It’s all fun and games………

Until someone gets sick.

Elise, my mother’s partner, has recently been going through quite
a bit of a family rollercoaster. Mrs. Klysa, Elise’s mom, had a
heart attack a month ago and has since been in critical condition
in a southern Maine hospital. Every day for the past few weeks, mom
and Elise have taken half days at work and travelled to visit Mrs.
Klysa. This sounds like normal protocol, right? Visiting the sick
parents of your loved one is just what you do when the time comes
around. Yet, it has been somewhat of a struggle for my mom for a
few reasons.

One, although she has been out for almost 4 years there are still
people in her office who do not know that she is a lesbian. Taking
half days for the past month to visit her partner’s mother has
made it obvious to her co-workers that Elise isn’t just a
buddy-old-pal. I know this was an unexpected way for mom to come
out to more of her company, but I couldn’t be more proud that she
is unabashedly wearing the shoes that she was always meant to shine

And two, mom has told me on multiple occasions that the nurses
think she is Elise’s sister and that some of Elise’s siblings
tell the hospital mom is Elise’s “friend”. Nothing like a
little homophobia to make visiting a sick parent even more
complicated. Personally, I would be outraged if I was continuously
thrown in the role of sister or friend if that was NOT the role I
played. I respect my mom more and more through each experience she
faces, but the respect is astronomical in this particular case. She
continues to visit Elise’s mom despite what anyone else has to
say about her title because she loves Elise and that’s what
family is about. It’s showing that you care about someone through
thick and thin—isn’t that what we all want anyway, titles or no