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Monday, November 24, 2008

Thanksgiving Prep

As you can see, I'm not a daily blogger. When I get a few minutes I'll blog. So here is a few minutes.

It was my weekend with the boys, but due to circumstances beyond my control and thanks to a special someone, I didn't get much time with them. I only had them yesterday (Sunday). This was the day that I had set aside to spend at my Grandma's and get some pointers on how to prep for my upcoming Thanksgiving Day Spectacular. OK, spectacular is a bit much. I am hosting dinner this years for some friends and others who care to join. I have always wanted to. I love cooking, especially for others. Here is my chance. It is the off year for my family so it leaves the door open without ill regard for not attending a family function.

After loading up all the bags of ingredients and picking up the boys, I headed over.

Now Grandma's is as exciting as all get out for any 1 and 3 year old so I came prepared: DVD player, toys, Kung Fu Panda, etc. Luckily she has a Nintendo 64 that Ben likes to play as well. Not wanting to have the TV babysit, I try to entertain and prolong the need for electronics as much as possible. Ben was tired so after refusing Jello-O and the homemade potatoes and gravy that Grandma made (this is how I know he doesn't have all my genes), he requestes pancakes. Pancakes are a ritualistic practice that I have with Ben on my weekends. Especially colored pancakes. Since I did not have them in the morning this time, we didn't make them. I declined the request since I knew hw was just tired, begger him to eat what was around and then just layed him down. He was out by time I left the room. So Ben took his long nap that lasted several hours. My personal bias, but the boys seem to sleep so soundly when they are with me.

Tucker is another story. He did go down for a nap, but only for about an hour. When he does wake up, its over. He never goes back to sleep, even if it is a 5 minute nap. After him waking up about 45 mins later, the fun began.

Grandma's oven was going out and not cooking right, so that put a little damper on things, but not much of one. Grandma was talking about needing to go out this week and shop around for one. I had brought my laptop since it had the menu and recipes saved on it. I sat down with her and did some online shopping. She was amazed and almost couldn't belive that it would be more accurate than her print ad. We shopped all the stores and she was really happy that we could narrow it down to just a couple ranges she wanted to look at. That was interesting and fun.

Tucker loves to be in the same room that I am, he is rarely content to play in another room, even if it is where the toys are. I love that, but does present challenges some times. Wouldn't trade it for the world though. He wandered over to Grandma's fruitbowl. He usually plays with the onions. I looked over and there was something in his mouth. Luckily it was just an apple, but it was soft. Gave him a fresher one and he was as content as could be. I brought my special cooking knives over. I don't get to cook often, when I do I love using them. I sat at the table to cut different things up. Didn't take long and Tucker wanted to up where dad was to see what he was doing. I set him up on the chair next to me, apple in hand. He just wanted to be around me. Words can't descibe that feeling you get when they look at you and smile just because you are you. No politics, no red tape, no boundaries. Just love. It was an awesome experience. I love to cook and he loved to be there right with me. He loves food, so he will probably be my cooking partner. Ben will master pancakes, but I think Tucker will take on the rest. Ben is in a transition phase moving out of being a toddler and into a boy. HE loves me holding him and snuggling with dad, but is kind of independant in his play.

After keeping Tucker occupied with the apple and crackers, he wanted more. I was dicing summer sausages up so he stood up and decided to help himself to some. The cooking continued and he continued to make sure I was in his range. He just seemed to love being with me, it was one of those Hallmark moments. I loved avery minute. Eventually he wanted me to hold him always and wouln't get down. I couldn't refuse. Needless to say it was a good workout and I can feel it today.

After sweating like a whore in church with all the cooking, I had done what I could do and had a chance to play Mario Kart64 with Ben. He's not one to finish a game, but loved me being there so we played the courses 30 seconds at a time (thats about how long til he would start over).

Overall, it was a great weekend. Too short, but we tried to fit in all the hugs, kisses, snuggling and being together as a family as possible.

Gotta run for now. If I am not on before, I hope your Thanksgiving is Great!

My favorite holiday.

-Ben

Monday, November 10, 2008

Yes, you read right. I am a gay man.

My name is Ben Visser. I was born in Salt Lake. I have lived here all my life. I grew up in a normal, religious LDS family. I have two amazing boys, Ben Jr and Tucker. They are the buoy in the sea of life. They are my strength. They are the reasons I am motivated for a better, safer and more equal world.

Many of you that read this will have known me in high school or through church, others more recently. For those that knew me years ago, you may very well be shocked at my announcement of my sexual orientation. It is true and has always been true, even when you knew me before. Hopefully this will only be more information about me and not something that negates all that you knew of me before.

I married in the Salt Lake temple at 23 with all the hopes and promises made that I was merely "diseased" with something that could be cured. I only needed to love enough, serve enough, pray enough and try hard enough. Marriage does not cure something that is not a disease or mental disorder, so that was attempt was doom to failure. You can't fix that which isn't broken. I separated from Liz at the end of January, no cure found no peace given. We knew each other better than most couples do. We could beat anyone at the "Newlywed Game." Friendship does not always turn into true love though. I wanted love, and had convinced myself that what I had was love. All the bells, star struck eyes, euphoria and magic was all a lie to me, that wasn't love. it couldn't be. I was wrong. Five years later that remains are two lives that did what we could to receive that "curing" blessing, but now are faced divorce, anger and broken hearts. Marriage as a "cure" created 2 people that are now picking up the pieces. We tried to love, we tried to give it our all. We have now lost many years that could have been spent truly in love with people who truly loved us. I don't mean to throw a dimmer on the love we had. I loved her with all I could give. We are embedded in an ugly divorce and there has been many accustations thrown and punches taken. The hope is that one day we can somehow be friends. After having all the hurt, anger and bitterness, it is unlikely that we will ever get there.

"Our song" when we were just friends was "I Will Remember You" by Sarah Mclachlan. Odd coincidence?

Divorce isn't pretty. It is necessary. Liz and I deserve the chance to find the magic of everyday true love that many of our friends enjoy. As I get my life in order, I look to the future. I look forward to the opportunities to live and love.

I am Ben Visser. I have never been and never will be perfect. i have made my mistakes. I do all I can to recognize them and correct them. I am the same person I was when you knew me as a friend, youth leader, co-worker, brother, etc. I still am the core you knew. Yes, I am gay. That does not change who I am or have always been. I look forward to what life has to offer now that I can build on who I am...