December 21, 2012

All I want for Christmas.

Posted in Life Lessons, My Five, Parenthood tagged , , , , , , , , , , at 11:06 am by openendedcomment

Dear Santa,

I know it may seem odd to get this letter from me, especially as for the last thirteen years I’ve been you when it comes to gifts and stockings and cookie eating (thank you for that) but in writing to you this year I suppose it’s more about the idea of you…what you stand for…the wonder and the miracle of the season.  I could really use some wonder and what I want may take a miracle, all making you the logical choice for this date.  I know that I haven’t always landed on your “nice” list, I’m the first to admit that to be true.  But from what I understand, you’re a forgiving and jolly sort who can overlook certain things.

This is the season of possibility, of love and togetherness.  Of “It’s a Wonderful Life” and “Miracle on 34th Street” type of things.  I was raised on it.  I believe.  I promise, I still do and as you’ll soon see I wouldn’t be writing if that weren’t true.

This year for Christmas I want something that money can’t buy.  I’m looking for a gift of Christmas itself, of Peace on Earth and Goodwill to Men.  Of being what we sing and living what we say.  I have prayed each night and every day, I’ve written letters and put good karma into the world.  I’ve asked directly and I’ve quietly waited…and now as all else has failed, I’m trying you.  You who embody Christmas itself and the promise of your most heartfelt desires and deepest of wishes coming true…even if for just one day.

Please, Santa, please…if you can…please let my children have a Christmas filled with family and joy.  Give to my husband the gift of reconciliation and brotherhood.  To my Mother and Step-Father a time of hope and possibility.  To my Dad a time of knowledge that he is the glue that keeps me strong, to my friends the gift of faith and grace that they may know a year without pain, to my dearest friend the gift of return, that some of what she has put into the world may come back to her.  To my oldest friend the gift of health for her Mother, to my cousin and thousands like him, the gift of equality in all things.  I know this list is long and it may seem I’m asking for too much…a few will do in a pinch…but if there is only one thing I can receive, let it be this, the gift of healing and of strength to the Mothers and Fathers and Brothers and Sisters who have angels not on their tree this year, but in heaven far, far too soon.  I heard the bells ringing for them this very morning, all twenty-six have been given their wings. I’m afraid it won’t be Christmas for those left here this year but someday and sometime  it will be again and when that day comes please, please be there for them.

Thank You, Santa.  You made so many childhood dreams come true that even though I fill stockings now, part of me still believes in the promise of you.




April 6, 2012

Love and Marriage.

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , at 11:08 pm by openendedcomment

For some reason whenever I think of a wedding, despite the many, many I have attended in all of their varied loveliness, the first thing that comes to mind is the scene in “The Princess Bride” when the priest is speaking of “Wove…trew wove”

I can’t help it.  Maybe that speaks to some deep-rooted issue with my psyche preventing me from taking the whole ceremony seriously.  I don’t know.  If there are any psychologists reading this; feel free to chime in.  Or not.  I’m actually kind of afraid of the answer.

Now marriage; marriage I take seriously.  Weddings not so much.  Weddings aren’t a marriage and weddings don’t really mean (to me) all that people expect/hype/pay for them to mean.  Marriage, on the other hand,  means everything.  Marriage means faith.  Not in God (though that’s good, too) but in each other.  The kind of faith that only comes through intense, intimate trust born from that love…true love…that as insanely school-girlish as this may sound, to me, is magic. Real magic regardless of the science heavy beliefs I hold…I know it is magic.  How else do you explain couples being together, in love, for sixty years?  How do you explain the ability to feel each other’s thoughts and to, after a time, feel the joy and the pain that your spouse is feeling?  Not to simply empathize or to sympathize…but feel it?  There is no scientific explanation for this…it is spiritual.  It is freeing.  It is the most powerful thing in the world.

And some assholes think it can be stopped…and here’s where I get up on my big ‘ol soap-box

These same assholes think that their love is somehow different or more deserving than the love that others share.  Now, how can that be?  I ask you…in all seriousness…how can that be?  How is it that love between a man of one color and a woman of another is lesser than the love of a couple that share the same heritage?  How is that right or even sane?  Why should a couple that looks perhaps a bit different from your wedding picture or my wedding picture be told that because they don’t look the same…they shouldn’t be allowed to experience the deepest and truest commitment known to human-kind?

At this point I’m sure you think I have lost my marbles and have forgotten that it is 2012, not 1912.  I haven’t.  Mostly.  In some countries this is still illegal.  In some countries women aren’t allowed to choose who they may or not marry.  Sound ridiculous?  Disgusting?  Immoral?  Of course it is.  Outraged?  Of course you are. That doesn’t happen in America.  Anymore.

BUT…here, in the good ol’ USA, where we are evolved enough in our social consciousness to decry this racial and sexist degradation as something we won’t tolerate…here…where those of you reading this are disgusted at the thought of it being illegal for an inter-racial couple to marry…here…we are doing the same damn thing.

It’s OK for a same-sex couple to have a joining ceremony.  They can have the wedding…but oh, no, they may not have a marriage.  It’s allowed to have a legal partnership with contracts and powers of attorney and even joint property…but marriage?  No, that is reserved for a special group.  A group that decides for the rest of the population who they may and may not marry. Re-read that last sentence.  We are deciding who other people may and may not spend their lives with.  How in the Hell is that OK?  How in the Hell is that even legal?  Newsflash:  it isn’t.

Church and state, in the US, are separate.  If a religion does not want to recognize or approve of same-sex marriage that is their prerogative and the government can’t make them do it.  FINE.  That is fine and that is legal.  I am divorced.  The Catholic church said that I couldn’t marry my husband (the man I adore and will love till the day I die) in the Catholic church because of this.  Now, if I had been willing to annul my marriage to my ex-husband (henceforth to be refered to as douchebag…another story…trust me, that moniker is me being nice…but I digress)  IF I had been willing to do that, then I could have married my husband in a Catholic church.  But I didn’t and I wasn’t.  Never mind that my Priest is the one who told me to get out of the offending marriage…but whatever.  We can discuss the hypocrisy of my religion another day.  Point is that my perfectly gorgeous wedding on a river performed by a judge in front of our family and friends was and is legal in every state in the US and in every country in the world.  Except maybe the Vatican.  Not sure what the rules are with that.

So…follow me here.  MY marriage, which my own religion chooses not to acknowledge as it offends their doctrine, is legal.  I am legally married because my husband and I are two consenting adults who decided to enter into a legal contract.  I am not married in the eyes of the Catholic church because they don’t agree with my decisions.  The state of Minnesota and the Country of the United States of America don’t care or even know that a religious group doesn’t approve…because church and state are separate.

So…with laws being laws and religion being religion…what in the fu*k is all the fuss about with same-sex marriage?

Why on earth is this an issue for any other loving couple in this or any other state?  Why is it that when many, many states had laws on the books preventing inter-racial marriage the rest of the country stood up and said that we would not tolerate bigotry but the federal government is doing nothing about this egregious offense to not only the moral conscience of many but to the damned constitution?

Another Newsflash (I’m big on those):  You can’t stop love.  You can illegalize it, decry it and even demoralize…but you can’t stop love.  Let me repeat that.  You. Can’t. Stop. Love. You can’t “decide” not to love someone.  You can’t tell me or anyone else on this planet that they can’t love someone.  You may ask them not to…but you can’t actually stop it.

Love is magical.  Like rainbows.  And sunsets.  And Faith.  And God.  At least the God I know.  You can’t see Him…but you know he’s there.  You can’t feel it…but it doesn’t make it any less real…love and faith…you just feel it.  You just know.  It just is.  And no different from every failed attempt in human history to legislate faith…each and every attempt to legislate love will also fail.  Preferably sooner rather than later.

On a purely practical note, while I’m not a huge fan of wedding ceremonies but rather of the marriages that follow (most of them anyway)…I AM a huge fan of bettering the economy. Practically speaking, what better for the economy than a few hundred thousand same-sex couples getting hitched?  I mean, have you ever been to a party thrown by a gay couple?  Much less a gay wedding?  Let me just tell you, they know how to throw a party…we’re talking serious economic stimulus in the wedding business.  Liza (and every good Liza impersonator) would be booked for life.  Epic run on orchids and fine bourban…and mad-men-esque tuxedos.  Swoon.

But back on track and seriously, people…

At no time in the history of our country have we been better for holding back progress…or faith…or especially love.  At no time has history shown those that have held this back as the victors…they have been the despots…the evil-doers…the ones we look back on in shame.  There is no shame in love…there is no shame in allowing love…there is no shame in your beliefs, the beliefs of a Mormon, a Catholic, a Buddhist, a Muslim, a Jew or in mine…the shame lies only in imposing them on others.

PS…CW , ML & TB…this one’s for you…love.