finding peace

I’ll never forget the first time I saw the powerful movie “Antwone Fisher,” the story about and written by a young man whose story parallels mine in many ways.

it was 2002. pam and i went to see it together and I barely made it through the movie. to this day i don’t think I’ve ever cried more in one night or been thus affected by a film: i cried throughout, all the way out to the car, lost it on the way home and sobbed uncontrollably for hours afterward.

the words from Antwone’s poem “who will cry for the little boy” haunted me–still do–to this day. those of you who know my story will understand why. those who don’t will have to dig through my blog and/or wait for my book. (;

unlike Antwone’s story, my mother came for me. though I would eventually elect to stay with my adopted family, she was a treasure and blessing to me in many ways. we would not fully reconcile our relationship until a couple of years before lung cancer robbed us of her. I am so thankful to have known her, to know that she always wanted me, and for the peace that reconciliation brought us all.

for years, though, I would wonder about the remainder of my own “Antwone Fisher moment.” where was MY father? I’d heard he had daughters. did he ever think of me? did he miss me?

found by my siblings after i’d turned 40 and facng finally meeting my father, I’d written about my feelings here
and here
uncharacteristicaly, I don’t think I wrote about the result.

it was much like Antwone’s experience meeting his mom. our father is a recovering life-long alcoholic. he’s fathered multiple children (at last 6) and has a scant relationship with any of us only recently. he’s a shell of the man he once was–broken, sad, and pitiable.

the day my other brother and i met him, i told him about me and his grandsons. he in turn shared some of his story and regrets while we listened. and I offered forgiveness freely and naturally.

in the end though, I felt very little. relieved, yes. but little else.

at least it was done.

it’s been a little over a year since that trip. and much like Antwone, I now have a seat at a huge family table of my own. In addition to my loyal immediate family, I have this incredible family embracing me–brothers and sisters and aunts and brothers-in-law–who had been waiting for me and whose love is unconditional and very much real. they are the place where I finally fit.

as I watched this movie again this morning (after the sad MAVS game), I cried–an expression not easily evoked these days.

only these tears came largely out of happiness.

yes, despite the efforts of my adopted mother, i spent years with struggles, emptiness, disquiet, unhappiness, and unbelonging.

but in the years since I was first so moved by this man’s story, I do not cry alone. or laugh alone, for that matter.

life is far from ideal yet because of these new familial relationships, I have experienced echoes of love…

…and at last….peace.

6 thoughts on “finding peace

  1. blessed peace…that deep breath after acceptance, after struggles, after turmoil…so very glad to hear you have found that love of family and you are breathing that breath of peace. You speak for a lot of us — life is usually far from ideal…but, with love, we can find peace. Thank you for allowing us (strangers that some of us are) get to know you…

    • What a salient comment Debby {not a stranger cuz you’ve now posted twice} and thanks for reading and caring.

      so how’d u come across my blog anyway?!

      • I don’t remember…but your story touched my heart. I am the mom of a son who happens to be gay. He is bright, witty, and has a beautiful soul. It pains me to think of the struggles he faces because of who he is. He is blessed because, In our family, he has never known rejection or brutality — he is loved, cherished and accepted and very much at peace with who he is. He is just 23. I pray for him, for you and others who face turmoil and bigotry. Wow! This is a long comment! Been thinking a lot today about love and support. An acquaintance of mine (not someone who is in my life but someone who had an impact on me many years ago) died a few days ago from cancer. He and his partner of over 35 years were so connected, so loving and so supportive of each other. So many of us don’t have that blessing…so many of us search for anyone to love them – let alone have society tell them what is acceptable. You are so special. I wish you love in your relationship and love during all your life. Therein lies peace. God bless.

      • sorry just now seeing this comment… i’m glad you’re here, around, and reading. and that your son has such a loving advocate in his life.

  2. I love this blog.

    I feel so blessed to have been part of the periphery for the past several years seeing you emerge. You are a better human right now than you were when I first met you, and when I first met you, I enveloped you as a special addition to my world.

    You are a loved, created child of God…. and He has some plan, yet unfurled, for you where you self-scrutiny is so imperative. Check, re-check, trust, navigate and follow.

    Your complex inner struggle, your ability to stop and redirect yor life (done more than once since you came out, and many that predated that event). Your passion for developing a tangible balance as parent and a unique human being is so valuable.

    I admire you.
    I am proud to consider you as “mine”

    I really really need to sit with you over an adukt bev and giggle!!

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