This first published on May 23, 2015
Today is the day to begin this heart lead journey. My heart overflows with gratitude, gratitude that has to be shared. This is a lesson from a little, a most significant little, although not one of the littles that I plan to write about. This little is no longer part of my life on this planet.
This is Memorial Day weekend in the United States. This is a day when we reflect on those who have gone before us. For many, much recognition is around lives lost in military service. It is with deepest respect and gratitude I too pause and give thanks for these lives. Military service runs deep in my family.
There are lives I remember on this day that have no link to military service. Lives most close to me. Lives that walk with me everyday. But, there is one life like no other. One person I miss far and away more than any one else. My brother Lee died of AIDS October 31, 1988. Lee was 30 years old. Lee was four years younger than I. Lee was my first little. And, I loved him dearly. He was my best friend. Lee and I shared some pretty galvanizing childhood events.
But there was something that Lee shared with me, a remark he made in passing, a comment that stung and stuck. Stuck like a tick. It was at my wedding to Dennis Brown on August 15, 1981. Lee said, “You know weddings are the saddest day for us.” To which I lamely responded with just a stare. Lee continued, “We can never get marred”. I felt like I had been punched in the gut. Of course not, he was gay. But, I had never thought about it. It had never crossed my mind. And, I felt like a heel. I have felt like a heel for a long time. I didn’t get it.
So on this day that Ireland votes overwhelmingly for same sex marriage, I remember Lee. As Tillamook for Love was birthed this week, I remember Lee.
Love wins. Love wins every time. I give thanks for God’s work in the world.