Such an odd title I know. It’s the French translation of the English words House of Solstice.
Huh??? What’s that? We will get to that soon enough.
I’ve always admired how people named their homes. I’ve further wondered how those names came to be. I’m very curious and I ask lots of questions. At times it gets me into trouble. Meh! Who cares.
My blog has evolved over the past few years, but my original intent was to give an accurate portrayal of what it’s like for a married man to come out as truly being gay after being in a supposed heterosexual marriage with children. Read previous blogs for those details.
Today was an excruciating day for me and I’m sure for my former wife and children too. But this is about me. Today is the day that the home which our family has lived in for almost 10 years closed escrow and transferred to another family.
This is no ordinary home. It was one of my most prized accomplishments. I worked long hours as a new home sales agent to purchase this home for my family. This was THE home that was going to be our forever home. (Whatever the hell that means…) I sewed almost every window treatment. Installed the moldings and window casings. Faux painted the handrail to match the light fixtures that I hung. I made my master suite resemble a fine resort. The girls rooms were rooms that every kid dreams of. I customized the cabinets with a professional glaze. I ordered wood floors and stair treads. I installed granite counters and designed a pool and back yard that was lush and welcoming. The front yard was a showstopper and once I even got a letter from the homeowners association telling me what a great looking front yard that I had. I built shelves and storage for the pantry and laundry room. It was MY work. What I always wanted for my family. A family that I always dreamed of. I was a lucky, lucky man. I had achieved a life long goal. Oh and the parties and events that I hosted. THE BEST!
But as life sometimes does, it began to change. I could no longer hide my secret. I was dying inside and out. It wasn’t going to end well for me or my family. Most of you reading this knows the history of what came next so I won’t belabor that.
The time came to put the house on the market. There were days of excitement to begin a new chapter as a gay man and father of two daughters. There were days of extreme shame and guilt for simply being me. A gay man.
The house sold and today was my final trip through that home to take one last look. My mind flashed memories both good and bad. I walked to the breakfast room where I was sitting in the fetal position sobbing and trying to think of a way that I could disappear forever. I stood in the shower where I stood for almost two hours once in running water just hoping that I could just die and be gone forever. I cried just thinking about it.
I also stood at the top of the stairs where my girls would get the sofa coushion and slide down the stairs laughing historically. I stood in the third-car garage (my shop) where I built a fireplace surround and mantle from the plans in my head.
I stood at the bathroom sink where I watched my former wife brush her hair and put on makeup as we talked and laughed. I stood in the playroom where the girls played and had shows that I attended. I stood in each of their rooms where we cuddled and kissed each other goodnight. I stood in the backyard by the pool and remembered all the fun we had and how lucky we were to have such a nice pool. I stood in the kitchen where we dyed Easter eggs and carved pumpkins. The memories just flooded my mind and heart as I sobbed.
So it’s hard to call it just a building or just stuff. It was a safe house. A place that we called home. It was magnificent.
So today I want to give 3155 South Porter Street in Gilbert, Arizona a name that I will always remember. It shall be known as Maison du Solstice. I chose French because that is my heritage.
But why the word solstice? Im happy that you asked. Let me start with the Webster definition of solstice. “A furthest or culminating point; a turning point.”
You see I had to get to the furthest point of my big gay secret to begin to turn around to my authenticity and reality. I had to get real with myself and set myself free from my irrational guilt and shame. I had to act bravely to ensure that my children had a father and that other men and women who are in my place could know that it does get better and suicide would not resolve being gay. It would wreak more havoc that being authentic.
So just as we have seasons and solstices on planet earth, we have seasons and solstices in our lives.
So farewell Maison du Solstice. You have been good to the DeRouen family.
Now on to Chapter Two.