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Small Wonders: The search for commonality

October 16, 2010|By Patrick Caneday

This is the last in a three-part series: Marguerite doesn't pray for snow anymore.

"Let's just say for the past 25 years, the only time I pray is when I'm taking off or hit turbulence in an airplane."

It took years for Marguerite to reconcile the conflict between her feelings and her faith. In the end, faith lost.

"I'm not sure what that higher power looks like, or if it only consists of finding the higher power within my own being. I may fall somewhere into the agnostic category these days."

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She and the rector's wife created a life together, learning to navigate the world anew in light of their sexuality. Visits with her sons were bittersweet.

"We tried to make it as normal as possible ... But it was always hard when they had to go. It wasn't fair to their dad because it was most always fun when they came to visit us, and then he got them back for school, homework, punishments, etc."

"Normal" also meant continuing to hide her sexuality from her family. They eventually found a community of people with similar stories — many more tragic than theirs — helping them to find comfort and acceptance in themselves. When she finally decided to break her silence, she told her oldest son first, when he graduated high school.

"Interestingly, when I revealed my sexuality to [him], he said he was glad he didn't know the real reason at the time, because it would have been beyond his capability to deal with it at his age. So I guess I'm glad I waited."

Marguerite then told everyone in her family. She says the reactions were unanimous.

"Well, duh. As long as you're happy, we're happy. We love you."

As happens when any marriage dissolves, hurtful words were spoken that can never be taken back. But Marguerite credits her ex for raising their sons to be the wonderful individuals they are today.

"It was difficult on us both. I understand this was a very emotional and hurtful time for him as well, and he was just trying to preserve and protect his own being and do what he thought best for our children. He's an extraordinary individual, which is what led me to marry him in the first place."

It was never easy, but they can all look back with regret, forgiveness and love.

"It has taken a while, but we are an extended family. It speaks to the people we've all become."

Of the rector's wife — still her soul mate and life partner — Marguerite speaks with honeymoon tones.

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