Thursday, May 17, 2012

Angel in the Outfield...



How wonderful it must be to speak the language of the angels, with no words for hate and a million words for love!  ~Quoted in The Angels' Little Instruction Book by Eileen Elias Freeman, 1994

I thought hard about my contribution to the Blog Hop Against Homophobia. There are so many issues to be addressed. So many important, critical issues.

I'm not a gifted orator, certainly not qualified to voice with the adequacy necessary to express my feelings on the issue of hatred. Bigotry. Intolerance.

So I'm just going to share how the hatred and gender bias hits me where I live. I'm going to introduce you to a real-life angel, a beautiful friend. A guy named Rick.

Rick is gay.

Everytime I hear hateful remarks about gay people, my first reaction is always a very defensive, hackles-raised ire. Because if you're hating homosexuals, you are hating my friend Rick. And I just won't tolerate that.

Rick is a friend of my daughter's and my late son-in-law, Mike. He'd been close friends with Mike's mom before she passed away (when Mike was a teen).

He's always been a wonderful man. I even have a huge crush on him, and he knows it. But when Mike became ill with Stage IV lung cancer, Rick kicked into high gear and literally became a fierce guardian of Mike and my daughter.

Rick came to clean the house when Lyndie was too tired with trips to M.D. Anderson. Rick prepared meals for Lyndie and Mike. Rick tended the dogs when Mike and Lyndie took much needed get-a-ways to the lake. Rick remembered how much Mike loved his childhood aluminum Christmas tree and bought he and Lyndie a beautiful seven-foot replica, complete with ornaments and lights. Rick taxied Mike to and from M.D. Anderson for chemo and radiation when Lyndie was not able to do so. Rick always made sure to bring flowers to Lyndie's work to cheer her up during the illness, to let her know she wasn't forgotten. When Mike was unable to work, Rick visited him at home and kept him company. Rick was always there, at the drop of a hat, anytime Mike or Lyndie needed him.

Mike (left) and Rick


See where I'm going with this? Do you see the angel I see in Rick? Unselfish, loving, gentle, tireless. Angel.

When Mike passed away, it was Rick who completely decorated the memorial chapel. Beautiful flowers, candles, photos. Rick constantly visited Lyndie in those horrible early days, he still does. The beautiful flowers continue to arrive for her. He's still there. He was and still is a friend to my children in every sense of the word, and beyond.

So you see why I might get a little bit angry when I hear homophobic remarks? Why I take very personal offense? Because if you say these horrible, hate-filled things, you say them about this angel on earth. You say them about my Rick.

And, like I said. I won't tolerate it.


Rick and Lyndie


All God's angels come to us disguised.  ~James Russell Lowell






19 comments:

Sebrina said...

Your family is very lucky to have someone like Rick in your lives! Sounds like a wonderful human being.
♥ Sebrina

Sharon S said...

How lucky you all are to have someone like Rick in your lives.


Hugs,
Sharon

Julie Lynn Hayes said...

Everyone should have such an angel in their lives! What a lovely story, Vastine, it brought tears to my eyes.

Stay strong, my friend, stay strong. You have an angel looking out for you!

ilona said...

I wish I had an angel like Rick in my life - you are very, very lucky to have him.

Jaime Samms said...

He sounds wonderful. The kind of guy we all wish we had around for those really tough times. I'm happy you and Lyndie have him.

Cherie Noel said...

How lucky you are to have an angel by your side, how blessed to see pure love walking the earth disguised. Love you, chicky, and I love that you and Lyndie have this angel in your corner.

Dawn Flemington said...

I love this -- thank you for talking about Rick and posting a picture of him... it is kewl to put real faces with real life -- it makes it more personal and effects us at a deeper level to remember we are all human...

romancewiththeflemingtons.blogspot.com

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

If there is a heaven, I bet no one EVER gets discriminated against for being anything but one of God's children. I can't swear there's a heaven or my assumption is true, but that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Remember that stupid saying, "It takes all kinds"? I think there are stupid people so that smart people outshine them. I think there are bigots and pigs so that kind and generous and wonderful people shine even brighter.

I'm sad that there is such little tolerance. But I'm blessed that there is you.

akasarahmadison said...

You know, if you had told this to any person on the street--leaving out the fact that Rick was gay--they would have nothing but praise for his tireless aid to your daughter and son-in-law. They would speak of his selfless behavior, and call him a Good Samaritan, and be amazed at his thoughtfulness and generosity.

And when you announced, "Oh, by the way, he's also gay", many of those same people would instantly revile him, and discount all the "Christian" and "charitable" things he had done.

That is what is so wrong with homophobia.

Vastine Bondurant said...

Sebrina, thank you for visiting, and I sure agree the family is blessed to be able to call Rick a friend.

Vastine Bondurant said...

Hey, Sharon! We sure are lucky. He is truly an angel in the purest sense.

Vastine Bondurant said...

Hello, Julie! I, unfortunately, don't live really close to my daughter, and it is such a comfort knowing Rick is nearby for her. A true blessing.

Vastine Bondurant said...

Hey, and welcome, Ilona! Dear Rick is more of a constant in my daughter's life as I don't live as near her as he does.
But I cherish him for being able to be for Mike and Lyndie what I've not been near enough to be.

Vastine Bondurant said...

Hey, Jaime and hugs!
Oh, he is wonderful, for sure! I'm honored to know him.

Vastine Bondurant said...

Hello, my friend Cherie! (((Hugs)))

Vastine Bondurant said...

Thank you, Dawn! I wanted to 'show' Rick off. He's a true star.

Vastine Bondurant said...

Hey, dear Joylene! You're right, it does take all kinds. And I sure get riled up, really mad, to think anybody could ever find anything to discriminate against a dear like Rick for.

Vastine Bondurant said...

Sarah, thank you for visiting! And you're 100% right! And it is a horrible tragedy that gender should ever, ever, ever figure into anything about anyone.

Kathy K said...

Vastine, what a beautiful man Rick is and I'm so glad that he was part of Mike's life and continues to be there for Lyndie, and you. Because what someone does for your children they do for you.

Your story is heartwarming to the extreme--and we should all be so lucky to have a Rick in our lives.

Oodles and oodles of hugs!