Today I have my sister’s girls. We’ll be going to the fair in a little while. I got them up and took them to church this morning. I saw in the bullitin that the message was to be given by Beth Long-Higgins. I knew they were from Ohio (hours south and west of where I live in NE Ohio). But I know them from Dunkirk NY, where I used to go to Family Camp with my friends. I went the first time about 27 years ago. One year my brother and his boyfriend and my sisters and my oldest brother’s daughter all came with me. I had a great time. Erin, my niece was 8 then and she is 26 now, I think. Anyway, that was a lot of years ago. The last time I went Gwennie just turned 2 in March. Andrea was three. These are my littlest sister’s girls. They are 8 and 9 now, so six years ago. Anyhow, Every year I was there, probably 12 or 14 years, week long camp, Beth and David were there because Beth’s father was the director.
And since I went when I had the money, I think Beth and David were both ministers when I first started, but I remember when their first baby was born, and the second, and when her father died, and well, it is not like I knew them for a 14 year period, or even new them for a decade when they served our church, it was different. For one week the camp had, I dunno, 70-100 people, and we had seven days, three meals, vespers each evening, and early program and a late program, corn roasts, bonfires, square dancing talent show, adult classes each morning.
The last time we were there with Lisa’s girls, they very nearly called children services on my little sister and they had every right to do so. I went to David and explained what my little sister had gone through and was going through with the little one. My sister is a good mother, but how she acted that day was flat out abusive. Worse yet, the windows were wide open and you could hear her all the way to the dining hall.
Well anyway, they were at the church today, giving the message. And I have my other sister’s girls with me. Of course we recognized each other and I did get a chance to talk afterwards. They were doing a program on LGBTQ-aging and the United Church of Christ homes for aging people. So the sermon and the program was about LGBT- aging. Of course the girls are going into the 8th grade and are not going to leave for the children’s moment so they went through the sermon. I was sitting there wondering how they are hearing this. Things are different these days. In public schools the LGBTQ is discussed all the time. No big deal. But they are members of a very conservative church/school/denomination. So I thought maybe we’d be having an interesting conversation later. — No problem there, I asked the girls later about the sermon, when I told them what the program was about. The older said, “Gayness?” I said yeah, kind of. She said was it boring. I said it would have been for you. She said, two of her friends are gay. Alrighty then. I guess we really don’t need to have a conversation about that. I told her it was about gay folks aging, over 65 and in homes.
It was hard for me though. I’m not estranged from my family, yet. But who knows who will still be around when I can’t take care of myself. When you haven’t a spouse or children, you are relying on siblings and nieces and nephews. I don’t even have a gay community to band together for me. LOL! Yeah, it was targeting the gay community for being lonely, living alone, not wanting to live, being suicidal, isolated, not wanting to seek medical help. And for staying hidden.
One of the things Beth said in her sermon was that this guy’s Mom was dying and the nurse came in and said to him, “well that is nice that you live in NY where people are accepting of gay people.” The guy asks her into the hall and asks why she thinks he is gay. She says, because he is single and her daughter also live in NY. Whatever. All people have to see/notice is that you are single, and they think you are gay. The guy was gay and hadn’t come out to his mother. But I am not thinking about that. I am thinking about how if you aren’t married, then you are probably gay if you are my age.
I sent the girls to my parents’ house. And I stayed for the program. Very depressing really. The idea of getting old and having no one to live for. It is not a new idea for me. I’ve been considering this for 18 months or so. Ah well. I just don’t let things go in one ear and out the other.