DOMA down

It happened today. the Supreme Court said it, loud and can I say, proud. Same sex couples cannot be denied the right of marriage. My marriage. Which has thrived within the walls of our house. Thrived within the boundaries of Massachusetts. But had stopped short of equality in the eyes of the nation. Today, we have moved significantly forward. My marriage is now going to count amongst those same sex couples who are married in all the states that recognize them. The federal government will now recognize us. We’re here, we’re queer, we’re equal. Almost.

I hope that this gives those who live in states that don’t recognize those rights, a light that shines for tomorrow, as it will happen. It may be a bumpy wild path for some time to come, but the momentum is humming. National marriage equality is on the horizon, I can see it. I hope we all can.

Those who came before us, I stand tall, humbled, by what you gave to get us to this moment. You are to be celebrated. And tonight at City Hall, we will. Be sure. You’ll hear us. And then tomorrow, we’ll get to work finishing what you started so the lgbtqqi youth who are growing up now will face only acceptance, respect, and equality. Let’s get things started. And today is a phenomenal place from which to leap forward.

20130626-133824.jpg

Homestead

ImageI spoke to my Dad tonight. He was in Central Time. His home state of MN, the land of butter and many lakes, attending his first cousin’s memorial service. The other sad news is that the family farm is no more. The Malme homestead and barn have been leveled. He and Mom drove by yesterday. Big machines stood where the buildings once did. I asked him if the faded white stone block that bore the family name was still firmly planted by the front hedges. But they didn’t get that far in to see. We both decided that it was probably removed. Gone. Who knows where. The farm was sold long ago. To cousins who farmed the land. Then to strangers. But it was always our farm. Still. In my memory. 

Many summers I chased after the ferrel kittens that only my Grandma could coax into her arms. I walked amongst upturned clumps of rich soil, wandered inside the empty barn that still smelled of cows and hay that were long gone. The softness of the home made buns my Grandma baked that tasted amazing with the rhubarb jam she had canned. Shelves full in the basement. 

I am sad I’ll never see the farm again. I haven’t been there in years. Decades. My Dad and Mom have been back off and on over the years. They’ve watched it’s slow descent into no more. 

But the memories of all those summers are firmly planted in my mind. My Grandpa driving us in the back of the sun faded red Ford pick up to get the mail at the end of the dirt driveway. The sound of the screen door slamming. The slant of the gray planks of the front porch.  The rain barrels full of summer rain. 

It’s Father’s Day. And my Dad has had to say goodbye to his childhood home. I hope he knows how much it means to me to have spent those summer weeks exploring where he grew up, where he played with his cousins, where he milked the cows, fed the pigs and chickens, where he dreamed of who he was to be. It is part of who I am. Even if it is no longer there. 

Chosen

Friends. Ain’t nothing more healing than spending time with those who know me and love me because I am me, with the array of quirks, foibles, and annoyances that are always along for the ride. Friends, good friends, are family without the biology. Chosen and precious. And sometimes, many times, just being in the presence of a good friend can make the internal heaviness shift, lighten, even move the hell over. The laughter that follows is all bonus. A most welcome bonus that makes the following days bounce a bit higher. A few moments laughing until you almost spit your beverage, is healing. No doubt. I am grateful for my friends, who show up, every time, without fail, even when I feel like I do.