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Unexpected Grace Comes To Visit: The Parents

The knock on the door was surprising. It was the middle of the day during the work week. I was in the back of the house so couldn’t see who was at the door through the living room windows but I expected it to be Jehovah’s witnesses or maybe the postman dropping off a package from Dan’s Mom. She likes to send care packages.

I was in my huge baggy shorts, Chewbacca style hair and “Straight Outta the Closet” super gay t-shirt.

I opened the door, and there stood my Mom. My socially conservative Mom. My Mom that I haven’t talked to in a while because of her reluctance to want to see or acknowledge Dan and that I am gay.

Her beautiful brown eyes, “Hi Honey! Surprise!”

I was floored, and the house was a level 4 wreck, Plus, just greeted my Mom while wearing a super-gay t-shirt. I told them to come in, forgive the mess and I would go change my t-shirt.

“Don’t you worry about it…” was their response. “We didn’t call so don’t you worry about a thing…”

And while I refused the temptation to flip the photo of Dan and I smooching over on the table by the door, I did go change my t-shirt.

They visited, asked me about work, and we did actually talk about Dan and Autumn a bit. They spent a LOT of time telling me how great my paintings were and how much they liked “Life Flow.” Then they took me to Jeremiah’s bar and grill for lunch. Over not the healthiest but definitely excellent food, we caught up with their health, hobbies, and family. The most awkward thing was how not awkward it was.

For reasons I won’t get into here, I *never* expected them to ever want to visit Dan and my home; yet here they were sitting in the living room talking about how nice the house is. I almost pinched myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming.

Unexpected grace, indeed.

As they pulled out of the driveway to head back to Lakeland, it was my turn to stand on the porch waving as they left. I was holding Mom’s other half of her French Dip sandwich she gave me to have for lunch today. It was a warm feeling that accompanied my walk back into the house; it empowered the smile on my face.

It’s tempting to want to analyze the visit. To read something into what happened and figure out “what it means…” Maybe it’s my age and experience, but I want to just enjoy it. To store it away as a charming and pleasant visit. When they say they love and are proud of me, I believe them.

Maybe next time I won’t change my super gay t-shirt. 🙂


  • The featured photo in this post is an older one of my parents and me taken about a month before I came back out in January 2015.
Published inOUTside The Closet Door

4 Comments

  1. Brian Brian

    Randy, I’m so glad to hear this. It warms my heart to hear this story. After coming out a few years ago the relationship with my family has been strained at best. I talk to them but it’s brief and only about work and general things. They will not come to my house (which I share with my boyfriend of 2 years) or even acknowledge him. However, this story gives me hope that one day it will happen. Maybe out of nowhere but hopefully it will happen.

    • Randy Thomas Randy Thomas

      I am glad you enjoyed the post and I definitely hope and pray that happens for you and your partner. My parents have been the same and not sure where they would be if you asked them right now, but I do know they came to visit…and it was a great visit. Hope you are at peace and content regardless of circumstance. It is good to see you!

  2. Now that was a nice surprise. So glad it went good and glad your parents seem to be more accepting of you and Dan. Hopefully they will visit more often with the both of you.

    • Randy Thomas Randy Thomas

      I hope so, too! Thanks Jim.

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