It’s the Best of Times

Just in case you should start to think that this year has been all doom and gloom for me, I need to balance the scales … for there has also been great joy.

On Thanksgiving Weekend, our oldest son Jordan and his partner, Dempsey, announced their engagement.

We can’t be more thrilled and excited.

Image from Pinterest


Many of you know, and more of you have already gleaned from my blog, that my beautiful, dark-eyed son is gay.


Jordan “came out” to Gilles and I a few months after his 16th birthday.  I’m sure it was as traumatic for him as it was for us … but while he quickly moved on, happily secure in his newly established identity, we were gob-smacked.

Our biggest overwhelming emotion was fear.  Yes, we live in one of the most gay-friendly cities, in one of the most gay-friendly countries, in the world … but there is still a frightening amount of senseless homophobia out there.

We feared for our son’s long term safety and happiness. The world suddenly became a lot scarier for us.  We didn’t sleep much in that first week.

I told Jordan one evening that he would have to be patient with us. Every parent overlays a vision of the future on top of their child – some of it vague, some of it well-defined.   One of mine was someday dancing at Jordan’s wedding.  I was already mourning that loss.

I told him we would need time to let go of some of these dreams and “rewrite” new ones.

He handled us with a maturity beyond his years.  Ironic, isn’t it?  I’ll be forever grateful.



We were lucky to also have the support of thoughtful friends who helped us re-frame our paralyzing fear and sense of loss.  One of the pieces of advice I received was to not assume we lost anything.  The world was changing.

A little more than 4 years later, in 2005, Canada legalized same-sex marriage.  It became a game-changer. Here I am – 11 years later – bursting with joy, because my son is going to be married.  My dream of dancing at his wedding is alive again.

We dearly love Jordan’s partner, Dempsey.  We already think of him as one of our own.  In that respect, this wedding will be a formality … but at the same time, I guarantee that both Gilles and I will cry shamelessly.

They will be tears of happiness and boundless love for these 2 fine men.



  1. Warmest congratulations to these young men. When I was growing up in the closet, I could never have dreamt that we’d have such freedom and openness in my lifetime. And hey! I’m not too old to enjoy it all with my partner.


  2. Clearly I am going backwards in my blog catch up.
    Congratulations to your son and his partner! While challenges and judgments still occur, I’m so very thankful that our children can live openly.
    Very happy for you all!


  3. Congratulations! I hosted a wedding for my sister and her wife-to-be last year and it was such a heartfelt and joyous event. When she came out to me many years ago, I too was concerned for her safety and her ability to to formally celebrate a lasting relationship when the time came. Luckily we live in a country that recognizes that love is love and that the recognition and celebration of this is not to be limited to heterosexuals only. The world needs more love, not hate. Always, and especially now!


  4. Congratulations. I guess it’s time to put on your dancing shoes. Isn’t it something? Gay marriage is legal in many countries now, and yet the world has not come to an end. I love these educational times we live in.


  5. Oh this is FABULOUS! Congratulations! They are both so handsome and look very happy! How exciting. Lets hope the world keeps changing towards acceptance.



  6. Congratulations Joanne; what wonderful news, and a lovely counterpoint to all that your family has endured this year. Wishing your son and his husband-to-be a long and happy life together.


  7. Many congratulations. Your post was very insightful and reminded me of the turmoil a friend of mine went through when her son told her he was gay. Your initial fears for your son’s future mirror hers. It’s a natural response for a parent to have and isn’t it wonderful that your fears were unfounded? Enjoy that dance. 🙂

    Susan A Eames at
    Travel, Fiction and Photos


    • I hope your friend was able to reconcile her concerns. I still have really bad moments – like this past June at the Orlando gay club shooting. I cried for days – but generally we’re ok now.


  8. This blog does possess a stunning ability to surpass earlier brilliance with posts such as this. Congratulations to all. May the day when intolerance and ignorance is a tall story passed on by word of mouth to disbelieving future generations. What a beautiful fillet for Gilles after his ER exploits. Really pleased for you, Joanne. I may be a virtual stranger but from reading your ‘page turner’ posts (I’m only about a year behind now) we’re not that different (although I could never get to the start line of one ironman, never mind what you’ve achieved!)


    • Thank you Phil … my head is going to start to get big from all your kind words 🙂

      I know what you mean about telling tall tales to future generations. Once upon a time, giving women the right to vote was extremely radical and hard-fought. Now it’s a no-brainer.
      I hope that we can look back on so many of the issues that are routinely debated today – like racism, homophobia, anti-Muslim – and think of these as antiquated and backward thinking.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m a bit behind on my reading (well, lots) because of other commitments but there was no way I could let this one pass me by. I don’t think I could express enough joy and pride for your news. As always, I sit in jealousy at what you have in Canada – the tolerance, the humanity, the compassion – while I cringe at the actions of my own government. I am so happy for Jordan, Dempsey and all in Canada who have the freedom to marry the person they love. It is not a right afforded to all. Congratulations! You all deserve the most mega of happy days. 🙂


    • There are some things I just take as no-brainers. Human rights and equal rights are at the top of that list and it baffles me as to why we continue to have debates on these issues.

      Could you imagine being a Muslim, immigrant, gay woman right now in some parts of the world?!

      Thank you as always for your kind words. Any celebration of love is a mega happy day ❤

      Liked by 2 people

      • Yeah, I wouldn’t want to be one in Oz right now. I’d be inclined to move across the ditch to New Zealand. (For the first time ever, the net migration between us and the NZ is in the Kiwis’ favour.) I could start a rant about spending $200m to run a plebiscite to get a survey result that every other survey result could already tell you that isn’t even binding on MPs anyway but let’s keep this jolly and happy and Canadian. 🙂


        • Ok – I’ll stay entrenched in my little happy zone … although admittedly Gilles already dented it this morning by bringing up the latest bit of Trump poison (I’ve been trying unsuccessfully to declare myself a Trump-free zone).
          I am deeply sorry about your current state of political dysfunction though. I had hoped your last election would finally see you sail out of that mess 😦


  10. ❤ Love this post, warmest congratulations to Jordan and Dempsey. Let the Mother of the Groom shopping begin! New outfit! I love your post so much Joanne, so honest and true. I've had to do a little rewriting of my own but that is all I can say x

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have to admit that I’ve already been doing some thinking about wedding clothes 😉 … but until the guys actually pick a date, which will likely be in 2018, I think I’ll try to resist the lure of the hunt 🙂

      Re-writing that script of a child’s life is a challenge for parents, regardless of the reason … but when your heart is full of love, it doesn’t take long 🙂
      In the end we figure out it’s their script after all!


  11. How wonderful! What fine boys they are. Love is the most important thing in the world. Enjoy the wedding and being a part of their lives. The future’s exciting. x


  12. I attended my son’s wedding this past Saturday and dancing at your son’s wedding is one of life’s great pleasures. I’m happy for Jordan and Dempsey-even though I only know them from your blog but I’m thrilled for you as your joy comes through in this post. Congratulations.


    • Ahhh! So you know first hand the excitement I’m going through right now!!
      Congratulations to you and your son! I imagine you are still feeling the glow from your son’s wedding weekend ❤


  13. What fabulous news, and you can dance your heart out at the wedding, dance as if you were 10!! There is so much wrong with the world today, but then there is also so much that is right, so much that has changed for the better and this is certainly one of them, so happy for them both. Xx


  14. Congratulations, Joanne. Your story reminded me of the day when when our oldest daughter came out to us. She was 26 and had just met the love of her life. Ten years later and still together they made it official and married last February. Like you we were worried for her happiness and safety but we loved her partner from day one and called her our daughter-in-law long before the wedding. Enjoy the wedding, the food, the music and hopefully a dance or two with your son, son-in-law and husband. Carol

    Liked by 1 person

    • I remember when your daughter got married in February – and thinking how lucky you were. Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but there’s something very special about a life commitment made to each other. Is there anyone who doesn’t love a wedding for that very reason?!!
      It’s wonderful to see our children in love, to see our children happy … but it’s icing on the cake when we love their partners too 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  15. And this is what we most love about you….that in the middle of your own over-long recovery, your disappointment over your lost trip, and your husband’s health crisis you still find time to stop the world and share your son’s joy and shout your joy and pride aloud. I see most of your commenters had tears as they read this and I admit I teared up too….it’s an amazing thing when you can translate your heart into words, but I think that’s what you did right here! Congratulations, proud mama. Jordan and Dempsey are lucky guys!


    • I admit that I was crying when I wrote this post. It’s very emotional to – as you put it – translate your heart into words.
      As you know with your own children, we get so entwined with their lives. When they’re sad, we’re miserable, and when they’re happy, our lives are wonderful ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  16. You are very proud Mama and you should be. The couple looks very happy. The world is changing indeed, and one day all the negativity will be gone, then everybody will be allowed to choose and love a partner and people won’t be judgemental anymore. Big changes have happened in my lifetime and even more. will happen when I will be gone.
    There is hope after all. I am so happy for you and your family. Congratulations to the couple and to your family.


    • Thank you so much Bridget.

      It really is incredible how much the world has changed so far in our lifetimes – some bad, but a lot good too.
      Certainly lgbtq awareness and rights is high on that list.
      I too believe that someday lgbtq rights will be unquestioned – like women voting today.
      In the meantime, there are still a lot of people who need a serious attitude readjustment.

      Liked by 1 person

      • One of my best friends was gay. We had so much fun together. We went out, one week I chose, the next he did. Then I moved to the U .S. and I was shocked how much they were behind here.

        Gay people here were still in the closet, afraid to admit the obvious. I almost got arrested when I took my top off at a beach.

        As for the America I love, this election will set the direction for years to come. It’s not just the Presidency, it’s also the Supreme court. There is a vacant seat and it will bring us further, or throw us years back.


  17. As parents, although we try not to lean too hard on ‘our’ dreams for our children it is a very hard thing to do. I like your idea of doing a ‘rewrite.’ Congratulations on your two much loved children tying the proverbial knot which will allow you to buy that special dress and dance the night away. 🙂


  18. Dear God, you’ve made me weep. I’m so happy for all of you! How exciting! More love, always more love ❤
    I have so many gay family members, I hadn't even considered my own children might all be straight. I mean, we have four, what are the odds they'd all be straight? They're not all straight, and I don't care, but I totally relate to the fear you feel. Not safe enough, YET.
    As for really big fears and expectations, I secretly hope they don't all move to hot places, or become Republicans, or become religious zealots — totally selfish fears, but hey, at least I'm honest!


  19. I have goosebumps! Your love and joy ooze from the post. I am so happy for Jordan and Dempsey. Happy for their love and commitment, happy for the acceptance of friends, family and country and happy for you at this wonderful union. Please pass on our sincere congrats to both and of course to you and Gilles.


  20. Oh Joanne, I am bursting with joy right along with you! How wonderful that Jordan & Dempsey have chosen to make the commitment of marriage to one another. Please extend my heartiest congratulations to both of them. You better get dancing shoe shopping girlfriend!


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