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DonRedwood

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Member since: Tue Aug 9, 2011, 03:40 PM
Number of posts: 4,359

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Hey Straight DUers, I Have To Have A Word With You...

On this hot and beautiful Friday evening, with a lovely weekend stretching ahead of my partner and I, I am feeling truly blessed.

Not because of the deaths of DOMA and DADT, not because we have a President who, though maybe not always jumping up and down in support of gay rights, seems to somehow work behind the scenes to get things done without ever really talking about it much, but because I have found a group of straight people who stand so amazingly firm in support of gay Americans that it brings tears to my eyes.

Grannies from the South, weightlifters from Texas, moms who like ice sports, just so many amazing people who have taught me a thing or two about standing up for myself.

Thank you DU for being so staunch in your support of your gay members. I can speak freely and demand my rights because I have the strength of you people behind me. You all are teaching me how to do it.

I remember during the gay rights ballot initiatives here in the 80s. Heartbreaking to see so much hate aimed at gay people, especially when you are that young and trying to figure things out. And then one day I saw a "straight but not narrow" sticker on some cool dude's car and I burst into tears just being so grateful that someone decent had the guts to speak up. That's how you people make me feel every day.

Thank you very much straight people of DU. Your thoughtful support of LGBT people is truly special. In my life you are the Sun that balances out the darkness of the other side. I'd bet there are many gay DUers who would agree with me.

A beautiful weekend to you. May we all eat something delicious, see something beautiful and snuggle up to something (or one) that we love.

A Room With A View. A Tale For Father's Day.

My father and I weren't super close. He had terrible health starting at 36 (and a string of heart attacks) and he really took the "Boy Named Sue Route" in some aspects. I was 10 and they gave him only a couple of years to live. So, my dad made me stand up like a man. No crying. No running for help. Just deal with the damned problem as best you can and stand up and take the consequences of the choices you made.

Hard stuff for 10. But 36 is awfully young to be planning your death. Hard stuff for 36.

But despite laying on deathbed after deathbed, after being given last rights more than once, the guy just hung on. Heart attack after heart attack, one on a riverbank where his best buddy did CPR for half an hour before life flight zapped him on the helicopter. His heart started back up but when we got to the hospital the dr. said, "He won't wake up, and you wouldn't want him to. He'd most likely be a vegetable." Hard words for my mom to hear, he was just 45.

A few hours later he woke up and said, "Where am I? I was fishing." I looked at the Dr. when he said it. He was standing there with a look of shock on his face and his mouth hanging open. This was a dead man talking.

A few months before I graduated from college I was in a terrible car accident. T-boned in a little Toyota by a kid seeing how fast his new Dodge Charger would go. (at least to 85...that's what he was going when he hit me). The cop at the scene said I should have died. I didn't. But, it was decided as soon as I was out of the woods I'd be moving home. I was heartbroken. It was terrible. I was so close to graduating with a double major.

It was something my dad understood. He broke both knees in a college football game and had had to move home from college as well. He knew how hard it was going to be.

And I was freaking out. Saying goodbye to my health, my friends, my cool college apartment. And I was moving home to our teeny tiny 1920s farmhouse where my room was smaller than my dorm room had been. Horrible.

And when I got home, and I limped my way sadly back to my tiny dark high school bedroom, I couldn't help but start to cry. No 22 year old wants to go back to high school. And I opened the room to my tiny bedroom and, well, it wasn't there.

My father, despite his crappy health, was a builder, and he had built an addition on the back of our tiny house. There was a giant closet for all of my boxes from college, a big giant window right at the level of the bed so I could see outside, a wall of shelves to put my stuff on, a desk to sit at. No more dark little room, it was bright and sunny and big and wonderful.

He wouldn't talk about it. Barely accepted my tearful thank you. Walked off to the barn to get away from all those human emotions. But a man with a sick heart and a bad body built me something I could never ever forget. He built me a place to heal. He built my frail emotional state a place that wasn't stepping back. He saved me.

He was gone soon after. And when my mom sold the house I wept over that addition. It wasn't something I could pack up and take with me though so I said my goodbyes to the biggest kindness I've ever been given.

Happy Father's Day Dad, and thank you for not naming me "Sue".

Share some thoughts of your father with us. It's a good day for that.
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