Wednesday, May 30, 2012

shadow living

photo by wm. blake spencer/blake and his parents
at forsythe wildlife refuge in oceanville, nj

shadows are an image of reality,
mostly they come with
as they exist
at the whim of the sun.

but nestled beneath the elongated
or stunted shadowed images
there is always a story.

the shadow pictured above
is a keeper...
it will forever
tell the story i will cherish.

you see i have parents who love me.
their love comes with smiles, hugs,
the willingness to drive long distances,
words of encouragement, genuine interest
as to who i am and what i am doing
and how i am feeling.

i won't, don't and can't take for granted
the love my parents have freely given me
throughout my life.
i am blessed.

growing up gay comes with the possibility
that your very own parents
might choose to reject you...

full rejection or
get out of my life i never want to see you banishment
i love you, come visit if you want
but i believe you are going to hell
and i really never want to talk about your life...
especially the gay part.

my parents love me
this i know
because they have told me so
not only by their words
but by all that they do.

they want me to thrive and be happy.

i know they wonder and worry.
and well they should
because they live in the same
world and the same church i do.

they hear the stories of condemnation
they've seen the images of gay men and women
abused and killed,
they listen to the theology and politics that degrade gays.
they know that gay men and women live life
swimming up stream.

they wonder and worry,
but mainly they love...
and their love
gives me the peace
and the courage to
have what they have had...
companionship and love.

this week my parents
will celebrate their
60th wedding anniversary.

my mom was 16 and my dad was 20
when they got married.
i've been told one great aunt
did not want them to get married...
others thought their marriage would not last.

and yet,
here they are
60 years later...
still in relationship
loving each other
and loving their children.

i'm a gay man
and this is part of my story...
my parents love me
and they have paved the way for me
to continue to be loved and to love...
despite the barriers and hurdles
that come with being
gay in this country and in the church.

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