Back in May, I posted about how much it meant for me to be accepted by my dad when I came out (a photo of him a few years back is posted at left). http://michael-in-norfolk.blogspot.com/2007/05/fathers-gift.html I recently shared that post with my siblings and my mom. I was touched by what my mother and one of my sisters said in e-mails to me.
First excerpts from the e-mail from my mom, who will be 80 in the fall (she still cracks me up at times):
"Dear Michael, I am not quite sure what a blog is, but I do know you must have been happy with your Dad's response to you and Raymond. You were his son and that was all that mattered! . . .I started to go to an exercise group in the swimming pool Mon.,Wed.,&Fri with some of the ladies. I have to make myself go. . ."
The "ladies" are other widowed residents of her complex in Charlottesville, Virginia, the youngest of whom is probably 76.
From my sister, who in her younger years battled wills with my dad all the time on almost every issue:
"Michael, I found this very touching and Daddy really was an exceptional man. It took me a long time to realize it, but he mellowed so much in his older age and I really miss him. His illness really made him see what was important in life. I hope you guys are doing well. . . . "
Like my sister, I really miss my dad. For gays coming out of the closet, I hope their parents will surprise them and take my dad's approach. For my kids, once the divorce is final and the flow of poison from the mother hopefully lets up, I hope they can re-evaluate me as my sister did with my dad.