Monday, December 12, 2016

Reflections on a Rainy Monday


My cousin Randy Reynolds, his mother Jeanette (my Mother's older sister) and me at Simpson Meadows Oct. 5, 2005)
Both cousin Randy and Aunt Jeanette are gone now, as is my Mother

As the rain falls gently down outside my converted bedroom/home office window on this rainy Monday, my mind begins to wander down the dusty corridors of my brain.

These days I often think of the my past and what an adventure my life has been, and still is. This in spite of the many disadvantages I was born and grew up with:

Not born rich. In fact I was born Hillbilly Poor.

Not born exceptionally talented in any field.

Not born exceptionally smart (mostly "B's", a few "A's" and an occasional "C".)

Not born good-looking (nose too big, poor posture).

I received no encouragement when I was growing up that I was a worthwhile person. 


And of course the Biggie, I was born gay with girlish traits (which I managed to overcome in my adult life, I butched up.)

Me with "Gindy" the cat - 1955 (I was a sensitive child for sure)
Wouldn't see me going out for the football team

And the other Biggie, I was told early on by my Mother "We can't afford to send you to college. You're on your own."

Thus, starting out my young life with all these disadvantages how did I come to where I am now?  

Well folks, the one thing I was born with was an inherent sense of survival and self respect.  Never once in my life, even at my youngest age when I realized I was "different", did I hate myself.  

Never once when my father would relentlessly refer to me as "Beak" (my big nose), did I falter.  

Me 12-5-1967 with my big schnoz - still self conscious about it but I eventually grew out of it or my face grew into it

Oh sure, I was quiet and kept a low profile.  Survival.  That's what you do when you're growing up in a hostile environment.

Early on, when I realized I was "different", I knew that I shouldn't tell anyone.  I knew that I would be in BIG trouble if anyone knew that I got that "special" feeling when I was around men, a feeling that I never even remotely got when I was around women.  Oh sure, I had and have women friends but THAT feeling?  Never there with women.  But with men?  BIG TIME. It wasn't until much later in my life (twenty-one) that I realized the sexual aspects of THAT feeling.  

Me, 1958.  Still very self conscious and a lonely teenager just on the cusp of my life's Journey.

So where am I going with this blog posting?  

Well, ever since Bill's near fatal experience two weeks ago, I've been thinking about our mortality.  Yes, Bill and I will not live forever. Unlike when we were younger when we KNEW we would live forever.

Tomorrow I take Bill to the gastroenterologist for his followup appointment as a result of his emergency room visit and hospital stay. Bill lost fourteen pounds, is weaker and sounds raspy now.  But he is recovering, albeit slowly.  

Yesterday I decided to update our wills and living wills. We have to get in there that we're officially married lest there be any confusion when one of us departs from this earth.  I also have to update the distribution of our assets. Been some changes since the last wills I had prepared five years ago. Including a different lawyer.  One that cares rather than just going through the motions for any other gay client.  I'm choosing a lawyer who isn't based in Rehoboth Beach where all "the gays" are.  I'm not part of that group.  Never was and never will be. No doubt I will be an anthem to The Cause by choosing a lawyer in MILFORD.  OMG!  Did he really say that?  I sure did folks.  

Last year I went with my friend Pat to a settlement of the sale of his lot.  A law firm in Milford handled the settlement. I was very impressed by them. I told them I would be back. Now is the time.

In fact time is running out. Lately I've been having a lot of sad dreams. Dreams of the past. Good times of the past. Many good times I have had, with Bill and many others. 

For a dumb, goofy looking kid who received no encouragement growing up I have done pretty well.  As my friend Pat

A young Pat - 17 years old - fifty years ago! We have something in common, both of us have big schnozes. 


said, who grew up under similar circumstances said:

"I did all right."  

And indeed he has.  Look at him playing the base guitar in his band back in The Day (70's).



And indeed I have. 

Me, at the peak of my banking career - 1982 - all downhill from here folks when Mellon bank bought our bank and I began my odyssey of job searches for the next thirty years

Thank you to whatever powers that gave me this wonderful life.  

As a famous person once said (guess who) 

 "I have more yesterdays than tomorrows."

Me today - still hanging in there

Every day I can get up and walk upright, is a bonus.  As I told my friend Larry M. (we're the same age):

"We're way past our sell date Lar. Every day is gravy now."

The only one nagging concern I have is that I hope my Exit, when it comes (and I hope it's not for at least another TWENTY YEARS) isn't too:

Painful
Messy
Dependent on Others

My preference is to die in my sleep like my cousin Randy.  His mother, my Mother's sister, spent years and years in a facility with extreme dementia.  

Me with my Aunt Jeanette (to my right) and my Mom (in pink to my left) at the facility where Aunt Jeanette spent so many years - 2009 - both are gone now, only I am left

When Randy's wife informed me of his death she said:

"Ronnie, Randy always said when he died he hoped it would be in his sleep and not like Mom.  He got his wish but Ronnie, it's still too soon."

Cousin Randy with his beautiful family (early Sixties)

Somedays days when my arthritic stiffness and pain is especially challenging, and my continuing side effects from my prostate surgery don't seem to abate, I think of the bliss of eternal peace.

These days I am now concerned with our political environment in which our rapacious Republican lawmakers are sharpening their tools to gut our social safety net programs like Social Security and Medicare, I just want to go away.  I don't need this stress in my declining years in which my survival income is going down and costs increasing. 

Sometimes my despair threatens to overtake me then I think of all those who have it worse than me.  I have to admit that is of little comfort but at least I'm not warehoused in some "assisted living facility", drained of all my funds and personal dignity, just waiting to die.  

I'm rambling now folks. But then again this is my blog and my blog has always been my therapy.  

There, I think I feel better now.

Have a great day!







13 comments:

  1. Anonymous12:37 PM

    {{{HUGS}}} By the way, I find your face to be quite striking and funnily kind of familiar! I guess it's time for us to update our wills, too. At thirty-nine and forty with their own families, I don't think willing our sons to my best friend if we go is appropriate now.

    Deedles

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    Replies
    1. Deedles,
      Thanks for your hugs! Always welcomed. Get those wills updated. You never know.
      Ron

      Delete
  2. Life is not just what we start with, but what we do with what we have to work with, the choices we make along the way. A wise man once told me, ask yourself every day, am I doing the best I can with what I have to work with? I am watching my parents die by inches, not the way I want to go.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. David,
      Wise words. I too do not want to "die by inches." Hopefully, when I go I will take my last breath in my sleep. That is my wish. But we never know do we? To answer that wise man's questions am I doing the best I can with what I have? Absolutely. There is no other way.
      Ron

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  3. This is a great post, Ron, and I can identify with so much of what you said. I especially appreciate the fact that you were always true to yourself. That's the most important thing.
    I like all of the photos. I know that several people said that you and Pat look like brothers - - you do indeed resemble each other.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jon,
      We saw another "Jon" today. Bill's gastroenterologist. My next blog post will be about that visit to him today but I don't want to mention his name in the blog.
      The first time a stranger asked if Pat and I were brothers, both of us were very surprised. We don't think we look at all alike. Then the second time it happened, by another stranger in a different city, we again were surprised. Now that it's happened so many times, I think there is something in our interaction with each other that causes strangers to think we're related. I do know that I never gotten along with anyone in my life better than I have with Pat. In my life I've either been attracted to someone physically but not as a friend. Pat is the first person I've been attracted to both physically and emotionally. We are very comfortable with each other. I am very fortunate to have him as a friend, especially at this time of my life.
      Ron

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  4. Hi Ron,

    Looks like Pat is actually playing a six-string electric guitar in that '70s picture (rather than a bass.)

    Speaking of Social Security, did you hear about Congressman Sam Johnson (R-Texas) plan to 'fix' Social Security? According to SS's own actuaries, the plan would cut SS benefits from 17% to over 40%:

    http://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/congress/item/24815-texas-congressman-proposes-permanent-fix-for-social-security

    We really showed ol' "Crooked Hillary" didn't we? (she wants to expand SS, the commie hag!)

    Got to have tax cuts for billionaires...

    :-)

    -Andy

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    Replies
    1. Andy,
      That is a bass guitar that Pat is playing. Speaking of Social Security, I did hear (and read) that Texas Congressman Sam Johnson is planning on completely gutting Social Security by making it means testing. That will never work. I don't get these Republicans who are so obsessed with killing Social Security and Medicare. They're evil. They're all about cutting taxes for the very rich and leaving the rest of us on our own after they dismantle the social safety net which we all paid for. We're in for bad times Andy.
      Ron

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  5. Ron,

    Cheer up, buddy, you have a lot of life left in you yet. You're working, you're traveling about and you have been able to get the things you want. Don't think about the dying, think about the living. And you were never really bad looking.

    Lar

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    Replies
    1. Larry,
      I remember the time when you told me I was good-looking. I was very surprised because up until that time (I think we were bout thirteen years old) I had never heard or thought that. Oh I'm thinking about living the best I can every day Lar.
      Ron

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  6. You will bury us all; I certainly look forward to you burying me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dr. Spo,
      Oh no, I'll go before you. Hopefully a long way down the road. My sincere hope is, when I go, to go in my sleep. Oh how I wish that. By the way, I have stipulated in my will that my Spo shirts will be returned to you. You have always been very kind to me and I shall not forget you.
      Ron

      Delete
  7. Ron,

    You and Pat even resemble each other in your younger pictures. Are you sure your dad didn't have some dalliances inCanada several decades ago?

    Lar

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