An Anniversary

Today is Valentine’s Day. 
It’s a silly Hallmark holiday, but I love the silliness.  I love the excuse to open a nice bottle of
wine and make fondue at home by candlelight. 
I love the excuse to buy mushy, sentimental cards (or the ridiculous
rawhide cards I bought for Twix & Rolo). 
I love being in love.  I feel so
fortunate to have this incredible woman to share my life with.  I am so lucky to be married to my best friend.

All that aside, this Valentine’s Day is also the fifteen
year anniversary of the day I came out to my mother.

Fifteen years.

It feels like a lifetime ago—and in so many ways it was.

I didn’t come out by choice. 
It wasn’t some grand moment where I took a deep breath, sat my mom down,
and explained how I was feeling.  I had
only been dating my first girlfriend for two weeks.  I hadn’t even made sense of things in my own
head.  I had no idea what it all meant,
and there was certainly no way I was ready to sit down with my mother and talk
about it.

But she was suspicious and I was only sixteen.  That Valentine’s Day while I was at the beach
with my girlfriend, my mother read my diary and the shit hit the fan.

If I try, I can remember it all like it was yesterday, but I
don’t want to.  Instead of remembering
the hell I went through for two years as I struggled with my mother over my
place in this world and fought with her every minute of every day, I want to
focus on the mom I have today. 

The mom I have today took in that same first girlfriend when
she was kicked out of the house.  (I was
eighteen, then.)

The mom I have today fought openly with her brother over
Easter dinner about my right to marry the woman I love.

She paid for half of our wedding.

I think she prefers Catch over me half the time.

She nags us about when we’re going to give her
grandchildren.

She is not the same terrified mom she was fifteen years ago
when all of her dreams for her daughter’s future seemed like they were going up
in a cloud of smoke.   I am not the same terrified
teenager afraid to talk about my life.

I wish I could go back in time and talk to that scared
sixteen year old.  I wish I could let her
know that it’s all temporary and that everything works out in the end.  I wish I could give her a glimpse of the
happiness that awaits her. 

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