Sunday, December 23, 2012

I Wish You Enough

I never believe these sappy stories that get shared everywhere, but the message in this one really touched a place with me. I used to feel like I needed more of everything!! Clothes, cars, money, friends.. The more "stuff" I had, the happier I would become. Now I am happy with just enough.

Recently I overheard a mother and son in their last moments together at the airport. They had announced the departure.

Standing near the security gate, they hugged and the mother said, "I love you, and I wish you enough."
The son replied, "Mom, our life together has been more than enough. Your love is all I ever needed. I wish you enough, too, Mom."

They kissed, and the son left. The mother walked over to the window where I was seated. Standing there, I could see he wanted and needed to cry. I tried not to intrude on his privacy, but he welcomed me in by asking, "Did you ever say good-bye to someone knowing it would be forever?"

"Yes, I have," I replied. "Forgive me for asking, but why is this a forever good-bye?"

"I am old, and he lives so far away. I have challenges ahead and the reality is - the next trip back will be for my funeral," she said.

"When you were saying good-bye, I heard you say, "I wish you enough." May I ask what that means?"

She began to smile. "That's a wish that has been handed down from other generations. My parents used to say it to everyone." She paused a moment and looked up as if trying to remember it in detail, and she smiled even more. "When we said, "I wish you enough", we were wanting the other person to have a life filled with just enough good things to sustain them." Then turning toward me, she shared the following as if he were reciting it from memory.

I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright no matter how gray the day may appear.

I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun even more.

I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive and everlasting.

I wish you enough pain so that even the smallest of joys in life may appear bigger.

I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.

I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.

I wish you enough hellos to get you through the final good-bye.

She then began to cry and walked away.


To all my friends and loved ones,

Christmas Memories

Christmas in my family could be described in one word... Opulent

I have never seen so many wrapped packages under a Christmas tree, presents for everyone!  .

Christmas Eve was always at Grandma and Grandpa's house, a huge mix of  family, co workers, friends of friends and people I would only see once a year.  We opened some presents, the adults drank and we all ate.  I got to play bartender and they all loved  me because I poured heavy.  Mom and Dad always let me open one present on Christmas Eve at Grandmas house, but we usually ended up opening a couple when we got home that night.

 Mom and I were always together but somehow she managed to get her shopping done, sometimes even sending me to the food court at the mall while she picked up a thing or two.  The biggest gift each year, the "Santa" gift was reserved for Dad to buy, he usually picked something we could do together like remote control airplanes or cars that we had to build, a telescope.  Unfortunately Dad and I didn't get to spend too much time together because he worked so hard.  Looking back it seems like those pricey Christmas presents were jinxed.  The cars would crash, the telescope broke and we spent less and less time together each year.  But there were always dozens more presents for me to open. I have never seen so many wrapped packages under a Christmas tree! After my niece and nephew came along you could probably triple the amount of gifts under the tree, we were all very spoiled.

 We always had Christmas day at our house, first thing in the morning just me and mom and dad opening presents, then all the relatives would start coming, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, my sister in law's family.  Heck anyone that didn't have anywhere to go.  It seems like there was always a little friendly competition between the ladies to see who could bring a new and unusual dish to show off.  Many of my favorite "pot luck" dishes came from past Christmas dinners.  Aunt Myrna always had the most unusual along with my sister in law's mother Mary Jane, she always brought a Greek dish.

 Christmas was all about the presents to me back then, Its not a stretch to say that I had near 20 presents each year just from mom and dad, not to mention the gifts I received from relatives.  Dad would take me shopping for mom's gift. I loved picking out just the right thing for her.  One year Dad and I went to Rodeo Drive to shop, that suited me quite well, but Dad almost had a heart attack when I picked out a purse for mom at Gucci with a matching wallet and cigarette case of course. 

  After my father died in 1985 Christmas just wasn't the same, grandma and mom stopped hosting parties and just had dinner with the immediate family, I don't remember much about Christmas in those days, but I think we went to my brothers house.  I remember when Mynde and I were living together those were some broke ass days, but we had a Christmas tree, with maybe a couple of presents. The closest thing to the opulent days is when I lived with Cheri, we bought BIG Santa gifts for each other back then.  I bought Cheri a bicycle and Cheri bought me a tall rolling Craftsmen toolbox.

Now most of my family is gone... death, divorce and distance prevents us from ever going back to the good ol days.  However this year I find myself being grateful for the kind gestures of friends and even strangers.  Last week I received some Christmas cookies in the mail from someone Ive never met in person, and once again more cookies from a Facebook friend this weekend.  Yesterday I was very excited to receive 4 cards in the mail on the same day.  It used to be I wouldn't even open a card right away unless I thought there was money in it.  Today I cherish each and every card and cookie that comes my way.  Ive been through a lot this past year.   Its a miracle that Im still alive to enjoy this Christmas.  I think Santa was waiting for me to learn a lesson.

  This will be my first Christmas without my Mom.  I'm not going to lie, its difficult but my friends are there for me to make sure I enjoy Christmas.  Its time to make some new memories.
Christmas isn't about the presents, its about sharing with the people you love and care about.  To some people that sounds like a Hallmark card, but to  me its a wonderful reality.

                                                             My first Christmas

                                                Christmas Eve with Grandma Ruby

                                         Christmas Eve after Grandma's opening ONE present

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Lonliness coming back to haunt me

For those of you that know me, or if you've been following my blog for a few years you'll remember that Ive suffered through some rough times with depression. You may have thought I was "losing my mind" over a breakup or one specific person, etc etc. The fact is my depression has always been based on my fear of dying alone.

I know I know, I have tons of people around me to reach out to and I have a great small circle of real life true friends, but the fact is Ive always wanted to have that one person that would be there for me until "the end" I'm very lucky because I have a super close relationship with my mother, and she has always been the first person I call with good news or bad. We have seen each other through some very rough times in our lives, and soon she will be gone.

When I found out my Mom had cancer I started going back to therapy on a weekly basis, I thought it would be good to process some of my feelings before my mother passes. Problem is, I have completely shut down my emotions. Right now I am the full time care giver for my mother and I am doing whatever needs to be done. In other words I am keeping myself so busy I don't give myself time to stop and think about things too much.

This past week was the first time I got teary eyed in therapy because I finally let myself think about what I might do when my Mom dies. Since I don't have that special someone to lean on, and my mom wont be around for me to lean on, the logical person to go to is my best friend. Unfortunately my best friend Cheri moved to Michigan. That's when I broke down in my therapist's office. What will I do? Who will be there for me when all I want to do is cry? Who will sit with me in the silence? I worry about these things because of my past battles with depression, and I know my friends are very concerned as well. The darkest moments I have had in the past few years are the moments when I think about how I will die alone. Does that sound like I'm Catastrophizing a little bit or what? Since Cheri lives thousands of miles away, and I'm not in a relationship I'm certain (in my mind) I will be alone for one of the most difficult moments in my life. And I just keep trying to ignore it. Cheri has offered to come back home when I need her, the problem is, I don't know when that will be, and I certainly dont want to have to think about it before I have to. I need to stay strong right now for my Mom. If she saw me lose it right now it would break her heart, and she would try to hold on to stay here with me to make sure I'm OK. She needs to believe I am OK so she can be free to pass. SO I have to keep a brave face on and only break down in private for now.

Writing this helped get some stuff out there and off my chest.. Im also open to anyone's suggestions on how to handle myself when my mom is gone.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


This week I was brought to tears by something I read. Nicole's column over the last 20 years has been, opinionated, dramatic, informative, instigating, thoughtful and at times even boring. This past week Nicole was very open and honest about his relationship with his family. You can read it here: "Cheering your parents/family relationships"

"The reason I write about this today is to tell those of you who have accepting parents or relatives that you are truly blessed, and be grateful and cherish them. I have had many friends go to their grave without any family caring or reaching out to them"

"My friends, don’t ever take your accepting and loving parents for granted as there are so many of your GLBT brothers and sisters who will never in their life feel that unconditional love and acceptance. Know that you are truly blessed"

When I read this article I felt like Nicole was writing this just for me. Mom and Nicole have met several times over the years and my mom has always known Nicole to be a good friend to me. Nicole has also been wonderful about sending my mom cards and even a beautiful cross he got from the Vatican on his recent trip to Rome.

The past few months since my mom has been ill I have been reflecting on my family life, and how truly blessed I have been to have such an amazing mother. My dad died when I was 16 but my mother and I were always closer than I was with my father.

One of our favorite things to do together was shop. We would go out to South Coast Plaza or Fashion Island and spend HOURS shopping then go to the movies. We got to spend a lot of time together, and that is a gift in itself. I cant think of a time when my mother didn't support me in whatever I wanted to do. Drum lessons, guitar lessons, accordion lessons, oil painting, redecorating my room, horse back riding, none of which I was any good at. She also let me have any animal I wanted including parrots, dogs, chickens, turtles, hermit crabs, cats, hamsters, fish etc. She allowed me to travel to foreign countries when I was in high school, and even more dangerous to Mammoth to go skiing with my college friends when I was only 15. She let my high school girlfriend move into an extra room at our home when her home wasn't such a pleasant place to be. I cant tell you how many "boyfriends" of mine she has met over the years. Im sure that number is well into double digits.

Now before you go saying I was a spoiled child ill just say you are right. I asked my Mom why she always gave me whatever I wanted and she said because you had such a hard time (with the bullying and teasing) and I didn't know what to do, so I just tried to make you as happy as I could.

Even as an adult my mom always supported me. She was always donating to causes and charities that I was involved with. She raised money and walked AIDS Walk when I worked there, she donated to my church, Family Health Center, The Center and the list goes on and on. She loved going to the Brass Rail to see The Dreamgirls Revue. I never thought the day would come that my mother would come to a bar and see me perform in drag, but she did..numerous times. One thing that has left a lasting impression on myself and others is that my mom has supported me 100% with my involvement with The Imperial Court. When I was elected Empress of San Diego, my mom was sitting right in front of the stage, she even came onto the stage when I was crowned.

We have had great times and rough times, and the thought of losing my mother is killing me inside, I just have to remember all the amazing times we have had together. I look at old pictures and I don't get sad, I smile because I realize how truly lucky I am to have a mother like mine.