-My mother really liked the website that I started, and she stated that she would like to add her perspective in an article.  I thought, “How thoughtful and interesting it would be to let others know how my mother felt,being the parent of and raising a Lesbian child who had grown into a woman who wanted to become a parent herself.”  So here are my mothers thoughts.  Please enjoy and feel free to comment!-

Sheila

As I tried to push myself into the door, the kids were blocking it trying to get to me before I could get in.  Sheila was the first to run up to me, smiling and happy.  What was wrong with her teeth?  They were pushed back up in her gums.  I hollered for Cheryl.  What happened to Sheila’s teeth?  Cheryl my niece was about 12 years old had been babysitting Sheila and Stacey for a few hours while I ran to the store.  Sheila had fallen and hit her mouth on the foot of the bed and had knocked her front teeth back up in her mouth.

Thank goodness being only seven she did not have her permanent teeth but I made a dental appointment for her just to make sure.  Sheila has beautiful teeth now, thank goodness.  But she was such a tomboy and this was about the time, later, Sheila would tell me that she knew that she was different.  Sheila would go through life in my mind being a tomboy as I had been as a kid.  It wasn’t unusual for me to come home and her dress would be torn off and earrings pulled out of her ears.  She wanted nothing to do with being “girly.”  As she grew up I gave up on the girly look and just put her in jeans and blouses or sweaters.

Her stepfather and I went to all of her track meets when she was in high school.  I think she won MO state track meet for the hurdles two years in a row and last we checked the record is still standing at Hazelwood Central High School in Florissant MO.  She didn’t have too much to do with boys and I told her one time that if she felt that she needed to have sex she would need to come to me so that I could make sure that she was protected.  She was around 15 and she said you don’t need to worry about me you’d better watch Stacey.  And I thought that was an odd statement to make.  I remember when her step father tried to hook her up with a boy and Sheila wouldn’t have anything to do with him.  Or the time she said she and a few of her “girl” friends wanted to wear tuxedos to the prom and I stated well that’s ridiculous why would girls want to wear tuxes.  I guess she was dating girls in high school and I didn’t have a clue.

Her first year of college was at Southeast Missouri State at Cape Girardeau.  She was a walk-on for the track team and the coach said if she excelled in track that year he would consider her for a scholarship the following year.  I think Sheila had her first taste of freedom so she was a little wild that year.  I remember her step-father stopping by and stating that Sheila has a room full of girls “with legs harder than his.”  I still didn’t get it.

Sheila returned home the following summer because her step-father and I were getting a divorce and I couldn’t continue to pay the college costs alone.  She returned home and for a while she and I were on a summer volleyball team together.  Sheila was going through a lot of turmoil at this time.  I can’t remember everything that was involved but I just remember that she seemed to be upset and angry all of the time.  After a game one night, Sheila said she had something to tell me.  I said Ok what?  I had no idea that she was going to tell me something that would floor me but at the same time explain all of questions I had in my mind concerning her.  And that’s when she blurted it out “I’m gay.”  I said, “What” knowing what I heard but still it really didn’t register in my mind.  She said again “I’m gay.”  We were silent for a while and then I said okay.  Everything started “clicking” and everything now made sense.  The tomboy, the not liking boys, the “don’t worry about me, you better worry about Stacey, the tuxes for the prom, the girls at the college.  Everything began to make sense about Sheila now.  I remember thinking about it off and on for several weeks and things of the past coming back to me and me just saying to myself “okay, okay that all makes sense now”.

Since that time life with Sheila has been very interesting; the women that I have met through her relationships; the people for not accepting of her even in our family.  I remember my brother not wanting her in his house when he became aware that she was gay.  My mother exclaiming to them that if Sheila was not welcome then neither was she, meaning my mother.  The letter that I had to write to all the members of my family asking them, “When did they become so judgmental, so intolerant.”  The scripture that I quoted to them in defense of my daughter, “Matthew 7:1-2 – Judge not, that ye not be judged.  For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.”

And then the apologies came from those family members who had been so intolerant, which then finally turned into acceptance.

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