Coming Out to My Gram

Coming Out to My Gram

I had always wished that I could tell my one grandmother that I was gay.  We didn’t really know too much about each other. She was the mother of my father and had raised her family as strict Catholics. I wasn’t raised Catholic at all. One time when she was in the hospital after a fall that broke her hip, I decided to go and visit her. I was 17 and had already come out to my friends and family, except for my grandmother. I decided now was the time. Everyone else knew except for her. I was going to tell her I was gay, but before I could tell her, she grabbed the magazine that was sitting on her table and pointed to the headline: “Rosie O’Donnell marries long time girlfriend.” She looked at me and said, “Have you seen this? Disgusting.” Needless to say I never told her that I was gay.

After a while we lost contact with each other and she ended up in a retirement home. I knew she resented my part of the family, so I didn’t care about not knowing who she was as a person..  Still, when I heard she was sick with pneumonia and was in the hospital, I decided to go see her and pay my last respects to her. I wanted to tell her that I was sorry for abandoning her, for not making the time to get to know her and be her friend, to apologize to her that I was gay, even though I knew that there wasn’t anything wrong with me. I had this all planned out and it took all the strength I had to walk into her hospital room to do it.

I walked into the room and she was hooked up to a machine to keep her alive. I walked in alone as my boyfriend sat on the floor in the hallway. I held her hand and I said nothing. I couldn’t do it. She was so frail. I held her hand and cried. When a nurse walked in, I looked at her and said, “She’s my Gram, but we never knew who we were.” I didn’t want to leave her, yet we had to go. My boyfriend held me as I cried, and all I wanted to do was go home and forget that moment happened.

I got the call several hours later that she had passed away. She died not knowing the real me because I was too afraid of what her reaction would have been.

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