Friday, June 21, 2013

Getting To Know Me

Here are a few 'facts' about me that you probably never knew (or even want to know!):

I am the third oldest in a family of nine children...two older sisters,two younger sisters
 and four younger brothers.

My sister and I both remember 'flying' down the stairs when we were three and four years.
I know! But we both either had the same dream or 'something' really was up!!

I was an altar boy for six years and loved every minute of it.

I went to an all boys school for grades P to 7, then 'mixed' for 8 and 9, 
then back to all boys for 10 to 12.

I wanted to be a Monk for the longest time, until I went to university.

I went to a Jesuit university for my Bachelor of Arts
 and it was there that I changed my mind about being a Monk.
Not because I didn't like them (the Jesuits), on the contrary, 
they taught us to question everything and I haven't looked back.

I LOVED the 60's. I learned so much about politics and how to change the world. 
And that it was okay to want to change things.

I always knew there was something different about me but could never figure it out
until my best friend told me he was gay....we were about 19 at the time.
I couldn't accept it at first but saw that he was very happy.
When I was about 22 years old I realized what made me different...
I was gay too.

The biggest event in my life was the death of my brother, Bernard.
It put me on a much needed path and gave me direction 
and taught me how wonderful life can be. 
I never took life for granted after his death.
I have always been thankful to him for this.

The next 'life-changer' in my life was meeting Ron.
I honestly never imagined at that time that we would be spending
 the rest of our lives together. 
He has been my rock through all the things that life
throws at us all. And I know I have been there for him as well.

Today we are hosting a 'summer of 1968 reunion' of my friends at that time.
There were just six of us that had a great time. My friend, John, who 'came out' to me
died about 10 years ago....he was an integral member of this group.
A woman, Jean, can't make it but Dilly, Paulette and Mike will be here.
Will be fun to try remember things and wish we didn't !! lol

Photos of a Alba Rugosa Rosa (white rose).

And just like this photo of another part of the Rugosa Rosa that is much overlooked,
life throws curves at all of us  and they can be prickly at times.
But they are all important parts of our lives.


  1. I loved this post. I enjoy learning about you and can learn so much from you.

    1. Thanks Mitch. At first I found it difficult to share these things.....never realized how private I was.

  2. I am glad your brother had a positive impact on your life. The most difficult things are life changing.

    I just read a book by Alison Wearing (Canadian) about her father coming out in the 1970's-a great read.

    Enjoy your weekend with your friends.

    1. And my brother's death was life changing!
      Sounds like a good book....add it to my list. thanks Chania.

  3. What a great post!
    One of nine children! I am one of five, and I think I got lost in the shuffle!! I am glad that all the people in your life could help you find yourself. Nice post. (I like the prickly photo, I hope you don't have TOO many prickly people to contend with!!)

    "Help you find yourself" can tell I liked the 60's too!! :-)

    1. Kay, the 60's were the BEST! So much going on and everything changing around us....much to the dismay of our parents. But it had to happen, it was time to evolve.

  4. This post is so cool. Do you see being one of nine children as a hindrance or a help? It was hard for me to be the youngest of six.


    1. Hi Janie. I always thought being in a large family was great! Always someone to turn to and never a dull moment, that's for sure.
      I can see how being the youngest could be hard, maybe parents get tired by the time the last arrives?

    2. Yes. My parents made my older siblings take care of me. It led to a lot of resentment toward me.

  5. What a lovely post Jim. Life is quite a challenging path and I'm pleased to read what's made your path easier. Enjoy your reunion!

    1. Thanks Craig. Everyone's life has its challenges and I have always chosen to take focus on the positive as best I could even though that can be very challenging at times.
      The reunion went off very was like we just picked up where we left off!!

  6. I am absolutely LOVING these "getting to know me" posts!!

    My hubby is the baby of 9. There's quite an interesting family dynamic going on there. He's the only living brother now, which adds an interesting element. It's not easy having 6 sisters-in-law sometimes. ;-)

    You know I'm NEVER going to let you forget that you once called me a grandma, right? Well, I'll leave you with this - I was BORN in 1968!! :P

    Have a great weekend!

    1. Glad you are enjoying this Lisa! Thanks.
      The baby of nine eh?! The SPOILED one, you mean! lol! We give our baby of 9 a hard time about how she had it so easy!!
      I was 20 when you were born!! I will never live this down, will I?lol I kept confusing who Monkey was. You gotta give this old fart a break!!lol

  7. I love these posts, just another little piece of the puzzle that is Jim. Have a great weekend.

    1. Hi Jo. And oh how puzzling it can be at times! But as you know, isn't it a great feeling when those puzzle pieces fit together so well occasionally ? A good weekend to you too Jo!

  8. All the jagged pieces come together to make a beautiful puzzle picture, don't they. It's funny how what seems to be the worst things in life, end up being the best lessons.
    This reunion sounds like fun.

    1. Stew, I have the feeling that you are good at putting the pieces together.
      The reunion was fun....lots of laughs and memories and forgetting things!!

  9. A beautiful post, Jim. It's so nice that you were able to get together with some of your old friends. (I love the white rose too!)

    1. That's what we said today, Pat. It tells us that there was something special way back in the 60's that our little group had. We plan to make this an annual event now.
      The scent of the white rose is so wonderful!

  10. A wonderful post, Jim! How nice that you will be having a reunion, and sad at the same time that a friend that passed away is missing from it. Life certainly does throw us curve balls. They are stepping stones that lead us to where we are today.

    1. Thanks Martha. The funny thing is that we all went our separate ways for decades! And last year one of the girls suggested we meet. I worked out well and so good to 'catch up'.

  11. Hi Y'all,

    This was a beautiful post. We all have to face the twisting trails and trials that life presents to us. Some of us are lucky enough to choose the right path.

    So happy you found happiness and are kind enough to share the beauty you see in life with your readers.

    BrownDog's Human

    1. Thanks HBD! Whether it was the right one or not is unknown until later in life I guess.
      Oh, it is my pleasure to share what I see around me and I am thrilled that others enjoy it as well.

  12. Oh, I really like what Hawkeye BrownDog said. I feel the same way.
    So interesting that the Jesuits taught to question instead of just their point of view. We need more of that.

    1. Thanks Terry.
      Much to my mother's dismay, the Jesuits were and are a very liberal 'think-tank' in the Catholic Church. They were just what I needed to move forward.

  13. Wow! One of nine children? I am an only child...but my mother had four miscarriages before I was born, then what would have been my brother, Richard, who was born in June 1950 and died seven months later from bronchiole pneumonia. The doctors told my mother she couldn't have anymore children; however, my mother became pregnant and gave birth to me in 1956, so God had another idea. My mother was just a couple of months short of her 41st birthday when I was born; and I weighed a mere 5 lbs 8 ounces. Great post, as always, Jim, and I love those flowers, too.

  14. So many people help us to become who we truly are. Thanks for sharing who some of them were for you. Ain't life a funny old thing?

  15. Oh - those 60's! My best guy friend from college was gay - he never came out. He married and died of a brain tumor when his daughter was 16. His family discovered he was gay after he died. He was so smart and irreverent, and funny - I still miss him. I love the new Header - and the delicate rose.

  16. Jim-
    You are so wonderful to share these intimate stories about your life. So much goes into making us the person that we are-/ ever changing as our lives are continually influenced by events and people. Never taking life for granted-- is a beautiful gift that your brother gave to you-- a priceless gift.

    You and Ron are blessed- your relationship is above and beyond what so many people have with people in their lives-- every minute of every day is so precious. I love that the two of you seem to always make them count--


  17. Wonderful post Jim, I love "getting to know you"!


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