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.