My Wishes For You…

I wish you you knew just how much you mean to me

You may think you do, but you don’t

because I’m not always able to say how I feel

I wish you understood just how special you are

Not just to me, but to everyone touched by you

I wish this life had been kinder to you

But then again, if it had,

you may not have become the person I know

I wish you could see yourself

through the eyes of those who hold you most dear

You would never again be unsure or insecure

I wish you saw your value to those who love you more

and the opinions of those who don’t really know you less

I wish that you realize real beauty

has nothing to do with the size you wear

or the way you style your hair

It has everything to do with what’s inside your heart

and how you share it with others in your life

and you are truly beautiful.

I wish for you…

happiness

joy

love

peace

good health

good friends

a good life well-lived

I wish you more sunshine than rain

more laughter than tears

more happiness than sadness

more acceptance for who you really are

than acceptance for who you’re thought to be

more real friends, who are true to you

than pretenders who curse you when your back is turned

more sweet peace than turmoil and chaos

Above all of these things…

I wish you great love

Not just from those who care about you

but within yourself for others.

I wish you the Happiest Birthdays

The Merriest Christmases

and the nicest days

and if you haven’t figure it out by now…

I wish you to know I love you

I do

I love you

© 2012 Michelle D. Wampole

All Rights Reserved

This is dedicated to everyone in my life that I love and will love…

You all mean so much more to me than you will ever know.

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Bigotry, Ignorance & Sir Elton John’s Family

I was doing some shopping yesterday, at Target in Omaha, with my brother. When we got to the checkout lane, as usual, I did a quick glance at the headlines and photos on the magazines. I don’t actually buy them, I have no real interest in celebrity gossip. If I don’t hear about it through legitimate, responsible news venues, I ignore it. 
One cover made me stop and take a long look and it made me smile. And it was a story that had been covered by CNN, MSNBC, and pretty much anywhere there was a radio or television, so I knew it was a legit.
Anyway, it was this week’s US Weekly. The headline: “Elton’s Baby: At home with Elton John, David Furnish and baby Zachary”
Here is the cover:
My question is: What’s wrong with that photo? What about it is even the least bit offensive? 
And yet, Harps Supermarket in Mountain View, Arkansas, chose to do this:
Maybe I’m a bit naive, but I honestly thought we were further along than this in our society,
What exactly is the point of this? What are they protecting the young shoppers from? Pornography… No. Graphic Violence… No. Profanity… No.
They are protecting them from… A PHOTO OF A FAMILY!
Now, unless you were living under a rock at the time, Elton and David were married in a civil ceremony on December 21, 2005, and, by all reports it has been a very happy marriage. They love each other, they have chosen to share the rest of their lives and now they have chosen to have a child to share their love and lives with… isn’t that something that married couples do if they choose? Have children?
I look at that photo and I see two happy fathers with their infant son, who, by the way is absolutely adorable.
The people at Harps saw something to be ashamed of, disgusted by, frightened of, something to be hidden… Any or all of the above? I don’t know. But, why?
Do they still not understand that sexuality is not a choice? That marriage should be the right of every man and woman and not just a privilege afforded only to heterosexuals? That what constitutes a family is not genders of the individual members but the love that is shared between them.
I pray that should God bless me with another chance at love in my life that, no matter who I end up with, my family and friends will be happy for me and accepting of whoever my partner may be. Because, with me, it could go either way.
This isn’t the way I originally intended to do this, but I just feel so strongly about all of this that I’m going to lay it all out for everyone to see why I do feel the way I do.
I know a lot of my family and friends will probably be shocked, though, I think, if they really thought about it, they wouldn’t be. I also know I run the risk of being “disowned” by a few. If that happens, it’s their choice and their loss.
You see, I knew when I was a kid that I was different. That I liked girls just as much as I liked boys. But I was also taught at a pretty early age that it was a sin and that the Bible said that anyone who behaved that way should be put to death. Scared the wits out of me so much that for most of my life, other than a girlfriend I had in junior high and high school that was kept secret, I hid and tried to deny how I felt about women. I think that has quite a bit to do with my struggles with depression and bipolar disorder. Not the only reason, mind you, but one of the biggies.
So now, no more hiding… no more denying… no more pretending. I’m going to say this as plainly as I can, I am also going to say it proudly. No more hanging my head in shame about anything in my life. I have gone before God and have prayed and even begged for him to change me and, guess what? Nothing has changed.
After years of struggling with it all, it took one simple sentence from an Oprah Winfrey interview that made me finally come to terms and accept myself for who I am, who I was born to be. It was Chely Wright who put it so simply, yet so powerfully,,, “God doesn’t make mistakes”. You see, God made me the way I am. God doesn’t make mistakes. I am not wrong to feel the way I do and I am certainly not a mistake
Here it is: I’m Bisexual. You can accept it or you can walk away. I’ve wasted too many years of my life hiding and I have spent to much of my energy on anger and self-hate and I just am not going to do it anymore.
Now you know why I am such a strong supporter of  Gay and Lesbian Rights and speak up about the need to legalize same-sex marriages. Because someday I may be in a relationship with someone I want to marry and spend the rest of my life with and I want to be able to regardless of whether that person is male or female,
Marriage is everyone’s right… not a heterosexual privilege!
And it certainly not anything that needs to be kept away from the eyes of children!

Too Far…

I had a particularly nasty experience with another Manilow fan over the weekend.

Now, it’s not that I didn’t know of this kind of thing happening. I know it happens all the time, though I wish it didn’t. It sheds such a negative light, not only on all Manilow fans, but on Mr. Manilow himself.

Anyway… I had posted a status on Facebook. One of those “repost if you agree” things. In and of itself, nothing to get your undies in a twist over. My niece, in one of her replies, apparently ticked off one of my “friends” when she wrote “My mommy says I shouldn’t trust everything I read on facebook. And I shouldn’t trust anything written from someone who loves Barry Manilow.”

You need to know my niece and me and something about our relationship to realize that, she was just having a little fun… at my expense, sure, but it wasn’t anything that I wasn’t used to and it wasn’t anything I was really upset by.

This person, who, because it’s not my style to make life miserable for someone I’m pissed at, shall remain nameless, took it upon herself to privately message my niece.

This is what she wrote in her message:

“Hi Courtney, My name is … and I have a page named … I just wanted you to know that your mommy is wrong to tell you not to trust anything that anyone would say who loves Barry Manilow.I happen to know a lot of people who are great people and very trust worthy who love Barry Manilow. Don’t judge people, or you will be judged. I really doesn’t matter who you like as a singer everyone has their own tastes. But as you get older, you will learn not to hate, and that nice is good. Moms are not always right.”

On the surface, I guess it’s not too bad… but she had no basis for it other than just that one comment. And it didn’t end there.

My niece, not knowing who this person was or why they would write to her in the first place, responded like many 18 year old kids would respond… with a simple “WTF”?

I found out about the exchange soon after and chatted with this person via Facebook IM and told her that, while I appreciate having people stand up for me, it really wasn’t necessary and she should just let it go. It was a nice chat, she seemed like a nice person, and I thought she understood and that would be the end of it.

Not so…

She chose to write to my niece several more times, privately, and barraged her with many insults including that she was worthless and would never amount to anything and also continued to insult my sister, as well, saying what a terrible mother she is.

When I heard about that, I emailed this person and told her she had crossed a line and owed an apology to my niece and sister because she said a lot of terrible, untrue things to and about people she didn’t even know.

Her response was that she had every right to do what she did because she was responding to a public conversation that could be seen on by everyone on Facebook.

I’d accept that had she responded in public, but she did not. She chose to respond and attack by private message. Needless to say, I was not going to deal with her anymore and I ended up booting and blocking her from my friends list on Facebook and the Manilow Network.

Let me make this clear to everyone… when it comes to my family, I know all of them, I love all of them, and I do not need to be defended from them. We have our moments, disagreements, fights like every family… but we get over it pretty quick. Also, being the only real Manilow fan in my family, I’m used to smart-ass comments from other family members. I’ve heard it all, trust me.

What it comes down to is this… you see a post I’ve made somewhere and you want to comment either to me or someone else who has commented, I have no problem whatsoever with that as long as you make it a public comment.

Do not track down someone else and attack them privately… my family or not.

It’s just not the right thing to do and it will not win you any brownie points with me. What it will do is get you booted and blocked, too.

As far as I’m concerned my family is first… before friends, before Barry, before anyone and anything except God.