We work hard, long hours. Sometimes it feels like we meet each other coming and going. Oh, wait, we do.
We struggle to clearly communicate sometimes. With little together time (when we are both awake), that communication happens over text and phone calls. Motives, emotions, and body language are all assumed in that scenario.
With this, and so much more, we always make sure to kiss.
A kiss has an amazing power to refocus and connect. Emotions calm, feelings settle, words soften, and body language becomes more open.
We always kiss. We don’t always feel like it, but we always do.
While reviewing my blog, I discovered this post from a couple of years back which I failed to publish. It obviously is dated and doesn’t match the calendar, but it’s still applicable.
It’s been an awesome day filled with love and joy. Surrounded by my loving wife, beautiful daughters, awesome son in law, and two granddaughters – one of which is only 1 week old – we have loved and laughed.
I have carried with me an asterisk. There in the back of my mind. There in the scar tissue part of my heart. The * ties itself to everything I am and attempt to do. The * that changes the way I’m viewed.
A faithful husband – with an * of past failures. A nagging memory that won’t go away. I know she feels it, too.
A good dad – except for that awful * that haunts my efforts to lead my family. I fear they feel it, too.
Well, * is what * is. This “holiday” has been a tad tarnished. For me anyway.
Tomorrow will be a new day with new mercies. I will trust that He will bring some new healing and strength.
Maybe in time the * will shrink in its influence and power over me.
My therapist told me that the more transparency I can have in my life, the happier I will be. I believe it. However, in my world, with my specific circumstances, it’s just not the best choice, either for me or for my family. I would experience more loss of close family than I care to deal with, and my wife and children would have to suffer multiple times more than they already do.
So, I continue to trust God for some kind of flourishing life within this cocoon…the shell that hides my straight acting, confident, hopeful, Christian, insecure, fearful, gay self.
It’s a place of safety. A place where I can hide, where all my stuff can be kept safely out of view of those who would never understand and who would wish me harm.
I work really hard at maintaining the shell’s strength and ensuring its integrity. But the tiniest fault line in this shell risks the oozing out of what I’ve kept so closely hidden for so long. I just can’t let that happen.
Except for the rare peek inside that I’ve allowed a few people to have, the cocoon remains intact.
I’m still here, alive and well…and doing a little better every day.
You might say it’s an answer to prayer. Or a miracle. Or luck. Or hard work.
You would be right in all that.
I say it’s also because of the love of a woman.
The love of a good woman who daily reminds me of the good in my world and my life. That love keeps me focused of the most important priorities and helps me ignor the temptation to dwell on the lesser and harmful things around me.
The love of a faithful woman who continues to walk beside me in true companionship. That love keeps me grounded in the right relationships.
The love of a Godly woman who displays a heart that longs to know more about her Father and grow in His grace. That love points me to my ultimate worth that transcends all earthly existence.
We didn’t know if we would make it through the first days of this journey…then the first weeks…first months…but now a few years into it, we continue to live and love each other in the midst of this journey. Due, in large part, to love.
She visited my place of employment to shop for something. When she came home, this is what she said. The shame she carries for my moral failure runs this deep. “What do they know about him?” “What do they say about me?”
I’ve created this. Yet, I’m powerless to cure this.