DeRouen Digest 2018

23 Dec

When Christa and I were married, we would write a letter each year to highlight our comings and goings to share with family and friends in a christmas card.  By “we,” I mean me.  I enjoyed writing it and Christa’s writing usually sounded more like an instruction manual or legal brief.  I like to write soft and pretty and she is just about the facts.  We always laughed about it and we still do actually.  So I took the responsibility for the annual letter.  The title was always DeRouen Digest with the current year.  Cute right?  I agree.

2011 was the last year that we sent out a letter.  It was January 1, 2012 that our world changed forever.  It was the best and worst day of my life.  You’ll have to read more of my blog to discover why.

So I’ll update what is happening in the abundant lives of the DeRouen family. Christa continues to operate CarePatrol of Phoenix.  She is dedicated to helping families find the safest assisted living options for her clients.  She has once again won the DeRouen Mother of The Year Award for her exemplary execution of two epic birthday parties for Carly who became a teenager and Casslyn who is sweet 16.  She welcomed Cooper into the family and he is so adorable and handsome and takes his role as man of the house very seriously.  I should mention that Cooper is a Goldendoodle.

Carly started Jr High this year and is loving the transition.  She is now 13 and continues with piano lessons.  She is so dedicated to her practice and lessons.  She is a mini-Christa.  Perfect grades and will negotiate with her teachers for every single point that she earns.

Casslyn is a sophomore in high school and she turned 16 and we threw an epic sweet 16 party complete with a DJ and and Daddy/Daughter dance.  She is active in the Theatre Arts and Future Farmers of America.  She has her driving permit and will be getting her license soon. Her driving skills are pretty dang good. I am her instructor.

Chet has left the world of hospice and returned full-time to real estate.  He continues to facilitate the group that he founded which connects gay men across the world who have been or may currently be in a mixed orientation marriage.  He is enjoying spending more time with Casslyn and Carly.

The DeRouen family is thriving and growing.  The past 7 years have been tumultuous and down-right unkind at times.  We hunkered down, closed ranks and embraced one another.  We loved and forgave our way to reconciliation.  We are more humble.  More empathetic.  More Aware and stronger than we could have ever imagined.

We have been in the arena getting our arse kicked.  We have dirt on our face, mud on our shoes, sticks and pieces of rock in our hair, but yet we persisted.  We haven’t lost a battle yet.  We have been criticized and ridiculed.  We have been accepted and affirmed.  We have been hurt and shamed.  We have been loved and encouraged. We are not victims.  We are changed. We are DeRouen’s.


Posted by on December 23, 2018 in Journey to Authenticity


13 responses to “DeRouen Digest 2018

  1. Robyn

    December 23, 2018 at 11:52 PM

    Your blog is beautiful! You have an amazing family and I love all your posts!!! Best wishes for a happy 2019!

  2. Ian Davis

    December 24, 2018 at 12:00 AM

    Well that was a nice surprise to receive into my inbox on Christmas Eve. It’s always good to hear that you and your family have grown together, even stronger and more resilient then the year before.

    Each year brings its bumps and mishaps, but boy we learn from them and just grow stronger. I know I’ve been on a very similar journey to yours. My family of four adult sons are my greatest pleasure and I’m so proud of them, like you are of your girls. It hasn’t been easy for my sons having a gay Dad but they have always supported and shown love to me.

    I have friends who unfortunately haven’t had the same positive experience and are estranged from their families and it’s so hard for them, but I’ve seen resilience with them as well, as often our support network is not family but the friends who stick by us, respect and love us.

    I have lost friends and a brother, it hurt me for a long time, but not anymore. If people can’t accept me for who I am, that’s not my fault. It took awhile to get to that point, but I truly am completely happy at where I am at in my journey.

    You and your family have the most fantastic 2019 with many, many more fantastic years ahead. I hope your return to real estate is a tremendous success and your sales go through the roof.

    Love Ian.

    Sent from my iPad

  3. WhyAmIgay?

    December 24, 2018 at 12:02 AM

    Thanks my friend.

  4. WhyAmIgay?

    December 24, 2018 at 12:03 AM

    Hi Ian. Thanks for the note. Please friend request me on FB

  5. Ian Davis

    December 24, 2018 at 12:22 AM

    Chet I deleted my Facebook account sometime ago, my sons stopped using it and that was really the only reason I kept the account open. I figure if a friend or relative needs to contact me they have my mobile number or email.

    If you want feel free to email me, I love reading your blog because I feel we have walked a very similar journey and honestly I gain strength that. There is always strength to be gained from sharing.

    Take care. Enjoy the holidays.


    Sent from my iPad

  6. Cindy Anderson

    December 24, 2018 at 6:27 AM

    I Love You Always and No Matter What.

  7. Cindy

    December 24, 2018 at 7:03 AM

    Thanks for the update. I still think of you and your family. Wishing yall a merry Christmas from the Higgins.

  8. WhyAmIgay?

    December 24, 2018 at 8:56 AM

    Love you right back.

  9. WhyAmIgay?

    December 24, 2018 at 8:57 AM

    Right back at Ya.

  10. Jeff Bay Area

    December 24, 2018 at 10:36 AM

    Beautiful story. I especially liked the last paragraph that shows the dichotomy of experience in mixed-orientation marriages and the journey of being fully authentic and loving better. Very cool.

  11. WhyAmIgay?

    December 24, 2018 at 12:37 PM

    Thanks Jeff. Please find me on FB. Chet Lloyd DeRouen

  12. Judi Staggers

    December 25, 2018 at 10:53 AM

    Merry Christmas To All🎄❤️ Love You❣

  13. Ian Davis

    July 19, 2019 at 6:09 AM

    Hi Chet.

    You popped up in my inbox today because I still follow your blog. You had responded to a comment from another follower.

    So here I am just saying Hello. It’s been awhile since I’ve said it, I’m sorry. I truly hope life is being kind to you and your girls.
    Hope the return to Real Estate has worked out for you as well.
    Well best wishes.



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