I ended up having the best birthday weekend ever. It, by far, has surpassed my expectations as it fulfilled my want for spending it with close friends and family. It was a busy weekend to be sure, while sleep deprived, was well worth it.
My friends took me for a pedicure on Friday, while I wasn’t fond of it being overpriced, it was a good experience. We were able to chat of nothing in particular while being pampered and massaged. Afterward we ended up bar hopping in our little local town-city. We called it a night at about 1030pm and went home. The next day was just as amaxing.
We went to an early brunch on the river at 10am. We started with “the hair of the dog that bit [you]” us, some Hibiscus Mimosas and Bloody Marys. The food was amazing and the atmosphere was just perfect as we relaxed on the patio next to the fire pit. Once finished we headed to the city nearby where we commenced our full day of bar hopping yet again. We did this for the next 10 hours, hitting one of my favorite spots (a German bierhalle) and traveled to a few other spots after. The weather was absolutely gorgeous.
We spent all day on the patio of each spot soaking up the cocktails and warmth. I paced myself only having a drink every hour or so, as I didn’t want to get too sloshed. We ended our night back at the German Bierhalle with another friend of mine that showed up around 630pm. We called it a night at about 10pm as during our travels, my doctor that I work with called me and invited me to go sailing the next day in the San Francisco Bay.
I awoke at 730 the next morning and got ready. This was the most exciting thing I have done in my life. While I have been on small fishing boats in lakes and on a barge getting ferried to Alcatraz before, this was a totally different experience. I arrived at 10am as expected after my Starbucks stop ok the way out of town. We left the marina and headed out into the bay, just me and him. About 3 minutes into our escapade, he handed me the helm. For the next 4 hours, we sailed the bay while he taught me how to sail, sharing the most amazing experience with me. I have always seen people sailing and thought it looked so beautiful and thinking it must be so very relaxing, but to my revelation, it was hard work. Don’t let me fool you, it was also relaxing and very fulfilling.
We pulled back into the marina and relaxed for a half hour or so before I had to depart. He enjoyed a beer while I had a glass of white wine with out glamorous chips and salsa. I then headed out with me and my sunburn/windburn to fight the traffic to get home. It took me longer to get home than it did to get to the bay, but it ended up working perfectly.
I arrived in time for my birthday dinner! I took a quick shower, changed into something more comfortable, treated my sunburn with aloe and headed into dinner. We enjoyed great food made by my grandma and an amazing pineapple-upsidedown-cheesecake made by my mom. All my immediate family that I love showed up. This was such a perfect day, but it wasn’t over yet!
I headed to my 2nd family’s house (neighbors of 27 years). I got there at about 730pm as they were starting dinner. They invited me to grab a plate of course, which I had to decline as I was already stuffed, and we all enjoyed eachothers company. After dinner, we started a fire in the fire pit in the back yard, grabbed some red wine and relaxed around it.
We had amazing conversations about society, politics, education and God. My 2nd family is very religious, but the type of such that you aspire to be; Wholesome, loving, open, accepting, and model Christians. I sat with my 2nd brother (we will call him “M”) and cousin (“B) until about 130am talking about God and forgiveness. We spoke of my depression and transgressions. We spoke of homosexuality and God’s love for me. M made it clear that he did not want to reprimand me, or try and convert me, he could only speak of God’s love and forgiveness and how sin is forgiven. We spoke of my fear and skepticism of religion due you past experiences, but he was adamant of God’s forgiveness. His certainty of this made me feel so much better, and I will be going to church this Sunday for the first time in 15 years.
We had one of the deepest and intense conversations I ever have had, and definitely the first with him. We opened up about our fears, insecurities and the things we have caved to in weakness. I told him about my scare with HIV and the negative test results, my fear was his judgement and his rebuke, but all I received was his love and acceptance. This was one of the most empowering experiences I have had with someone, even of my own family. It was refreshing when he let me know that, even though I am gay, he loved me and called me brother. I was surprised he said he heard 2 years ago that I am gay and never said anything about it, asked or even probed with questions.
My weekend ended on Monday with the military interment of my 2nd grandma. All in all, I had an amazing birthday weekend, and today, I will be ending it with dinner of my favorite kind, sushi, with family. What started as depressing last week had become the best birthday I have ever had in a short amount of time.