A Mothers Story Part 2

A few years ago I wrote a blog post about my experience with my daughter coming out when she was 18. As “National Coming Out Day” just passed, I thought it would be good to write a follow up.

As I said in my previous post. I was 13 when my family began attending church. My father expressed his strong views on the subject of homosexuality.

My girls were very close to my parents. Unfortunately my father passed away of brain cancer July 2018. My mother died suddenly in her sleep 14 months later.

My girls loved them. My parents love mattered to them. My parents were the kind of people that loved unconditionally. Even if my dads strong views were verbalized, we knew how much he loved us. But admittedly his view on homosexuality was not as “progressive.” Ok, I would say his views were not accepting. Not that he did not love those who were homosexual. He did. However, his beliefs taught him it was a sin. He verbalized this when the topic came up. My mom did not share her views. If she did believe like him, she would not express it. I believe she was more “progressive.”

Imagine when my daughter understood her sexuality. She is gay. Her dad and I walked away from the church a few years prior to her coming out and even though we were openly accepting of the LGBTQ community, she was still worried about telling us. I am sad she felt that way but I understand why. She was raised in the church.

There is no need to re-tell the story of her coming out. If you would like to read this, you can find it in the “blog” section on this site. However, a few years after she came out to us she felt she needed to tell her grandparents (my mom and dad). She wanted to be able to “be herself” in all areas. This means posting photos of her with a girlfriend. Not hiding any part of her life from those she loved most. During these years of knowing, I was not going to force this decision on her. I was not going to share this with my parents and break her trust. It was her life. It was her decision. It was about my daughter, not me.

Here is how it went down.

Bree told me she felt it was time to tell my parents. She was nervous. I explained to her that they would love her no matter what. They would never turn their back on those they loved, especially the grandchildren. After all, I am convinced they loved my girls more than they loved me. A bit tongue in cheek but you get the point.

One day Bree called me and asked if I would tell Honey and Poppy (that’s what they call my parents) that she was gay. I did not hesitate and said, “Of course. I will do it now.” I could feel her anxiety. I could feel her apprehension and worry. I assured her that I knew my parents and I knew they would accept her and any relationship moving forward with open arms.

I phoned. “Hey mom and dad, first of all, everyone is happy and healthy. I do have to tell you something. Mom, I also know you already know this down deep inside. You will not be surprised but Bree wanted me to call you. She’s worried about telling you so she has asked me to do it. Bree is gay……PAUSE…..She knows you will continue to love her but it is not easy when she knows your views, especially yours dad. I know you will love and accept her. But I need you to know that I love my children more than anything or anyone. If you cannot accept her as she is then we have nothing more to say.”

But I knew. I knew that it would never come to this. I knew and I was right.

My mom said, “Yes, I am not surprised. We love her more than anything on this earth and would never judge or walk away from her.” I could hear my dad breathing, sighing, thinking, absorbing, processing.

He said “We love her no matter what. That will never change.” It never changed.

What did change? My dad. His granddaughter is gay. I know it took time for my dad to work through this in his mind. Not his heart. His heart was full of love for her. All of his beliefs, all of his views and his ignorance were thrown into a hurricane of confusion. I know he worked through this with my mom and by himself. I am happy to say that my dad was changed. Bree helped him to change. When I was caring for my father we had discussions. He would not share too deeply about his process but he would say things about Bree and her then girlfriend. I knew he had accepted this because of the words he used. The inclusive language of love.

I love you girls

I am so proud of my daughters. I am so proud of the kind of humans they are. My youngest daughter, Alexa, has endured more loss than one person should ever have to face. Especially as she was only 24 at the time. I will write more about this when I have the emotional capacity. Right now it is too devastating to put into words that would adequately describe her and all of our loss.

I miss my parents every day. I miss their laughter. They loved to laugh. I miss their voices. I miss their encouragement. I miss their hugs. I miss not talking to them over the phone and hearing them talk to each other and seemingly forget I am on the other end. But most of all, I am so grateful for their unconditional love and acceptance.