.

As I have rested and done the things I have wanted to do...I have used the time to meditate.....to my thoughts in order....and to rest. I didn't know how much I needed this time away...until I got here. So with a few more days left, I am going to begin drafting a manuscript of my thoughts on the gay thing....of loss.....of change....of new beginnings.....and use this blog as the base for it.

It may never see the light of day at a publisher....but it can't ever be published at all if it doesn't get written. So as a way to process my grief, I am going to begin the process.....take my time....and see what happens.

Keep your fingers crossed as I embark on this new labor.

I will be writing here more regularly too.

Stay tuned.

Here's a family picture taken in 1965 at a statue here in a botanical garden......and what the same statue looks like nearly 50 years later......yesterday....