By Henry Amador-Batten
Many moons ago I caught myself in a moment that felt oddly as natural as it did surreal.
I was writing baby shower invitations to celebrate the upcoming birth of my Godson.
What should have easily been one of my life’s most joyous moments was casually diluted by the fact that I was also busy writing a eulogy for one of my dearest friends, Jacqueline Kimberly, the Kleenex Heir and Roxanne Pulitzers cohort in scandal. Who exactly a year to the day of her lovers passing had taken her own life with a gun shot through a broken heart.
I caught myself in that moment because I realized that I have spent much of my life walking the yellow line that separates one side of the road from the other.
I don’t think that I can remember an event in my life where both joy and sadness were not in attendance nor in an interesting embrace.
My early career, which from an outsider’s perspective would have appeared very successful was actually wrought with self-doubt and self-sabotage.
My relationships, regardless of how beautiful or miraculous they were had always succumbed to my mother’s needs. Until her passing in 2004 after many years of serious illness, there was no real happiness for me as I watched the most important person in my life fade away, regardless of what my outside looked like, my insides were always a different story,
Somehow, both stories living simultaneously.
When my husband and I married in 2009 the excitement and pride that we felt as we said our I-do’s in Boston was met with the reality that our marriage was not recognized in many states including the one we lived in.
When we adopted our first child, his birth and the subsequent months to follow were a combination of gratitude, wonderment and fear and anxiety as we navigated the new waters of a same sex couple adopting a child in a less then sympathetic legal system.
Now as we prepare to adopt our second child all the security we felt as a result of the passing of nationwide marriage equality is once again being threatened by the incoming administration and the daggers they plan to throw at our celebratory balloons.
So many LGBTQ families are being advised to tie up any loose legal ends as quickly as possible, before the President Elect and his like can begin to undo that very security we had finally come enjoy.
I believe I know people who are predominantly happy, and I’m sure I know some who are predominantly sad. I have often wondered why I so easily and comfortably step into either world as often as I do.
I used to long for the day when I could fully embrace and unpack on the happier side of the road, but I’m not sure that was ever in my cards.
Even today, as we try to raise our boys with joy and laughter, we still face the never ending reality that they must know why Black Lives Matter and why there is so much danger and sorrow in our world.
I don’t feel that we can fully allow them to be lost in the innocence of childhood any longer.
I’m afraid that my children, by virtue of the world they now share will be forced to join me on those dotted yellow lines, never straying too far away from the center.
Destined to experience amazing moments of bliss while sensing the presence of equally amazing moments of sadness never too far away.
Buddhist believe that the acceptance of suffering in life is of the utmost importance.
Perhaps the ability to understand that life is neither happy or sad, neither good or bad, neither black or white but rather a combination of it all, that one never rises out from within us without standing upon the shoulders of the other, perhaps this knowledge will help my son’s be able to dig deeper and embrace all that life will undoubtedly send their way.