|“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”
― Dr. Seuss
On July 18, 1998 in Springdale, Arkansas at Springdale First Assembly of God, we were joined by our family and friends to witness our marriage vows of undying love and commitment to each other till only death would part us. Our wedding was gorgeous and the day was perfect…even though our limo never showed up. The guy fell asleep and forgot to come to the church. Oh well. We made an alternate plan to leave the Church while our Pastor preached his message. Sorry Reverend. I sang a beautiful song to her and I meant every word. She was stunning. The ceremony and reception went off without a hitch. We had so much fun. Driving off to our honeymoon we talked about how much fun it was that we actually wanted to have more weddings. Not for someone else… for us… LOL. We did all the decor and planning ourselves. Her mom took charge of the reception and people thought that we spent thousands on the reception. Reality is we (we meaning her parents and her) spent less than $10,000 on the entire event. I remember it like it was yesterday. And I still smile.
Did I lie? Some would say yes and I’d have to accept their opinion. But we all know the phrase about opinions right? They are like belly buttons… everyone has one. Gotcha… you though I was going to use some other part of our anatomy located just south of the belly button on the reverse side of the body. I’m literally laughing out loud. I love it when I make myself laugh like this.
On that day I made a promise and I have kept that promise. …and I continue to keep that promise today. Refer back to my first blog for clarification. I truly believed that I had conquered my “gayness.” I further believed that marrying was the ‘right thing” to do. If I were having sex with a woman, then surely I would be straight. She would fix me. We had both saved ourselves for marriage and I gladly had nothing to compare it to. So there would be no confusion right? My gravity toward males would end and dissipate. It must. I had prayed, fasted, read my Bible and God had finally answered my prayer “to take away the gay.” I believed that being gay was the LARGEST sin possible other than murder and blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. It was a disease like HIV, a sickness like cancer, a choice, like drugs, alcohol and stealing were a choice. So a Godly woman who was willing to marry me and make me straight was the answer. Or was it? I was scared, but being a christian man, I had very little choice. Marry a woman or lose your career as a minister, character as a christian, and salvation as a born-again believer and follower of Christ.
I have loved, honored, cherished, respected and all those other things that the minister says really fast and our nerves are so anxious that we usually just make up something that sounds like something he asked you to repeat…then everyone gives a giggle or two. In fact, I would argue… and trust me I love a good, healthy debate… that by admitting truth to her and releasing her from the union to pursue passion, I have done everything I have promised. I have put her needs above mine. I have put her first. That my friends is what marriage is all about. Marriage is not 50/50, it is 100/100. I realize now that I never was able to “put in” my 100. I didn’t have it. I never have. She simply doesn’t have the right letter (M or F) next to her name on her birth certificate. Your opinion may differ, so please refer back to paragraph two about my theory on opinions. This is my issue not hers and I cannot be healed or changed and I cannot in good human, christian manner ask her to forego sexual love and passion while I know it is something that I will NEVER be able to provide to her. I will not further debate this issue. Enough said.
So yesterday was a bittersweet sort of day. More bitter than sweet. I started the day strong not thinking I would get so emotional and become a sobbing, sloppy mess. She left with the girls early to go to their summer movie event at the theater and I found myself in the house alone. I unintentionally began looking at pictures that hang on the wall of such great times of fun and celebration. It hit me like a cement truck and I bust into sobbing fit number two. Wow two sobbing fits before noon… am I menopausal or something? I haven’t cried this much in over 10 years combined. Why am I gay I cried out to God. Why? Why? Why? Can’t I take a pill or something and make this gay go away so that I could go back to normal. Why am I gay? I want a wife, 2.5 kids, a dog, a cat, (scratch the cat…I can’t stand ’em), a white picket fence, a red door and a swimming pool in the back yard. I just want to be normal. I want to forgo the shame, embarrassment, depression, anger and all the other crazy emotions that come with being born gay. That’s right, I said it. Born gay.
I can hear it now… there is ABSOLUTELY NO scientific PROOF that people are born gay. Really interesting… because there is ABSOLUTELY NO scientific PROOF that you are not either. I would debate that there is no scientific proof that GOD truly exists. In fair form, there is ABSOLUTELY NO scientific PROOF that He does not either. Its a double-edged sword. I personally believe that He does exist and He cares too. I love Him because He first loved me.
Ok back to yesterday…We talked earlier how we would handle our 14th and final wedding anniversary. I originally was opposed to any celebration. I just wanted to ignore it. You see…in the past that is how I have dealt with issues that made me uncomfortable. Just ignore them and stash them in the closet. I was closeted before being closeted was cool. Ok maybe not. Anyway, we decided that we would celebrate. That we would acknowledge our love and undying commitment to our future as best friends and parents of our two daughters. So we drove into Phoenix and had a great meal and a great desert even though we are both choosing to eat healthier. I have NO REGRETS. That key lime pie with home-made nut-crust was amazing…I even had a second mojito. Both of our favorite beverage. We had great conversation too. We just love each others company and always have. We have been married for 14 years and have worked in the same exact occupation for almost 10 of those years. She is now my boss and I think that she likes it wayyyyyyy too much. LOL.
After dinner we shopped a bit and decided to head home for a movie since the kids were with my parents seeing a movie themselves and spending the night with them. We came home, each checked Facebook and read some emails and both sat in the family room to watch our movie. I asked her to sit next to me so that I could give her a hug and thank her for such enduring love, forgiveness, commitment and just plain ol’ friendship. Within moments of our embrace… you guessed it. Sobbing fit number three just spontaneously happened. This was much worse than the two earlier in the day. I was having trouble breathing. We held each other as I profusely professed my love and apologies to her. She rubbed my back and instructed me to stop beating myself up and to please take a breath… LOL. I guess she didn’t want a dead husband on her hands… that would make for an awkward ending don’t ya think. But she would end up with a very nice death benefit from my life insurance policy. So after getting out a good cry and reassuring each other that we were making the right decision for our family we went back to email and Facebook until we both went to bed… Very unpredictable and unexpected ending right?
“If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day so I never have to live without you.”
I can’t wait to tell you how we met. I’ll save that for another blog. But before I do that, I want to begin sharing my story from as early as I can remember. This will likely take me to some places and emotions that I have not visited ever or in a very long time.
Thanks for reading and please leave a comment and feel free to click share so that other can read and be helped. There are THOUSANDS of couples in the U.S. alone that are in the exact situation as we are.