It is my favorite season, and I don’t think I’m alone. I have a couple friends counting down to snow season, bless their hearts, but I bet they are in the minority.
My summer started (technically late spring, but this is not the important part here) with a trip to San Francisco, where I met my *if you could meet anyone, who would it be* person, Anne Lamott. My friend Cheryl joined me on the trip, even though she had already met Anne earlier this year (she spent several days on a cruise with her, and started calling her “Annie.” I was not at all jealous). Also, we saw Hamilton, getting last minute tickets. What a treat. If you wonder if you should see it, yes you should.
Later in June I attended Twin Cities Pride, which felt like an important step in my life. Having grown up conservative Baptist, I was taught in church that not only was it a sin to be gay, but it was evidently one of the worst sins. In many circles, this position regarding the LGBTQ community is fueled by hate, lightly veiled in phrases like “Hate the sin, love the sinner.” I didn’t realize for much of my life how hurtful and offensive this phrase is. Now I do. Whoever said “When we know better, we do better” was very wise.
Pride is full of energy, warmth, variety, rescue dogs, food, music and hugging. “Happy Pride!” people said to me with a smile. Once I learned the uncomplicated lingo, I knew to reply with the same, “Happy Pride.” Wearing a “Free Mom Hugs” shirt opened the door to offering hugs and receiving hugs. “Bring it in,” one young girl said as she held out her arms and hugged me tight. The Free Mom Hugs movement was started specifically to provide hugs from moms to LGBTQ people who were rejected by their family when they came out and acknowledged who they are. A hug offers a few moments of comfort.
May I suggest that we not base entire theological positions on a single passage of New Testament scripture, especially when the scripture seems to contradict the teachings of Jesus. Let’s dig deeper. Let’s start with what Jesus taught. People’s lives are at stake.
On a lighter note, I have been reading a lot. Perhaps we like some of the same books, or maybe you have some recommendations for me. I am typically listening to one book in my car, and reading one at home. I am running out of time to read all the books now that I am 51, and I regret the time I wasted on romance novels (sorry Danielle Steel) when there were so many other options. See ratings below.
- Born a Crime, by Trevor Noah (4.5 stars)
- Everything Happens for Reason, by Kate Bowler (5 stars)
- The Poisonwood Bible, by Barbara Kingsolver (4 stars)
- On Writing, by Stephen King (4 stars)
- Tiny Beautiful Things, by Cheryl Strayed (not started)
- Middlesex, by Jeffrey Eugenides (on page 11 of 527)
- We Should Hang Out Sometime, by Josh Sundquist (not started)
These books are due in a few days, so I will have some hard choices to make this week.
The other thing that happened is…the grief over losing my dad last year returned abruptly in full force, for which I was unprepared. I was reminded of the hospice counselor telling me the grief is in charge, and clearly it is. But I think I should have a say. If you have seen me in the last week or two, likely I had recently been crying, was trying not to cry, or was trying to get to my car before I started crying. I tried to reason with myself using various arguments, such as:
- It’s been almost a year and a half, and I had several weeks to say goodbye.
- He was 74 and had lived a full life.
- Some people have lost children or spouses, tragically, unexpectedly.
The grief was not persuaded. Last night Jeff brought me my favorite picture to keep close. It is comforting. This is a beautiful memory, and captures so much of our relationship in one simple photo.
Note the coffee. This week I innocently bought coffee at Kowalski’s, and suddenly flashed back to drinking coffee with my dad.
As I explained to Jeff, I am undone.
So, I turn to self care. Exercise…extra time with my people…listening to a book I have found especially comforting – Tell me More, by Kelly Corrigan. Evidently this is my favorite book because it’s the only one I’ve read 3 times. And I keep going, one day at time, accepting life on life’s terms.