This will be the last post in the latest series. But not to worry, the fabulous gayness will continue! And hopefully, there will be an inspirational word, thought, etc. Or two. So sorry...it's a long one.
I've gotten a bit of grief every now and then from friends about some of the TV shows I watch. In addition to crime dramas, fabulously gay shows, the Daily Show, etc...I also watch shows like Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. As Linus calls them, shows designed to make you cry. And to a large extent, he's right. Overly sappy. Mushy even. And it works, too. It's pretty much a guarantee that by the time the family of twelve (who probably have a story like: lost their father to cancer just before the tornado destroyed their ramshackle, termite-infested 4 bedroom house) gets their new house, I'm blubbering like an idiot. And not just because "the team" goes the extra mile by treating the entire house with a special anti-termite goo and installs an underground emergency shelter...just in case tornadoes don't follow the same rules as lightning.
It's because of the love the family has for one another. It doesn't matter what they've been through, how tough times got, or how much they've lost. They have kept their heads high because they have each other. They keep putting one foot in front of the other because they know they're not alone. And more often than not, they also have found some way to give back to their community, their family, or someone else in need. They remind me of many people in my life.
My mother, who never let what we didn't have keep us from feeling loved and blessed. Dennis and Judy Shepard, who found grace and compassion when it was least likely and who still today devote their time, energy, and money in the hopes nobody else has to do the same. And the list goes on and on.
Lately I've been watching a new show on TNT, called Heartland. It's about a team of transplant surgeons and nurses. They save lives, and they lose some. They care about total strangers, and do everything they can to give people more time. more time with loved ones. More time to accomplish a dream. More time to simply live. It's about giving to someone else, even when you don't get anything in return. Out of love. And out of humanity.
I have a confession. I watch these shows BECAUSE I will cry. It's a way to vent the sadness. The sadness I feel when I hear a friend worry about whether or not she can stay in school because her parents don't come through as promised. The frustration I feel when I read today that a 22 year man died in custody because OUR government refused him the AIDS medication he needed to stay alive. His crime? He didn't have a green card. The anger I feel when I hear the Phelps will protest the funerals of those killed in the bridge collapse.
But most of all, it's the worry. The worry that those who mean SO much to me, and have given me so many wonderful yet intangible gifts, will not know how much love I carry inside. Sometimes I feel ready to burst. Like the love inside is overflowing. I was there when my mother died. I was there when I was afraid Scotty was going to do the same. For me, every single day in precious. Like so many of my faithful readers, I've felt the loss of a loved one. And I rejoice in every moment I get to spend with my friends and family.
If you've ever heard me give a SafeZone presentation or speak to a class, you might know that back in 9th grade, I was ready to give up. I felt no hope, and was so tired of the internal struggle. But the day I was ready to swallow every pill in the house, a friend called and asked me to "head into town" for a day of fun. I don't remember what we did, but we had SO much fun. When I got home, I realized that had I followed through, I would have missed the good times too. And so from that day on, I have focused on the good times. I look toward the light at the end of the tunnel. The silver lining. Or at least I try to...I am human after all.
So that's the way I try to live my life now. Always remember the good times. Help each other through the bad ones, and try to learn from them as you go. Take some chances. Love easily, and make certain you share that love. Speak it. Act it. Write it. MAKE IT KNOWN. And not just to those you call family. Or friend. But to everyone around you. The stranger on the street. The person who sits next to you in class. The umpteenth customer of the day.
That's really the point of this whole series of posts. Just by changing the little things, we can make a big difference. "Become the change you want to see in the world." It really does work. And I've found that when you do your best to BE your best, the Universe will give you the best in return. Witness the countless friends and family who stand by you when you're sick, cranky, tired, in pain, poor, or just plain sad. Being filled with love is an amazing feeling. Sharing it is even better.
So at the risk of sounding like a broken record, thank you to you all. And all my love. YOU GIVE ME WINGS!
For the record, the only tears shed during the writing of this post are due to smiles and happy memories. It's not sadness talking...just LOVE! (And you know damned well that SOMEONE would worry it was a depressed or sulky post if I didn't clarify...it's the nature of text on a screen instead of tone of voice.