Monday, April 18, 2011


Last Wednesday I received a text from one of my sisters. Our Step-Mother had just passed away. The question then was if I’d go with the siblings to Boise, Idaho for the service. The family was assembling to be by his side.

I hadn’t interacted with my Father in…. six years. Maybe more. I texted back that I would go stay with my Father; to be with him as he buried his second wife. I responded yes without thinking of the past. Without any thought of the Mormon Church or the religious oppression attached to our relationship. This was a good sign.

The conversations and threats of Aversion Therapy, of realignment back to the core Mormon values by the use of ice baths and other insidious devices decreed by church elders are now nothing but decade’s old dust. The specter of a “straight” realignment had been exorcised.

If you’ve never been Boise, Idaho is a picturesque mountain city in Southern Idaho. The state has “Famous Potatoes” as their license plate slogan. It also has a Mormon Temple and a Starbucks on every corner. Like most western US cities is started as a Fort, and then grew into a farming community. The step-siblings I was introduced to at the service were all very nice and welcoming. Each person I met at the funeral went into explicit detail of what a great man my Father is and how the relationship with his wife made them the pillar of the church. It’s funny how people in your life can be complete strangers. I’m sure that goes for a Dad towards his son as well.

Even as I overheard someone ask him if I was married and his response was a short “No” I was unfazed. What others think of me is none of my business. I was unapologetic when telling my story:

I am the seventh child

I am the third son

I work in HR

I have one dog

I have a partner; he has a beard and drives a motorcycle.

I am an unbelievably happy and content individual.

The only down side the memorial service was the complete lack of Jell-O. What self-respecting Mormon Church has a funeral without Jell-O?


Dale W. said...

Glad you're safe and sound Steve; and relieved all went well for you. Love the rainbow jelly/jello!!!


Blobby said...

I believe you mean jello-salad w/suspended bits of can fruit floating in it. That's not just a Mormon thing.

It was nice you went, regardless of your relationship. I sometimes think that those instances help bridge things and even if they don't - you're a bigger and better man for it.

Wonder Man said...

Boise is an interesting place to visit, but I'm glad it wasn't too stressful for you

Pac said...

Wow, I'm going to make that rainbow jello for Pride this year! Last year nobody touched my flan.

Jim said...

I'm glad you survived!

I have to make a trip to Utah in June for a wedding. UGH!