I remember when I was a young man, confiding in my father [the only person I had come out to] that my biggest fear about being gay, was possibly never finding a soul mate. Like everyone else, I longed for that special someone who was meant for me. I did not want to one day die alone and unloved. I know it sounds a little melodramatic, but back then it was my harsh reality.
Sure I had met a few men in my time, but they weren’t looking to settle down. I was searching for a guy with strong family values, a kind heart and a certain understanding of my religious and spiritual beliefs. The few men I did meet were either closeted or just hoping for a hook-up or a good time. Most gay men were not yet serious about relationships as living as a couple was only starting to be accepted by the masses. Still, my dad hugged me and told me that he knew “beyond a doubt” that there was a very special man just waiting for me to come into his life. He reminded me that he had not found my mother until he was 31 years old. I have to be honest, although I thought his sentiments were kind, I felt he didn’t fully understand my dilemma… Enter James.
I can’t say that I had a particular “type” of man that I was attracted to, but I did have a pretty good idea of what I was NOT attracted to. That would be any man with a beard, tattoos or an earring. As fate would have it, James had all three.
He also had something very special about him. It was clear that he had been burned before in relationships and was tired of pretending to be something [or someone] that he was not. He too stood for family, God and country and when we came together, it was magic!
Never before had I felt so complete or so in love. James is my partner, my best friend and my great love. We have had our share of life’s ups and downs; who among us hasn’t? We somehow manage to keep it all in perspective and put anything negative behind us as quickly as possible. Once we found each other, the whole world took on a new meaning. Nothing we can experience is totally experienced until we can share in it together. We make each other laugh, we make each other stronger. Together, there is nothing that we can’t get through. If everything we have was suddenly gone tomorrow, we would still have each other and because of that, an opportunity for a new beginning and an exciting future.
We moved down to Florida and started a new life and business 18 years ago. Since 1995 we have been together [save for a few exceptions] 24/7! So far, it has still not proved to be too much time with one another. Together we traveled to twenty one States and four countries. Every day is another opportunity to discover new things and grow together.
Today we celebrate 23 years of our love and gay or straight, that is something wonderful and special. It is only the first 23 years of a lifetime together. So here is to James, the love of my life; I look forward to our future and to discovering what wonders life and God have in store for us.
All of my love ALWAYS and FOREVER,