This past month has been a blur. It's hard to drive when you are crying. I flew to Washington to facillitate the memorial service for my sister, Arlene. I have a growing respect and love for my other sister, Debbie. She and her husband are a huge part of my life, and sometimes I forget to tell them how much I love them. Debbie and I put together the service for Arlene. We held it in the bar where Arlene was known and loved. Where love is, God is...and I'm more convinced than ever that Arlene is with Him. I was encouraged by all the folks who really loved her, and I'm learning not to be so judgmental on the lives of others. Hummm...I think I know a lot of folks who could benefit from that insight.
I flew home to California, and Becky and I left for So. Calif to do an action with Soulforce at the Saddleback church with Rick Warren. We were not well received, and our words fell upon the ears of men and women who were already convinced that they have the correct viewpoint. I continue to pray that the impact of American Family Outing will change hearts..if not minds about accepting all God's Children as Equal.
We came back home, and now I'm preparing for the Evangelicals Concerned Conference in Tacoma Washington. I'm teaching a workshop in Healing from the ex-gay theology which has damaged so many lives. Hopefully, my story can show that there is a place of Oneness in the Spirit, even if we don't agree on every point.
I have found that getting to know Arlene's friends, who would not identify as Christian, have helped me to expand my awarness of God's grace...and that gives me hope that those of us who Claim the Name of Jesus will seek unity, with all of our differences.
I'm still in the grieving stage..but I'll be ok. And so will you who might read these words.
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
June 3rd, 2008. My twin sister Arlene, passed away last night. We had just spent 2 weeks together when I was up in Washington with the God and Gays screening. She had been sick and in a lot of pain, but the doctor kept telling her take more motrin. It didn't work. In just over two weeks, she was in the hospital pretty much on life support, and still in pain. They think it was cancer, but it was really fast. I couldn't get up there to spend time with her, although we knew it was really bad. Arlene's friend Teri, who had been her boss for over 10 years, went to see her on Monday night. She sat by her bed talking with her, Arlene unable to really communicate. Teri decided at that moment to call me and ask if I wanted her to put the phone by Arlene's ear so I could say good-bye. What a special gift. My partner Becky and I both talked with her, giving her assurances that she would be out of pain soon and see Mom, Des and her son Star who passed away in September. We prayed that she would allow God's peace and love to fill her heart and carry her across the separation of this earth to that one. Teri got on the phone and said Arlene was nodding and that she seemed to relax and close her eyes. She tried to talk but only moans came out. Our time to mourn...Arlene's time to rejoice. Grieving sucks!