We grew up together. We fought, played and love each other. After my family left Florida in 1982 and moved to Ohio I used to get letters from him or phone calls chatting about all his girl friends.
Sometimes while I was in university, he came and lived with us for a while. He needed a place of refuge as he came out. I discovered all his girlfriends were really boyfriends. His Dad did not handle that his son loved other men.
He is the most loving guy you will meet. He also comes with a fierce temper. He is musical and gifted in the arts. He is also in many ways the most honest person you will meet. I know in the first 5 minutes if my makeup or outfit meets his standards. Usually they don’t! I always have a great time with him!
His world is so different from my world. Yet when we are together… we are family. Blood is thicker than all the differences. Our love for each other has seen us through many rough moments.
A few years ago, (I did blog this already) when my dad was knocking on death’s door… my cousin flew in from Texas with his life partner and was there… saying “I knew this would be rough, so we came.”
Is that love or what? It is one of the most beautiful things someone has done for me.
This is a man that lives in a 200 square foot house (no that isn’t a typo) that they built… with no bathroom yet. (They walk across the lawn to the dad’s house).
Ujjal lives a simple life. He has learn from so many hard life moments that the most important thing in life is not the size of ones house, or the initials after your name or what is in your saving account… it is who you love. If you have someone to share your life with… you are rich.
Today is his birthday. For 30 days he is older than me! Yes that does count! I called him to wish him a Happy Birthday! He isn’t his usual self. What is wrong…. my heart starts to pound.
Both our parents … his mother and my father (siblings) are in poor health… a crisis is always waiting to happen.
He then tells me that Johnny, his partner, is in the hospital. Heart failure. His liver is shot… his kidneys are failing… he is dying. My cousin is waiting to see if he will turn a corner.
He told me he went home last night and sat in his truck for 2 hours. He couldn’t bear the thought of going into an empty house.
I want to get into the plane and be there, right now. He says wait. If I didn’t have my family to think of, I would be there tomorrow.
So I wait. I will send Johnny flowers tomorrow so he remembers that I love him. He is family. How can I love this man I barely know? Because he has shown my cousin love and happiness. He lifted his hands and cleaned out my Dad’s apartment while we planned his funeral. He stood up for me when I needed help. He is part of our family.
I will pray for Johnny that if God sees fit, could he grant Johnny more years with my cousin?
I will pray for my sweet dear cousin. I pray for strength and peace.
I feel so sad. I feel so far away. I wish I could be that support for him that he was for me.
So all I can do is pray. I pray for a miracle for him… for both of them. I pray that God will make Himself so real to my cousin who has been so hurt by church and all that he grew up with.
I love you, my sweet cousin! I know it isn’t a happy birthday Ujjal. But I am so glad you are here… you make this world better just by being you.