Sunday, October 17, 2010

Podcast 23: I'm Supposed to Start with the Last Time I Saw You

Next week will mark the second anniversary of my grandfather's death. He was the only grandfather I ever knew. I grew up living about thirty minutes from my grandparents' farm where I spent many summer days helping them in the garden, climbing apple trees, and sitting on their porch and talking with both of them. I was a very big outdoors kid and loved my time spent there.

I was fairly close with him and my grandmother who is still alive, but as I got older I felt more disconnected from that life. When I came out at 20, my mother was concerned about telling my grandparents, so she took it upon herself to tell my grandmother, but said she wasn't sure we should tell my grandfather. My grandmother took it fairly well, as far as I know. She sent me a card right after and accepted Dustin immediately. At the time, my grandfather was having some health issues and everyone was convinced he was going to die. He ended up recovering well and living for six more years. I never told him I was gay and I don't know if anyone else ever actually said those words, but I know that my grandfather knew. He wasn't stupid. Dustin came to lots of family events and was there the last time I saw my grandfather. He never treated me differently and I don't think he cared, but I pulled away and I didn't always feel comfortable around my grandparents after coming out. I spent less and less time with them. Maybe this is because I wasn't the one to tell them.

I have regrets. Things I can't change. No matter what I loved my grandfather and I know that he loved me. He was a good man and one of the most hardworking men I've ever known. When he died almost two years ago, I was going through a really hard time in my life. I had no money and couldn't go to his funeral. I did, however, write a poem about him that is possibly one of the most personal poems I've written. It is called "I'm Supposed to Start with the Last Time I Saw You." In honor of my grandfather, Ralph Miller (yes my mother's maiden name was Miller, which was only a small change to Mills), I recorded this poem as my Sunday podcast. I hope you will enjoy listening to it.

-Stephen (Love)

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