Allies of Love


 


While running errands a few weeks ago, I ran into an old acquaintance. We were catching up with the usual pleasantries. “How is your son? Does he have a steady girlfriend?” I replied, “No, but he and his boyfriend have been together for more than a year and a half.” With a horrified and shocked look, followed by a snarky reply, she inquired, “Well, how is that?” I gave a quizzical glare until she finished. On some level, my mind knew where her comment was going, “Having a gay son?”

 After what I am sure was an equally, if not more, shocked look in my eyes, followed by an image in my mind, playing out like a seventies cartoon of a baseball hitting her upside the head. I replied with, “I don’t know. What is it like having a heterosexual son?” My response left her speechless, and we soon parted ways.

 Since that afternoon, I have not been able to shake the insensitive encounter from my thoughts. I am unsure if it was the underlying tone of her question that offended me. Perhaps it was the audacity of the question itself, or maybe it was the idea that someone believed my son being gay would change my life in some monumental, horrendous manner.

 In In 2012, when my son told me he was gay, it seemed as if I was the only person still unaware of the obvious. I had questioned him a few years prior when he was still in high school. After that conversation, I did not give the idea much thought. My unconditional love for my son never hinged on his sexuality. The day he told me he was gay, I simply replied, “Ok.” He said, “Is that it?” I responded, “Yes, you are still the same son I gave birth to over nineteen years ago. There is nothing you can do that will change my love for you. I will love you until the day I die and even after.”

 Yes, I realize some things are and will be different, but then again, not really. I will not watch a woman wearing a white gown walk down the aisle to my son to begin their lives together. He is unsure if he will ever have children, though he has been saying this for years. So that is nothing new. He was born color blind. He still is, even within his heart and soul. He is still my favorite person to go shopping with, and when it comes to picking out shoes and accessories, his opinion is the one I happily seek. He knows me to my core, always challenging me, yet he is the first to be my champion and encourage me. He is one of the most creative people I know. Time has only enhanced his creativity. Ok, so that has changed.

 My unwavering heart’s desire has been for him to be happy and healthy. I still worry if he is eating right or taking his medications. I still pray for him and his safety each day. I try not to overstep my boundaries while at the same time being there whenever he needs me. That is all a part of having a relationship with your grown child.

 As women, we give birth to these perfect little creatures, whom we love so much it feels as if our chest will explode. A piece of our heart lives and breathes outside the confines of our body. The only thing that changes is these feelings grow deeper and stronger with time. In a Mother’s Day card he gave me a few years ago, he wrote, “To the only woman who will ever have my entire heart.” I find it ironic because the moment I knew of his existence, that is precisely what he hadmy entire heart.

 So what is it like having a gay son? I don’t know, I have A son, and he is my son, moon and stars. His sexuality does not define our relationship or alter my unconditional love, and it never will.

Six years have passed since the encounter, which prompted me to write this piece about my Pride and joy. After I initially posted this on my social media page, I received a phone call from my son’s Nana, my ex-mother-in-law. As I answered the phone, I held my breath. She was the only person whose love for my son rivaled mine. Over the years, that love had the power to make us the greatest enemies or the strongest allies. Her words to me were simple, “I am so proud of you, Honey. I love you.” The bottom line is, regardless of your beliefs, your gender, your ethnicitylove is love. Shouldn’t we all aspire to be allies of love?




My only wish is that my son’s Nana was still present when we realized my son had found his forever partner. This kind, loving man blends into our family as if he was always a part of us because, in reality, he is now and forever family.

 

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