Who We Really Are

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While the terrorist/white supremacist attacks were taking place in my home town of Charlottesville, VA yesterday  I was enjoying a peaceful day in Richmond, VA of homemade waffles and cleaning the apartment with my girlfriend.

As the news of what was happening in Charlottesville blew up Facebook and my phone with notifications from NPR news, I was devastated to say the least. I cried then and I have cried today. I cannot imagine what Heather Heyer’s loved ones are experiencing right now. And I am sure that everyone who was injured, beaten or who witnessed what happened now has some form of PTSD to deal with.

I cannot speak a lot about what happened Saturday August 12th because I wasn’t there. I will never really know what it was like. And honestly, what can I say about bigoted terrorist that hasn’t already been said?

However, I am certain of a few things:

  1. My family and friends in Charlottesville and Ruckersville, where I lived for the past 16 years before relocating to Richmond, are the most loving and accepting people that I have ever known.
  2. Yes this was a terrorist attack. People do not beat up or kill other people when they are exercising their right as an American to protest.
  3. THIS ATTACK HAPPENED BECAUSE OF OUTSIDERS THAT HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH CHARLOTTESVILLE OR LOCAL POLITICS. Their terrorist actions do not reflect what is in the hearts of any of my loved ones or Charlottesville as a whole.

This is not who we are. It never was.

I have one more thing I would like to share with you.

I called my Mom to make sure she didn’t venture into Charlottesville on an errand yesterday. After these violent attacks that were based on hate occurred, I received the most beautiful gift from my Mother. During our conversation, she said: “You seem so happy and I really like Jo Ann. You’re doing so good something about it just seems so, right.” My Mother, who just found out I’m gay after knowing me my entire life, gave me the gift of acceptance.

This gives me hope. And it proves to me that love will always win.

Love is who we really are.  

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To Damn Busy!

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My love is in the hospital again with pneumonia. She has officially been there for one week today.

She will get better.

In the week that she has been in the hospital none of her family has come to visit her.

One of her good friends is the only person to visit her besides me.

This has caused me to think about busyness.

Allow me to explain.

When we are busy we don’t have to stop and look at life. We don’t have to wonder if we are happy or if our relationships are good. We’re just to damn busy to think about it!

When we are busy, we gain our worth from how much we get done in a day (this is me in a nut shell by the way). And when we do finally have a day off or a vacation we can say we deserve it because of how busy we have been!

The cycle goes on and on. We wear ourselves out, our relationships grow weaker, and we stop showing up for people when they need us even when they are sick and in the hospital.

I am completely certain of one thing: THE RELATONSHIPS THAT WE HAVE WITH OUR LOVED ONES ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF THIS LIFE.

When we finally take the long dirt nap, the only thing that we will leave this world with is the love we created while we were here.

Showing up for someone means more than a thousand tasks completed in a day, a new car, or a promotion.

Today, I will go spend as much time as I can with my love.

I can’t make her well. But I can show up for her.