Archive for October, 2008

Remembering my friend
October 17, 2008

So, I’m not much of a poet… at all… really… not even close.   I do enjoy writing, in fact, my minor in college was creative writing.   However, my strength was (and I hope still is) writing prose.  However, this month would have been my friend Craig’s 37th birthday.  Over the past month I have been inspired by another friend’s talent and passion.  The result is the poem below inspired by, and for, my friend Craig.

Craig was the person who helped me come to terms with being gay; the one person who more than any other helped me accept with who I am at my very core.   Having already attempted to take my life because of my sexuality, Craig’s friendship ensured that there would be no second attempt.   For that one reason, although there are many others, I will be grateful for the friendship he extended to me.  It is somewhat ironic that the man who would save my life, and lead me away from self-destruction, would have his own life come to an abrupt end by his own hand.

After graduating college, I moved to Texas and started a new life.  But Craig was always there.  When I found out my boyfriend was married, he was the first call that I made.   When I met the love of my life, he was the first call that I made.   When I came out to my family, he was the first call that I made.    When Wayne and I had our first argument and I wanted to call it off, it was Craig who calmed my anger and fears.  So, when I received the call telling me that he had taken his own life, my soul was shattered.

I blamed myself for not being there for my friend… and on some levels still do.  Even though I know it’s a game with no winners, I often play the “What If” game.   What if I had moved to St. Louis instead of Texas.  Could I have made a difference?  Would Craig be alive today if I had?    Maybe, maybe not.

 

BENEDICTION
Self-imposed darkness wrapped me like a cocoon
spun from the fears and taunts hurled at me as a child.
Children are creul, but innocent;
adults are deliberate and sadistic.
Only expecting wrath and destruction,
I never anticipated that I might emerge
to the light of acceptance or tolerance,
let alone the hope of friendship
or love.
It would take an exceptional endurance
to be my friend… 
to break through the fear and loathing
churning in my broken spirit.
Yet, the challenge was met and allowed.
You led me down that narrow and
jagged path to love, however I
found that my own acceptance
would be the most elusive.
While mending myself, I didn’t see
the tortured scars on your soul.
I never knew the fears that haunted your dreams
or the demons that pursued your thoughts.
You hid them well, too well…
so I carried on with life as normal.
Even though you were the one to teach me
that there is no such thing as normal.

Thank you, my dear friend, for helping me
when I could not return the kindness.
I miss your presence in my life,
though I often hear your laugh when I am sad
and sense your gentle reassurance when timid.
For you, my dear friend, I offer up
a multitude of silent prayers and petitions
that you achieve the peace and tranquility
you found always to be out of reach.