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Saturday, November 28, 2009

Joan Jett - Androgynous

I first heard about Joan Jett when I was a teenager.  I was about 12 or 13 and taking the morning bus to school and I saw a girl - she must have been a couple of years older who waited on the other side of the street.  She would get her coffee and walk around impatiently for her bus.  She had the most amazing jacket I ever saw - dungaree with a picture on the back - the cover of "Bad Reputation."

I think I probably had a crush on her although at the time, I did not let my curiosity get the better of me.  I was just enamored with her jacket.  I had to know more about it.  And know more about it I did.  I became an avid fan.

I can honestly say that Joan Jett helped me become the woman I am today even though I never met her.  Her music was always a constant in my teen and early adult years.  Her songs helped me through some tough times, helped me get to better know myself, and helped me find the courage to be the rebel that is me.

Today, I saw a video of "Androgynous" and it prompted an entire conversation in my mind.  Watch:

I was reminded of my rant about "Stand for Marriage Maine" and how they claimed homosexuals were after your children.  There was Joan Jett - sitting in front of a classroom full of children, singing about a boy in a skirt and a girl with chains.  Happy androgynous people who love each other.

Wow.  I realized how right she is.  How important it is to teach our children that there are all sorts of people in this world and we all want the same thing - to be happy.  We want love in our lives, to express ourselves, to love someone and to give our love.  Teaching children about people that are different is crucial to illuminating the fact that under our skin, in our hearts - we are all the same. 

As parents, we are entitled to teach our children what we will.  We instill our values, our code of morality, our world view.  Recognizing our differences gives children a wide array for analysis to determine where they fit in the continuum. 

As a forty-something year old gay woman, I have yet to meet another gay person whose parents were not heterosexual.  And I've met a lot of gay people.  Having parents of a particular orientation does not guarantee your child will or will not be gay.  What I think Joan Jett is saying here is, "Who cares as long as they are happy?"  I wholeheartedly agree!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Figuring it out - at least a little

Almost immediately after posting my thoughts for the week about letting go, life let me know at least one really big obstacle to my growth that I need to let go of. I guess asking the question was enough to prompt a response and of course, I'm sitting here wondering why that? Why not something easier?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Week of November 22, 2009: After Seven Years

It's been seven years since James died. I've learned a lot about myself and about how to continue living when you've lost your future, your hope, your will to go on. As I've said before, it's my desire to continue to make James proud of me that leads me to live a life of courage and perseverance. Without the belief that James is still watching, still wanting me to be the mother he knew, I would not be here today.

But still, there are aspects of grief that I am still learning about. There is a huge lesson that I'm struggling with today and a challenge I've not overcome. That lesson is - letting go. I don't know how to but I know that I have not done so yet. I know this because life, and James, have given me indication that I'm still clutching onto something that I refuse to let go of.

I'm not really sure what that is. On an intellectual level, I think that I've processed his death and the reality of it. Surely what I must let go of is on an emotional level. But I still don't understand what it is that I must let go of.

This is a unique avenue to process my thoughts and emotions - a somewhat public way to grieve. I'm normally an extremely private person and I'm certainly far from large scale exposure on the internet. But putting my experience out there gives me some comfort that I'm taking steps to reach out, not only to help others but to learn and grow in the process.

I have to let go. This I know. But what must I let go of? What am I holding onto? What am I refusing to see? What won't my heart look at? What is my heart grasping onto? I've cried a river of tears. I've shed so much pain and agony of loss through my tears. Even today, I sat and pulled out every picture I have of James - from his birth to his death and all ages in between. Reflecting on those moments and others we shared. He had the biggest, brightest smile in so many of those pictures. And I cried.

But I still don't know what I'm supposed to let go of. I've done a lot of letting go in my life. I've let go of anger, resentment, bitterness. It's not as though I don't know how to let go. I've recognized those things inside which have held me back and understood the necessity of letting them go. But here, I am baffled - sincerely baffled.

I'm certain since I am asking these questions that the answer will come. When I figure it out, I'll let you know.

Friday, November 20, 2009

7 Years Today

Today marks the 7th anniversary of the day James' Spirit was released from his body.  It's always a difficult time for me, the days leading up to and especially the day of this particular day.

7 years ago today I was touching his cold body, in shock, thinking this can't be. 

7 years ago today I was feeling the finality, the irreversibility of what just transpired.

7 years ago today the ground beneath my feet crumbled and my mind sat quiet, digesting that I would never hear his voice again.

I begged God to change it, fix it, make it some crazy nightmare that didn't really happen.  In the years since, like others who have had this same devastation in their lives, I've picked up the pieces and wake up each day trying to figure out what my life means without James.

I hold onto hope because I have to.  I hold onto the future because I must live each day in the spirit of what James would want for me and I know he certainly would never want his life to stand for the destruction of my own.  I know he wants for me to find beauty in the world and know peace in my heart because that's who James was as a person.

But still, my heart is broken. 

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Health Care Reform - Necessary or Evil?

I've been doing a little reading today about the new Health Care Reform bill proposed legislation.  Wow.  Some people are outraged at the idea of this reform.  I'm perplexed to understand why it is fueling a rage in some people.

I often listen to extremist radio personalities - just to see what they are spouting.  Rush Limbaugh, Glen Beck, Michael Savage - those sorts.  I have heard their claims that under this new health care reform, people who could not afford health care coverage would be arrested.  And they are serious.  What's most scary is that there are many people who believe them!

Some one told me today that they "skimmed" the entire 2,000 page text and claim now they know what the health care reform bill is all about.  Okay, this is not a joke.  This is scary!

I read a comment posted by someone who was infuriated with this socialism and that there is no constitutional guarantee for healthcare.

This debate would be interesting but the reality is, there are so many Americans who get their "news" from extremist radio personalities who claim to use reason and logic and fact to illustrate how detrimental to the American people health care reform is.