Copyright © 2010 -
All rights reserved. No part of this story may be used or reproduced by any means, graphic, electronic, or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping or by any information storage retrieval system without the written permission of the author except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews.
This is a work of fiction. All of the characters, names, incidents, organizations, and dialogue in this novel are either the products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously.
"Alright. Why don't you start getting things out of your room, and I'll join you a little later to help you with some of your furniture."
"Thanks. Come on, Terry, let's get started," I said, already making my way up the stairs.
"I think I've been summoned," Terry said, laughing.
"Yep, you better get a move on," my father said laughing after him as Terry sprinted up the stairs after me. He got to my room just as I had started to take some of my clothes from out of my closet.
"Hey, Babe," he said.
"Hey, Terry. Can you do me a favor and start unplugging my computer?" I asked him.
"Sure thing, but first I want to do something."
"Oh and what's that?" I asked. His answer didn't come with words however. Instead he walked up to me, and put his arms around me, holding me close up against his body.
"This," he said, pressing his lips against mine, kissing me softly. I wasn't expecting it, but soon I found myself returning his kiss, letting go for the first time in a long while, finally giving him all the love I held deep inside. The world didn't exist for us at that moment, only each other. So enraptured we were with each other that we both failed to notice my parents and his standing in the doorway, looking at us with smiles on all their faces.
Only when we separated did I notice our parents standing in the doorway to my room. Terry looked over to where I was, and immediately began to blush.
"You know, Son, that wasn't the kind of moving I was thinking about," my father said with a grin on his face.
"It wasn't my fault, Dad, I got ambushed," I said, looking at Terry.
"And I suppose you're going to tell me that you minded the ambush?" my mother asked.
"Now why would I go and do a thing like that?" I asked her in return, smiling at Terry.
"Well, we don't have all day for you to be moving here, so your father, and Terry's father are going to help. I'd better get back down to the kitchen. There's no way I'm going to let Pam claim all the credit for the dinner we're making, and I think I saw Paula trying to sneak into the kitchen when I left," my mother said, giving Terry and me one last smile before heading down the stairs.
"Alright, Son, you finish gathering your clothes, and David and I will start on your bed," my father told me.
"Okay, Dad," I said, and went right back to taking my clothes out of the closet as I had started before Terry came in.
It was probably the first time I realized just how much my parents had given me growing up. One look at the pile of clothes that I had taken out of the closet and put on the floor in my room and I couldn't help but realize just how lucky I was to have parents as I did.
Terry had already unplugged everything from my computer, and was already wrapping up the mouse and keyboard. My father and Terry's had the bed stripped and were lifting the mattress off the bed frame.
"Dad, did you want some help with that?" I offered, seeing them struggling a bit with it.
"That's okay, Son, we've got it," my father grunted. Terry and I smiled as we watched our father's slowly navigate the double sized mattress out of the room.
"Come on, Simon, let's get this stuff up stairs," Terry said.
"Oh we might as well relax a bit, Babe," I said.
"The old men are going to take forever to get that thing upstairs," I said smiling wickedly.
"We heard that!" a voice called out from the hallway.
"Oops!" I said, and Terry began to laugh out loud.
"Hey, Dude, I was thinking, just where are we going to put all this stuff?" Terry asked me, finally able to get his laughter under control.
"That's the best part about it! The room upstairs is actually bigger than this one, so we'll have plenty of space," I told him.
"Really? It didn't look all that much bigger," he said.
"Well, my father and I measured it. It's definitely bigger. The only thing that makes it look smaller is the fact that the ceiling slopes with the roof, so some parts of it taper down."
"You know, I was thinking about something, Babe," I said, stuffing my clothes into a garbage bag.
"What's that?" Terry asked.
"Well, you know how I got that job as a lifeguard for the Nelson pool?"
"Well, what if you were to apply for a job there with me?"
"That would be really cool, Dude, but I don't know anything about CPR or anything like that."
"Terry, it doesn't take years to learn CPR. Most first aid certifications take place in only a few days. Getting you certified would be a breeze.
"But doesn't that cost money, Babe?" he asked me.
"Since when have either of our parents had to worry about money?" I asked him.
"You're right about that," he conceded
"Well then, what do you think?" I asked him hopefully.
"Sounds like a pretty good idea. I'd love to. But summer has already started. Do you think they're still hiring?"
"Hey, you never know. At least we'd still be able to be together."
"Mmm, my favorite part!" Terry said.
"Okay then, let's get the rest this stuff up to our new room and then we can talk about it some more," I told him. With that, I lifted up the bag of clothes with a grunt, and made my way out of the room. Terry grabbed my computer and followed after me. It would take a few more trips to bring everything upstairs, but with Terry and our fathers helping, I knew it wouldn't take long at all.
When we got up there, our fathers had just finished leaning the mattress up against one of the walls. Terry put my computer in the closet and I sat the bag of clothes beside it.
"Okay, Son," my father said, beads of sweat beginning to run down from his forehead. "Where do you want the bed?"
"I was thinking against the wall to the right of the window, but far enough from the side wall that Terry wouldn't have to roll over top of me to get out of bed," I said.
"Oh I don't know, Babe, that sounds kinda tempting to me," Terry said, smiling at me wryly.
"Hmmm, maybe I should put it up against the wall for calling us 'old'," my father said, laughing slightly at Terry's suggestion.
"Dad!" I protested.
"Just kidding, Son, I think you've picked a nice place for the bed. It'd give you lots of room to move about."
"Not to mention enough room for the computer desk and my dresser," I said.
"Speaking of which, we'll bring up your bed frame, but you two will have to bring up the computer desk."
"No problem, Dad," I said, already making my way down the stairs.
"Hey wait for me, Babe!" Terry called after me.
By the time he had caught up to me, I had already gathered the mouse, keyboard and monitor, along with all the extra cables that had been attached to the computer itself. That left Terry to grab the high speed modem, and the router which was needed to share the Internet with my parents' computers.
The room was practically empty, except for my desk, dresser, the bed frame, and also my TV and DVD player which was on top of the dresser. I also had to pack up my books from the closet, as well as my own personal DVD collection. Then I remembered that I had brought downstairs the Nintendo Wii when Terry and I had slept downstairs. Together, he and I brought the rest of the stuff for my computer up to our new room.
"Hey, Terry, I'm going to go downstairs to get the Wii and my games from downstairs, will you be okay here?" I asked.
"Sure thing. I'll get the TV and DVD player disconnected, and start bringing up your DVDs," Terry replied, setting the router and modem down on the floor next to where he put my computer.
"Thanks, Dude," I said. We left the room together. When we got to my old room, my father and Terry's father were just walking out of the room, each of them carrying part of the bed.
"You have everything yet Simon?" my father asked.
"Not yet Dad. We just finished with the computer, and now I'm going downstairs to get the Wii and my games. Terry is going to get my TV and DVD player disconnected and start bringing my DVDs up."
"You just make sure you put that stuff someplace out of the way so there is room to set up your furniture."
"We will, Dad. We've started to put everything in the closet for now. Then Terry and I will get the desk and dresser up here."
"Very good, Son. Terry's father and I should have the bed done by the time you've finished all that."
"Okay, Dad," I said, and passed by them, hurrying down the stairs.
It only took me a few minutes to get the Wii disconnected from the TV since I'd hooked it up from the front of the TV instead of the back. Once I had everything I had brought down, I started back up the stairs. Going down was definitely easier that climbing back up, making me very glad that I was in pretty good shape. By the time I had entered the new room, I was slightly out of breath, but I didn't really care. Walking into the new room, I saw Terry setting down the box of my DVDs. It was pretty heavy, and I was surprised that he carried it up here by himself.
"Hon, you should have waited for me before bringing the DVDs up," I said to him.
"Nah, I was able to do it. Don't worry" Terry said.
"Thanks, Babe, I just don't want you to hurt yourself."
"That makes two of us," he said. "Why are you out of breath?"
"Three sets of stairs are murder," I said, laughing slightly.
"Uh huh. Think you can handle the TV and computer desk then?" he asked me.
"Yep, let's go," I said, leading the way back out of the room.
Terry and I made quick work of getting the TV up to the new room, placing it in the closet carefully with the rest of my stuff. The computer desk was an entirely different story though. It was large and bulky. At first I didn't think that it would fit through the door, but it did; just barely. Lugging that thing up the stairs wasn't easy; it weighed a lot. We had to take several breaks to catch our breaths, but finally managed to get it into my room. I decided the best place for it would be on the left side of the room along the side wall. The dresser I was going to place in near the desk, but in the corner closest to the window, which would make it easy for me to watch TV or a movie when I was laying in bed.
For the last time, we went to my old room, and grabbed the dresser. Thanks to the fact that I had pretty much emptied it of clothes when we went to sleep in the basement, it wasn't very heavy and carrying it up stairs wasn't as strenuous as the computer desk. With all the lifting we'd been doing, though, both Terry and I needed to take a break after getting it up the stairs. We probably stood there, leaning up against a wall, for several minutes before finally feeling ready to bring the dresser into the room. Once it was in there, and against the wall where I wanted it, we put the TV and DVD player on top, and plugged everything in. I also hooked the Wii back up to the TV. The computer was next, and with Terry's help, had it up and running in only a few short minutes. Our fathers had already set up the bed, and even put the new sheets and comforter on it as well as the pillows.
The two of us sat on the bed and looked around the room. It was a lot of work, but finally we had the room situated just the way I wanted it to be. Putting my arm around Terry, I leaned into him, and just took everything in.
"I'm bushed," Terry finally said looking over at me.
"Me too," I said. "I'd like nothing more than to lay in bed with you right now, but from the smells downstairs I'd say dinner is almost ready.
"Perfect, I'm starving!"
"You're always starving, Babe!" I said, laughing.
"So?" he said, patting his firm stomach. "I'm a wasting away here."
"Not a chance, Babe. I think you look really hot," I said.
"No where near as hot as you, Babe," he said, leaning over and giving me a quick kiss on my lips. He then stood up, and offered to help me up. Accepting, I took a hold of his outstretched hand with mine and felt him pull me up off the bed. I knew that he was strong, but it seemed to me that he practically launched me off the floor with one arm
"Whoa babe!" I exclaimed. "What have you got packed in those arms of yours? Hydrolics?" I asked him.
"Nah, I used to wrestle with a couple of my friends at school. I was part of the wrestling team before I quit."
"Why'd you quit, Babe?" I asked him.
"Well, I haven't really felt comfortable around some of my friends. I mean, they have all started to look at girls and talking about the things they would do with a girl on their first date, and I just got uncomfortable with it. I guess I just stopped asking to join in with them, and they in turn didn't really invite me to a lot. There was this one party a year ago that they wanted me to go to, but I said no. I mean, I was only fifteen years old at the time, and I was sure there'd be drinking, and probably some guys doing drugs, and definitely people having sex. I just didn't want to be in that kind of environment."
"I know what you mean, Babe. I think the only friend I really hang around a lot with is Brad. Actually, that reminds me. I should give him a call sometime. I know he'd love to meet you."
"Were you and he..." Terry began.
"Dating?" I asked. "Oh no, nothing like that," I laughed. "Actually he's a really good friend. I think he's bi, but lately he's had his eye on this girl in school. Honestly, I think the two of them look good together so I hope it works out for them."
"What about Brad?" Terry asked me, a silly grin on his face. "Is he a looker?"
"Totally hot!" I told him, returning his grin.
"Hotter than me?" he asked.
"Not a chance in hell, Babe," I said, grabbing him into a hug, looking into his eyes. "I think I fell in love with you the moment I saw you. You were the most beautiful person I had ever seen, and I can honestly tell you that I want us to spend the rest of our lives together."
"I love you too, Baby," Terry said, his eyes beginning to get moist as he saw the love I had for him in my eyes.
"Brad's a good friend, but I couldn't date him. It'd feel too weird. I think that's why I never went out with him in the first place. I was comfortable with our relationship just the way it was."
"I'm sorry if I sounded jealous, Babe," Terry said.
"Don't be You have nothing to be jealous of. I'm going to be very proud to introduce you to all my friends as my boyfriend."
"Really?" he asked.
"If you boys are quite done," my father said from the doorway, clearing his throat to grab our attention.
"Sorry, Dad," I said.
"It's quite alright, Son," he replied. "Your mother says that supper is ready."
"Okay, Dad. We'll wash our hands and be right down."
"I'll be sure to tell her. And, Son," my father said.
"I'm very happy that you and Terry found each other. You two make a very handsome couple."
"Thanks, Dad," I said, blushing slightly.
"Don't mention it. We'll see you two downstairs," he said, retreating from the room, and heading back down the stairs.
"Your parents are so cool, Babe," Terry said, looking back at me.
"I know. I'm beginning to realize how cool they really are," I replied, smiling at Terry.
"Let's get washed up and join them. I really am hungry."
"Me too, Babe," I said, and together we walked out of the bedroom, and went to the bathroom to wash our hands. Both of us were so hungry that we didn't waste any time in the bathroom, even though we playfully glanced at each other. Thankfully my mother had put some clean towels in the bathroom and in the small cupboard above the toilet. Using the towel that was hanging on the rack, we dried our hands, then practically raced down the stairs where everyone except my mother and Sam's was in the living room having a lively conversation.
Sam and Emily were sitting at the dinning room table behind the couch colouring in a colouring book together. Occasionally Emily would get Sam's attention by tapping her hand and then looking at a certain coloured pencil crayon to ask for it. Unless Sam was using it, she stopped what she was doing and handed Emily the requested pencil. Sam did the same with Emily, and the whole process was repeated back and forth as the various colours were being applied to whatever it was they were working on.
I couldn't help but smile and look at them, for it reminded me of when I used to come visit Sam. Back then I knew nothing of sign language. In fact, I didn't even know that Sam was deaf until I was told by her parents about it.
Sam wasn't born deaf, in fact she was as healthy as any parent could hope for when she came into the world. Trouble began however when she was only two years old, and she developed meningitis. For a time she was very sick, and the doctors didn't even know if Sam would be able to survive. She surprised them though, and over time began to improve until there was no sign that she had ever had it.
It didn't take long for them to realize that due to her illness, she had suddenly lost her hearing. They took her to specialist after specialist, trying to find a way to at least give her back some of her hearing. Eventually, with the help of a very good friend of theirs, they accepted the fact that their daughter was deaf. Their friend also happened to be a teacher who worked with the deaf, and she taught the three of them sign language. Sam continued to see the teacher on a regular basis and gradually began to learn how to read lips.
By the time I met Sam, she had been reading lips, and had known sign language for about five years. Her parents wanted me to babysit for them, and so did I, so with their help, I learned to communicate with Sam.
Everything for Sam was going pretty well until three weeks ago when she collapsed while playing in the playground at school during recess. She was rushed to the hospital, where the doctors soon discovered that she had a previously undiscovered heart defect. One of the valves in her heart apparently wasn't closing properly, and if over excited, the back flow of blood into the heart could cause it to stop and kill her. She was however, too weak for an operation to repair the defect, and now is restricted to activities which wouldn't excite her, or cause her any stress.
My heart went out to her the first day I saw her. She wouldn't accept any pity and I gave her none, but I did become her friend, despite the age differences. Besides Kyle, who I hadn't seen in a long while, Sam was the only other person I babysat. It gave me the extra money I needed to buy things that interested me, but I would have done it for free, and sometimes did. It was just such a joy to be around her that I didn't see it so much as babysitting, but rather being a big brother to her.
"Hey, Babe, you there bud?" Terry asked, suddenly bringing me out of my thoughts.
"Yeah, sorry, Babe. I was just thinking about Sam."
"Oh? What about her?" he asked.
"Well, I was thinking about everything that she's had happen to her in her life, and yet, I see her over there with Emily and I become more and more impressed with her each time I see her. She never gets down or depressed. She's always so positive, and happy. There's a lot of people, who if something happened to them, would go into depression and slowly shut down. Sam didn't. She's a strong one."
"You are right about that, Simon," Mrs. Mckendrick said. "But even Sam sometimes has her bad days. I can remember a few times when I walked past her door at night and could here her crying. There's only so much any of us can take before it gets to us. I think that what Sam does is outwardly show that she is happy and positive, but a part deep down inside that she rarely lets anyone see, is just a frightened eleven year old girl. All Mike and I can do is show her that we love her, and be there for her when she needs us, whether she asks for it or not."
"That's how I feel every time I think about her. That's why I wanted to ask you over for the party tomorrow. Actually, someone else is going to be there as well," I said.
"Yeah, my Uncle, only I just found out that he was really my uncle. Before I just thought he was a friend of my father. Apparently he was kicked out of the house when he came out to his parents," Terry said.
"Oh how awful!" Mrs. Mckendrick said, coming into the living room. "If I had met your parents, Terry I would slap both of them across the face for how they treated their own son. It's disgraceful."
"Well, I never really got along with my grandparents. Emily and I hardly see them at all, and I think thats what my parents wanted. I don't even know if they still live in the same house. They're in their seventies now."
"I honestly don't know how people can judge other's that way. It's none of their business who people fall in love with," Mr. Mckendrick said.
"Well, Mike," my father said. "My family's had to deal with that kind of prejudice for a while now since Tim came out to us. Though my parents already knew about Tim, and told him that they loved him no matter what. It was Darryl's parents who were the problem. They kicked Darryl out of the house when he was sixteen. They're deeply religious, and couldn't reconcile their faith with their son's homosexuality. Darryl met Tim, and Tim helped Darryl a lot. Darryl's now a phys-ed teacher for the Halton Public School Board, and works at a local high school."
"Well, something has to be done," Mr. Mckendrick said.
"It's not easy to change beliefs that people have held onto for so long, but it's changing. Slowly. There are still incidents though. I read just recently about a mother in Saskatchewan who had to pull her eleven year old son out of school because the kids there kept calling him a fagot, just because her son was kidnapped and sexually assaulted last year by a pedophile. In Turo, Nova Scotia, the town council actually voted last week against flying the rainbow flag at town hall during pride activities," my father said.
"You've got to be kidding!" Kathy exclaimed.
"I wish I was. You see, ever since Tim came out, I have been collecting all the news reports that I can which deal with gay issues. Most of them are from the U.S. But a few do come from Canada. Actually, I saved every article I could find when the government passed into law the change of the definition of spouse in the constitution, which legalized gay marriage. I have them in my office."
"I can remember a few times when I was in high school, several of the older students were picking on the younger ones, calling them all kinds of names like faggot, and gay. It got so bad one time, that I had to step in before someone started a fight. I think it was the same year that a GSA was formed. As soon as I heard about it, I joined up. Some parents went to the school board to try to have it shut down, but there was nothing the board could do legally. Eventually people accepted the club's presence in school, but it wasn't easy," Paula said. "There was a case here in Burlington, where a Catholic School student wanted to bring his boyfriend to the prom, but wasn't permitted. He ended up suing the school board, and they lost. Last I heard he and his boyfriend were living happily together in Toronto."
"Wow!" I exclaimed. "I didn't know about any of that. What's a GSA though?" I asked."
"GSA stands for Gay, Straight Alliance. It's a club where students can get together to try and raise awareness of bullying and prejudice against people who are Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, or Transgendered," Paula said.
"Oh. Do you think there's a club like that in my school?" I asked my father.
"I don't know, Son. But you could certainly find out from your school's councilor."
"I'll definitely do that," I said.
"I would love to see those articles you were talking about some time, Craig," David said.
"Sure, I'll bring everything up from my office after dinner," my father said.
"Dad, could Terry and I see them too?" I asked him.
"Actually, I was planning on showing them to you tomorrow, but since we are going to be having a party tomorrow, tonight is as good a time as any. I think it's very important for you two to see them. If you know what's going on in the gay community it can help you make some decisions for yourself."
"Your Dad is right, Simon. I've read those articles, and some of them made me really mad. But they also helped your Uncle Darryl and I do what I could to make things better for the LGBT community," Tim said.
"Alright everyone, dinner's ready. Terry, Simon, would you get the table set for me please?" my mother asked, standing in the doorway to the living room.
"Okay, Mom," I said. Terry and I went into the kitchen, and I opened up the cupboard doors, taking out the good plates that my mother always uses for big dinners.
"Why are you taking out those dishes, Simon?" my mother asked.
"You always use them for special dinners though, Mom," I said, after handing Terry the first four plates.
"You're right, Simon, I do. And I guess this dinner is kind of special. Well, if you're going to use those plates, don't use the cutlery that we normally use. Get the good ones from the cabinet in the dinning room okay?"
"Sure thing, Mom," I said, smiling at her.
"I'm glad one of us is thinking," she said, returning my smile.
"By the smell of dinner, Mom, I'd say you've had a lot on your mind. I can't wait to dig in!" I said.
My mother laughed. "Boys. You're like a vacuum cleaner when it comes to food."
"Hey, I can't help it if your cooking is awesome," I pointed out to her.
"That, my Son, is going to add some more brownie points to your record," she said, coming up to me and giving me a small kiss on my forehead.
"I'll take the brownie points, Mom, but I do mean what I said. You are really good. Maybe you could teach me how you do it sometime," I suggested.
"Why, Simon, I didn't think you were interested in cooking," my mother said, surprised.
"Well, I wasn't. But then, I didn't have a boyfriend then either."
"Good point," my mother laughed. "Well, if you're serious, you can help me tomorrow get ready for the party."
"You're on," I said.
"I don't know how in the world I ended up with a Son like you. You're very special, Simon," she told me.
"I had two wonderful parents to help me, Mom," I said.
"Oh shush, get on with setting the table so I can get dinner served before I start crying."
"So... they're tears of happiness, Mom, go right ahead."
"Oh they are, Son, they are indeed," she said, and turned around to get something from one of the cupboards. I didn't see it, but I suspected she turned so I wouldn't see her tears. The slight sniffle I heard however told me all I needed to know. Smiling at Terry, I continued to hand him plates, getting enough for everyone before closing the cupboard door. Once we had enough, Terry and I went out to the dinning room and put a plate on the table in front of every chair. Emily's and Sam's plates wouldn't fit, so we decided to put those on the coffee table in front of the big couch.
The cutlery was my mother's best. She regularly spent hours cleaning them to her satisfaction after we have company over and used them. Opening the drawer, I took out enough of the cutlery for everyone and helped Terry put them on the table beside each plate, as well as the two plates we had put on the coffee table for Emily and Sam.
Looking at those two, who had moved to the living room to do their colouring, I could tell that they had very quickly become good friends. It was something I don't often get to see Sam do, at least not since she was diagnosed with the heart condition she had.
As Terry and I went about setting up the dinnerware, I listened in on the conversation that was taking place in the living room among the other adults. Most of it was centered around Sam.
"Tell me something, Mike, is Sam's hearing loss irreversible?" my father asked.
"Not really, Craig," Mr. Mckendrick said.
"Well you see, there is an operation that can be performed to help Sam hear things. What the doctors have said they can do is give Sam a cochlear implant. It's a complex little device that basically bypasses damaged portions of the ear and directly stimulates the auditory nerve. The signals which are generated by the implant are sent to the brain by way of this nerve, which recognizes the signals as sound. From what I've been told, hearing through a cochlear implant is different from normal hearing and it would take time for Sam to learn. While it wouldn't restore her hearing, it could give her a useful representation of sounds in the environment and help Sam understand speech. The problem is her heart condition. The doctors dare not do anything for her until they have been able to correct the defect in her heart and that she is strong enough to be able to undergo the surgery."
"That sounds to me like a long road ahead, for all of you," my father said.
"Yes, but thankfully it is almost done," Mr. Mckendrick said.
"Oh? How so?" Tim asked.
"We got a call from her doctor the other day telling us that arrangements have been made for Sam to get her operation to fix the valve."
"Well that's good news then!" my father exclaimed.
"It would be except for one thing."
"What's that?" my father asked.
"We can't afford the operation," Mr. Mckendrick stated.
"You mean, your insurance won't cover the operation?" Tim asked.
"No, and OHIP will only cover so much. The operation itself isn't the issue, its the medication she will be on afterwards. As far as my insurance company is concerned, the medication is not covered under my policy."
"What? But that is ridiculous!" my father exclaimed.
"I know. Both Pam and I have been trying to fight it, but the insurance company is standing firm. We're in the process of trying to find a different insurance company, one that would accept us knowing Sam's condition. That's not easy."
"They're a pack of vultures!" my mother exclaimed, coming into the living room. "Well we're not going to stand for that one bit. Pam, Mike. You get that girl of yours to the hospital and do what you have to to see that she gets well again."
"But the meds!" Mrs. Mckendrick protested.
"Don't you worry about that, Pam. This family is not going to stand for some greedy insurance company to stop your daughter from enjoying a happy and full life. You worry about the operation, and we'll worry about the medication."
"Anna, you and Craig are the best neighbors we've ever known, but we couldn't ask that of you. You have your own family to take care of," Mrs. Mckendrick objected.
"Oh stuff it, Pam," my mother admonished her. "You know perfectly well that Craig and I make more than enough money to take care of our family. And so does Tim and Darryl. If need be, we'll pool our resources together, but I'm not going to sit by and watch that girl see life pass her by. No way." There was no way my mother was going to take no for an answer, from either Pam or Mike. When she got like this, and put her foot down, you had no hope in the world of winning.
"I don't know what to say," Mrs. Mckendrick said, sobbing, and leaning up against her husband.
"You can say 'thank you' and enjoy dinner with us. Tomorrow we're going to have the best party this neighborhood has ever seen," my mother said.
"You know, I'm the luckiest guy in the world to have married such a woman," my father said, beaming with pride.
"That you are, Craig," Mr. Mckendrick said. "I don't know how we can ever repay you for this, but we will, somehow. Thank you, all of you," he said as he stood there in the living room holding his wife who had tears running down her cheeks, but had a very large smile on her face.
"Well, I have an idea," I said, speaking up for the first time since coming back into the living room.
"What's that, Simon?" my father asked.
"Well, the party was supposed to be a going away party for Powder, but how about we make it a double party. It can also be a get well party for Sam."
"That's an excellent idea, Simon!" my mother exclaimed. "Oh my, I'm going to need to make a new list," she said, rushing over to the desk and grabbing another piece of paper from it. Already she was busily writing things down.
"Oh no, here we go again!" my father laughed.
"Sush, Dear," my mother said, not once stopping her furious scribbling on the paper. Finally, she stopped and picked up the paper, handing it to my father who began to read what my mother had written.
"Geez, Honey!" my father exclaimed. "Are we planning on buying the whole store?"
"No, just most of it," my mother laughed.
"Well, we're not going to be able to get all this tonight. I'll have to go tomorrow morning, first thing," my father said. "Tim, Darryl, could I ask for your help? My car is not going to fit all this."
"Sure thing, Craig," Darryl said, taking the list from my father. "Oh my God!" he exclaimed, his eyes opening wide as he scanned through the list. "Anna, this is like, wow!"
"Hey, if we're going to have a party, lets have a party," my mother laughed.
"Don't forget, Anna, Sam can't get too excited," Mrs. Mckendrick said.
"I haven't forgotten, Pam. I promise you Sam will have a good time, but we won't cause her any stress."
"That's all I can ask for. You are already doing so much for us by offering to help us with the meds," Mrs. Mckendrick said.
"Don't worry. I can think of an appropriate way for you to pay us back," my father said.
"Oh? And what did you have in mind, Craig?"
"Well you've been bugging me for ages about our yard. So I'm going to ask you to do the landscaping for both the front and back yards."
"It will be a pleasure, Craig. You'll have the best looking yards on the whole block. I promise you that."
"Knowing your work as I do, of that I have no doubt, Mike," my father said, holding out his hand to Mr. Mckendrick. Mr. Mckendrick ignored my father's hand, and instead embraced him, hugging him appreciatively.
"Thank you so much," he said over my father's shoulder.
"Any time, Mike," my father replied, hugging him back. "We'll work out the details later," he said, letting Mr. Mckendrick go.
"That we will indeed," my mother said. "But first, it's time for dinner!"
In this chapter, I briefly describe two incidents which actually did occur in Canada. In the first instance I talked about a Saskatchewan mother having to pull her eleven year old son out of school because the other students were shouting homophobic comments at him. And this after her son had been kidnapped and raped by the known pedophile, Peter Whitmore. The case of this man's destruction of two young boys' lives is repugnant and utterly inexcusable. I offer this article for more information on this sickening crime:
The second incident, while not as repulsive as the first, still underlines the constant struggle the GLBT community must endure in order to be respected, and treated like everyone else. In this case, the town council in Turo, Nova Scotia voted 6-1 against flying the rainbow flag during the Pride festivities at town hall. A couple neighboring towns did fly the flag in support of Pride. The mayor was quoted as saying that supporting Pride went against his religious beliefs, and he used the same argument homophobes have used in the past, comparing homosexuals to pedophiles. I offer the following article so that you can read about this insane decision by a Canadian municipal government:
I want to thank Jason for writing this chapter. I am so pleased to see how positively he has portrayed the family life of two young boys who know how they feel about each other and how well their families and friends treat the love they have for one another. The articles sited in the author's notes bring to light just how much more needs to be done to try to quell the terrible treatment that people still suffer for just being who they are. I hope and pray that eventually tolerance will win out over hatred and stupidity. I do see it starting to happen, especially with young people. Kids seem to be the first to realize that love is the answer, and they are going to be the ones that will make the most progress toward the goals of love and understanding regardless of who loves whom. I love being able to use the word 'whom'.
Darryl AKA The Radio Rancher