If You Love Someone–Set Them Free

I haven’t written about this before and my blog crush Mr. Canada suggested that I write about it. He says that it would have been a good follow-up to one of my earlier posts.

I’m not sure if you remember my friend who I came out to several months ago. His reaction took me aback somewhat when he said “How am I suppose to deal with this”. He then asked me not to contact him until further notice.

Further notice came a few months later. I was getting ready to take an exam and I got a text message from him saying “good luck”. For the first time, I noticed that I didn’t care what he thought. I told Mr. Canada that the “good luck” salutation from him meant as much as a stranger saying “how you doing”? I remember thinking “okay it’s further notice for you, but now it’s my turn and my opinion is for you not to contact me until I’m ready to deal with you”.

I saw him a few weeks later at a camping trip that my college buddies usually plan. We were both the first to arrive at the campsite. I started walking toward the lodge to check in. I turned his way and smiled politely but kept walking. I saw that he was struggling getting his two young sons out of the car and so I stopped, just in case one decided to bolt and not look for on-coming traffic. The older of the two boys recognized me and smiled immediately. When he had the other one free from the car seat and placed him on the ground, he said “big hugs and kisses for Uncle John…go..”. The two boys immediately ran towards me and hugged me.

He walked over to me and I explained that I was going to check our group in. He said that he would buy some groceries to get us all started. When he grabbed the hand of his old son to get going, the child said “I want to stay with Uncle John and go to the lodge”. I said “maybe Daddy has some things he wants you to do, so you better ask him for permission first”.

My buddy said, “I consider you their uncle and so you have just as much say in what he does. If it’s alright for him to say, just say so. I trust you”.

At that moment I knew we would start to rebuild our friendship. I still had a lot of forgiving left to do, but I knew that we were going to be alright.

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10 Responses to “If You Love Someone–Set Them Free”

  1. Steven (Oz) Says:

    “At that moment I knew we would start to rebuild our friendship. I still had a lot of forgiving left to do, but I knew that we were going to be alright. Rebuilding is definitely the next step and make sure you take it slowly. The situation may have warranted Mr. Canada to act a certain way in front of the kids. But I like to give credit to Mr. Canada. It may be best to approach him directly about what he meant by “no contact with him until further notice.” And see how you feel by the response. There may have been other things going on in his life at the time you came out to him and he may think of that as “water under the bridge.” But at least you have let him know that you were offended by the remark.

  2. Lemuel Says:

    I would thank Mr. Canada for urging you to write about this follow-up with your friend. I am guessing that writing about it helps you to sort out your feelings about what is now transpiring as well as helping us all to come to an understanding of the real hopes for reconciliation and renewal in our own broken relationships. You title your blog “Open a Window”. By extension your story has also reminded us that we should never shut the door.

    It appears that your friend needed what he asked of you: time to process his own feelings about it all.

    I am also moved by the role of the young children in all of this. So many times in life we need to relearn how to be as accepting and non-judgmental as young children often are.

    May these initial steps toward reconciliation with your friend prove to be only the happy beginning of renewing your life journeys together! HUGS!

  3. steve'swhirlyworld Says:

    What a great post – It’s not easy John – it’s a continual process. You are becoming an educator to those who don’t understand – most will, in time. I totally understand your feelings in this too – it’s a balancing act, but it seems like it’s working out. He sounds like he’s trying.

  4. matty03 Says:

    Keeping the windows open is great. I really loved this post and admire your heart. Not sure I could do it. The choice to rebuild the friendship can only lead to good things. And, I loved this post.

  5. Brad Says:

    I remember how badly it hurt you and I knew he would come around, but I think as time has gone on you’ve realized just how deeply he hurt you.

    I’m glad you know now that you were the wronged party, not the party in the wrong.

    Nonetheless, if he’s amenable to apologizing, I would accept it and move forward.

  6. Steven Says:

    Oh those Canadians are just so darn smart! I’m so happy to hear that you and your friend are becoming buddies again. Life is hard enough so the more people on your side the better.

  7. BruceCleveland Says:

    John…

    Thanks for sharing this. Even though the initial reaction was bad, it seems he just needed some time to reflect on his friendship with you and how much you mean to him. I guess this is what I mean everytime we talk by things will work out…no matter what the initial reaction is. I am glad you gave him the chance to show you…and because you are you, I am glad you gave him the chance…as hard as it was. I am not saying that all is as it was before but it will take some time to achieve that again as he realizes the only thing that changed is his reaction and how he chose to deal with it.

  8. Doug Says:

    I can imagine how difficult it is/was to admit you have some forgiving to do. And I agree with Steven(OZ) about finding out what he meant by “until further notice.”

  9. atomicpop! Says:

    i’m beyond happy that this has taken a turn for the better.

    very cool.

  10. Paul Says:

    Everybody needs a gay uncle.

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