Last week, my wife and I went to visit our son at his home. We have not seen him since he came out to us. It was time to see him again.
We spent a pleasant Sunday afternoon together. As we strolled through a museum, he and I discussed this blog. I asked him whether it bothered him that I was writing this blog. He replied that it was important for me to be doing this as a parent, and he understood the goal of this blog is to act as a forum or conduit for other parents to share their experiences.
He told me about an organization that he is involved in which is trying to help frum kids cope once they have come out. He told us about his friend who came out a few months ago. When I suggested that the young man tell his parents about this blog, he told us that the parents were in denial and have not accepted the fact that their son is gay.
Over dinner, we asked our son if it would be alright to tell some of our friends that he is gay. His response was "they are your friends, not mine, and you may do whatever you seem fit." This was quite a departure from the way he felt just five months ago. He told us that the people who are important to him know that he is gay and support him. And that is all that is important to him.
In spite of the fact that we only spent part of a day with him, we left him feeling that he is more relaxed and in a better place than he was six months ago.
So where does that leave us?
Since we were hit with the news five months ago, our lives have changed. We see less and less of our friends and we spend most of the week engrossed in our respective jobs. When Shabbat comes, we no longer invite any guests over to share our meals, nor do we care to go to other people's homes. When we find the strength to go to shul, we come home without staying for kiddush. Before Shabbat we have been taking murder mystery books from the library and spending the weekend reading.
And then the week begins again.
The name of the organization my son referred to is called JQYOUTH.
Their motto is "You are not alone."
Their website is www.jqyouth.org.