Swimming In My Head…

diving in the deep end…

Think Twice

No humor in this post, simply a statement from the heart.

Last night I spoke with my biological mother on the phone.  As has been the case many times in the past, the call ended unpleasantly.  Not because mean things were said from my end or hers for that matter.  It’s what wasn’t said.

I haven’t actually seen my biological parents in over 4 years now.  There isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t think about them or wonder if they’re alright.  But in our family’s case, religion has driven a wedge between family members that has been ongoing for the last 16 years or so .

I called them back after they had left me a voicemail on Saturday.  And if you’re wondering why I waited so long to return the call, it’s because I ultimately fear how the conversation will go – every time.  This one didn’t disappoint.

When I heard my mother’s voice, I actually started to cry because I miss her more than she’ll ever know.  And when she asked me what was wrong, I said that I just don’t understand how religion can come between a family and that I’m hurt by the fact that I don’t even know my parents.

She stopped me from talking the minute I brought up the religion which incidentally is Jehovah’s Witnesses and then she did what hurt the most…she didn’t say anything else.

My sister and I have gone through years of this back and forth, trying to establish some semblance of a relationship with the people that used to so proudly announce that “they brought us into this world”, but inevitably we are shuttered out of their lives for fear that we will be instrumental in them losing their faith.

Ironically, my sister is due to have a baby around the same time as my birthday this year and there is one thing I will make sure of…that the baby knows they are loved no matter who they choose to marry, their sexual orientation, their choice in clothes, music, religion or friends – people become products of their environment.  As that baby’s uncle, I’m accountable for my piece of his environment.

I have sat back for years silently watching so many claiming to be advocates for God discredit, disrespect, judge and say and do hurtful things to others all in the name of God.  All I can do is shake my head and wonder how on earth they can honestly feel like they’re doing the right thing.  It’s strange because I say I lost my faith at 16, but I sometimes wonder if I lost my faith in people instead of God.

It’s “The Other One’s” parents that I call mom & dad because they without question, stepped into that role for me without even being asked.  They’re there when I need them and even when I think I don’t.  They have been supportive and loving every step of the way for the 9 years that we’ve been together and for that I’m eternally grateful.

I titled this post “Think Twice” because this whole experience has taught me a thing or two.  It’s taught me to think twice before I just dismiss another human being.  I can’t possibly know what they’re going through at that very moment and my dismissal of them might be the very thing that sends them over some edge.  It’s taught me that if I have people in my life that care about me, think twice before I take that care for granted and do my best to always return it.

And last but not least, it’s taught me to think twice about love and mortality.  The reality is that there are only 2 guarantees in life – death and taxes.  Taxes are negotiable, dying is not.  50 years from now (with any luck), when all is said and done and I’m on my way to wherever it is that we go, will I be able to look back and say without question that I feel good about how I treated, loved and cared for others?

Because if I can’t say that unequivocally, there probably won’t be anybody there to listen anyway?

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February 19, 2009 Posted by | Life In General | , , , , , | 10 Comments