Man, that was quick!...

Wow,is it me or did Christmas seem to come and go really fast this year? Patrick and I said last year (2008) that this year we wanted to be able to enjoy the Christmas Season, since last year we were in a car accident right before Christmas and that really seem to take the fun out of it for us. So this year,somehow, we got a head start on it and were pretty much ahead of ourselves by the first of December, so we actually did get to enjoy it this year, but it all seemed to have gone by so fast!

Last weekend we started our Christmas celebration with 2 annual events we have done for several years. On Saturday evening we attended the Los Angles Gay Men's Chorus Christmas show. If you have never had taken the opportunity to see one of their shows, you are missing out on so much. They usually havwe 3 shows each Season (this year they only have 2). Each is different and the Christmas show is always our faviorite. If you think the show is only about 200 Gay Men singing songs, you are SO wrong. Of course this is singing..and dancing ...and skits to go along with some to the music,but I can garantee you will have a great time when you go.

The following afternoon we went to our other annual event, our annual Christmas Party with our Chosen Family that is held each year at the home of our really dear friends, Farah and Dan Silver. It really isn't Christmas for us until this event happens. One year I was really sick with a cold and could not go, and the Holidays really sucked for me that year. The friends we get together with here are what we call our Chosen Family. You can't help the family you are born into, but you can choose who makes up the group of friends who are the dearest to you, and that is just who these guys are. We all bring food and a white elephant gift. We sit around and eat and laugh and talk with each other and just really enjoy being together.
Sometimes we have a new person who comes with one of the regulars. This year Farah invited one of their friends and I can tell you, she really had a good time with all of us, she was fun to be around. She seemed to fit right in with this crazy bunch!!
We always have so much fun with the white elephant gift exchange, and this year as no different. We usually eat at least twice,lol and then we sit back and just enjoy each other's company. Everyone should be apart of a get together like this at Christmas, it's really a special time......

more later.....


Very Lucky Man Indeed...........

Tonight I had one of those moments when you just stop you in your tracks and realize how great life is for you.....ever had a moment like that?, I bet you have. My moment happened tonight while we were decorating the tree at Patrick's parents home, which right next door to ours. We moved Patrick's family into their house in December 2000, that year they only had a really small tree that Patrick already had, but starting in 2001, we have always had large trees that sit right in front of the big window in their living room. Each year it has been my job to put the lights on the tree and most times Patrick would help me decorate it. When we first started with the big trees the niece and nephew were 2 and 5 years old and they could only sit and watch us decorate the tree, but this year,I taught the nephew how to put the lights on the tree, and I think I may have lost my yearly job of light hanging!! He loved doing it and really did a good job. The niece is more of an ornament hanger, and she really got into it this year.

It was during this time that I was standing back and watching the Nephew having a really good time putting the lights on the tree that I had my moment....all the sudden it hit me what a very lucky man I am to be apart of these kids lives and have them be such an important part of mine. As most of you know, in my 20s I was married and we had two children, Daniel and Kelly, both of which are now in their early 30s. It has been 25 years since my divorce and throughout all of those years I have always tried to be apart of my kids lives,but a couple of years ago they decided they no longer wanted me to be part of their lives and I have not heard from either of them since. The did not actually tell me that, but through a series of events it was pretty clear to me, so I have respected their wishes and have just gone on with my life. I am sure part of it is that I am Gay,even though it has never been mentioned or discussed. I will not sit here and tell you that it was not painful, it was very painful, but when things like that happen in life, all you can do is go on with your life and let yourself heal, which is exactly what I have tried to do.

But tonight, it was a great feeling to realize what a great family I am apart of now, and how loved I am by these kids. When Patrick and I met, the Nephew was 5 and the Niece was 2, now they are 14 (almost 15) and 12, and as far as they are concerned, I am just Uncle Jaymes. Looking back over the last 9,almost 10 years that Patrick and I have been together, the kids have always been an important part of our lives. If you would have seen us out together over the years, you would probably thought they were our kids, some people have asked us that. We have taken them so many places with us, we have been Santa Clause for them all these years, been to all their school functions and I have even sat down with the Nephew and have, "The Talk", even though he got really embarrassed and pretty much knew all about it anyway. We have worked on all their school projects together and tutored them with their homework assignments when they are having problems.The Nephew loves to go to the beach with me or hiking.
One thing the kids and I have done for many years now is have "Library Night". I made sure they both had their own library cards when they were very young and they both love to read now, I am proud. It is fun for me when I am out with them somewhere and I get to meet some of their friends I have not met yet, when they introduce me as their Uncle Jaymes,I always get really funny looks from their friends since the kids are Chinese and I am very White!! But the Niece and Nephew don't seem to notice that. Recently when the Niece turned 12, she had several of her school friends over for a little party. When I came home several of her little girl friends came runny up saying "Uncle Jaymes is here" and gave me big hugs. We are sure they know Patrick and I are together, but it has never come up, and they just seem to accept it as being a normal thing. When Prop 8 was on the ballot last year, the Nephew shocked me at dinner one night by discussing with me why he thought Prop 8 was wrong and why he thought it was wrong for anyone to have their marriage voted on. Yes I was pretty speechless during the conversation.

Yes, it is funny how life turns out sometimes. Even though I don't have the
opportunity of being apart of my kids lives, I am very important to two other kids who I could not love any more even if they were my kids. And that is a pretty awesome thing!!