Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Safe & Sound

It’s been a long time since I last wrote on my blog, or posted much of my thoughts online.  I had made a decision awhile back to take a break from writing, and spend a bit more time just living quietly and less public.  Truth be told, it was a difficult time, as our family was going through a very rough time.  Thinking about it now I can see some parallels in my life, timelines that have a way of repeating themselves.  Now I’m not one to put much importance in numbers, dates, or coincidences, yet they do appear in my life, and often it isn’t until later reflection that I notice them.  Back in 2007 I was living in San Francisco, in a steady relationship with my partner Mike, and right at the 18 month mark we were faced with a life changing challenge.  Abel and I had been together about the same amount of time, and were facing some serious family challenges at home; ones that make you question your sanity at times.  Back in 2007, and now in 2013, I wondered if I had the strength to get through all of it, and wondered why my life has been so difficult.  I’m typically that person that others quickly remind that God doesn’t give us more than we can handle.

 “Oh really?” 

In my way of thinking I can keep up the fight, keep moving forward, and keep up with my attempts to remain optimistic, or just simply crumble in defeat.  I know that people consider me strong, and don’t often see the truly vulnerable side, yet it is there.  Back when Mike was around, and we were going through some challenges with the children, he would often remind me that he was there for me, and with me, and that I would no longer have to face such challenges alone.  Well, he was there for me, and for a short time I wasn’t alone, but as most know, his life was taken away too soon.   Needless to say I was devastated by his death, and I was left alone to continue parenting my children with each of their special needs.

September 2011 arrived, and I met a wonderful man.  2012 brought that man into my home, and further into the lives of my children.  He moved into my home, and began taking on the challenges of learning what it’s like to parent special needs teens and young adults.  Soon after, he began uttering a familiar phrase whenever I was at my lowest of lows.  When my heart and body tired of being the strong one, and tears would get the best of me, the phrase would be spoken by him, “you are no longer alone.”  I know that Abel said those words out of love, and they were meant to comfort me, but initially they brought on fear, fear of loss.  How could I learn to trust that he would always be here, and that I truly would not be facing such challenges alone?  I would remind Abel of how Mike would say those very words, and how hard it was to accept and trust them.  I trusted Abel’s love, and I trusted his support, yet I didn’t trust that force that was beyond us, that which could possibly take him away. 

Abel is a patient man.  Able is an understanding man.  Don’t get me wrong, he is human, and he has his own insecurities, yet he is constantly willing to remain beside me, holding me in his arms.  Abel knows that I have been hurt by life.  I know that he has been hurt by life.  Yet in going through the ongoing challenges this past winter, and always finding him by my side, I realized that I can trust him, and I can learn to trust what life has brought me.  I realized that I was now safe and sound.

It was February 13, 2013.  It was a night of lying in bed beside him, talking heart to heart about the many challenges we were facing each day, and speaking of our love and devotion for each other that made me ask Abel a simple question.

“Will you marry me?”

I can honestly say that I took Abel by surprise.  I can honestly say that I took myself by surprise.  I knew that I wanted to marry this man, yet I had been waiting for a special day two months down the line.  Yet because of what we were sharing that night, it became the perfect moment to ask this important question.

“Yes,” his simple response.

From that night forward we began planning the day that we would exchange vows.  At the time it was no longer legal here in California, yet we didn’t care, we trusted that it would work out in the end.  We began planning in spite of the unknown, and then we were handed a gift by the Supreme Court, our wedding, our marriage, would be legal.  I experienced that same gift with Mike many years ago when the California Court provided us the same opportunity.  In 2008 there was a brief opportunity to marry the man I loved, and become his husband 11 months before his life was taken away.  Both times in my life, when I didn’t know if the privilege would be mine, the gift of time opened the door to marry the person I happened to fall in love with.  Our plans were now safe and sound.

Now many know that we are engaged, yet most don’t realize that we are to be married this Saturday.  We decided to have a small ceremony here at home, and for that reason I needed was placed in a delicate challenge.  You see, I have the benefit of having so many loving and supportive friends and family that could not possibly invite all the people that mean so much to me.  I consider myself very fortunate to have people who love me scattered not only all over the state, but all over the country, and through my writing now all over the world.  My decision was to gather those that live locally, keeping it to friends nearby, and to my family member that I grew up with in the old neighborhood.  I made this decision knowing that those that are present can represent all those that have touched my life throughout the years.

We are planning a Buddhist-Hindu fusion wedding that best represents the practice of our combined spirituality and view of life.  I hope to share more of it later with each of you, as it feels like a perfect presentation to those who join us in celebrating this new beginning for us.  Keep us in mind on that day, and know that our hearts will be filled with the combined love that we have gathered from all who have touched out lives along the way.  We will be paying homage to those who are no longer present, yet who remain as an active part of our inner being.

Give Love.

Be Love.


  1. I love reading your blogs Uncle. So vulnerable, which does make you such a strong person...tears and all no one is strong all the time. Your strength, to me, lies in your vulnerability, wisdom, love, and honesty. As a niece it's nice too feel and be a part of your life that is so personal. Your words are so touching and true. Life has been hard for you, especially the last couple years, but you keep moving forward! This truly inspires me! Wish we could be there this Saturday but know our thoughts and love will be there with you and Able. Love you so very much!

  2. I love you. I think of you often, my friend. Peace with you, and with Abel, all the seen and unseen. Blessings on you sweetheart. Thank you for being here.

  3. Oh Dan, I am so happy for you. Congratulations to you and to Abel. Many blessings and may your marriage be filled with peace, grace, sunshine, laughter and all the love in the world. Xoxo

  4. Dan, your words are beautiful. You speak of all of our hearts and fears, and through your blog, I myself feel less alone in the world. How's that for irony?

    I am so deeply happy for you and Abel, and that you continue to take on the challenges of life with such courage and passion.

    Much love, your cousin, Renae