Thursday, September 19, 2013

Same Love

The phone call I'd been dreading for months finally came at about 10:30 pm on Labor Day.
"Fluffy, it happened.  He's gone"


Some time in the mid 80's, their eyes met from across the room outside of an airbrush stand.   I know, I know...airbrush.   It was the eighties and that was cool, george dammit.

After a very poor attempt at flirting (this is just an assumption on my part based on the knowledge I have of the characters in this story), they ended up having hot chocolate while discussing the strong attraction they had.  (queue 70's porn music).  The rest, as they say, was history.  

Over the years they've faced their fair share of criticism.  One black. One white. Both in love.  They went together like Nutella and white toast and Michael Jackson even wrote a song about them...

The love and commitment they had for one another was always much stronger than what Society had to say.  Sure, they came close to ending it at some point thinking life would just be 'easier' if they lived by certain standards.  

Thankfully, they fought hard and realized that life is too short to live by somebody else's standards.  Every.single.night for the past 28 years, they have laid their head down each night next to the man of their dreams.

Yes, you may have caught on by now that this isn't just a love story about a "mixed couple", but also a love story of two men.  These two men are my "guncles" and have been together almost as long as I've been alive.  That's pretty damn amazing, uhthankyouverymuch.  

While I was pregnant with Fluffette, we found out that Uncle Alan had AIDS.  He was in and out of hospitals, losing and gaining weight and losing his short term memory.  His biggest fear at the time was that he wouldn't get to meet Fluffette or even worse, that I wouldn't let him hold her.  That was, of course, just stupid. 

Over the past year, his health has continued to have highs and lows.  Fluffette and I went to see him almost two months ago and it was absolutely heartbreaking.  Now in a hospital bed in his bedroom, unable to feed himself or even get out of his bed without help, he was not the Uncle I remembered.  I held it together most of the weekend then on the way home.  For some reason, I knew that was my goodbye.  I felt it.  

But, Uncle Jerry was there, by his side the entire time.  Feeding him.  Changing his diaper.  STILL laying his head down every night next to the man of his dreams.  He could have very easily just walked away.  Many in his same situation have.  Even though it's not currently legal for them to exchange vows in the state of Texas, he stood by them anyway.  "For better or worse, till death do us part"

My Uncle Alan has always been my favorite uncle (unless you are another one of my uncles reading this, in which case, YOU are totes my favorite).  I spent time with him and Uncle Jerry every summer growing up.  Alan always had fun and did inappropriate things while Jerry always cooked amazing hamburgers and got on to Alan for doing inappropriate things.  He was sarcastic, witty, silly, smart, caring and uber emotional as he got older.  Some experts say that I am a lot like him....other than the stupid part about emotions.  ppssssshaw.  

My most memorable moment with Uncle Alan is from my cousin's rehearsal dinner.  I showed up in a skort and knee socks with Mary Janes.  I thought I was the cat's meow.  ( I truly hate cats).  It was the 90s.  I was 16.  I was super duper fly.  Nearly two decades later and I still hear about this minor (yes minor) fashion slip up.  9 out of 10 times I saw Alan, those damn knee socks were brought up.  

I'm sure a lot of people reading this don't agree with the whole 'gay thing'.  I may not agree with your way of thinking but I respect it.  I ask that you do the same here.  I feel so blessed that I grew up around it and had two amazing role models to show me that Love truly conquers all.   

I don't want to get in to the religion argument, but my uncles went to church every single Sunday that they were able and were very involved.  Our God loves all his children and flew his Rainbow flag half staff on Labor Day to welcome his new angel.  

Alan wasn't "that gay guy", he was a best friend, a brother, a son, a mentor, a class clown, a counselor, an uncle and most importantly, he was happy and he lived each day to the best of his ability.  

Uncle Alan, I hope your heaven is full of azzless chaps and that every angel is required to wear knee socks.  I love you and miss you  Thank you for showing me that life will pass us by one way or another so it's up to US to make it the best damn life we can.  

I have signed up to participate in the Dallas LifeWalk in October.  I would love for you to join me, or donate millions to this cause.  

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