Hopefully, with that title, you now have The Jefferson’s theme song from the 70’s stuck in your head like I do.
It’s in my head because literally, my time is coming to a true end. After the eight year fight with colon cancer, I have finally called in home Hospice care to take me home to that deluxe apartment in the sky. Honestly, during all of these years, I have actually thrived and not even lost; it’s just time to be done and I am literally okay with that.
Have any of you ever lost a loved one at a young age? I haven’t. I wish I had some sage words of advice, but I don’t. There are lots of books out there about life, death, and dying, but no one really has the ultimate written book: everyone must do it and in the end, they must do it alone, regardless of how many loved ones surround you.
Hospice seems to have the best handle on things; they are able to help the patient understand what may be happening next and they help the caretakers and families best know how to handle the next steps on this kinda scary road.
One of the more interesting things about my life is that on paper, if we were to lay out the things that have happened, my life looks like crap 💩. On the flip side, when you add a second column to that list, it’s cool to see how all of the caca on the page has been intentionally used to live life, love life, and impact others.
Devon and the kids and I have certainly done that. All of us can look in the mirror with pride and know that we have done our best to use the “things” that have happened to us to be able to help others in similar situations.
I’d say that we have come in winners–thrivers, really–despite what the first column and list says about our 💩 lives. Every ounce of every crappy thing that has gone down has been used for the express purpose of helping others know they aren’t alone.
Because seriously, you aren’t.
Experienced betrayal in your life? You aren’t alone.
Been betrayed by the Church for something? You definitely aren’t alone.
Tried to be someone you aren’t? You aren’t alone there, either.
Needed to come clean about some serious lying you have done toward your family, including your husband or wife? You aren’t alone there in the slightest.
Found gay porn on your home computer, or even Craigslist ads for meetups (sexually or otherwise) that were for your husband or wife you thought was straight? Lotsa people have been down that road and–you guessed it–you aren’t alone there, either.
Got diagnosed with cancer? Hello! White flag waving right here.
What I hope you’re seeing is not a brag or anything, but a genuine mission in a transparent way that there are others out there like you, even if for some reason you don’t see your particular issue listed above.
I am going to go away; colon cancer is officially taking me at the age of 44. My blog and the work I have done will stay here as long as WordPress deems it necessary, I suppose. If you find something of yourself in these blog posts and want to write something to me to have me respond and help, I just won’t be able to help; however, if you look at the lists and resources page you may find something or someone there who can point you in the right direction. I will also always promote the Straight Spouse Network. This is not because they have ALL the answers, but they can probably find you someone who does know someone who knows someone who knows someone.
Sound good? So here’s their website. I encourage you to read through my blog, of course, but now that I am officially done with writing for this sweet child of mine, please reach out to them, too.
Let’s talk about my sweet life for just a second.
Without having met and married Devon, we wouldn’t have had three beautiful babies who are growing into world-changers. That has been the best reason to help me stay focused on parenting and making this thing amicable. I think, based on the cool stuff we have gotten to experience, all of us would agree that every ounce of pain, difficulty, daily forgiveness and grace and mercy have been worth it.
I mean, geez…what a great topic for a TEDxTalk, ya know? I got to do one of those, too.
I have personally met some amazing straight spouses, who I can say confidently are some of the strongest people on this planet.
Devon has been able to help men like him in similar ways to be and come clean to their wives. I can say with confidence that he is humbled and honored to have done so. I will leave it at that because like most of this work, things are kept confidential. Needless to say, there are MILLIONS of us out there, both from the Straight side and the 🏳️🌈 side, who have gone through or will go through this.
This is actually why Devon and I do the work we do: we want to lessen the numbers of people this happens to. We aren’t alone in this goal. The Straight Spouse Network wants the same thing.
I think I will leave that aspect of our journey right there; otherwise, it will become too redundant.
I am ready to go. I have lived a very full 44 years and have done as many things right as possible, though not perfectly. The most perfect thing I have done is married Devon and had those three beautiful babies we have raised together…including with Devon’s husband, Felipe.
I realize that the above statement may rub some of ya the wrong way, depending on where you are in your journey. That’s okay. We simply hold out our family as an example of a way that could possibly work for you. We didn’t get to where we are now right away; I’d say it took a good four to six years to get there, and even now we have some moments we still have to work through.
But we know it’s been worth every argument and uncomfy moment, so we lean in and tackle it.
Our kids are better for it. Trust me on that one.
Anywho, back to goodbyes and cancer: I love you all so much. I wouldn’t have made it through this part of my journey without you, and I am also thankful to say that Devon and Felipe and the kids have been right by my side this whole time.
I look forward to watching the fruit of our labor–from that deluxe apartment in the sky–move through the bodies and relationships that are touched by this Straight Spouse experience. Even if ONE person in this scenario is moved toward what we have now, I’d say every tear and painful experience was worth it. Don’t you agree, Dev, Felipe, Mad, KJ, and Thomas?
This is getting a bit rambly, as my posts often do, so simply indulge me by allowing me to say these two things to you once again:
1) Live Life, Love Life, Impact Others
2) You Are Not Alone
I love you all so much. 💙Emily Fay Reese
P.S. For those of you asking how you can help, it isn’t things or food we need. What we need are living and Celebration of Life expenses covered. Here’s the link for that: https://www.gofundme.com/em039s-terminal-cancer-living-expense&rcid=r01-154080441912-fd8f0fb8e0e34788&pc=ot_co_campmgmt_m
Thanks again so much. We couldn’t have made it these last eight years without you!