It is raining. The great spring wash has begun. As is usual, April brings showers to wash away the snow on the ground. It has been a couple of beautiful days with sun and warmer temps.
It is Easter Sunday and I had hoped for a good showing tonight, as for it is a holiday and the biggest night in bar traffic always comes on holidays after folks have spent the better part of the weekend with family, they need a night out for some liquor.
The same goes for members. Holidays, family, alcohol, a mix not for the feint of heart, beings people out of the house and to a meeting, which is why meetings are open on holidays.
As it was the last Sunday of the month, we read from the Twelve and Twelve. And it is the third month, so we read Tradition Three. ” The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking.”
Have you ever …
Have you ever judged someone in the rooms, based on their story or circumstance? Have you ever felt that someone should go get sober somewhere else because it might happen that a particular person upset the delicate apple cart of members egos and attitudes? Have you ever shunned someone from a meeting because they were different ? Have you ever felt superior to someone new to the rooms, or towards one of your fellows ?
The only requirement…
The first time I got sober in Ft’ Lauderdale, I got sober in a gay room of A.A. a Lambda room. I was safe and amongst my people. As circumstances presented themselves, a couple years in I moved from Ft. Lauderdale to Miami to be treated for my HIV by a specialist. Because there was no infrastructure there to assist people with AIDS.
I began attending meetings at the Coral Room in South Florida. That was a club room, which meant it was open all day from 7 am to midnight, and housed many meetings a night – every night.
At one point, I was sober a few years, and I had never really shared my story with community up until that point. I was asked to share at a meeting, of course I said yes. I was at the podium talking and at the point where I got to where I came out and said that I was living with AIDS, many men got up from their chairs and went outside to wait until I was finished speaking. At the end of the meeting they took me outside and said …
DO NOT COME BACK HERE, GET SOBER SOMEWHERE ELSE !!!
Had I been versed on the traditions, I would have recited tradition three. This is a hindsight observation. I never attended that particular meeting again. I then settled at the late night meeting at 10, where people welcomed me with open arms. Just goes to show you that there are IGNORANT people in the rooms.
It was in that room that I planned and executed my slip.
I never returned to that place, when I returned the second time. The second time I got sober on South Beach in 2001.
When I moved to Montreal in 2002, I was hitting meetings all over the city. And it happened again that I went to a meeting on the West End, holed over by a family of sober folks. At the end of the meeting they starting plying me with twenty questions about my life and sobriety. A second time I stated the truth and once again I heard those words…
ISN’T THERE SOMEPLACE ELSE YOU CAN GET SOBER, OTHER THAN HERE ???
Once is enough to be told that one is not welcome, but twice is a problem. Being new to a city and meeting new people for the first time, it doesn’t bode well for a community to be so ignorant and intolerant of those with different struggles. I mean that’s what we pray when we recite the long version of the Serenity Prayer.
There are ignorant people in Montreal. To this day there are some who ignore me and will come to a meeting I sit in and ignore me as if I didn’t exist. I don’t know why this is, but I have my suspicions. Years ago, it was odd to find a queer in a straight meeting. We had queer meetings dedicated to the queer factor.
But over time, queer meetings fell apart and the LGBT folks scattered across the city to main line heterosexual meetings. We are everywhere today. And for the most part there is no qualm about it. We are all alcoholics, who want to get better, and far be it from anyone to tell someone that they are not welcome at any given meeting.
The only reason we would ask someone to leave a meeting is, and only when they get unruly and threaten anyone’s well being in a meeting. And in all my years I know of only One Man to be barred from a particular meeting, which is above and beyond the pale of any group conscience.
People come to a meeting because they suffer the same affliction we all do, a sickness of mind, body and soul. And the only way to get better is to put down the drink and come to a meeting.
I have always erred on the side of caution. When dealing with new folks, to allow them to sink in slowly, to be welcoming, to be grateful and to be of assistance. Never throw a book at them prematurely or to force them to “get it my way or the highway” or suggest they “come to” quicker than they are able, each according to their gifts.
There are meetings where old timers pound the book from the first meeting. I don’t agree with the heavy hand approach. Sobriety takes time, and all we have is time. Take as much time as you need.
Young people are suffering. We heard it again tonight. Conflicts about God, and spirituality are coming in between people. Egos and attitudes are coming to blows for some. And we hear as well that newcomer numbers are dropping on the young people groupings, all because of heavy handedness.
There are also some young people who deign to say the word God and have come up with their own set of steps rewritten to omit any reference to God, and that isn’t sitting well with older members.
Our book is meant to be suggestive only, we realize we know only a little …
It is written in the way it is written for a reason and the steps were written for a certain reason in the format they were set down to paper. Far be it from someone to rewrite them because of the God issue. In the end this is a spiritual program, and sooner or later we come to the God word.
However you get there … there is one who has all power that one is God, may you find him now … the words spoken in How It Works.
Seasons are changing. And people are shook up. And it is distressing to see these kinds of flare ups, but what can you do ? Always check your motives when dealing with others.
You belong when you say you belong.
The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking.
I am grateful for my friends tonight and every night.
It was a good but painful meeting, but that happens occasionally.
Pray for our young people.
More to come, stay tuned…
Montreal’s Gay Village will be closed to cars this summer and declared a pedestrian mall.
The Ste-Catherine Street blocks between Berri and Papineau streets will be blocked to traffic from June to September with access granted to emergency and delivery vehicles.
It may exacerbate traffic in the area, which is heavily travelled during rush hour because of the Jacques Cartier bridge’s proximity — but drivers will have to adjust, said Ville Marie borough mayor Benoît Labonté.
“If some people crossing the bridge every day get fed up, if they get fed up with the traffic, they can use public transit,” he said Tuesday at the announcement at Cabaret Chez Mado.
The mall will attract tourists to the area and improve quality of life for residents and business owners, he said.
The majority of members of the Village Merchants’ Association support the initiative, said president Denis Brossard.
“Everybody’s walking on the street with a big smile, and all the merchants are clapping because there is so [many] more people walking and sitting at their restaurant, or their club, or whatever,” he told CBC.
Some business owners are concerned about parking but people will have to adjust, said local resident and pharmacy owner Sylvie Duchesne.
“I think it’s always hard at the beginning, you know, the first year, the second year, the third year,” she said. “But when it’s something installed and running after a couple years, I think it’s worth it.”
People will be able to park at the Bibliothèque Nationale at Berri and Ontario streets.
The city of Montreal will also install additional bike racks in the area.
Krystalnacht – The Night of the Broken Glass…
The Beginning of The Holocaust
Work Makes You Free …
A Survivor from Buchenwald
Yad Vashem – Jerusalem Holocaust Memorial
Auschwitz – Concentration Camp
The Red Ribbon – Synonymous for AIDS
The Pride Flag – Proud Symbol for all things Gay
The Names Project AIDS Memorial Quilt – For all those who died from AIDS
My friends,My family, My brothers and sisters…
The JEW – The Star of David used during the Holocaust …
You who live safe
In your warm houses,
You who find, returning in the evening,
Hot food and friendly faces:
Consider if this is a man
Who works in the mud
Who does not know peace
Who fights for a scrap of bread
Who dies because of a yes and a no.
Consider if this is a woman,
Without hair and without name
With no more strength to remember,
Her eyes empty and her womb cold
Like a frog in winter
Meditate that this came about:
I commend these words to you.
Carve them in your hearts
At Home, in the street,
Going to bed, rising;
Repeat them to your children,
Or may your house fall apart,
May illness impede you,
May your children turn their faces from you.
Survival in Auschwitz
The Homosexual – Also Used during the Holocaust …
A Young Man – Hungarian Jewish Boy –
From Fateless, the Motion Picture
The Label Chart Used By the Nazi Party within
the Death Camps and Concentration Camps to
Location, Ethnicity, Area, Orientation, Religious Affiliation
There weren’t only Jews in the Camps…
The ACT UP slogan for Gay and AIDS circa 1980
What Would Jesus Do???
This is my Label – I earned every hour of it, with Pride…
We Should Be Proud, but we should remember what labels have done to millions world wide over the Decades. I think it is time to move past them, to stop labeling and Outing people. I think we need to learn to live together PEACEFULLY in order to stop the killing of ALL people around the world…
THAT WE SHOULD REMEMBER – SO THAT WE NEVER FORGET!!
The lights go down, the smoke machine is fired up and Seal is on the turntable. I stand in a large space, it is just me, the smoke and my music, as I ready for the nights events. This visual is very useful because it takes me back to the most important time in my young life as a gay man – and an HIV positive man.
I have spoken of this time and place at great length in the pages here on the blog. But I invoke it as I write because it taps that part of my brain where all those memories are stored.
This is supposed to be my “40th Birthday” retrospective. None of my friends have offered up any wisdom to turning 40, and several of my blog reads reached 40 before I did, and they seem to be well adjusted and the same men I knew before they turned 40.
I am not feeling any kind of depression or do I have any problem with my body image the only vain thing I do for me is cut and color my hair, to hide those ugly grays!! That reminds me I need to make an appointment for Tuesday!! It is Sunday Late night as I am writing this.
I was 26 when I was diagnosed in 1994. The doctors gave me 18 months to live. And here we are celebrating my 40th birthday. All the men I loved, liked, followed and idolized in my young gay life are dead, and I am still here …..
I have much to be grateful for. I have many men to thank for getting me here. The men who saved me from death at the Stud, the councilors who helped me cope and heal, the doctors who treated me, the men and women who “Loved” me into existence. Little did I know then, in 1994, that we would be here celebrating. I guess as a gay man with AIDS I see the world differently than most of you.
I am not consumed with the trappings of wealth. I am not a rich man nor a rich husband. We live on modest means and I work a modest job doing God’s work in my community. I don’t obsess over things that most gay men obsess over.
Image, money, wealth, sex, men, drugs and alcohol and going out to the bar to socialize. I guess I have mellowed with age. I have grown into the man I really want to be. And I can’t complain, because I have everything I need today. Being sober is another additive to this perception.
I get tired of reading whine after wine. Marriage has tempered me – life has taught me how to be married. That you find one to love – and that one loved you in return without question, argument or issue. Hell, I had no idea I would fall in love and get married when I was 26. I was concerned about getting through the day alive!
For many months after my diagnosis I kept a daily calendar, marking the 560 days until my death. My first sponsor kicked my ass several times over this. He was apt to tear the calendar off the frig and I would, as usual make another one. It was my way of coping then. When I reached that “Death Date” and I was still alive, it was only then that I started to work on a future.
I was sick an awful lot in the beginning. I was in the hospital all the time. I was sick as a dog for long periods of time. I haven’t had a major illness in many years. “knocks on wood!”
When I turned 30 that was in 1997. I had been sober three years, I was living in Miami, and going to the Coral room for meetings. I made it four years sober. The good thing about hindsight in sobriety is this: I can see what I DID and DIDN’T do right. From 1994 until my slip after four years of sobriety, I was just learning how to survive. Granted staying alive on the U.S. Medical system was a chore, let me tell you.
This is not racist but I was on social assistance and HRS assistance for a long time until I got on Medicaid. And I have to tell you that I had to go to places that “little white boys” did not go in the daytime! Let alone after dark. In order to get services I had to work the system before I either got denied, got sick or DIED! In the United States, Miami, in fact, until I found the loop it was kill or be killed. People were not going to help a little white boy with AIDS, that was clear. And the Government, sure as shit thought i was better off dead than to give me assistance. That is where I learned to be a “Cast Iron Cunt!!”
More than a few times I had to stop taking my pills and get deathly ill to get someone to help me. When I applied for disability I was so sick, I thought I was going to die. I stopped bathing, stopped taking my pills and walked into that government office that day, I was green. I coughed all over that poor women who signed off on my application and finally I made headway and I was able to get what I needed to live.
I became the Cast Iron Cunt from hell. Because I knew where all the contacts were. I had files at home, phone numbers and names of credible people I had amassed for myself. And more than once I was called to a hospital to help a friend who was set in chairs for 13 to 15 hours waiting for a bed, unpilled and unfed!! Those hospital administrators were truly afraid of me, because I was fucking kidding.
These people, my people would be helped or they could find other jobs. We got a lot of nurses and care workers fired over those years. There was no time to train you – your a health care worker, then do your fucking job asshole! Because we aren’t getting better with you worrying about getting AIDS from someone, unless you were fucking us or using our needles…
I was a Little Mean Asshole.
My parents did not help me. My parents traumatized me as an adult and that is their shit, not mine. I got them back years later. Never tell lies to your children because eventually they get washed out in the laundry.
So where are we 1997, I was 30. I was still alive. I set out on a number of really BAD decisions, a geographic that almost killed me a year later. That brings us to the year 2000.I was back in Miami in July of 2000. I stayed with friends after my relocation back after I was hospitalized with facial and bodily trauma.
I was agoraphobic I wasn’t eating and I had to reconnect to the system after being away from 18 months while I tripped to hell and back. I found a place to live, I had a job and my doctor took me back as a patient. That man saved my life. I tested every drug on the market from 1994 THROUGH today!! So Thank me….
I had to learn how to live again. I had to learn how to go outside. I had to take back my life. And Andrea, my therapist saved me once again. I was so god damned lucky you know that, I met some incredibly amazing people in my life, and they all played a part in getting me here. People who believed in me when I could not believe in myself. People who loved me until I could learn what it meant to Love Myself. That took YEARS !!!
And I was on the fast track plan, because people with AIDS were not living very long in Florida. Every time I saw the quilt, hundreds of more quilts were added yearly. This is the period that I learned that Dana Manchester had died. He was a drag queen artist that I knew when I first came out at the Parliament House when I was 21 – in Orlando. That’s where I came out!!! All good gay boys who live in Florida come out at the P-House!!!
God, Ive been though some serious shit in my life. AND I Lived to tell the tale! I am one lucky son of a bitch!! Someone up there likes me. I guess in a way, loosing the people I loved early in my life “family wise” steeled me to either live or die. My grandmothers deaths affected me in ways that nobody knows, not even my family.
And I don’t have any family to speak of left in my life today, and I haven’t had any family in my life since well before I left the states. My parents condemned me as an abomination. Funny that I went on and got a Degree in Religion from Concordia University in Montreal and I did it all before my 40th Birthday…
I showed you, you Fuckers !!!
I’m sorry, but Itty Bitty Bad Ass creeps up on me at times, when I reflect….
I have ever right to be angry … Their loss. My Loss. Nobody won that fight…
I miss my Master.
I miss my friends.
I miss the past – the laughing – the fun – the Joy of drag shows and of being young again.
My mother told a strategic lie to her children. And in 2001 I capitalized on that lie. My mother had retained her Canadian Citizenship until AFTER my brother was born in 1970. She was naturalized in 1974. I had an out – and I took it. They fucked me over and so the last fuck was mine and it was going to be a good, wet and dirty one…
I was 34 years old when I left the United States. I packed everything I owned and I set off for the new world. Hell, I was still alive!! And I had not even started living yet. I was just merely surviving. But I was SOBER when I pulled that next geographic and I STAYED sober during the move.
I came for Easter 2002 to Montreal. I stayed two weeks, I just LOVED this city. And I still do. It is not Miami… that’s when I returned home packed and I left. My parent’s were horrified and insulted that I would gain Canadian Citizenship because of my mother’s well told lie… She almost got deported over my application. She was so angry at me she was spitting!! It was great! Payback is a bitch!!
Itty Bitty Bad Ass…
The last conversation I had with my mother was in 2003. She said to me and I quote:
“If we get sick and one of us or both of us die, we will not call you nor notify you of any funeral or tell you where we are buried!!”
How do you like that line? I had to cope with this news the best way I could. So I had to bury them in my heart forever. We had hurt each other to the point of severance. I was going to have the last laugh. But my mother cut me to the bone. I have seen her twice here in my apartment. She came on my 1st and 2nd wedding anniversary. I saw her here and I spoke to her.
I have always said that the one thing that would send me over the edge and I would drink over is the thought that she is dead, and nobody called to tell me. I am sober and I want to keep it that way. But I tell you, if this secret ever becomes reality, I will surely go insane!!
to you all hearts are open,
all desires known,
and from you no secrets are hidden.
Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts
by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit,
that we may perfectly love you,
and worthily magnify your holy name;
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
So you know the rest of the story if you’ve been reading this blog. All the stories and achievements are there to read about, including the history of Jeremy. I came to Canada to conquer death. I did that. This will be my 40th birthday, and I am still alive. There surely is a God. I know his voice and I’ve seen his face. I am loved.
- I came to Conquer Death
- I met a man in sobriety
- I married that man in 2004
- I went back to school at age 35
- And I graduated in June of 2007 with a Degree in Religion
- I am still sober – by the Grace of God
- I am still alive – by the Grace of God
I don’t worry about dying any more. I don’t worry about the past any more. Save one truth of secrets would probably kill me, so we don’t talk about it ever. I trust my gut to know what God is telling me. My psychic abilities are strong enough to know the truth about death. And I know for myself today. And I have accepted the truth in my heart and I am the man I wanted to become and am still becoming. So join us at Tuesday Beginners tonight and let’s celebrate my birthday Big Brassy and GAY!!!
When I had my near death experience in 1997, I went across and was seated in a garden of the most beautiful flowers. They sent me back without any answers that I had questions about. I met a wise man one night who said to me, “Why wait till you’re dead to ask your questions, ASK them NOW! So I did that…
I’ve never told anyone what I am about to share with you…
In 2001 – I had two “visitations” in my South Beach apartment. One by the Lady in White. She came to bless me. She brought the scent of roses, that I could never find the origin of and never did. I never smelled those roses ever again after that …
The second was the “taking” where I was lain on a table, in a room where beings were present. They pricked my arms and told me that I would be healed and that I would live, that all would be well. Somewhere inside I knew it and I felt it, that was the first time my t-cells ever hit 1000 – in my labs in the Spring of (2001), on the last round in July my T-cells were 1186!! My T- cells have been hovering at 1000 since 2001. They had never gotten that high before ever before…
Someone is protecting me … My faith has saved me, and Christ has redeemed me, and God continually blesses my life. Thank God for all of you.
Thank you to all my readers and friends and fellows. And as always, if you like what you read, please, by all means let us know. It is always nice to hear from my readers. I am not your “run of the mill” Christian, but quite the opposite.
I just do what I am called to do
I help where I am directed to
and I love because I am commanded to
And from the Old Testament I remind of these most important words:
“The most vital commandment in the Old Testament is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.” Deut. 6:5…
Bye for now…
O U T M A S S
Christ Church Cathedral
635 Rue Ste. Catherines
Saturday July 28, 2007
at 7:00 p.m.
Bring a friend and celebrate!!!
The Reverend Canon Joyce Sanchez will be Officiating
and the Bishop will be giving the sermon.
If you are in Montreal for Pride, please join us.
OUT MASS 2006 with the V. Rev Bishop Gene Robinson
of New Hampshire…
To The Rescue
Montreal’s Gay Pride Parade
L.G.B.T.A LINK HERE
The Parade will take place on
July 29th 2007 at 1 p.m.
on Rene Levesque – heading West
It seems that LGBTA has come forward to stop the infighting between the Diverscite and local merchants in the Village. On the local news feed, I heard some say that Montreal doesn’t need a gay pride parade any more because gay marriage is acceptable, so why bother any more?
This from CFCF News (CTV News Affiliate in Montreal)
Gay pride parade back on !!!
Montreal’s gay pride parade is back on again. The parade will be held the afternoon of Sunday, July 29. A new organization, LGBTA Montreal, was formed to organize the parade, that will kick off a week of gay pride events in the city.
After years of infighting between various gay groups, it had been announced the parade would be cancelled this year. In the past, it has drawn hundreds of thousands of people, gay and straight alike.
It seems WordPress is having issues today, so bear with me as we find out if this writing makes it to the editor correctly…
Like I said in earlier posts that I’ve been feeling a little ‘out of sync’ as of late. This Lunar cycle has me at a disadvantage – I feel a lot lower than usual, and my daily and nightly rituals have stopped because it feels like I’ve lost my mojo. So in order to stop this cycle, I’ve spent a greater amount of time in prayer and meditation. It seems that if my outward being is under the ‘pall’ so to speak, then that must mean I need to pay attention to my inner voice and being.
I haven’t been sleeping well, as of late, so I am taking care of me in the meantime. More on this later…
Yesterday I met someone I’ve begun to minister to at the behest of a friend. A responsibility that I take very seriously. So before I take on any new projects or I am going to begin working with someone in a more professional capacity, I pray. Because I cannot do the work of God or the Spirit, unless I am ‘right’ with God. I believe that when someone is put on the path with me – at any given point, that the first order of business is kindness. Last night I received an email from a friend who shared with me some thoughts on the days events. I was truly moved.
“In the words of Clara Mayfield, How difficult can it be to be kind?”
I went to class this morning and afterwards I took care of my renewing my Carte l’assurance Maladie at the local CLSC – which took all of 5 minutes. So that’s done for another year.
I am enjoying my Anthropology class, we are now on the Huichol Indians of Mexico and their ways of life and rituals. I really enjoy my prof’s sense of humor. I actually laughed out loud, so here is the story…
“An anthropologist is out in the field studying a certain group of indigenous peoples. They are on an excursion to a sacred site they have traveled in a large vehicle, which on the return stops amid journey.
The anthropologist gets out of the truck and they survey the problem and he says to the indians, “well, this is going to take some time, and we surely aren’t going to get home in this truck! Meanwhile, there is a tribal elder traveling with them. The anthropologist is very wary of their customs and traditions.
so the elder man gets out of the truck with his feather wand and begs the man to step aside, who was certain that the truck was not fixable…
“How are we going to get out of this with a feather wand, he remarks…”
*Insert chuckle here*
The elder goes over to the engine and waves his feather wand and wouldn’t you know it, the truck starts…” Needless to say the anthropologist was confused and stymied by what just happened. Never discount the traditions or rituals of any peoples…
I laughed out loud when she told us this little story…
After running my errands I came home and checked the mail and ate some lunch. After which we both set down for a mid afternoon nap. Now usually if I go down for a nap, it is a foregone conclusion that I am going to lay there for at least two hours until I find my way into sleep. I was prepared today. Before I shut my eyes, I put out a clear intention to the universe that I wanted a dream to occur. I spoke it when I shut my eyes, and I went right to sleep.
The dream came. Fast and Furious. When I dream of family and the past, the dream usually comes in black and white, and I cannot speak to anyone and I can’t open any doors in the houses I end up in. It is always the same house, my paternal grandparents house. This time today, all that changed. I went back in time, and it was alive, and in color. I saw my family, my grandmothers and grandfathers. I spoke to them and I was reliving certain periods of my childhood through my eyes.
The first vignette was of a Christmas long ago. It was cold outside and there was snow on the ground. I was able to see and speak to my grandparents. They are both long since dead. They were as they were, in that period of my life.
The second vignette was a birth! Was it my brother’s? I don’t know, but it was a birth of some sorts because afterwards there was a shower of baby items and gifts from the family.
The third vignette was once again a Winter scene. This last scene came at the end of my three hour nap, and it was ending quickly, as I was being pulled out of the scene from the back of my pants, like I was being lifted out of the scene by someone standing behind me, and I came out of the dream with the words “no red, no red…” then it ended. I was talking to my grandmother, Jeannie. I don’t know what I was referring to. I got up, I had a banging headache, and so I took some advil, reset my alarm clock and went back down for a further 35 minutes, which went by like a blur… I set down again and all of a sudden the alarm clock was ringing again… I was like WTF!!!
I have heard it said that we can intention our dreams before we even get to them, that we can call forth images into our minds eyes and we can intention specific visuals that we want to have in dream state. I don’t know why I was moved to intention this specific dream, but it happened. It is 10:30 p.m. and the dream is still visible in my minds eye…
That’s about all I want to write at the moment. Maybe more later…
1. I had a great day
2. A friend said that I was kind to him and that moved me
3. I had rest, a wonderful dream experience
4. I have great friends who trust me and care about me
5. I have work to do for God and my fellows
6. There is food in the fridge
7. Fear of people and of financial insecurities will leave us
8. That we are all blessed by the God of our own understandings
9. If you believe in miracles and dreams then they too shall come to pass
10. in 21 days I will graduate from University!!!
Goodnight from Montreal.
The day that Memere presented me to God in that church in my early childhood, little did I know how much that would make a difference in my life today. Hindsight is our best teacher. I have always been open to anything and everything. I have never put blinders on my brain or my senses. I guess you could say that I am multi-talented.
Early in my childhood I was predisposed to the paranormal. I would become the medium of my family and my parents thought that I was insane and stupid so I will relate to you some stories to illustrate.
I was in Junior High when my Uncle Paul died in Connecticut and a blue jay appeared at my cousin’s house where her father (my uncle) as I had always believed, he was my father’s cousin, but he was uncle John to the rest of us. Uncle John would be the go between for my father and his parents final resting places. anyways, I digress…
The bird… yes, blue jays are not known for interpersonal skills, yet this bird was different. He followed my uncle around the house (outside) he pecked at the windows for months, and answered to the name Paul when shooed away or invoked after his death. This went on for months until my grandfather died in Florida.
Al was a bitter, sick, demented and sad man – my father’s father died unceremoniously and we did not mourn him for the abuse he heaped upon all of us in this family. But he came back to me. I had a bedroom in the back of the house against my favorite climbing trees and a view of the backyard and patio. After grampy died the bird appeared at my window one day and he pecked and he pecked.
He followed me to the bus stop and back home, he knew when I was home and when we all were in which room. The red headed woodpecker answered to the name of Al when we got tired of his pecking we could open the window and say “get lost Al!” and he would come whenever I called him. This went on for about six months. At one point the bird disappeared…
My uncle shared with us his adventures on his end. 1500 miles away. And then one day he called and said a second bird appeared on the back porch – it was a red headed wood pecker with the blue jay. They visited for a while and then they both disappeared. They were never seen again.
When my paternal grandmother died, it crushed my father emotionally, not to mention me as well. She was a great woman, who loved me and protected me from my abusive father over the years. When she died, I was living out of the house at that point. I came home for the funeral and had to take care of the final send off to the crematorium for my father because he couldn’t handle it.
That afternoon I had brought flowers from her funeral home with me – and that is when she appeared to me. She still appears to me today, many years later. Jeannie stands at the foot of my bed, she never says anything, but she brings with her a scent that only she could bring – and I know the scent. She scared the shit out of me the first night she came to stand vigil at my bedside. She has followed me all over the world as I have moved.
After I was diagnosed HIV positive in 1994, I started seeing a “reader” who taught me the art of divination and card reading, because you know, I am gonna die, I wanna know what’s on the other side, right? I had a small apartment in Ft. Lauderdale that was given to me by some friends when my family decided that I was “untouchable.” My bedroom had a wall unit A/C and I would sleep with my door closed each night. I did not make the connection here until certain things happened. The pictures on the wall would be crooked in the morning. Magazines on the coffee table would be tossed about my apartment, which wasn’t very big at all. I had no pets and I lived alone.
Miguel came over one afternoon and drew a circle and confronted the spirit in the room. Jeannie had not appeared as she had in the past. He told me that a red headed woman was in the apartment and that she did not know how to get through the bedroom door. That I should sleep with the door open from now on, which I did. He described Jeannie to a “t” and so I knew she was still watching me.
Many years later – and I had lived, my maternal grandmother, the lifeblood of all that I am and the maker of faith for me as a man, died. She was in Connecticut and I was in Florida. I had pulled all of the cash I had to buy a plane ticket for the funeral and my mother informed me that I was not to attend the funeral for God Forbid her family find out that I had AIDS. You can imagine my horror and revulsion at her insistance that I comply with her wishes. I had…
Soon after the funeral had passed, I started to commune with Camille in my sleep. She would talk to me and I wrote letters to my mother in her pen and in her handwriting, I am sure my mother kept all these letters, but she never admitted to anyone what they were or who they came from.
She once told me that she had saved my rant letters in a safety deposit box to prove that I was insane. I was an unlucky bastard to my family and nothing I did or said to them ever changed the way they saw me. Camille and I still commune to this very day.
My parents – once said that if I had died that I would have no funeral and be buried somewhere off on my own, which led me to do something seriously drastic to keep them from ever having any control, or ability to touch me in life or in death…
Jeremiah came to be…
The prophet is never welcome in his own town or listened to, but Jeremiah Preached his sermon to deaf ears. Years would pass and insanity would rule and the family resentment would carry out to this very day.
Camille once gave me a scapular that I carried in my wallet for decades until I moved to Montreal in 2002, and realized what that key to faith that would play into my life, with the finding of Sister Georgette soon after and the stories she would tell me about my past and of Camille’s life and the room she stayed in AT the Mother House when she lived here in Montreal.
It so happened that one day I was at the Mother House standing in Camille’s cell and she appeared to me and I told sister Georgette that she was in visitation, Sister G never denied that that was possible. Over the last five years Camille has visited us at the Mother House and here at home. She brings with her a scent as well. That I would recognize.
Jeannie still comes in visitation to the house here and she stands at the foot of my bed and watches over us now. Hubby knows of this and he welcomed her into his home when we started living together, because she used to freak him out in the beginning.
So this little innocent Catholic boy practices the Wiccan circle and read his cards for certain people and never for personal gain. My bedroom is a shrine – the bookcase holds all the sacred objects given to me by sister G, and it holds the gifts given to me by the nuns upon her death in August.
I believe that there is an ever after, because when I went across on my NDE the last time I was in the hospital in 1997, I was told so. My family that surrounded me and protected me from my parents and their abuse, surround me today and have been here, because unlike some of you, I have no blood kin that will participate in my life today. Blood is not thicker than water in my family and resentments and anger rules the hearts of the adults in my family.
I study religion and the ever after because when I die, all those folks whom I honor in my life today will be there to welcome me into the kingdom when my card comes up. I am not the same man I was a mere 10 years ago. I am much older and wiser and I grew up and I forgave and I moved on.
I pray that sad prayer every day, God if it is in your power to grant me one miracle – this is the one that I would wish for. God has yet to respond. Sobriety has taught me a lot about prayer and expectations from God. Eesh, I know that all too well…
On the eve of my first wedding anniversary in 2005, my mother came to me here in Montreal. She appeared in my bedroom on the 19th of November. We were married on the 20th, her birthday. She told me that she came to say goodbye and that she was going to die. Then she departed and I never saw her again.
I have only a memory of my mother from that day in 2001. I have no pictures nor has she attempted to maintain contact with me since I moved here, because she is fiercely loyal to my abusive father. I never called to confirm her death, because I have said that if she had died and my father kept it from me, I would no doubt go insane and drink!
Last year, on the eve of my second wedding anniversary she appeared again to me in my bedroom, but she did not speak. I have practiced the art of scrying her in my sleep and that has failed to give me results. I have begged her to join me in dream space because that is where we could find each other – alas, I never dream about my mother or see her like I see others, for some reason. I don’t have that answer.
All I know is that when I had my near death experience and met that man afterwards who spoke to me because I was incensed that I asked all my questions on the other side and came back with no answers, this man looked at me and said…
“Why wait till you are dead to ask your questions, at that point it is too late to do anything about them, ask them now while you are alive and be ready for answers.”
Ghosts, a good thing or a bad thing, for me its a good thing. I am somewhat empathic to a degree which is a gift and a curse, however you look at it, on any given full moon cycle, which I think we are in at the moment. We are at 62% of full tonight, which is why I am feeling the way I do, I am speeding and writing like a mad man about the paranormal!!
I believe – you don’t have to believe one word that I wrote here, but that’s my story and I am sticking to it…
I tell the story of David, my best friend. He died in the Spring of 1987. I had spoken to him prior to his death and I knew he loved me. On the night of his wake, at the funeral home, the priest had a seizure and I had to finish the prayer service for the attendees. Upon my arrival back at the seminary, it was stormy outside. I was bereft in my sadness and grief. It was really not pretty. I was kneeling in the front (right) pew in front of the altar. It was late, and dark outside.
I heard one of the confessional doors open and close in the right of the transept. I heard footsteps come around the altar stones, the floor is stone and marble. The foot steps stopped in the center of the main aisle in front of the altar. The Altar Candle exploded and lit up the mural you see behind it, it was a most glorious vision. David was standing there before me, and told me not to weep, that he was ok, and that he would watch over me. To this day, I have his Glorious Mary Medallion which I never leave the house without. It hangs on a chain I wear with my other medallions.
Every time I look at this picture, I am reminded of this story…
So in his memory, I share it with you…
I love you David…