Of Death and Family

Of Death and Family is a strange title for an article, I know.  Makes it sounds kind of ominous.  I guess you will have to read and make that determination for yourself and see if you can determine why I called it that.

Death: the final act. Courtesy www.kickstarter.com

Death: the final act. Courtesy www.kickstarter.com

So, tonight, my family and I interred my father’s ashes to the sea.  We returned his mortal body back to Mother Ocean.  He loved the ocean a lot.  He always enjoyed visiting it and could just sit for hours watching and listening to it.  It was his final wish that when he passed he would be cremated and his ashes spread in the ocean.  Tonight we fulfilled that wish.

Closure is not easy for me to find.  My father was the single most important male figure in my life.  He raised me, taught me to hunt, fish and take care of animals.  He taught me how to work with my hands, change oil in my car, change a flat tire and take care of repairs around the house.  He also taught me Honor, Integrity and Respect.  Not just for myself, but for others.  He taught me how to sacrifice my happiness for the sake of the greater good and for the sake of others.  He never once raised his voice to my Mother, Sister or myself.  It wasn’t until I was about 12 years old that I even knew he knew how to swear.  He never swore around the house.  I learned of his phenomenal ability one day while taking his lunch to work.  I walked into the barracks where his office was and heard his deep voice resonating in the halls.  Words I had never heard came wafting through and hitting my ears and I was intrigued.  I poked my head around the corner of his office door to find some poor soldier standing at attention in front of my father’s desk while he chewed the poor guy’s ass out!!!  Needless to say I took a lot of notes.  My dad could cuss better than a drunken sailor whose woman just stood him up for the 10th time.  He was creative, articulate and had a sense of timing on the punchline of the insult that Robin Williams would have envied.  I grew even more proud of my father in those moments.

I have met hundreds of people in the past few years.  We have talked about our families and I have come to realize how rare me parents truly are.  They were kind, caring, loving, generous, we never wanted for anything, they never beat us or yelled at us and raised us in the most loving and nurturing environment humanly possible.  We moved all over the world as my father’s career in the Army took him about every 3 years to someplace new.

During this time I had to completely hide the fact that I was gay.  I became sexually aware and active at the age of 5.  I knew I wasn’t normal as I was attracted to men instead of girls.  Boobs and vagina’s never did anything for me.  My father raised me as you would any straight male.  Hunting, fishing, dirty jokes, allowing me to sneak a drink of beer when mom wasn’t watching, having me help him when he was doing his manly fatherly chores.  I never played with barbie dolls or any girl toys.  I read the Hardy Boy’s, Tolkein and all the other manly male oriented books as a child.  To this day people always remark that I do not come across as gay when they meet me.   When I came out as gay my father didn’t hate me, or disown me or throw me out.  He accepted me for who I was.  He may not have been completely happy about it because he wanted me to carry on the family name by having children, but he only spoke about that once or twice.  He accepted me for who I was little or no questions asked.  He accepted my partner of 21 years as if he was his own son.  When he was dying of cancer my partner took care of him and he was the only one that dad would really listen to.  He was the only one he would allow to help clean him up when he got sick, or was too weak to take a shower on his own.  There was no pulling back and acting shocked that a gay man wanted to touch him.  He accepted us both for who and what we are.  That is the love of a true father.  That is what my father taught me.  To accept every human for exactly what and who they are.  No more, no less.

Then I listen to my friends who have parents that kicked them out of the house because they were gay or transgender.  Or because they would date someone that they didn’t like.  Or that they were into a fetish that they didn’t understand.  Or worse, they would send them to a “straight” camp to try and make them straight.  That they would make them feel ashamed to be who and what they are and my friends would hide that.  Some would get into a straight marriage, have children and just be completely miserable for their whole lives until they found the strength to break free from the homophobia and be who and what they really are.  They are the most loving parents to their children and normally have very strong relationships with their ex-wives.

The parents would then reject them again.  Make them feel ashamed of their reality for some of the most stupid reasons possible, most of them religious.  Most of them based on a book that was written and interpreted by men hundreds of years ago using stories that were thousands of years old and had been passed down through oral tradition.  The only true words of God, if we are to believe the bible, that have ever actually been written by God are the Ten Commandments.  Here they are:

The Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:2-17 NKJV)

1 “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me.

2 “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My Commandments.

3 “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.

4 “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.

5 “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.

6 “You shall not murder.

7 “You shall not commit adultery.

8 “You shall not steal.

9 “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

10 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.”

That’s it.  Nowhere does it say to hate people because they are different.  Nowhere does it say to pass judgment on people.  Kill women because they show ankle or their face in public.  Kill people because they don’t agree with your religious views.  Call for peoples deaths because your religious view doesn’t agree with their lifestyle.  Nothing.  Just 10 simple commandments for everyone to follow.  Any word written beyond these 10 Commandments was written by man.  Not God.  Not Jesus. Not anyone but some man that found he couldn’t sell a religion on these 10 commandments and had to have more to control people and get them to do what he told them to do.  And over the centuries, we have re-written, re-interpreted, cherry-picked and in general used the Bible to murder millions of people over the centuries.  So stop it.

Families have been torn apart.  Children have been physically and emotionally scarred for life.  As adults some find it almost impossible to have a thriving and loving relationship.  And under it all they hate the parents.  They loathe the parents.  The parents to them are the worst people on Earth and they can’t wait for them to die.  And then when they die they realize that the opportunity to somehow mend that relationship is gone forever and that further hurts and scars them.  The divide between parent and child grows further apart.  That is what is destroying the family unit today.  Not because the child is LGBT but because the parents are so full of religious hate that they cannot simply accept and love their child for who and what they are.

Then, the parent dies.  And on their death bed they begin to regret the things they have done.  They realize that it’s too late to make up for all the hate that they have shown in their life.  They realize too late that it wasn’t the word of God that filled their hearts and thoughts but the words of Satan.  And they realize that they will never get to the heaven they thought they would.  And as they wait for their child to come and see them one last time they finally realize that they have pushed that child away so much that they are not coming to visit.  That they have been hurt and scarred so much by them that they cannot bear to see them the one last time for the fear of what their dying words will be.  They believe that those words will be filled with the hate that they always have been.  And so they die alone.  And so they are buried alone.  And so they are never visited at their grave.  They are never prayed to by their children or thought of except to thank God that they are dead.

Death is a very final act.  Once you are dead you do not get another chance to make things right with your child.  It’s over.  Done.  Your child will be the person you have made them to be.  Hurt, scarred, scared to love or let someone in their life and you have created their own living hell for them on earth.

In your efforts to “save” them you have condemned them.  I can’t imagine any real parent wanting that for their child.  I can’t imagine any child wanting that life just because they were born different than that you expected.

So I will say now, throw all your religious garbage away.  All the books and preachings of men that put their picture on the billboards asking you to worship them and not God and get back to the TRUE word of God:  The Ten Commandments….

…..because one day you will die.  Which death do you want?  The one where your child looks up to you as the most important person in their life?  The one that helped them become kind, caring, generous and loving people?  Or the one that helped them become bitter, cold, hurt, scarred and afraid to love?  The choice is yours and only yours.  Only you can reach into your heart and speak to the true God and find that love and peace.

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Copyright 2014 MadMikesAmerica
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Posted by on December 7, 2014. Filed under Advice,COMMENTARY/OPINION,Social Issues. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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10 Responses to Of Death and Family

  1. Carol Maietta

    December 7, 2014 at 9:33 am

    This is a beautiful story of a father’s love. There are many things that distract us from who we are supposed to be. Using any writings too literally is certainly just one of those. Man made laws are others. We must use our internal GPS (like your father did) to leave a true legacy.

    • Bill Formby

      December 7, 2014 at 8:01 pm

      Excellent point Carol.

  2. Roger

    December 7, 2014 at 1:18 pm

    Carol,

    Thank you. I hope that some parents will read this and understand the damage that they are doing to their children. It’s not what God intended, ever.

  3. rowdy62

    December 7, 2014 at 1:42 pm

    A caring and compassionate read. Roger Mingan Barker I suspect you have a good heart indeed. Thank you. This made my think of my late father. I loved him so much.

  4. Rachael

    December 7, 2014 at 3:18 pm

    Roger I agree with Rowdy62. Beautiful. So sorry about your dad.

  5. Bill Formby

    December 7, 2014 at 8:01 pm

    Very well done Roger, very well done.

  6. Roger

    December 7, 2014 at 9:35 pm

    Thank you all. This hit me all at one time the night we put dads ashes in the ocean. I apologize that it is so long. I promise to get more concise with my thoughts. LOL.

    • Michael John Scott

      December 8, 2014 at 1:45 pm

      Absolutely no apologies necessary Roger. It was a terrific piece.

  7. Norman Rampart

    December 8, 2014 at 1:42 pm

    Beautiful work old bean. Truly beautiful.

    I’m so grateful that my relationship with my daughter is strong and loving.

    Mind you…none of the above would be relevant to me as I’m immortal 😉 Death comes near me and I’ll rip his eyes out! 😉

  8. anonymous

    December 9, 2014 at 9:25 pm

    A lovely article and it isn’t too long you know. It provided an insight into the man who penned his name to it. A good man who loves him mum and dad.