The boyfriend and I are back home after a trip to Charlottesville to visit my mom. My mental state is much improved over that of Friday following the post divorce court hearing when I was truly to the point of ending it all. The trip was interesting for several reasons. First, it is interesting to note the difference in how the boyfriend treats my mother as compared to the ex-wife - he treats her (and me) far better. Second, with it being the weekend that incoming First Year students arrive to start the fall semester - at UVA the terms freshman, sophomore, etc. are NOT used - it made me think back to my arrival at UVA more than 35 years ago (looking pretty much like in the photo at left) and I could not help but wonder how my life might have differed if I had had the courage to accept myself back then. While I would in no way give up my children and would repeat everything again to have them as part of my life, one still finds the mind wondering about the "what ifs." What if, for example I had responded to friends who I think in retrospect may have been having the same feelings as myself.
The other thing that got me thinking was going to church with my mom at the Catholic parish at the University - a true sacrifice for my mom's sake - where I attended daily mass for years trying to pray myself away for attraction to other guys. As I've done before, I look out at the young students and wonder how many are going through the same religious brainwashing and religious based self-hate as I did at that point in my life. Don't get me wrong, the University parish does much good and being run by the Dominicans, it is nowhere near as reactionary and gay hating as are typical Catholic parishes. I was, however, disheartened to see the Knights of Columbus trying to recruit students for a student council - the same Knights who have NEVER gone after the Church hierarchy on the sex abuse scandal while continuing to brown nose the hierarchy to the point of near suffocation. The same Knights who have donated huge amounts of money to support anti-gay marriage initiatives. The ultimate hypocrisy was the piece in the bulletin how the Knights "fill your hearts and minds with the joy of helping others." The knights have done nothing to support families of victims of sexual abuse by priests and nothing to help gay Catholics.
Despite such thoughts and reflections, it was a good weekend and I believe that my mom truly enjoyed our visit and being squired around and waited on. As for me, it was a much needed change of scenery. One of the projects we took on was restoring her wedding album which is showing its 59 years of age. While we have it, I want to make some copies of the photos and share a few her on the blog. In her younger days, my mother was a real beauty and my dad quite handsome.