Memory Day

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It’s Memorial Day. A day to remember service men and women who lost their lives in the line of duty. As the daughter and granddaughter of servicemen, this day has a lot of meaning. I get it.  It’s a day of counting blessings, saying a special prayer for loved ones, and remembering that we live in this society because of those sacrifices.

But today, this day, is something else. It is my brother Matt’s 43rd birthday. I don’t know if he’s alive. He’s a heroin addict. I know that a few months ago he missed a court date in Portland, because they called my ex-husband’s house and left a message looking for him. My ex wasn’t going to tell me. One of my sons heard the message and let me know. Unfortunately they didn’t catch if it was state, county or city court. I was unable to figure it out (easily–I confess to not doing more than making a couple of phone calls). So he must have been alive at least recently enough to have committed some infraction.

I still remember him as the impulsive little kid he was before puberty hit his brain chemistry and everything went to hell. Before his ADD and Reactive Attachment Disorder and general “follower” style personality got him in trouble with the law, before his first prison stint at 18, and before he took his first hit of heroin.

I used to be the link between Matt and the rest of the family. He had my phone number. And address. I would get letters from him when he was in prison, and therefore clean. I visited him if he was within a few hour drive. If you have never visited someone in prison, you have no idea how awful it is. But then, when I was at  a really low and vulnerable place, right after I had left my marital home of 20 years, I let him detox with me. Twice. It did not go well. That’s an understatement. It was hellish. After I put him on a train, I ducked his calls. For a week or so, he was angry and called my phone every 15 minutes for several days straight. I knew he was using again. I turned off my phone.  I still do not feel strong enough to see him. Even when he isn’t actively using, the life he has had to live because of his choices have made him manipulative and I cannot be around that.

But today, I remember the happy little boy. I hope and pray that sweet soul still lives. And I wish him happy birthday.

 

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This is Funny. But it also isn’t.

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Here is a video that has shown up in my various social media feeds a few times over the past couple of years. It’s funny. No, really, it is. Even though I am the ex-wife of a gay man, one who was fooled for 20 years, I can definitely see the humor in this. It is also making a point I fully believe in–it really doesn’t matter what your religious beliefs are–even if they are that marriage should be between a man and a woman. By denying homosexuals the right to marry, you are guaranteeing that unwitting straight men and women will be in false marriages. Also, my personal opinion, even if it is “against God” that is between God and the individuals in question–not for you and not for me to say.

I debated linking this on the Facebook page of the Straight Spouse Network, but didn’t because I realized that some followers there are at different stages of their journey with this particular issue and it might be hurtful. It wouldn’t be difficult for me to allow this to move me to irritation and hurt–but I am actually beyond that and to allow it would be a step backwards.

If you have stumbled upon this blog post in a search for information about gay spouses, please check out the Straight Spouse Network. At the very least you will realize you are not alone.

If you are seeing this and are vehemently opposed to gay marriage–please; stop and think about the ramifications of what you are saying. There are so many more people involved. Continuing to (in my opinion wrongly) discriminate against gay marriage is incredibly harmful.

And if you just think this video short is funny–well, you’re right. It is.