Contact Info --

Email us --

Our Other Blogs --
We are three adults living in a polyamorous triad family. The content here is intended for an adult audience. If you are not an adult, please leave now.


October Birthdays

In my family of origin, that was the phrase we always used, "The October birthdays."  The October birthdays were a beginning point for what, in that long ago era, was known as the holiday season.  It was a slower and simpler time, and in those days, the Christmas shopping madness did not begin until after Halloween.  So, the holiday season, began for us with The October birthdays, and then proceeded through Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, The New Year, Mother's birthday, and finally, in February, my birthday.  In my memory, that time of the year was always fraught with a wash of conflicts, and emotions.  It was never a settled time; never easy to navigate.

Next week, on Thursday and Friday, I will mark the passage of The October birthdays...

The 17th of October would have been my Dad's 92nd birthday.  He has been gone twenty-one years now; taken at the age of 71 by the ravages of rheumatoid arthritis.  He was a quiet man; a veteran of the second World War.  Although both of my parents were drinkers, my father tended to be the voice of reason, holding my mother's rages in check.  He seldom raised his voice, but when he took that deep, quiet, serious tone, people listened.  He was my champion and my hero and the deep connection of my childhood.  I spent many happy hours standing on a stool next to him, as he tinkered under the hood of the car.  Although I had three younger brothers, I was the one who went with my Dad to the baseball games he loved.  With him, I learned to rejoice in the double play and the throw down to pick off a runner trying to steal second.

The day after Dad's birthday, October 18th, was my brother, Gregg's birthday.  He was the middle one of my three younger brothers, five years my junior.  He and I were, in temperament and appearance, like twins.  Except for the years that separated us, we were mirror images of one another; the only two in our family who saw the world in the same ways.  Gregg, who, because he was a colicky baby with a very healthy set of lungs, was dubbed "Moose" by my Dad, was always a bit of a loner.  He was a child who thought his own thoughts and went his own way.  He was the little tag-along behind the oldest of the boys, Hank, and I.  We were forever getting him into one fix or another, and because he was younger and more gullible, it most often ended up with him being injured in some way.  We would take him sledding on "the big kids hill," even though he really wasn't old enough.  All of us knew to bail out before we hit the bottom, because there was a ditch at the end of the run.  None of us thought to tell Gregg about that little detail before we launched him down the hill for the first time.  Our frantic shoutings from the top of the steep slope were useless, and he rode that sled right off the edge and stuck it, like an arrow, in the dirt wall on the other side of the ditch.  He was a mess when we dragged him home.  It was always like that.  The great wonder is that he survived being our little brother.  Gregg was always an odd child, and he grew into an interesting and awkward teenager.  Theater was his passion... and music.  He was a natural born showman.  His attempts at traditional dating, the boy meets girl thing, were just awful.  He was terrible at it.  When he finally "came out," at the age of 19, it was an absolute "Duh" moment for most of us.  My parents, sadly, were appalled, and never, ever came to terms with the truth of who he was.  That rift was painful in the extreme.  For a number of years, Gregg and I worked as a team, speaking and presenting to church groups and others who were confronting the issues of accepting and loving a family member who was gay.  We were a good pair, and we loved doing it together.  I don't know what difference we made for others, but I know it was a time when he and I were intensely bonded to each other -- a bond that I will forever treasure.  When Gregg died of the complications of AIDS, 22 years ago, he was just 31 years old.  It was the anniversary of the death of President John F. Kennedy.  I believe to this day, that he chose that date.  When I arrived at the hospital that morning, he was sitting up in bed, paging with his sardonic wit, through what he always referred to as the "Needless Markup" (Nieman Marcus) catalog.  He was quite tickled by the 24-carat gold, jewel encrusted, Hummer.  That was morning, by evening, he was clearly dying, unresponsive, pale and wasted, just a shadow lingering in the room.  And yet, he would not let go...  Finally, at about 10 PM, I went out to the nurses' station, and begged them to let me bring his beloved dog up to the hospital so he could "say goodbye."  They reluctantly agreed that we could bring her up the stairs.  I called my husband, at home with our two adolescents, and he went over to Gregg's house and got Teela, the golden retriever.  He brought her up the six flights, and we walked her down the dimly lit hallway to Gregg's room.  The dog crawled into Gregg's bed, laid her head on his chest with a whimper.  He put his hand up to pet her head, and was gone.  Just like that...  It has been 22 years and I still see him every now and then -- in the face of a stranger; peering out from an intense and beautiful face.  How I miss him...

So, Thursday and Friday will be days of intense remembering.  Longing.  Missing those parts of myself.



  1. weirdgirl9:27 PM

    I have so far been spared the pain of losing a parent, though I lost my only sibling 18 years ago. Birthdays are indeed a bittersweet time, filled with happy memories and sadness at the loss of a future in which to have made so many more.

    Sending you much love.


  2. Thank you for sharing your story.


  3. Ordalie9:02 AM

    You made me cry. So many of us have stories and sorrows bottled up ... Few of us would be able to write so beautifully.
    Thank you.

  4. Thank you for sharing this beautiful story.



Something to add? Enter the conversation with us.