Wednesday, June 20, 2012


This is an open letter to the family I may never meet. I respect that you have your beliefs, and that my relationship to you may lay outside your comfort zone. I too come from a family of beliefs, and at one point they too were not so comfortable with my relationship to them. That changed, and so in my heart, I have to believe that in time our circumstances may change as well.

Let me introduce myself to you.

I am a bit older than Abel, yet he tells me age is of no importance to him. My family and friends consider me youthful, so the age difference is also of little importance to them. I am a Latin man. A second generation Mexican American. I was raised in a Catholic home, where Christ and his teachings were an integral part of our daily lives. At one point in my early twenties I felt a calling to become a priest, and studied in a seminary for a few years. In time I felt a different calling, and chose to return home. I graduated from college, and focused my studies on marriage and family counseling. Soon after graduation I took a job with Child Protective Services, and stayed there until my early retirement after 21 years of service. Soon after beginning this career I chose to adopt a child, which was my daughter. She was 6 months old when she joined my life. Later down the road two of her brothers also needed a home, and at different points in time I adopted them, one at 18 months of age, and the other at 3 months of age. My children are much older now, 21, 18 and 14 years of age. This year something very special happened on March 10th, a significant day for both of us. It is the day that Abel was born, and it was the day my first grandchild was born. I love my grandchild very much. I love Abel very much. I'm sure you love him too. This is not my first committed relationship. About 6 years ago I shared my home and my life with another man. We were also committed to each other. In 2007 he was diagnosed with a brain tumor, and in 2009 he died. During those two years I took care of him with the help of his mother. In September 2009 I held him in my arms as he took his last breath in the comfort of our own home.

I consider myself a loving and spiritual man. I have benefited from a very close and loving family. My parents had 4 sons, and taught each of us to respect others, and to make family our priority. I don't know if you are aware, but I lost my mother just last month. It was, and still is, a very difficult loss to bear. Fortunately for me, I had Abel there by my side to give me love and support. I know that Abel's life may not have turned out the way you expected. My family may have felt the same years ago. I still consider myself a Christian, yet also integrate some eastern philosophies into my daily life. My life is full. I have a steady job, and own a home here in San Diego. My adult daughter and her baby live here with Abel and I, so we are fortunate to be a part of my grandson's life. He brings us such joy. Abel is learning to become a step-parent to my 14 year old son. My son thinks the world of Abel, and is so thankful that he came into our lives. I too have a son that lives his life in a way that is not to my liking. He has been up in northern California for 6 months, and has chosen a lifestyle that he is proud of. Although he has chosen a path that worries me, I do love and respect him. When he is able, he calls me several times a week. I think it is important for him that I am here for him, and he needs to know that I see value in how he lives his life. I hope that he chooses another path in the future, but for now, all I can do is love him.

Although you may not consider me a part of your life right now, I consider you a part of my family. If Abel loves you, then I love you too. If Abel worries about one of you, so too, do I. If any of you need my help in any way, all you need do is ask, and I will be there for you. If you one day visit our home you will see that we are not unlike most families. We work. We go to school. We share in the care of our home. We cook dinner, and eat together at the table every night. We greet each other with a hug or a kiss, and we tell each other of our love and appreciation every night.

This is me. Of course there is more to me, yet I must start somewhere. I know that it is unlikely that you will come across my written words, yet if by chance you do, they are here for you.

With love, and an open heart.



  1. I may be biased, however ... I cannot understand how anyone could not love you x

  2. Oh, Dan .... I hope that each of my children will feel about me the way you feel about your family. Yes, some have chosen paths I would not have chosen for them, but that is not my right, nor my responsibility. I am to love them unconditionally, and to support them in the best way I can. And I do. Some days I am less sure than others of how to do that, or of what to say .... or not say. But I know that my children know that even when I fumble, i'm loving them first and foremost.
    I am so very sorry about your mom's death. I didn't know until last week. That loss sucks, too. I am just very thankful that Abel was, and is, in your life.
    You are both blessed.
    And I can't wait to see you (both?!) next month.
    I love you, my friend. xoxo

  3. Dan,

    I received your email today and so I thought I would take a look at your blog that I had not visited for a while. It was then that I learned of your mom's death. I send you my most heartfelt condolences and thoughts. I met your Mom 30 years ago or so when we were in the seminary. She was so kind, generous, and welcoming. It was so nice for me to be in a hispanic home because I missed my own family and culture incredibly.

    For graduation our parents met and my Dad really took to your Dad. My Dad was so happy to have someone to talk to in Spanish among all those Gavachos in that very Gavacho setting.

    You know, Dan, you inspired me to hang on to my latino-ness when I was pretty willing to give it up for a much more "anglo" lifestyle. Although we came from two different Latino cultures (one Mexican-American and one Colonial New Mexican), we were gay men coming out of very traditional hispano families. You reminded me all the time who were were and I am grateful for that.

    In my own life I continue to live somewhere between marriage and being forcibly separated. My partner of 14 years, Marcos, was deported to Mexico in September of last year. He had been held in ICE detention for ten months previous to that. We have not held each other in 20 months. His second appeal has not been decided upon by the powers at be. In the meantime we remain a couple forcibly separated by our government. We have talked about releasing each other from our commitment but have found that we both need to hang on to the possibility of being together. As he is HIV positive, his health is a concern to me. Though his meds are free in Mexico, he pays for all the testing they require. It is maddening and frustrating the level of despair that I go through sometimes.

    My consolation is that my mother lives with me. Though she is very frail, her fortitude is my bulwark. She struggles with her life yet she moves ever forward with an incredible faith. I pray daily to be like her.

    Anyway, Dan, thanks for your friendship, your inspiration. Blessings always.