Tag Archives: relationships

My Grandmother

Upon hearing that my wife and I are splitting up, and that I might possibly someday want to consider going back to school to become a Rabbi. She said, “K will always be apart of our family, because you loved her and because we love her.” I know Grandma. I love her too, we just can’t be together. She said “Of course you can be a Rabbi, this is not such a crazy idea.”

So we talk. Then last night a few hours after our lunch, she sends me two emails, with one link in each email, no other text the first one is this:
http://www.reformjudaism.org/blog/2013/07/15/profiling-first-generation-transgender-rabbis
and the second one is this:
http://www.reformjudaism.org/blog/2013/07/19/fight-equality-life-changing-experience-alabama

Now, I don’t know if my grandmother ever knew that I thought for a time I might be trans, or if she just knows Queer Judaism are as intertwined into my soul as anything. She’s not one for big heart-to-hearts but she is my liberal southern Grandma and I love her with all my heart.

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Filed under Divorce?, family, gender, Politics is Personal, Religion

3 Years Blogging. 25 Before 25.

This post will probably take me quite a while to write. Maybe I shouldn’t put everything all in one post, and maybe I will end up splitting this up at some point, but for now, here goes nothing.

I have had this blog for going on three years. I suppose I started it around the same time I decided I was to propose to my then girlfriend, now domestic partner. Oh boy did we not expect to be where we are today three years ago. We have been through so much.

What I really want to talk about though, is this: In about a week and a half, I will be 24. Three months after that, my father will turn 50 and that, my dear mathematicians means that next year, when I turn 25 and finally getting my BA/starting my Masters? my father will be  exactly twice my age and I will be the age he was when I was born. It seems like that should be such a bizarre concept to me, but really, it makes sense. My dad was definitely a mid-twenties/early thirties kind of dad. In that, I mean I never felt like he was soooo much older than me. We had intellectual discussions, he allowed me to make my own decisions, even if he fought them the whole way. He grew as I grew, and we grow together. What does feel weird is that I’m not there yet. I’m not where he was when he was 24, of course in some ways I’m past where he was I suppose.

When he was 24 he was living in a co-op household attic, my mother was almost five years older than him, and lived right across the attic. He had just graduated with his BA in Environmental Studies and was working on a farm. I think I’ve told this story before, but just in case we need a refresher… His father was dying and his girlfriend (my mother) found out she was pregnant, the same week. They moved up to Mendocino with dreams of starting a blueberry farm, but instead lived in a little one-room cottage with no electricity and my mother, pregnant and living with an incurable disease that causes really poor circulation to extremities, absolutely hating every second of the cold. My dad’s best friend – his dog midnight, was stolen one night while they were eating dinner, and eventually they had had enough. They moved back to their community, rented a little house, I was born. He got a job with the county as a planner and six months later they got married. Typical early 90s life right? Two years later they were divorced. I don’t want to be divorced before I turn 30.

I don’t want to be divorced period.

Don’t get me wrong. I am so happy for the people I have gained in my life because my parents divorced. But generally, divorces are not so easy. For my parents, well, my family is unique. Divorce in my family seems to just mean an addition to the family, no retractions, but still. I don’t want to get divorced.

I wound up so off track I have to remind myself to rein it in.

I wanted this post to be about the things I want to do or accomplish before I turn 25 because I know the year will flash by in a hurry or seem to drag on until it is over. I so badly wanted to put “create life”, “have a baby” on this list of mine. It’s been on my “to do before, or at 25” for as long as I can remember. I guess I just assumed somewhere in my head that would be the natural progression… I get married at 24-25 and then have kids immediately. That’s not what my parents drilled into me, the opposite is true, but I somehow just assumed that would be my life. Reflection is an interesting and dangerous thing. We have solid plans now and that makes my heart rest a little easier, having the goals, the stepping-stones that have to be crossed. Of course the best laid plans right? Such is life, especially our life.

dance

Here goes 25, before 25:

  1. Take ME time, and US time.
  2. Run a 5k
  3. Take a walk to the beach at least once a week.
  4. Re-learn the cello
  5. Visit a country I’ve never been to
  6. Take an “electronic-free” day at least once a month.
  7. Choose 5 accomplishable tasks every week and complete them.
  8. Finish our “first year” scrapbook, almost four years later.
  9. Read two books per quarter that are not required reading.
  10. Play a duet with my partner
  11. Start a community garden near our apartment and/or Plant a garden for my grandparents
  12. Hike 7 falls again
  13. Take the kayaks out
  14. Keep our bedroom clean for a month
  15. Paint a picture
  16. Make a new friend
  17. Get a cat
  18. Find a doable volunteer position and go once a week.
  19. Fly a kite
  20. Take a dance class
  21. Visit my godson
  22. Prioritize music & friendships – Go to a friend’s show at least every other month.
  23. Minimize the STUFF (get rid of things I don’t need), de-clutter.
  24. Call my nonbio-still-completely-siblings, more frequently.
  25. Dance in the rain.

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Filed under family, friendships, growing up, Married Life, Politics is Personal, Work

Dreaming little dreams.

I have this problem that right about when it’s time to be falling asleep, connecting with dreamland, I get antsy. Or creative, or I have an idea. Lately my go-to has been looking at places for rent that keeps me from going insane here. It is time for us to venture out on our own again. Not necessarily without some housemates, but I am ready for our own furniture again, the comfort of our dishes that we bought together in our first apartment, the mugs of hot chocolate that got us through very, very cold winters, and a home that says people in their mid-twenties live here, not retirees. I am ready to schedule meals around the veggies that we once grew in our garden, I am ready to garden again. I am ready to prepare meals for friends again, and ready to keep the house below 75 degrees. I need to keep this thought alive so that I can keep caring for my grandparents as lovingly as I can muster, making plans to make sure I don’t do this forever.

Putting it out into the universe,dreamingofhome

I envision a home somewhat close to where we live, which we may share with laid back people closer to our age, perhaps a kiddo or two in the mix, space for a garden and a kitchen to share lots of meals. I envision a house that we may grow in for the next few years, a place to call our home. A place where my wife can feel free to play music with other musicians or on her own, a place like the co-op I once grew up in. Meals shared from gardens, music shared through time, art from the residents. I’m making this place-holder here. Where I am free to daydream.

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Grandma & I

Grandma & I

Life lately – Her hair started falling out about a week after chemo started. We had already made the appointment and grandma’s hairdresser refused to charge us. She said “It’s my way of fighting cancer.”

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National Coming Out Day. 10/11/12

Stopping by to say a quick “Happy National Coming Out Day!”

On Sunday K and I will celebrate three years together. I will not say that every day has been wonderful, we have had our fair share of hospital stays, and out-of-state moves, of confusion and frustration, and through it all we love each other deeply. We make each other laugh, we can still make each other smile until our cheeks hurt from smiling, we can cry and scream and lean on each other. At the end of the day we support each other fully. Our relationship is not perfect, none are, but we keep going, every day. So on this National Coming Out Day, I just want to say, I love you K. Thank you for loving me.

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October 11, 2012 · 11:10 pm

Taking Care of Myself

Lately life has been a whirlwind of ups and downs, of feeling completely on top of the world “I can do anything” feelings of power and potential, and then the world comes crashing to a halt for one reason or another and I realize I can’t do it all. It’s like the world pops in to tell me “No, No, No… This is not sustainable… See what could go wrong?” And then I have to readjust, re-claim, re-invent. Right now, in the midst of grandparent’s doctors appointments, and signing our domestic partnership forms, and learning my mother’s father and his wife also need a huge amount of extra help and we’re all learning what that entails, and changing Opa’s diapers and making sure he doesn’t say anything inappropriate to my wife(!), and learning all the amazing things he has done in his life, and attempting to figure out what the hell is EATING my grandmother’s bones (yes, I said eating, no it’s not her osteoporosis, doc is running a thousand tests), and writing research papers, and studying, and making dinner for everyone, and laundry, and grocery shopping, and oh yeah going to work….   Somewhere in there, I have to make time for myself. I have to go to the gym, I have to spend half an hour just sitting, I have to give my wife the attention she deserves, I need to find my balance. I need to find that balance very soon, because right now, right now I feel like there are not enough hours in the day and not enough days in the week to get everything done and stay sane.

Right now, for this week, I am okay.   This week I fed everyone dinners, I picked up prescriptions, and drove to doctor’s appointments, and went to work. I did laundry and no one ran out of underwear or socks. I went grocery shopping and spent the most amount of money I have ever spent in one trip, and maybe we were out of eggs and bananas but we certainly weren’t starving. We’re all learning to adjust to Grandma not going to the store everyday and getting used to my cooking, and those are all good things. This week we made it through.

Thursday I called my mother, and this is what I said:

“You have your choice, Saturday or Sunday you are coming over to cook dinner for your mom and Opa. I don’t care which night it is, but you have to pick one.”

She was a little confused, so I said “Wife and I are having a date night, you are coming over to make dinner while we are gone.”

I think it got through to her, I wasn’t up for much of a discussion on the matter. Her and her boyfriend are making the grandparents dinner tomorrow night, wife and I are going on a date.

If you dare try to take my date night away from me this week, the world will see my wrath.

Sweet dreams universe.

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Chum

His skin is patchy

Tanned leather with sun spots, worn thin from years of I can’t not imagine.

In places, his skin is missing,

Raw sores

His skin is becoming ready to return to the earth, but he holds on

Desperately he clings to this place, swimming upstream, a losing battle

In order to satisfy some old short promise he once made.

“I love you” they used to say. “Get up” she says now. “Move!” she says.

His body grumbles, cracks and pops as he tries to respond, tries to do as she demands.

His mind is fading, following his body, they may be ready, but she is not.

His mind comes in… and goes out… screaming for someone to answer his pleas, not knowing what he needs when they come.

Touch. Sun. Fire. Warmth. Sustenance?

It seems he is preparing us, more than himself, trying to make it easier on her.

He says “I am a burden, when will I stop being this old burden?” He says “Growing old,

is not fun, Growing old, is painful.”

She says, “Not many of us are left, not many of us have survived.” She says “what would you like for supper?”

His skin reminds me too much of chum salmon, swimming upstream to spawn, and die. Their scales already rotting, deep purples, reds and grays.

I wonder if they know their fate, do they know they won’t watch their children grow? Do they understand the purpose of their tired bodies?

Their bodies decay, and then die, fertilizing the land, feeding the birds and animals, helping a new life to grow.

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