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My heart goes out...



The past few years have been a growing experience for me, and I feel I have changed. The greatest factor in my life-changes is that I was married to a gay man. Sharing that will help me, and I hope others won't feel so alone.



Updated: 2018-04-19T22:19:21.929-04:00

 



Mother's Day, WZPL 99.5 style

2014-05-10T07:21:08.986-04:00


(image)  


On Friday, my daughter, Sara, surprised me by reading an essay she entered on "My mom's the bomb," a WZPL 99.5 radio show.  The "trick" to get me down there was a "breakfast for the entrants."  Since I listen to the show, I had a feeling it was a little more than that.


My "baby daughter, Sara" had written a beautiful entry - for me.  What can I say to brag about her?  If I do it too loudly, it sounds like I'm tooting my own horn - Which the Smiley show was doing at 7:30 as we drove in traffic to get there.  She did make me cry, and laugh.  Good essay, Sara!  I just wish I'd have thought to take a photo with Dave Smiley, KJ, Toni, and Producer Will. 

Although we didn't get the trip to New York City, I did receive these beautiful flowers, a DONUT (you'll see it in my hand) and a very generous gift card to Biaggi's!  It was a great time with Sara, and perhaps we spread a good word for straight spouses and GLBTs at the same time. 



0 Comments

2014-04-27T07:18:45.523-04:00


It's been so long since I've posted that I had over 100 unmonitored comments.  While a lot were spam, a bunch were for the delete pile, there were a few that needed to be posted.  If your comment just appeared somewhere, that is why.

Writing a post takes me a lot of time, and I just don't get my thoughts organized to do that.  That's why I've let the blog go without new posts.

This winter I got a knee replacement.  It's doing pretty well.  I have good bending and straightening, and just need to grow stronger.  As I get stronger, I've been told the soreness will diminish. 

Also this winter I got two more grandkids!  Grand total is now EIGHT!  I love them all so much.

The winter was LONG and COLD!  Longest, coldest (I think) on record for Indiana. 

Yesterday I bought some starts of asparagus and I will plant them in my yard.  Too bad it'll be a year before I can harvest any.  Maybe I'll blog when I pick them (but don't count on any posts soon.)   (image)
Btw, this is not my own garden, 'though it is similar to mine.  I just copied someone else's photo.   





Father's Day

2013-06-17T21:54:45.607-04:00

Note:  I wrote this yesterday, on Father's Day, but I didn't know if I should post it.  Tonight, I read Liz's post, and told her:  Wow - it's like we wrote the same thing!  So, I'm going ahead and publishing this entry, and although Liz's writing is more descriptive, I think you'll see that we were on the same page.  Oh, and mine is even MORE late.  It's Father's Day and facebook is filled with posts about dads.  I just lost my dad on May 14, and it leaves me without anyone to parent me.  This past Mother's Day, I heard Garrison Keilor say, because he lost his mom last summer, "nobody feels much sympathy for a 70 year old orphan.".  I suppose that's true, but missing your Dad on Father's Day is universal once he's gone.  I sure miss mine.  Looking at photos of my kids' dad on facebook,  I miss Ray. But I miss him in a different way because we don't have him around to share this Dad-honoring day with his grown-up kids.  Ray is and always was a good dad.  Besides so many good qualities, Ray brought fun to our home, and took notice if I was too uptight or stern in keeping things in order.  (With four kids, who knew order?)  Ray always planned time for the kids, making tours around their school calendars way in advance.  We took trips keeping in mind what the kids would enjoy.  One of Ray's specialities was helping Karen finish her science projects (which always ended up being done at the last minute), or achieve the "Super Reader Badge" from the Victory Drill Book.When Phil was little, Ray said he'd rather be home every Friday night, watching "Dukes of Hazard" with 4-year-old Philip, than traipsing off to sing or be on the road.  He liked just being with his kids.Ray called "Elizabeth" his little dandelion, because her super-curly hair practically floated away from her head.  He loved to brush and fix her hair - if she would let him.  Sara, our 4th, came along, and Ray never let it show that financially things would be tighter than ever.  He just worked harder to make our family work.  Since we didn't have a separate nursery, and she shared our room for about a year or more, she sometimes would wake up if he came in from a concert late.  No matter, he just got her up - to PLAY!   It's been a long time since Ray and I were bringing up those little kids.  Now there are six GRANDKIDS to watch, and it's up to our kids to be the parents.  YAY for that!  The little ones all know their Pappaw Ray lives in Florida.  They LOVE it when he visits them, taking them to McDonalds, or the zoo, or wherever the "fun place" is for the day.  They adore him and their faces light up when they see him.  Now, not to be a downer, but not all divorced gay granddads are as fortunate.  Yes, some have abandoned their responsibilities, abandoned their families, leaving them in terrible straits.  And just as bad, some families ostracize the dad/grandpa/brother, etc., by shunning him for coming out after having had a family.  How awful. When Ray and I saw our first counselor after his disclosure, she asked me three questions:1) How do you feel about being here?2) Do you think if Ray prayed hard enough, that he could change to straight?3) What do you see as the best possible outcome?I was crying plenty as I tried to answer each question...1) Awful2) No3) I wanted Ray close enough to still enjoy our kids.  I didn't want to make him stay around so long that we became bitter, and I couldn't bear that we'd end up fighting and hating one another.  Mostly, I hoped that we'd still be family.  I would say that we've done a pretty good job to accomplish #3.    .   It could have been different, but  even though he had to miss some events, when he was home he played video games, [...]



Handwritten letters.

2013-06-15T21:11:49.142-04:00

Remember LETTERS? 

I watched an old movie by Wes Anderson.  Two 12-year-old campers fell for each other, and one wrote:  "Write to me," and gave an actual street address.  The setting was 1965, when I would have been 12 years old!  And I remember going to the mailbox back in those days, hoping for a letter. 

Sometimes a letter came from my Aunt Evelyn who lived in Kentucky.  She didn't have any little girls, and she was just about my only aunt.  How I loved seeing the return address, in her handwriting, "615 Maple Ave."  She had taught me her address, in case I ever got lost, the summer I spent a week at her house when I was 7.  Back then, a long-distance phone call was a big deal, where sometimes two of us would horn in on the extension phone, and we had to make everything count when we took up those expensive minutes that showed up on the bill a month later.  But a letter you could hold and read, re-read, and keep in a drawer.

Letters from my brother in Viet Nam were welcomed in the late 60s.  His handwriting was distinctively his own, and my mom couldn't wait to hear from him so far away and in danger daily.  Once, he even wrote just to ME, his little sister.  I treasured that letter.

When I had a boyfriend, we'd send letters back and forth, and I always used special paper.  I remember using a light blue with torn edges.  It was exciting to get home, check the mailbox, and read the sweet words, carefully selected, and then write a reply.  

What is it about getting a personal handwritten note that means so much?  Today we don't do it enough.  Even though we still have "snail mail," and cards and letter are not totally forgotten, it's not the norm. I know that checking the inbox can be a thrill.  Texts are INSTANT, and they usually go through without fail.  But it's not the same as when we had to wait DAYS for a letter, saw your own name in familiar handwriting, and recognized the return address.  I don't want to ever forget how much that meant and how it felt. 





My view on Lance Armstrong: "The truth is better than lies."

2012-10-26T08:56:05.120-04:00

Bad week for Lance Armstrong, with all the stripping of the titles, wins, endorsements.  Bummer.  It's brought down everything to do with cycling, much less his cancer foundation, Livestrong.  I figure he's been lying now for his whole career as a cyclist, and he's brought down everyone who has ever been associated with him.  Bummer.  (I have no idea what will happen to Livestrong, which has done so much good for cancer patients.)

Last night on NBC's RockCenter, Betsy Andreu and Emma O'Reilly told the story they've been telling for the past 15+ years, and are finally being heard.  I tell you, in the past, I didn't listen, either.  Like Emma says here, it was a lot prettier to listen to a "fairy tale" and 7 Tour de France wins, that to listen to two women who were trying to tell what they knew. They were villified by Lance himself (in court depositions), and silenced by court filings. 

It took the confessions of the 26 riders - and teammates, including Floyd Landis, Tyler Hamilton, Dave Zabriskie, George Hincapie and more - to bring out what seems to be known by all the insiders.  The truth has come forward, and we HAVE to hear it.  Painful, sad, damaging, but true. 

I have no stake in this but my memories of Le Tour de France, wonderful summers, and a lot of enthusiasm.  Lance Armstrong has brought down a whole sport and the industry of cycling, all the marketing, all the support services that go into bringing the Tour to the world, and the individual cyclists that have brought out the truth over the hidden world of doping. 

What have I lost?  I've lost what it all meant.  These guys were really my heroes, and just like other sports that people love, I admired all of them.  I don't throw it all away, except for the hero part.  And just like I say about a lot of other things, the truth is better. 




If you are interested...
Here's more video detail:  Armstrong teammates testified.   and more.



Children of gay parents: Out of God's will?

2012-07-22T22:25:36.724-04:00

 A very good question came in my e-mail box the other day, and it was regarding the worries of one of the children born to a gay-straight mixed orientation marriage.  Because I had never addressed this, I decided to do a post about it.For background, let me say that Ray and I had four kids in ten years, and they are all loved and wanted.  When Ray came out to us, our oldest was 29 and married, and our youngest was 19 and a freshman in college.  They all graduated from a conservative Christian university, and were very involved in ministry/missions. It was a terrific shock to all of us that Ray was gay, and we all had a lot to learn about what this meant.  We all ended up changing our views as we understood that you don't choose your sexual orientation, and that you do choose what you believe.Our family is pretty tight, and we really like being with each other.  My counselor once said that we probably insulated ourselves with each other, partly because of Ray's career.  I don't know if that is true, but I do know that we have stuck with each other, even when it was tough to hold up our heads and face the world who knew Ray, versus who we knew Ray to be.So, although I haven't asked each one of the kids what they think, I did ask our youngest, Sara, since she was a teenager when this big event changed our lives forever:  "Did you ever wonder if you were meant to be, since your dad is gay?"  I don't know how I put it, but it was something like that.  Sara replied that just this week the subject had come up with a co-worker.  She told her friend that the whole thing doesn't, or hasn't ended, that there is always more to deal with.  Even though she is fully accepting of her dad (and glbt people), there is always someone who hasn't heard, doesn't know, or will react with uncertainty regarding her dad.  But she also told her friend, "My parents probably have a better working relationship that some parents who stay together."  And to my question, she looked at me and said, "No, never, not at all."So, below I have copied most of what my e-mailer wrote, and I have also included my reply.  I hope this is helpful.  the question: Carol,  I am a big fan of your ex-husband's music and I enjoy your blog.  I have a question.  How do you address self-esteem issues related to the children of mixed-orientation marriages?  ...  I am haunted by a conversation with a Christian teenager who was the product of such a marriage.  His anguish, basically, was that if it was never really God's will that Mom and Dad be married to one another, then it was never God's will that he be born.  I basically answered him that God can bring good, even marvelous, results out of bad situations, and that God can "hit straight with a crooked stick," to use an old saying.  I don't know if I handled that conversation well or not.  What would you say to a young person who is struggling with whether or not he or she was meant to be born due to the fact that they are the product of a mixed orientation marriage?  my reply:Thanks, *********** !  And that's a good question, one I've never addressed on the blog.  I went to one of my kids for help in answering, to see if it has ever occurred to her that she was never in God's will to come into existence/been born.  Fortunately, she didn't look at it that way.  She knows how her dad believed the fundamentalist doctrine, how well he did in following what we were taught, and how much he tried.  (It might also help that I've helped her understand through my own understanding.)  I think you answered the questioning teenager as well as you could.  Since his/her parents had put it like that (that they never were in God's will to be married) that would be how the teen would look at it as well.  What a[...]



"Cool" is relative.

2012-07-07T15:29:42.643-04:00

I ventured outside today, and since it is only 97* right now, it feels cool.  Yesterday it was 104* on my car thermometer.  Those can be inaccurate of course, but it felt hotter yesterday.  Today could hardly be considered normal weather for June in Indiana.  It's dad-blame HOT.Someone commented today, as is often the case, with instructions about how "wrong" I am to be gay-supportive.  I was glad to publish the comment as well as write a short reply, since today I have the time to do so.  http://myheartgoesout-carol.blogspot.com/2012/06/im-jealous.html - look for today's date.  While I have no wish that families break up, I repeat and say again:  Being gay is not sinful.  There is real tragedy when mixed-orientation marriages happen.  Especially when the people getting married are not fully honest when they enter into marriage.  It's usually the false hope by the gay person that with love and enough commitment, the same-sex attractions will be suppressed.  Sometimes they have been counseled by well-meaning Christians that if they pray, dedicate "the problem" to the Lord, and never act on their desires, that the desires will go away/dissipate.  Sometimes the gay person is asked to be accountable to someone "overseeing" them.  They are asked to give up computer passwords, facebook pages, and account for spare time - all with the expectation that they won't be GAY any more.  It doesn't work.  Eventually, whether or not they "act" on their desires, there are consequences.  Either there is an affair, or psychological breakdown, or simply a loss of emotion - and it's not how anyone should live.  While I know that some may not agree, many don't have my perspective.  I know the feelings I've lived through, and I know what my life has been.  I know how hot it is outside, and I know how it felt yesterday.  I know.If you want me to read what Leviticus says, well, that's an old book, written when times and the culture was vastly different than today.  And there are LOTS of things we disregard in Leviticus and the rest of the Bible.  We eat shrimp and pork, and we work (drive cars, play games, and throw footballs - i.e. pig skins) on Sunday.  There was a time when tomatoes were "forbidden fruit."  No more.  Divorce is legal.  I don't wear dresses all the time.  I cut my hair.  When I let it grow long, I've been known to plait it.  I wear rings - GOLD rings that don't signify marriage!  http://biblia.com/books/nasb95/1Ti2.8-10   I am female, I'm not married, I live on my own, and I handle my own affairs - new ideas to the 20th Century. It may appear to you as scandalous, but when it comes to likening being gay with what people point out in the Bible, I disregard those arguments. While you may disregard me, I have this to say:  "Oh, well." Here are some simple reasons that justify my position, and I don't care to write a long defense on these statements.  1 - In Genesis, the story of Sodom and Gomorrah is probably the story of same-sex rape.2 - Don't point to Leviticus to prove your point, unless you adhere to ALL the rest of the rules/law in the entire Old Testament.  Even if you do, those who are glbt are just who they are.  Leave them alone.3 - Jesus never talked about homosexuality.  Period. 4 - I accept life, and things happen.  It's rough and I don't like all of it.  I just have to go forward and stand up for gay people.  A lot of them are Christian, some are not. 5 - I choose to be Christian.  I didn't choose my sexual orientation, nor do others choose theirs. [...]



I'm jealous.

2012-06-01T00:01:39.715-04:00

It's late, and I had a late nap on the couch.  That means I'm up and playing Bejeweled 3.  Yay for video games.  In between frustrating sets of the stupid game that keeps me occupied mindlessly, I check facebook.   I see things that make me jealous:  a sweet, young wife, pregnant with her 3rd baby in 4 years; a couple retiring happily to the south.  I am ashamed to feel this way - that I have lost my favorite stories, lost my future... All these feelings crash into me, and I turn them over in my mind as I match jewels and hear the crashes of the computer game.  What's wrong with me? 

Every day in the gift shop, I approach people to ask, "May I help you find anything?" or, "Are you looking for something I can help you with?" Often the answer is "I'm just killing time while my husband has a test." or "I had to come down from the room - my sister is having chemo."  Sometimes it's the chemo patient themselves, and sometimes it's the family of a new baby.  As a destination in the hospital, we are a place for visitors to either celebrate happy events, or sometimes to get away from their problems.  I try to be friendly to them all - while also being aware of privacy issues. 

As one deals with "the public," it's easy to make assumptions based on appearance.  I don't want to prefer the well-dressed, white-haired, retired-from General Motors woman or man, over the oddly-attired, needs a root-job and a job, older-than-her-years, probably-an-alcoholic woman who tells me too much information.  Sure, it's easier to do that, but all the visitors who walk in the door deserve my respect.  I recognize that each one has a life and came from a family - and they all are worth the brief time that I'm spending with them, no matter why they come through the door.

Sitting at my video game/facebook-checking desk, I wonder about my day and my feelings:  "Who is looking at my life, thinking THEY have been cheated?"  Do I come off as a "has-it-together, healthy, employed-with-benefits, obviously too-well-fed," person?  Does anyone see me and think, "I ought to have her life."?  (If they only knew the rest of the story.)

I realize these are just introspective ramblings, but they are my thoughts today. 





Sheena, remain.

2012-02-10T14:05:57.871-05:00

Yesterday I had to go to the bank on my way home from work.  I was taking care of a flub-up that involved stopping payment on a check.  (I actually stopped the wrong one and had to reverse it.  Total charges = $54.  My feeling about that = yuck.)  The point is that the service clerk was named Sheena.  (To my kids, yes, this was real.)  I asked her, just to make sure, and yes, it was the same name that Ray used to speak to an imaginary creature - which I always assumed to be a large feline, like a tiger.  He would appear very serious, and he'd tell this something-or-other to "remain."  The entire phrase was, "Sheena, remain."  Then he'd turn away and try to ignore the "creature" but he'd have to say it several times, making it "Stay."  The kids soon caught on to his pretending, and we'd all go along with getting rid of monsters in the house or whatever it was that brought on the play.

It all reminds me of the fun, silly dad that Ray's always been for the kids.  Just yesterday Sara came into the shop where I work (she works down the hallway in an office, and we both work in a hospital).  She was asking, "Is that song that goes like....'I got a knee, this knee is mine.  I will sell it for a dime.  If you buy it, buy it PLEASE, I'll throw in two nice new knees!'...Is that a real song, or did Dad make it up?"  I laughed and had to tell her, that yes, her dad made that up.  It was how he would tickle them on the knee and get them giggling, then laughing and begging for mercy. 

Oh, and there were others that we still sing.  What a fun thing to have a dad who makes up songs - that last, extending now into the next generation.  :) 

But the "Sheena" thing - pretty funny as well.  And just as I was going to write it on facebook a few minutes ago, I got a call from the facility where Dad is.  The nurse on the other end of the phone started out with, "Hi, this is Sheen, and I need to talk to Carol."  It was a medical report, which was routine but that I needed to know.  But, really, from a SHEEN?    I have no idea how she spells it, but two in two days?  Sheen and Sheena?  I wanted to say, "Remain," as I created that same old giant tiger - or liger or something, and think of the family laughing in the old house, making the creature do something that kept scariness away. 



Standing on the right side of history - Hillary Clinton

2012-01-13T09:20:34.758-05:00

allowFullScreen='true' webkitallowfullscreen='true' mozallowfullscreen='true' width='320' height='266' src='https://www.youtube.com/embed/MudnsExyV78?feature=player_embedded' FRAMEBORDER='0' />


Today I'm sharing a 30 minute speech by Sec. of State, Hillary Clinton.  She makes the case for human rights for LGBT people in a most genuine way, and she calls on us to "be on the right side of history."  Her statements cover so much that should be said, and need to be heard by all Americans, as well as citizens of the world.  Although I'm a latecomer to defending these rights, I learned and changed through personal pain.  I want it known that I stand beside Hillary in this effort. 
 
Even when you have to defy friends you have known all you life, it's worth it to make a stand for LGBT people.  If you have to adjust what you believe about church teachings, make those changes. What you choose to believe is a choice, but it is NOT a choice on whether to be gay, lesbian, bi-sexual or transgender. 

Don't you want to be on the right side of history?  I do.



Dad's big move - for the winter? for a while? for the best.

2011-11-20T08:56:39.272-05:00

My dad just moved to an assisted living apartment.  I feel all alone, again, with Dad not being at his house right next door.  He's lived there since 1996, when Ray bought the house for Mom and Dad to live in.  Mom had Parkinson's and her home was getting to be too much for her.  When it came up for sale, Ray was the first, and without any hesitation, to say, "Would your folks like to live in that house?" and then, "We could buy it for them."  I remember that both Mom and Dad cried when we talked to them about it, and within about a month they had moved in.After that time, Mom was only around for 5 short years, and I miss her.  Dad and I got more acquainted than we'd ever been.  He has helped me in so many ways - whether it was mowing grass, building a giant leaf-collector, or helping bury my pets.  We've talked about politics (even when we disagree), finances (all about municipal bonds), and after I finally told him why Ray left, he drew the conclusion that "gay people must be born that way."  His understanding, although it went against all he'd known previously, was HUGE.  It has helped me to know he was trying to understand both me and Ray.  The talks we've had have made it possible that I'm closer to Dad than I ever was as a kid.While Dad used to fix almost anything in his garage, he now has an electric scooter to get around, and walking over to my house for dinner is out of the question. At age 90, Dad is basically healthy, and he used to stand nearly six feet tall - even was imposing to some - he's now at least six inches shorter.  Macular degeneration has claimed one eye, and damaged the other.  He can no longer get around his home without a walker or cane, and preventing falls is continually a concern.  He has fallen, and twice he's been alone for hours before he could call someone for help.  My house is pretty big just for one person.  Maybe not laid out too well, because there is no bedroom on the main floor, and I have two steps up to the kitchen, down to the living room, and a whole, long flight of stairs up to other bedrooms or to the basement.  It was never a serious solution to have him live in my house, but it did cross my mind.  Altogether, and for many reasons, my dad gave up his driving last summer, reluctantly abandoned plans to winter in Texas, and investigated "a respite" (for 3 months) in the assisted living apartment complex.  Whether it will be permanent depends on how Dad gets along, and I hope he's happy at the new place.Yesterday was the big move, and my brother, Lee, had orchestrated most of the move.  He did such a good job of getting Dad's paperwork done, getting the required tests accomplished, arranging to have a truck, and organizing what Dad needed to take.My other brother, Kenny, sister, Nancy, and I were all around to pitch in, plus we hired young people to haul the furniture to a truck. At one point I heard Dad say, "There were enough people helping me that they could have just carried everything here."   By evening - with a few more trips back and forth from house to apartment - Dad was set up.  His bedroom looks amazingly like his bedroom from home, the cable TV is working, and neighbors have stopped to make friends. I hope he likes it, I hope he makes friends, and he mentioned, "I might find a girlfriend."  All this goes on, and I woke up today with a big ache, and all the while I was ignoring the fact that I can go and come as I please - ignoring the fact that I can see Dad whenever I stop by his place - ignoring the reality that my kids are all nearby - ignoring the fact that I've got health and strength on my side - and really, ignoring the fact that this is a good move for Dad.I just missed havi[...]



Teen Mania revisited - a mom's account.

2011-11-16T12:42:07.764-05:00

Last week MSNBC ran a piece on Teen Mania, and it showed a part that isn't too pretty.  They highlighted an event that goes on at Teen Mania, called ESOAL, and MSNBC edited vivid images together for sensationalism.  To get over the harm caused by Teen Mania, a blog was started by "Recovering Alumni.",  and the girl who started the blog was featured on the MSNBC program, as she and others spent a weekend "deprogramming" with cult experts.  It really isn't necessary to sensationalize any part of Teen Mania, because there's been enough planting of harmful seeds into lots of kids, that finally they are getting a decent harvest - except that it's rotten fruit.  As much as Teen Mania's leaders (Dave Hasz and Ron Luce, et. al.) don't want to admit it, their program needs a big makeover.Because I'm a parent of an Honor Academy (Teen Mania Internship) graduate, and because my four kids went on about 12 summer trips, and because I volunteered with Teen Mania in Miami and Garden Valley, and because I sponsored ministry teams who put on Acquire the Fire events, I feel I have the experience necessary to comment.  Because I've raised money for Teen Mania, in the past I've encouraged and supported the Teen Mania "machine," as well as having been part of many "behind the scenes" venues and I've had Ron Luce in my home, I am familiar with the organization and have credibility for what I've witnessed.  I feel I can surely speak out.  Granted my kids loved their exciting trips, loved the friends they made, loved being part of what they considered God's work.  However, they were exposed to legalistic thought, elitist attitudes in regards to other Christian groups (much less non-Christians), and they experienced judgmental attitudes toward anyone who didn't agree with all they thought should be adhered to in order to be Christian.  In addition, dangerous things happened while on the trips or when my son attended the Honor Academy, some of which I will list here:  In the summer of 1997, my son had appendicitis in India and had surgery there.  He contracted MRSA, and nearly died.  He was 17.  While he was recovering from the surgery, still in India, I was told he was "fine," by his team leaders.  I was told by leaders in Garden Valley that all was well - not to worry.  This was not true, and when my son arrived back to Dallas, he was still so sick that he was in the hospital there for another two weeks.  When at the Honor Academy ('98-'99), he got sick with asthma, bronchitis, and ear infections - all at the same time.  His fever was over 102*, but he had no medical care available on site, nor was there provision for him to get to a doctor.  He was still expected to be at work for his entire shift, as being sick was being weak.On overseas trips, my kids were not fed adequately, and my daughter's hair fell out because of protein deficiency.  It has never come back.  (I have talked personally with the local contact who was to set up the food for the group.  TM canceled plans for good food to be provided.  This not only hurt the kids on the team, but the locals that had planned to have work through this, were left high and dry.  They said they never wanted to work with Teen Mania again.)My daughter was left alone on the way to her team's "home" on the first hike there.  Details are too long to list, but it was definitely the opposite of the "we never leave your child on their own" claim of Teen Mania. While interning for Teen Mania, my son worked in the call center by day, and as summer trips approached and housing was needed for the "missionaries," he was required to pour cement until after dark.  The work went on 7 day[...]



a pretty good thing has happened...

2011-08-31T13:35:02.778-04:00

I'm amazed at how some changes have come about, and I like these things:  Both my son, Phil, and my daughter, Liz, have accepted positions to teach college courses.  And get this:  BOTH of my kids are moving locally!  BOTH of my kids are bringing grandchildren to live NEARBY!  wow. 

When my son, Phil, was pretty young, he couldn't wait to leave home to be a teen missionary.  We made him wait until he was 14 - and he got to travel every summer away from home.  For college he moved, and even though I saw him often, he never lived "at home," after high school.  When he finished college, he went to a city about 2 1/2 hours away to work, be near friends, and where he eventually found a wonderful wife.  Who would have guessed he would take a position at my own alma mater, BSU?  That's pretty amazing!

In Phil's pursuit of a job for his wife, he came across a teaching job in the smaller, next-door-neighbor city of Anderson.  My daughter, Liz, just completed her MFA in Creative Writing at the University of New Hampshire.  She had a baby, "Chuck," while she and husband, Ben, lived out there, and they told me that "someday, before Chuck goes to school," they wanted to move back to the midwest.  Because of the opening that Phil discovered,  Liz applied, interviewed, and got THAT job. 

That move bumped Phil up a notch on the mythical "favorite child list," and he's now riding his normal wave of familial popularity (because we all love Phil!).  Within three weeks, Liz heard of the position, procured it, has moved back to Indiana, and although her husband has to stay back in NH for a while, she is living in my basement with toddler "Chuck."  She has again become a Hoosier and is writing (like she always does) about all the adventures of her life "back home."

I recognize that these big changes are HUGE in the lives of my kids.  Neither family is able to make the move all together yet, with selling of houses, jobs, and insurance demands on the "take care of this first" list.  Being temporarily separated, leaving friends, churches, and replacing homes are things to tackle as they can, but I'm one happy mama!  Having ALL five grandkids growing up in the same county - that's so cool!  I've even brought up the fact that with all of my grown children gainfully employed, I have less of a chance to be put out on the street (any time soon).  I just think it's great.  Very, very great. 

Welcome home, Boltzes. 



Phillip Hinkle, Wayne Co., IN representative

2011-08-12T11:25:32.462-04:00

Representative Phillip Hinkle from Wayne County, Indiana, has just been "outed" in the Indianapolis Star, when he contacted a young man for sex. 

The article carries communication reports that involve Hinkle's wife, and I'm so sad for her.  If she is finding this information for the first time, it will be devastating to her life, her family, and her emotions.  I'm so sorry for her.

When will people live truthfully?  Why do gay men continue to hurt their wives in this way?  And for Hinkle to contact and pay for sex?...Well, there is no excuse for a married man to behave like this.  And to make it all worse, this state representative has voted to deny rights of marriage for gay people, while he secretly took advantage of HIS needs.

I don't want to hear that this guy is straight and has "strayed."  No, he's gay, he's married to a woman, he's voted against glbt people's rights, and he's hurt everyone involved.  





Dad

2011-07-30T23:38:32.956-04:00

All my life, my dad has been a strong man.  His career as a city fireman took him away from home for 24-hour shifts, and he worked long hours with his business as a heavy equipment operator.  Our home required the normal upkeep, plus we had a barn with horses, some beef cows (sometimes), and a big yard and a summer garden.  Granted, Dad always made sure that my brothers and I helped (mostly the brothers) outside, and Mom and my sister and I helped with "inside work" and summer canning.  (More stories later on how much we hated it then but wish we could do it all again with Mom.)  Always on his mind was that he had all of us, plus my two half-sisters, who depended on him.Now Dad, who ran a strict household (understatement), is 90 years old.  He's a good dad, like always.  His time and his life was for work, but that work meant that we were cared for.  Mom was always the affectionate one, the sympathetic ear when we needed it.  But Dad made sure we all knew how to work, support ourselves, and live right in the real world.  His caring was shown in ways that meant discipline, rules, and responsibility.  In 1996, my parents were getting ready to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary.  I was planning a celebration that spring at their church, and the house next door came up for sale.  Mom, who had been diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease, was lonely and the 5-bedroom house was becoming more and more difficult for her to maintain.  When Ray came home from a weekend of concerts, heard from me that the house next door was for sale, he immediately said, "Would your parents consider living there?"   We didn't even stop on the way from the airport, but went to Mom and Dad's big brick house to ask them!  Mom immediately said an enthusiastic "YES!", and Dad's eyes teared up with relief.  Within two months, we had purchased the house, Dad orchestrated the move, and Mom and Dad moved in next door.Over the years I've been privileged to have my parents close to me.  Mom passed away almost 10 years ago today.  Dad and I have sat together so many times since then, and I've gotten to know my dad better than I ever would have in any other setting.  The things Dad has helped me with is HUGE, and too numerous to list.  We've discussed finances, religion, politics, and family, and many times we don't share the same views.  But sitting with my dad is a gift.In January of this year, Dad turned 90 years old.  He's spent the winters since the '80s in Texas, and I'm still having a hard time convincing him that he has to change that tradition.  You see, Dad has to use a walker now, and he's been approved for a scooter by the Veterans, to replace the one that my brother, Lee, bought him a few years back.  Dad has a beautiful, shiny GMC truck, as well as a 1992 Lincoln, but he's decided to put up his keys and use the Lifestream bus to get himself to and from the senior citizen lunches each day.  He still cooks for himself, most of the time, but I share when I cook something.  Dad looks forward to the neighbor who brings in his newspaper and mail, and he's disappointed if the neighbor goes away for a trip and the paper has to wait until I come home from work.  It's all different than when I was a kid...and now I look out for Dad.Today Dad has a list of errands, and I'm heading to do them with him. WalMart, Lowe's, the Post Office, and a few more.  I'm going to be tied up for a few hours with some Dad-time.[...]



Bring on the Light

2011-04-21T11:51:22.421-04:00

Yes, Easter is this coming Sunday.  The celebration to commemorate the death and resurrection of Jesus, the Christ.  The day when Roman Catholic and Protestant churches celebrate with other believers the most significant day of the church calendar.  "Christ is risen!" and "Christ is risen, indeed."I celebrate that day.  As a believer, still, I am glad for a time to include the symbols of new life and sing Alleluia, as well as make carrot cake and watch kids hunt for eggs.  I take seriously the gift of Communion, and I feel grateful for the forgiveness of sin.  I'm a Christian, and I believe in celebrating this day.   My former husband, Ray, wrote extensively about transformation, which is symbolized wonderfully in his songs.  Our hearts are to be made into the likeness of Christ where Paul wrote:  Romans 12:2 "be transformed by the renewing of your minds", Jesus himself taught his disciples to love God and love others:  37 Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] 40 The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”Ray continually sang of that change. Because of Easter and the fact that Ray's music often is highlighted for church celebrations (i.e. "Watch the Lamb" and others) that I've seen an increase in the hits of this blog.  (Heavens to betsy, I hardly even write any more!) as well as long e-mails trying to set me on the right path.  Some question if I remain a Christian.  No problem.  I understand that I've made myself public and fairly transparent, and for that reason, people can easily contact me and say what they will.  Anyone can ask what they will.  All of that is fine with me, and I don't harbor ill feelings toward others.  It's just that they don't see the light from my window.From the place where God put me, I changed my heart (emotions) as well as my mind (thoughts), and I believe that God brought me to the point where I am.  God always knows the outcomes of lives, and I know that I have trusted God since I was very young. align="left" frameborder="0" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" scrolling="no" src="http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=myheartgoesou-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=B003156CNU&fc1=000000&IS2=1<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr" style="align: left; height: 245px; padding-right: 10px; padding-top: 5px; width: 131px;">  When Ray "came out" to us (me and our four grown kids), I was a fundamentalist Christian, even if I was not the most conservative one.  Since that time I have changed - really, really changed. There is still a lot to sort, and I still have many, many questions.  But I do have my own window, and I do know what I know.  If anything has made me see the light of Christ more fully, it's the fact that I had to be more inclusive in how I see God/Jesus, the Light of the World, and upon whom that Light is shining.  And I believe it shines on us ALL. Happy Easter. [...]



Slipper mornings.

2011-03-18T09:11:05.387-04:00

I have this non-routine routine when I'm off work, like today.  I get up at the normal time (crack of pre-dawn) and try to sleep late.  Thinking of the dog and how he needs to go out, I finally rouse myself and head downstairs.  I think of my dad and how I should go over early to visit him, but first I'll just check my e-mail, facebook, blog comments (if there are any), etc.  It is more like me (so I say) to get dressed first, but since the dog needs to go out, I stay in my jammies.  I think, "I won't put on slippers, so that will make me go back upstairs because my feet will be cold if I get on the computer too long..."

So, here I sit.  It's been over 90 minutes, and yes, my feet are FREEZING.  But the dog got out.  I have yet to see my dad (next door) and I've sent out an e-mail to organize meals for a family with a new baby.  I've written short replies to e-mails (nothing of much substance) and I'm getting ready to meet a dear friend, Kassie, and her partner, Joni, for lunch at the Indian restaurant, Sitara (of Muncie).

I say this is not routine, but I do it when I don't go to work.  I better learn to just put on my slippers. 



an e-mail from Brandon, and my reply

2011-02-17T00:29:37.149-05:00

Wow, this is exhausting.  I've said the same things over and over, and here is the latest effort from a guy named Brandon, who wrote to me.  My reply to him follows, but I simply don't have the time or energy to dialogue with him.  From: brandonDate: Friday, February 11, 2011, 8:31 PMHello Carol,My name is Brandon ********, I live in **************** and nowserve as a pastor at a little church.I can't shake the burden I have for your husband.  I'm sureyou've gotten many letters that may be similar to this, howeverI am sharing this with you in love.My heart breaks for you first of all and your family.My dad left my mom after being married 23 years,  it wasthe hardest thing I ever went through in my life.  As an8th grader to hear my mom lay her head on her pillow at night.Many times I was the one who went in to try to console her.I Know you must have dealt with some of that in the last 5 years,have you not?I was preparing a message for valentines day and considered singingwith my wife the song.  Let's begin again.And then all the thoughts about Ray started burdening me again.I would like to start a dialogue with you , if you would be willingto talk between you and I.I really have a burden that Ray has believed a lie from the father of lies.  How could it ever be God's will for Him to leave his wife and family and embrace and now endorse a lifestyle that is clearly frowned upon in scripture.As you know, we live in a culture that wants to excuse sin as a disease or even a genetic inhereted state of being.So let's follow that reasoning.  Let's say I've wrestled with pornography and know it's a sin to look at another woman lustfully,instead of doing what scripture says and putting to death the misdeeds of my body, I begin to entertain the idea that pornography is ok, all of the men's magazines say it's ok, the culture says it's okay, and my lustful sinful heart says it's ok,  then I begin to believe the lie that it's okay, and instead of fight the good fight, I say, Oh I shouldn't fight this, I feel so inclined to it and it feels so natural and good, I begin to believe satan's lie that adultery (looking at a woman to lust after her is okay.  And instead of repenting and conforming myself to God's word, I begin to conform God's word to my own sinful desires.I'm afraid that's what Ray has done.  He has believed a lie from satan, designed to render him ineffective and ruin his ministry to the Christian church.And if you are okay now with His lifestyle, you also have believed the lie.Are you okay with his lifestyle?  do you see it as sin or a state he just had to yield to.The Bible says homosexuals and any unrepentant sinner, will not inherit the kingdom of God, does that trouble you.   7 Therefore, it is already a total defeat for you that you have lawsuits against one another. Why not rather put up with injustice? Why not rather be cheated? 8 Instead, you act unjustly and cheat—and this to brothers! 9 Do you not know that the unjust will not inherit God’s kingdom? Do not be deceived: no sexually immoral people, idolaters, adulterers, male prostitutes, homosexuals, 10 thieves, greedy people, drunkards, revilers, or swindlers will inherit God’s kingdom. 11 Some of you were like this; but you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. 1 Cor 6:7-11 (HCSB)I struggle with sinful lustful thoughts sometimes,  but that doesn't mean that I should yield to them and just admit that I have a [...]



Your spouse just came out as gay . Now what do you do?

2011-02-05T00:58:09.254-05:00

Getting asked "I'm married and I'm gay.  What should I do?" or, "My husband is gay...What should I do?" are two of the hardest questions I am asked.  Sometimes it's a married and closeted gay man, and sometimes it's from a wife who is straight, newly learning her husband is gay.  I've met wonderful people on both sides of this question, and I'm not convinced there is only one right answer. Multiple books are devoted to how others have solved their questions. (see insert below)  Counselors address authentic living and self-acceptance.  Fundamentalists insist that there ARE "no homosexuals, only heterosexuals - with issues."  (my own punctuation for emphasis).  Bloggers share their viewpoints and offer free advice.  Needless to say, I cannot answer for anyone else besides myself, but I've tried to share my heartfelt emotions (on MY blog) as I've adjusted to the fact that I loved and married a gay man.   So far, I don't have a book to sell.  I only have my life and my opinions, and even those are subject to change.   When I'm asked that desperate question of "...what should I DO?" - I wonder how my answer will affect people.  I've discovered that others will come to different conclusions than me.  I've talked to couples who recognize that one partner is gay and they want to work things out and stay together monogamously.  Others decide to open their marriage - and yes, some can do that and deal with the emotions that come with new definitions of marriage.  Still others divorce, whether it's with contempt of with ongoing friendship.  The choices are all new when a couple examines the value of staying together versus separating. One thing that I believe is that once there is loss of trust in the relationship, re-establishing that trust is going to take time and effort.  It may be that being gay was hidden from an unknowing spouse.   It can extend to horrible unfaithfulness (and the lies that go with it) that break down the framework of married life.  No matter where it is lost, trusting one another again is critical to go forward.  And whether it's trusting a partner enough to honestly "come out" or proving trust is there enough to raise young children together - whatever the situation - deciding what to do is going to take all the "good emotions" that you might not know you had:  love, patience, trust, acceptance, honesty, generosity.  And that's just the short list, and it goes for both partners. So far, I've been one of the lucky ones.  I've come through divorce with my own home, grown kids, and the ability to choose whether to go back to work.  Some women have young kids, or never have the chance to have kids.  Some wives lose their home, and others have to find ways to support themselves from the ground up.  Sure, there is a lot that I miss.  On the other hand, I don't have to cook or clean after anyone but myself.  I come and go as I please, and I never argue with myself over money!  (keep it positive!)  Yes, I've lost a lot, but I've discovered a lot of self-confidence.  My shaken faith is re-building.  I've learned to accept others without judging (on-going effort), and I have some true friends that I can't do without.  Through this all, I still have my best friend. align="left" frameborder="0" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" scrolling="no" src="http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=myheartgoesou-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=1436346959&fc1=000000&I[...]



You really want to be my facebook friend? Here ya go...

2011-01-18T06:55:18.081-05:00

Hi (potential fb friend),

How cool are you?  On facebook, no less!  I got your friend request, and you should know that I share some pretty controversial topics and articles, mostly in the hope that it will stretch some minds and hearts.  I'm very gay-affirming, as I realized when Ray disclosed that he was gay that he didn't choose that.  He was born with the unique make-up that God gave him, and although he tried his best, it never changed or went away. 

Ray and I were stuck with a very difficult choice to face that fact, and I know that no amount of prayer or effort would ever make him straight.  He has always lived a good life, and he was a good husband and dad.  I have nothing against him AT ALL.  Although it has brought great pain to my life, I know that God orchestrated our lives, not any choice that Ray made. 

If that is okay with you, I will be glad to add you as a friend.  It's not open for dispute, just so you know how I feel.  Still want to add me? 

hugs,
Carol



Emens Auditorium

2010-11-20T00:07:06.463-05:00

I tried to take a nap today - just to catch up on some lost nights of sleep lately.  It didn't happen, as I heard my cell phone ring and I got up to answer it.  My friend, Laurie, had an extra ticket to a show, "In the Mood," playing at Emens Auditorium.  I figured it would be fun, and I've been wanting to attend some of the local shows, but haven't bought tickets.  Laurie's extra ticket would be fun!

What I didn't prepare for was the feeling of deja vu as I walked along the dark sidewalk from the parking garage to the auditorium.  Tonight traffic was backed up as drivers let off their riders close to the front of Emens, and I recalled a few years ago - when Ray was singing there, and no one had planned for the traffic.  You see, playing Emens here in town is a "big deal" and it's like the Horatio Alger stories, or "small town boy makes good."  And although there were several times when Ray played there, I remember that first time, when the traffic was all over the place, when the staff was taken aback by the crowd that turned out for a big night - when Ray Boltz, local boy, packed out the hall. 

I remember getting to be backstage, and I was used to being backstage for other events, other venues and halls.  But this was Emens, and lots of friends and fans were there.  I recall peeking out from the side curtains - It was like they all came for a party I was throwing!  I felt like the hostess for the concert, and I was so proud of Ray.   I always told the kids (we had 4, and their ages were spread out by 10 years) that they had to be good, that they were to act and dress appropriately.  No kids of ours were going to be showing off (although they did) or embarrassing me (and yes, sometimes they did).  I remember the guys in the band, the catered meal, and the dressing rooms (awfully small). I even remember when I wore some crazy red shoes to one of the concerts, and it looked so dumb in the photos I saw afterward. 

All these memories and more came to mind as I walked up to the box office, took my seat in the turquoise-blue theater seats, and waited for the lights to dim.  And I wondered, "Would they let Ray play now?  Who'd come to hear him sing his songs now?  Who of all those people would want a photo?  Who would hear what God has to say through him now?"  I would.  I'd go, and I'd still be proud of Ray, still be his support and his friend.

Sometimes during the concert tonight it was hard not to recall the hall being FULL those times when Ray Boltz played Emens!   Who knows?  Maybe it will happen again, but if not, I think I will always feel those deja vu moments, and remember...



Swilley’s story: A gay pastor, his wife, and a deeper ministry

2010-11-14T22:20:55.136-05:00

This is a story that deserves to be told! The Swilleys seem to have a way with words that I can't express, so I will simply link to their story. Thank God for people willing to come forward with the truth. Bless your hearts, Jim and Debye Swilley.


Swilley’s story: A gay pastor, his wife, and a deeper ministry



Deep thoughts from a shallow mind: It Gets Better

2010-10-22T08:38:22.509-04:00

Deep thoughts from a shallow mind: It Gets Better

My good friend, Tim, posted this today. While I don't want to appear self-serving, he and Cindy were the first of the very few of my friends who are willing to be openly supportive of GLBT people. More are appearing, but the Morris family have been my dear and wonderful friends. Their actions are what speak to me and to others, and I'm so proud of all their efforts.

Emily, especially, has led at her school to stand up for the questioning and gay kids, as well as band together the allies who are affirming. She is only 15, but she amazes me and makes me proud. She is one that is helping to make things better.

Tim, Cindy, and Emily - I'm so happy that you are my friends, making each day better. love to you all!



Personal update

2010-09-17T10:10:57.189-04:00

Seeing that I haven't written too many blog entries, I would like to share some of the things that are taking my time.  I will list a few changes:Last April I started a new job!  I was very happy to find something and I'm now manager of a hospital gift shop!  Having co-owned Ray Boltz Music, Inc. for nearly 35 years (part of that prior to when it was incorporated), having done a little online business, and because I had retail experience years ago, I was accepted as "qualified" and I got the job!  I work with a great group of Auxiliary volunteers, have a boss that is super, and I love working at the hospital.  Although I have more than enough paperwork, I also enjoy each person who comes into the shop, and helping buy things for the shop to sell is challenging and a lot of fun.  In August I gave up the website (www.rayboltz.com) and all that it included.  Ray traveled from Florida to move the office furniture and we signed papers that confirm that Ray Boltz Music, Inc. no longer operates in Indiana.  Ray has worked to set up the website in a totally downloadable way - songs, sheet music, and CDs, all digitally downloadable!  It is nearly ready, and I encourage you to buy here.Soulforce:  I remain a member of the board of directors, and am proud to serve.  Working to eliminate the prejudice and discrimination against GLBTQs, and do that through non-violent means remains an important passion for me.  In November (Nov. 5-7, 2010) Soulforce will again partner with several gay rights groups for its' SYMPOSIUM in Philadelphia.   Another thing associated with Soulforce is that at the end of August it was announced that Ray is serving as their "honorary spokesperson."  I'm hoping that each of us can serve to bring more information, freedom, and acceptance to the difficult situation when a spouse reveals their long-hidden sexual orientation.Grandbabies!  Early this year, daughter Liz and her husband welcomed the one they call (on the internet) "Chuck."  This baby is a joy, and either my daughter or I travel as often as we can so that I can know and hold that darling baby.  Meanwhile, I have two little ones who live in the same city as I do, and spending time with them is a priority.  And finally, daughter Sara is expecting right around Christmas, and son Phil's wife is due 6 weeks later.  Both of these babies are "firsts", so I have baby quilts that need to be finished (well, they actually have to be started!).  Dad - My elderly dad lives next door to me, and I try to visit him just to talk, and help with things he needs.  He's 89, and he loves to come over for a meal (if I ever cook!) and I'm very fortunate to have him so close.Writing...I haven't had much time for it!  While I still have thoughts run through my head, I can't seem to get all my work done (I still live in a home with a lot to take care of) and get to all I need to do.  If you write to me, please be patient, and I'll try to reply.  This all is very demanding to work and keep up with everything.  I don't know how others do it when they have family and kids at home.  [...]



Bible and changes - it happens!

2010-09-01T06:32:45.479-04:00

Here's is a thing I've realized:  We Christians have looked at so many issues that are mentioned in the Bible and we have changed:  left-handedness, long hair on women (uncut), use of psychologists, birth control, and even specific "no-nos" such as eating shrimp, going places on Sunday (besides church) and "yes-yesses" like stoning our rebellious sons!  We don't DO those things!  Nor do we have slaves, and slaves in the Bible are a "given".  So, since I can understand that being gay is something someone does NOT choose, and because we have to figure out how all of us have to live with integrity, following God if we choose to, then we have to look at the Bible as changeable.  God doesn't change, but how align="left" frameborder="0" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" scrolling="no" src="http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=myheartgoesou-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=0060088303&fc1=000000&IS2=1<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr" style="height: 245px; padding-right: 10px; padding-top: 5px; width: 131px;">we look at the Bible does.  align="left" frameborder="0" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" scrolling="no" src="http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=myheartgoesou-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=0060000740&fc1=000000&IS2=1<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr" style="height: 245px; padding-right: 10px; padding-top: 5px; width: 131px;">