Sunday, May 10, 2009

All that I am...




"All that I am or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother..."

-- Abraham Lincoln


My elderly mother fell a few years ago and broke her hip and lower back. She was in the hospital for months and endured painful physical therapy for many months after that. She stopped driving and stopped walking outside her home, and even inside she'd use a walker and slowly and painstakingly move from room to room. My father took care of her every need. She became very dependent on him for all of her needs, not only physical needs, but emotional, social and spiritual as well. By no fault of my father, she became so dependent on him, that in many ways, she began to shut down and stop trying to live and "be".

Then one day, about a year ago, my father suddenly died, and he was gone. Her support, her safety net, her means of transportation, her shopper and bookkeeper and caregiver, and cook was suddenly gone. His passing was of great concern for our family. Not for him, but for our mother that was left behind, left alone, left to carry on.

At first it was almost too much to witness her suffering as she tried to assemble the courage to "go on". To see her too timid to leave the house, to go to church, to even talk to neighbors was painful, indeed.

But now, a year has passed. And a miracle has happened! My mom has learned that life does go on, that she can be independent again, that there is a lot that she CAN do, and that she wants to do them. She has become more talkative and open to others, reaching out to neighbors and friends in ways that she never did when Dad was around overseeing things. She has embraced her finances and personal affairs, has donated generously to causes that she cherishes and seeks to help, has started assembling her family history, has returned to church and embraced new callings, has rediscovered her grandchildren and has refocused her energies on them. She has adventured out into social gatherings, stayed overnight several times in our homes (even those with many steps), and though it is hard still for her to walk without assistance, she now desires to do many things and is hard to hold down. She has changed her hairdo and become excited to learn new things. She is determined and is becoming again a person of hope and wisdom and love. She is relearning to "be"!

I honor my mother (as only any good son can do). I look to her example as one to follow. I have shut myself off, in many ways, from life and from truly embracing what it has in store for me, and the opportunities to feel and know and grow around me... and I have not found it in my heart to let her know of the inner thoughts and workings and desires of her son. I have not found it the right or appropriate thing to do. At this point in our lives and in our relationship, she doesn't need to know about my attractions. She doesn't need to carry this with me. But as I see her change and come alive again, as I see her gain strength and courage, I can't help but think of John G-W's elderly grandmother who became his greatest advocate, and not think that maybe there is still a "right time" to let her truly know of what is in my heart, of my burden, of my journey in hopes that I, too, in some way, can follow her and learn to "be"!


Happy Mother's Day...

9 comments:

Alan said...

Good for her. And good for you. I wish my mom were still here and I could tell her all about me. I miss her a lot. You are lucky Beck.

Beck said...

ALAN: I'm sure she'd be very proud of you!

The Faithful Dissident said...

Beautiful and inspiring story. Thanks so much for sharing.

Joe Conflict said...

I think all surviving gay mormon boys must have an angel mother to some degree...

Your life sounds pretty wild, from previous blogs.

Beck said...

FAITHFUL DIS: Thank you for your comment. It's good to know you're out there.

JOE: I've spent a few minute trying to understand your story and I welcome you to my blog and to the community. I hope you find what you're looking for as you open up and share your experiences.

As for my "pretty wild" life, I thought I'd been pretty sheltered, and pretty straight-arrow. It's been "pretty wild" at times holding it all together, despite the lies, the double want list, the coming out late etc, but all in all, I'm still pretty dull in the end...

I'd be curious what you have to say about my story. As yours is still evolving out of a marriage, I'd be interested in your perspective if you think it's even possible to keep going on this ride I'm on... a gay man, active in the church, and remaining faithful to my wife and family.

Still a work in progress...

Joe Conflict said...

Well, I'm a mostly gay guy in a really dysfunctional marriage. The dysfunctionality is as much based on my wife's problems as it is mine. If my marriage ends, I won't be seeking another one with a woman any time soon.

Are you sure you aren't just lying to yourself about being in an eternal marriage?

I asked my bishop if the scripture that says the same spirit that possesses your soul will have it in the next life applies to my sexuality, and his answer was yes. I was and am horrified--God creating me, and creating eternal desires which are forbidden eternally? Why bother?

He gives man heterosexual desires, with conditions to use those under. Would it be so much to either expect the same, or for him to yank the desire?

Joe

Sean said...

I know you said you wanted to meet sometime and I'd love to, but I don't have your email so I'm sending you a message this way. Shoot me an email at swimfreaksean[AT]gmail[DOT]com and we can set something up sometime. :)

Beck said...

JOE asks: "Are you sure you aren't just lying to yourself about being in an eternal marriage?"

I don't see it as lying. We are working together to make this marriage and family work. Whether we succeed or not remains to be seen. But, just because I'm a gay man living in a heterosexual marriage does not automatically doom it to failure.

Sure, I stumble along the way. Sure, I have desires that are not centered on my wife and kids. Sure, I have temptations, struggles, challenges - but, hey, who doesn't?

Yes, I believe that I have always been who I am and that these attractions and desires within me will remain with me. I do not believe in a miraculous change to come as I die and go to the spirit world. I have hope and faith that as I accept these things, work for good, and do the best I can with what I've been given, things will work out for good and the best in the end. How that happens, I'm not sure. I accept the Atonement on faith based on personal conviction.

Is that lying? I don't think so...

MoHoHawaii said...

Beck,

I don't think you are lying.