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Our new apt is powered by natural gas, heater, stove, hot water, the whole kit and kaboddle. Which is great, in Portland, my gas bill was never over $50.00 if that. It is quick, it is efficient……….lets pause there shall we…..efficient. I think we can all agree that natural gas is efficient, no? Well, of course it is, you say, with a smirk. For the most part I would agree, unless we are talking about setting up said natural gas. Especially when you live in an area that only has one provider, and that provider handles more than 1 state. Upon arrival, actually, no from like Nebraska, when calling to check on all utilities, I was told that “everything was set up and ready to go”, except the gas part. You see this company handles electric and gas, and even if you very clearly state you are calling to set up both, inadvertently, only one is REALLY set up. I suppose I should be happy I have electric, after all it does power my space heater.

The first appointment I was given was for Nov 12. After I called repeatedly, joining the  “squeakiest wheel/most grease” club, I got an appointment for today. The catch, a 12 HOUR WINDOW, yeah that’s right, they will be showing up anywhere between 8AM and 8 PM. To put things into perspective, during this time frame I could take a bus to Boston, squeeze in some sight seeing and be back before the window closed. They need to hurry, while I love Honey baked ham sandwiches with white american cheese and chex mix….I feel the need for something more, plus the cold showers, while invigorating, are not quite soothing.

 

I am struck by how important storytelling is among tribal peoples; it forms the basis of their educational systems. The Celtic peoples, for example, insisted that only the poets could be teachers. Why? I think it is because knowledge that is not passed through the heart is dangerous: it may lack wisdom; it may be a power trip; it may squelch life out of the learners. What if our educational systems were to insist that teachers be poets and storytellers and artists? What transformations would follow? —Mathew Fox

Everybody has a story. How many times have we heard this phrase? Or, more importantly, how many times have we heard this phrase and then chosen to ignore it ? It may be cliche, but it is also very true. During this part of my life, I am constantly reminded of it, and of just how important it is. I can look around this room, or any of the rooms in this house for that matter and feel hundreds of stories just waiting to be told.

I am a very strong believer, that in the realm of the spirit, stories are living breathing things. We are all blessed with so many of them, but the trickiest part of this blessing is that we only receive it by giving away that which we have been given. In this world of high speed internet, ipods/ ipads and the like, stories are easy to attain, but how often do we give them to someone else ? These stories are also unique in the fact that by giving them to others we don’t lose anything. The bonds between story and teller only grow stronger each time they are given away.

I would like to encourage each of you to become the story teller you were meant to be. Some time in the next week or two find someone and tell them something they don’t already know. It does not have to be long, it doesn’t even have to be about you, really. I would be willing to bet that once you tell them something they will respond by telling you something in return, the stories will flow like water, and then the real journey can begin. :)

People should learn….

when to keep their opinions to themselves.

***** PULLING UP SOAP BOX *****

I am angry…..oh so very angry. While glancing at my FB feed today I ran across the story of the 2 Southern Preachers who are advocating my death……. MY DEATH, in their righteous ANGER. People we live in a world where families are pulled apart, ripped to shreds because a 12 or 13 year old kills themselves because they feel pressured to be like everyone else, they feel abnormal because of who they love, or because they feel they are not MANLY enough . These PILLARS of their communities are the same people who try to invalidate my 11 year relationship, turning it into something unhealthy and VILE and yet…..and yet. I can say without a SHADOW OF A DOUBT that I have been loved more, better, longer than some of them will ever be.

We live in a world where it is okay for a 4 YEAR OLD to stand in a PULPIT and sing about how certain people will be barred from GOD, and they get praised for it. Back Slaps and Belly laughs all around right GOOD OL’ BOYS….. FUCK YOU. YOU should stop pretending that you know the HEART of GOD. I have been to your meetings…… I have swallowed more shit from you all than I ever should have. I have one person to thank and that is GOD because he showed me that he is LOVE he is LIGHT and ALL that is GOOD. One of the GREATEST things I took away from Bible college is that GOD is a GOD of LOVE and that ALL GOOD THINGS COME FROM HIM. It is the other guy that teaches HATE and says it is OKAY to bully from a position of POWER because the little Lambs will swallow it HOOK LINE AND SINKER.

I would say I don’t know how you sleep at night, but I do know. You put on your blinders and think that you did good by saying THAT ANYONE WHO loves, who you don’t agree with or don’t understand  should just be put to death……Simple solution….too bad it won’t work.

**** Stil Angry but stopping there *****

All Good Stories…

…… must come to an end. Now, you all know as well as I do that the story I am about to regale you with will not be the last Patrick story you all hear. Even if it was to be there are plenty on this site to keep us all in stitches for years. But this is a fitting wrap up for where I am, where I will be going from here.

I mentioned in my last post how I finally came to grips with things while in New Hampshire and started to feel peace, true, man sized peace about leaving P behind in NH. I did not understand what happened on that third morning any more than any of you, I suppose. But I know now, and I am here to tell you. About 2 weeks after being home I was totally submerged in the work a day world with hardly a thought ( well, we all know that isn’t true) to what went on that morning. Until one night, while I was sleeping. The night P came and told me what had happened.

Just a note as an aside, big epiphany nights do not come with fanfare included. That night was like sooooo many others it was almost not even noteworthy. Except for the part where I got to hear my heart speak to me. The dogs had gone potty and were settling in and I began to doze off while reading.  Then I was there, on K’s deck taking the swig of coffee that changed my perspective. I remember, in the dream, that as I sipped I looked up and began to see the birds and hear the animals. As an extra added bonus, in my dream, I got to hear the voice of my love one more time. I did not get to see his most beautiful eyes, or his brilliant smile, but his voice was good enough for me.

” Do you know what happened right there ?” He asked

“No ,” I answered.

“Then I will tell you,” he said and I could almost hear the laughter in his voice. ” The moment, that you started to focus on the wind in the trees, the birds, the sheep, cows and goats. It was that minute, when you started to not focus on your grief, but on life and beauty.”

” I need you to do something for me, it won’t be easy,” he warned.

” What is it babe,” I sobbed , ” what do I need to do ?”

” You need to keep focusing on that life, I know I can’t be with you, and I miss you like crazy but you have to go on.”

And with that, I woke up with a soaking wet pillow and tears streaming down my face. Now, you can take that for what you will. Roll your eyes, laugh, sigh or just write me off as a nutcase. But, before you do realize that I NEVER, EVER remember my dreams. That, and I can assure you, if I could somehow tape record my dreams you would know that the above conversation is 99% accurate to the one in my dream, visitation whatever you need to label it. Rest assured that I know it for what it was, P, who was unable to say goodbye to me that night in January, came back and said good bye in grand P style. And he gave me one last gift. The ability to go on with my life, whatever it may be, and the assurance that I have his blessing.

As most, or all of you know by now, I have been home from New Hampshire for about a week now. A week of getting back into the groove of real life, but also a week of trying to figure out how my trip went, and where I want to go now that I am back. To collect my wits about me and ponder all the things that went on while I was there.

First of all the trip itself was hard. Both of my planes were packed and there was not an inch to be found anywhere….. but enough about that, let’s get to what you all want to know, what I need to tell you, as family, as friends. I have sort of separated my trip into 2 parts and you will find out why in a minute. We will call the first part “the first two days” and the second part ” the rest of the week”. :)

The First Two Days

I will be honest, they were hard. Everywhere I looked I was reminded of 2 things. First that I was there and he was not. Which to me was just wrong, and sad. Secondly, I was reminded that this place, this farm, the town and it’s inhabitants were people that knew a very different Patrick than the one I knew. They knew Toddler P, they knew Pre Teen P, they were around while he grew up and came out and helped shape him into who he had become by the time I met him. I suppose some might say that I was jealous of that fact, I think it was more envy. Every tree, every road we drove on, all the things I saw seemed to scream at me ,”Yeah you may be here now but I was Patrick’s first.” Yeah, the first 2 days were hard, but then we moved past day 2, into day 3.

The Rest of the Trip

On the morning of day 3, as I was sitting out on the deck at sister K’s house,still all wrapped up in whatever it was I had been wrapped up in the 2 days previous, something weird started to happen. I started paying more attention to the songbirds, the bleats of Sheep lamb and goats, and the sigh of the wind as it blew through the trees. As I focused on the sounds of the farm around me I got a lil dizzy, light headed you might say. It’s hard to explain, but you know the feeling you get if you stand up too fast from a low position, or more like holding your breath for so long you can’t take it anymore and you have to gasp to take air into your lungs. Yeah it was kind of a combination of those. Little by little the song and sounds of the farm got louder, the air warmer and the sun a little brighter. You may all just be shaking your head by this point and saying what a loony man, but I know what I felt. I would like to think it was P coming to tell me everything was going to be okay, or P’s mom thanking me for loving and taking care of her boy. Maybe it was a bit of both. I truly do not know but I can tell you that those moments were the turning point of my trip. From that point on my thoughts were more of “look at how much beauty he was surrounded with everyday” and “see how much these total strangers are being nice to me just for the sake of having shared Patrick”. I could truly see how loved he was in his community, I hope he knew that, I think he did.

On Friday I got to meet a dear dear friend who I have spoken to for over 3 years but had never met. We spent the day in the town of Wolfboro,NH taking in the sights, being buffeted by strong chilly wind, having lunch at a deli called Fill my Belly Deli and hanging out on the lakeshore eating statues ice cream cones. :)  K again I thank you for your time, support and friendship.

The rest of my time was rather uneventful, except of course for the following.

Sundays memorial could not have been nicer. The place was packed full of people who had known Patrick most of his life and had come to support the family, and, to a certain extent, me as well though they did not know me. It was great seeing Ryan, Shannon and Kate who had all made trips from Connecticut to say their final good byes. Also what was very touching was how many of his old schoolmates pulled me aside and shared stories, pictures, Yearbooks etc. I was able to meet the last 2 Moore siblings who, of course, welcomed me in to the family as easily as the others had years before.

On Monday we focused on some more dutiful things. We took some of P’s remains and placed them in his mother’s grave. Later that day, we planted a bush that a friend of the family had brought to us to commemorate P’s having been here, again we sprinkled his remains in the soil as we placed the bush lovingly into it’s new home. The bush has been christened The Patrick Bush (kind of like U2’s Joshua Tree). Later in the evening J, K, A and I took the truck into one of the higher pastures and sprinkled more ashes liberally into the wind, in the presence of about 8 wild turkeys. The next day my trip was reversed and by midnight Tuesday I was home again.

I wrote this post today because as I was sitting at home tonight watching Castle there was a monolouge that really struck home with me. Yes corny as it may seem Alexis Castles graduation speech rang true. I am taking the liberty of posting it as well, with some modifications.

Alexis said ” There is a universal truth we all have to face, whether we like it or not, everything eventually ends. I have always disliked endings, the last day of Summer, the final chapter of a great book, parting ways with a close friend, but endings are inevitable,the leaves fall, you close the book. We move on, we say goodbye to all that was familiar, everything that was comfortable. But there are some people who are so much a part of us they will be with us no matter what. They are our solid ground, our North star and the small clear voices in our hearts that will be with us always.

Some number of years from now myself and whoever I have the honor of being with meaningfully again will be sitting in a restaurant, or perhaps on our porch drinking wine and I will hear a small clear voice in my heart telling me to kiss my partner. I have no doubt that voice will be Patrick’s.

………that’s a very good place to start.

I have recently realized that many of the people who are part of my life now, were not in my life when P and I met (or they were but I had not yet reconnected with some of them). As any good ‘mo would do I started this blog with how Lola had become part of our lives, but not so much about how we became part of each others. Please allow me to rectify that now, Ladies and Gentlemen, IMHO the greatest story ever told…..

Before Patrick,I had been in 1 other long term relationship,7 years with a guy from India. After I broke up with him for reasons too many to mention( although we are good friends now). I moved to Portland. Oregon to live with some friends for awhile and see if I liked it there.

Needless to say,I stayed there, and began to live the life I wanted to, deep inside I wanted another BF but I enjoyed being single for a bit. I really enjoyed being the “new guy in town” and had quite a full dance card. My roomies called me manslut for a bit. But that all only lasted a bit.

Some background on Patrick: He worked at a very exclusive restaurant, whose owner was also a gay guy. Many times if they had had a good night and the owner would be in a good mood,they would go to the gay bars collecting folks for after parties at the restaurant.

It was one of the good nights and Patrick and the owner were at the bars finding guys, they were actually about to leave to go to the restaurant when Patrick saw me… way from the other end of a room.. and asked his friend to wait. The owner told him to hurry up. Patrick ran up to me, while I was talking to a hot guy, and said “Hey you need to come with me !” For a minute I was scared, it might have been the guy I was talking tos boyfriend for all I knew.
But then I jusy looked at P and said “Go Where?”
Patrick said “to an after hours party at the restaurant I work at.”

This was when the guy I was talking to chimed in,”OMG you guys are having another one?” He then looked at me and said ” you really should go! Can I come too”, He asked. Of course Patrick said yeah if we hurry the ride was leaving.

I went to the party , we had a good time, Patrick, even though he had a date at the party, came to my house with me that night. The first words he said to me the next morning were, and I swear this to be true, “Cook me breakfast, bitch”. I couldn’t though because my roomies were remodeling their kitchen, so I offered to take him out to eat.

Then I didn’t hear from him for a couple of weeks, so I called him see if I could take him out. We went to a really swanky restaurant in Portland,then I drove him home.

Two weeks later was Valentine’s day(it was also the 100th anniversary of the original teddy bear) so I bought a teddy bear embroidered with the 100 year anniversary thing on it, and some roses to him where he worked. I asked him at that time (after he was done with work of course) if he thought we could make a go of it, since we both knew we had been seeing other guys betwen our dates. He said ” wait one minute” ran to the phone and made like 5 phone calls. Then he came back to me and said “that was me breaking off every date for the next week, I think you should do the same. I got on the phone (I only had 2 or 3 calls to make) and we were together since. February 15 would have been 11 years. Feb 15th ( cuz we didn’t wanna be tacky) of 2006 we got married as legally as we can here in the U. S. while living om Maui. We got Lola when we moved in together, which was about 2 months after we chose to be exclusive, then we got our second dog Hoku while in Maui. I don’t care how many people think my lifestyle is wrong and “goin to Hell” Love, real true love that takes the good with the bad, can have fights …rows even and still know that love is still there,I believe, does not know gender.I have had it twice in my life. I see no way possible that it can be a bad thing.

And that is how we started our amazing and incredible journey. Hope you all enjoyed.

Most of you are familiar with what has been going on with me for the past month or so, if you aren’t, suffice it to say that my heart, my life and my soul were ripped out and stomped to dust on Jan 26th. Patrick is gone, in the most real sense but in another sense,one that is almost just as real, he is still here, telling me what to clean, what chores need doing and what I need to buy at the store on my way home from work. He will never truly be gone and I realize this more every day. The tulips he planted last Fall are in the yard, bursting out of the dirt, just waiting to give me one last gift from P.

I am not here to tell you how utterly crushed I am, nor am I here to get more sympathy, those of you who have been there for myself and the Moore family are appreciated more than words can say. Those who did not know until now, who can blame you? Life sometimes interrupts even the best of friendships. We have not been the most forthcoming or social creatures since our move back to Portland, and though there were valid reasons, there are no excuses.

What I am here to do is write, tell you a cool thing or two that has come of this tragedy, bested only by the loss of my Mom in 2009. The most amazing thing is the true, selfless and compassionate people we have been fortunate enough to know. One of the most amazing things I am learning is how many lives P touched, it should not surprise me, he was a gem in every sense of the word. Rare, precious and in some cases priceless. Like a diamond the man could, and often did, light up a room, at least for me.

Another thing that has given me comfort is that I now have a new meaning to give to rainbows. I have a post somewhere on here, in which, during a time when I was at my lowest, a man appeared in a parking lot just long enough to point out a rainbow. By the time he had pointed it out and I had looked, I turned back to thank him and he had disappeared. He was walking with the aid of a walker and could not have gone anywhere in the time it took me to acknowledge the rainbow, yet he was gone.

During this time of loss and grief rainbows have again played their part, 3 times to be exact. In kissing the eyelid of a dear,dear friend as we were leaving our house. In showing up on pictures on a computer that are nowhere to be seen on the original pictures. Lastly, in blessing the giving of a cherished memento to one of P’s Sisters. There is more to these stories, as there is to many other stories. The details are unimportant, but I now know that as long as there are rainbows I will have a cherished guardian. I have told these stories to a few friends and they all have told me they will never be able to see another rainbow without thinking of P and I. I hope that is true, and that those rainbows will shine as heavenly tributes to the love we shared for just short of 11 years.

As for me ? I am sad, the anchor of my life has been ripped from me way too soon. My path is murky and I have no inkling in which direction to go.There are days that I don’t think I can do this alone, but then I remember that I am not alone. I will, however, go…as in keep going, because P would have wanted it and because I know deep down that I have to. One day,though I can not see it or imagine it now, perhaps without my even knowing when, things will just start to get easier, how could they not, when I have rainbows as my guide.

Here we are again

Two days until Thanksgiving 2011. Man times sure does fly as you get older huh ? Today is one of my Nephew’s 23rd birthday……  23rd  did ya get that ??? Sheesh, I feel ancient just typing that. But seriously Dave….hope you have /had a great Bday and many more to come. : ) Plus one of  my OLDER sisters turns 48 on Saturday.

I am on the last day of my stay-cation, and it has been highly over rated, however I guess I am glad to just be home reading/cleaning/vegging than going to work over the past 7 days. I should be grateful I suppose. I should have gone back to work yesterday. Since I will be working on Turkey day , P and I are doing a nice dinner tonight and then he will be going to his sister’s house on Thursday. And since I am writing this now I get the extra added pleasure of wishing all of you a wonderful Thanksgiving day. As always my hope for you all is that you are surrounded with people that you are truly thankful for and that love and laughter abound at every table across the nation and beyond.I hope and pray that all differences can be set aside for the day (Lord knows they will still be there Friday). And before you ask ….yes yes you may ship me all leftovers up to and including any pumpkin logs, pumpkin pies, green bean casseroles ….ahhh you get the picture. Have fun , be safe and most of all….enjoy each other.

Once Bitten……

Is it me, or are there others of you that get a bit apprehensive about starting a new read when 2 of the past 3  have not grabbed you as you thought they were going to ? When you pick up a book that you think is going to be a gem and find out that it is just a lump of carbon or nicely colored glass. One of the books I read recently even had glowing reviews on goodreads by some friends of mine that I trust. Needless to say, our opinions varied, and that is okay…really. You all don’t ALWAYS have to agree with me, although it is highly advisable as I seem to be right , for the most part, at least 75% of the time.

Part of the problem lies with me, I suppose. I am trying to branch out, read some things not in my usual hit list of spy/espionage, thriller , or cop books and , for that reason GR has been a great help. I feel that I have branched out greatly and have gained alot from that,with only good things to come. Along with that I am sure I will also run across some more that are not to my liking and that is okay as well.

I said all of that to say this next part. Yesterday I had some free time and some cash in my pocket, the two are a deadly combo, especially when I have nothing at home I wish to read. So, I grabbed my bus pass and headed on down to Powell’s yesterday. I am quite proud of myself because I only walked away with 2 books, both slightly used and both Authors that I have never read before. John Irving and Wally Lamb.

From the John Irving stacks I got A Prayer for Owen Meany , and from Wally Lamb I chose I Know This Much Is True. With the Irving I got lucky, because there was a nice lady there who LOVED LOVED LOVED Irving he is her FAVORITE. We put our heads together and out of 2 other choices ( Widow for one Year and Son of the Circus ) she told me to start with A Prayer For Owen Meany. Wally Lamb I had no such mentor for, but IKTMIT struck me as interesting. As I left, and got back on the Max , one thought did strike me as odd. Of these 2 authors/books I have not seen a whole lot of male readers of either……maybe that is just me being weird but as I recall over the years I have seen many women with these much more so then men , just a fact, at least I did not walk out with Twilight or New Moon under my arm. I started the Lamb book last night and am enjoying it so far.

 

Things happen…..and sometimes,when things happen drama may ensue. The thing about drama is you never really know when or where it is going to show up, I suppose that is what makes it dramatic. But I digress….on to the story.

One day last week, while I was at work, I called our house to check in on the goings on. Patrick answered and I could tell something was afoot, he sounded frazzled and distracted. I then asked him how his day had been. His response was “You will not believe the day I have had.” I told him to try me……. apparently he had been making some popcorn and had left it in the microwave too long allowing it to burn. Patrick, deciding to eat the good kernels anyway  took it from the kitchen into the living room. Here is where drama comes in, the smoke from the bag of popcorn activated one of our smoke detectors, as they have a habit of doing, and started shrieking it’s lovely alarm.

Now for a little back story, Lola, as many dogs do I suppose, really hates the sound of a fire alarm. She quickly gets upset and starts crying and barking, as she did in this case. Hoku, completely oblivious as to why Lola was so upset then began barking and whining too,because,hey,let’s face it, if Lola was doing it she wanted in. Patrick ran over to the alarm and tried shutting off it’s piercing shriek, but could not reach the button. So as anyone might do, who had two whining dogs at his feet, he took it down from the wall and went outside with it. All the while the alarm still just a’shrieking. And, of course when P went outside he did not shut the door all the way and the girls brought the ruckus outside, which in turn brought out a neighbor. Try as he might P could not get the cover off to remove the battery, so he asked our neighbor for some help. Neither could get the cover off, so Patrick, in a spark of genius, ran in and got a towel, in which he wrapped the alarm. He then took it and put it in the spare fridge in the garage……where it remains….about a week later. I am sure the battery is dead by now, but after all the above would  YOU want to go check ??? I almost fainted from lack of oxygen to my brain, from laughing so hard while listening to this story, I hope you did too.

More to come………

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