In the wake of Orlando – a message of love and joy

A letter to my Grand kids – Horatio, Estelle and Otis

Darling Horrie, Esty and Otis

One day when you read this, I hope you will understand the pain I feel, as a gay man at what has happened in Orlando, Florida over the weekend. I also want you to feel joy and pride in what the family you were born into, has managed to achieve.

This shocking, hate filled event, occurred at a time when our family was at its best and we should be proud of this. All thoughts of hatred or bitterness were so far removed as to not even exist; bringing the hatred of Orlando into such stark contrast.

I was in Melbourne playing with Horrie and Este, enjoying my time with my darling, ever practical, eldest daughter; Jasmine and her often bewildered, but always supportive husband; Jorge. Nanny Sascha and Poppy Douglas so graciously welcomed me into their home for the four days I was there, and the joy of family was enhanced by the fact that Jasmine’s cousin Amy and her husband Kris were visiting Melbourne from Perth and could join us all for brunch on Sunday.

There could have been a shadow over the weekend; in that Otis’s mum, Annie was on the other side of the world recovering from a major operation, but the fact that Aunty Kayla had flown to be with her and could spend time with Otis and his dad; Wally, seemed even to make this tough time, inclusive. We spoke on Facetime and in the end; it all seemed to add to a wonderful sense of feeling for family.

We laughed with Annie and tried to feel her pain, we shared the joy of Otis in having his mum back home and were deeply thankful that Wally and Kayla were there to support Annie at this time.

The massacre in Orlando, caused me to reflect on the happiness we have found, and the joy; we as a family get, from the acceptance and love we have all worked so hard to achieve

When I was young, being gay was not even on the radar, I knew I was different, but living in the country, I did not understand that difference for what it was.

Consequently, much of my, life until my 30’s was spent in ignorant denial.

I cannot regret this time, because I married Nanny Sascha and we had three tremendous Daughters; Jasmine, Annie and Kaylah; these are your loving mothers or aunts.

Nanny Sascha has been the most wonderful person in my life and you are so lucky to have her as your Grandmother. When she could have turned to bitterness towards me, she chose not to, and was instead; totally supportive as we struggled with the dilemma of when and what to tell our children about why we had separated.

Poppy Douglas has been such a tower of strength since joining our extended family and it makes me so happy, to see that Nanny Sue has found happiness with such a good man. It must have been very hard for him to deal with me and the weird family structure he married into.

Your mums and your aunts have been everything I could have hoped for. They have challenged me, called me out when I have been wrong, which is often: but have always been supportive and caring.

Billy picked me up from the airport on Sunday and the news of Orlando was just starting to come through, it seemed like such a cruel irony for this to have occurred after we had enjoyed such a wonderfully inclusive few days.

Always remember, there is more good in the world than bad; I know at times it does not seem like that, but hopefully; our little family will always be a beacon to you, as you grow and find your own place in the world.

I don’t have much sadness at what is happening to me, it is hard to be sad when you are surrounded by love, but the sadness I do have; is reserved for the regret that I will probably not see you grow into young adults. Somehow though, I think you will be special and I do know, you are in the best of hands.

Yours is truly, a family that has risen above bitterness and hatred, I hope in some small way, I have been part of that triumph and this is the legacy I leave you.

Lots of Love

Grumpy xxxxx

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