On the plane home last night, the sweet person next to me was watching Love, Simon. I couldn’t remember how it ends, so I occasionally glanced at her screen to find out who Blue was. Luckily I was also looking when Simon comes out to his mom. As I read their lips, my neighbor and I wiped our eyes, and I flashed back to a scene from my life, the time I almost came out to my mom.
It was late at night. Mom and I were sitting in the car in our driveway. In the pause between summoning my courage and the words leaving my body, she shared something personal and important to her. It was her night to speak. My time would come again soon.
Mom passed away before I got another chance. One of my first thoughts after she died was “now she knows all of me” and I felt a wave of love that almost knocked me over.
Memories are magical and mysterious and embedded with wisdom. I’m constantly amazed by how much more I understand myself when I gently ask my thoughts, “What would you have me learn?” Most of the time, it is forgiveness.
We don’t all get a coming out story like Simon, but there is healing in acknowledging we deserve it. It’s also been helpful for me to imagine the way I prayed it would go. It’s an endless opportunity to embody the experience of my mother’s love again and make it real. Now, when I give Mom and me our moving-picture-perfect moment, she says what Simon’s said:
“I need you to hear this. You are still you, Jonathan. You are still the same son I love…. You get to exhale now, Jonathan. You get to be more you than you have been in a very long time. You deserve everything you want.”
Photo by: Twentieth Century Fox/ Ben Rothstein