Changed For Good / Cambiado Para Siempre

La versión español está después de la versión inglés.

I RECENTLY RECONNECTED with a dear friend from my university days. I last saw Mary in 1984 and although I had tried for years to track her down, I had no luck until a month or so ago.

My sister Dale had just been diagnosed with cancer when Mary called from Boston one evening a few years after graduation. She told me to come up for a visit. I did and loved it so much that I moved there. I met her friend Brian who became one of my closest friends and my first gay friend. Mary and I could talk about anything. My parents and The Kid Brother adored her. And she taught me the words to every Irish song ever written — and some of them weren’t even drinking songs.

I have often talked about what an impact my friendship with Mary had on my life. Sometimes I’ll say I should have taken my education more seriously and not simply chosen the state university that was furthest from my parents. But then I think I wouldn’t have met Mary and what a loss that would have been. Then I think, had I not met Mary, I might never have gone to Boston. And had I not gone to Boston, I might never have met Brian, who made such a difference in my coming out. And I might never have met San Geraldo.

In the ’80s, San Geraldo and I moved to Los Angeles and then Washington DC. Mary and Brian took off for Maui. Mary met someone, fell in love, and moved to the Midwest before we made it to Maui for a visit. Brian died in 1993. Mary and I lost touch. She and her adored husband raised a son. So much has changed for us both, but we spoke last night and it was like no time had passed. Neither Mary nor I have any photos of each other. So this photo with Brian in Maui in 1986 will have to do.

Do you ever wonder what might NOT have happened in your life had you made just one different decision? Thanks, Mary!

RECIENTEMENTE ME RECONECTÉ con una querida amiga de mis días universitarios. La última vez que vi a Mary fue en 1984 y, aunque durante años intenté localizarla, no tuve suerte hasta hace aproximadamente un mes.

Mi hermana Dale acababa de ser diagnosticada con cáncer cuando Mary llamó desde Boston una noche, unos años después de la graduación. Ella me dijo que viniera de visita. Lo hice y me encantó tanto que me mudé allí. Conocí a su amigo Brian, que se convirtió en uno de mis amigos especiales y mi primer amigo gay. Mary y yo pudimos hablar de cualquier cosa. Mis padres y The Kid Brother la adoraban. Y ella me enseñó las palabras de cada canción irlandesa jamás escrita — y algunas de ellas ni siquiera estaban “canciones bebiendos”.

A menudo he hablado sobre el impacto que mi amistad con Mary tuvo en mi vida. A veces digo que debería haber tomado mi educación más en serio y no simplemente haber elegido la universidad estatal más alejada de mis padres. Pero luego pienso que no habría conocido a Mary y qué pérdida hubiera sido eso. Entonces pienso, si no hubiera conocido a Mary, tal vez nunca hubiera ido a Boston. Y si no hubiera ido a Boston, tal vez nunca hubiera conocido a Brian, quien hizo una gran diferencia en mi salida. Y tal vez nunca haya conocido a San Geraldo.

En los años 80, San Geraldo y yo nos mudamos a Los Ángeles y luego a Washington DC. Mary y Brian se fueron a Maui. Mary conoció a alguien, se enamoró y se mudó al Medio Oeste antes de que viniéramos a Maui para una visita. Brian murió en 1993. Mary y yo perdimos el contacto. Ella y su adorado esposo criaron a un hijo. Mucho ha cambiado para los dos, pero hablamos anoche y fue como si no hubiera pasado el tiempo. Ni Mary ni yo tenemos fotos del otro. Así que esta foto con Brian en Maui en 1986 tendrá que ver.

¿Alguna vez te preguntaste lo que NO pudo haber ocurrido en tu vida si hubieras tomado solamente una decisión diferente? ¡Gracias, Mary!

Una canción vieja. “Mary es un gran nombre antiguo.”

Author: Moving with Mitchell

From Brooklyn, New York; to North Massapequa; back to Brooklyn; Brockport, New York; back to Brooklyn... To Boston, Massachusetts, where I met Jerry... To Marina del Rey, California; Washington, DC; New Haven and Guilford, Connecticut; San Diego, San Francisco, Palm Springs, and Santa Barbara, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Irvine, California; Sevilla, Spain. And Fuengirola, Málaga..

32 thoughts on “Changed For Good / Cambiado Para Siempre”

  1. Sure. If I had NOT hitched my wagon to the shining star that is Balder Half, I wouldn’t have my beautiful sons and granddaughters. I probably would be dead by my own hand. But I did and I ain’t, This is a terrific story and what a handsome trio of young men 🙂

  2. If I hadn’t written that email and specified my political views I may not have met YOU! And talk about sad! You are our community!

  3. Yes, I do think about how my life would have been different if I had not made some decisions that I have made in my life. I’m so glad that you’ve reconnected with Mary!

    1. Judy,
      Although I may have made some mistaken choices over the years, I wouldn’t change a single one. Because any one decision could have made me miss out on some wonderful experiences … like getting to know you!

  4. Oh yes I have wondered where and what I’d be if I hadn’t gone to university in Ron’s hometown for that one year…….happy I did!!
    Now look at that SPEEDO! I/we LOVED our speedos! Had a collection actually. Nothing better. I better stop. lol

  5. I am happy with where my choices led me, although I would have preferred a little angst along the way and I wish I had been a little more understanding of the bigger picture. I suppose that means that I have learned and grown a bit. You guys are gorgeous.

  6. Those choices in life as I look back where choices that I needed to make to find Jim. I have always thought that way, always! Striped speedo ~ I had a B.J. (before Jim) LOL crush on my fellow swim team mate who wore a green and white striped speedo. Still can see it/him now. Jim cleared that up for me as he sauntered down the pool deck in his deep red speedo one fine day in June 1973 ~ 🙂

  7. Everything happens for a reason. And just one thing changed or the time is off by a short amount of time…life could be very different for us all. And is that you in the striped budgie smuggler??? Ohhhhh la la!!!!!!

  8. Years back, when I met Carlos online and decided to fly to Miami and meet him in person, I had to change planes in Houston and because at that time I rarely stepped out of my comfort zone, I almost got off the plane in Houston and stayed there for a week. I thought I’d just ghost Carlos and then tell friends and family that it didn’t work out.
    But then I decided to do a little something I call Shake the Etch-a=Sketch and headed to Miami and haven’t regretted one day since. But I do wonder where I’d be now, and I don’t think I’d like it much.

  9. I’m afraid there was no Brian in my 20s. As such, I’m trying to make up for lost time. Reading LGBTQ-oriented blogs like yours is one way of doing it.

  10. Love you, love your memories, loved talking with you last week and absolutely love the Maui photo. You had quite an important role in my life too

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