We were at a pub in Guildford, England one evening. I had only met Liz a short time before at our UK office. It was 1989.
I was living with my boss (a very straight man) in Guildford. We worked long hours but I always found time to get drunk each evening. I had very little time to explore "my personal life." I was frustrated sexually I suppose. There was no one I could talk to. So I drank. And drank.
This particular evening, I somehow found the courage to ask Liz to come listen to me. We went to a table outside the pub. I don't remember exactly how the conversation went (Liz probably does) but before I knew it, I had told her that I was gay. She didn't seem surprised. Imagine that!
She shared with me that her son was also gay. So she understood where I was coming from. From that day, a relationship developed. Finally, there was someone I could talk to. Someone who knew about me. Someone with whom I could be honest. I told Liz many things about me and, if you knew Liz, you'd know how very inquisitive she is. We went drinking together** many places in Guildford and London for the next 5 years. I travelled a lot, but whenever I was in the UK, Liz and I would get together. She often dropped me off and picked me up at the airport.
**Liz is not an alcoholic; she might drink 1 or 2 glasses of lager, then change over to cokes.
She's had many difficult times in her life. Breast cancer, losing her job of many years due to layoff (redundancy in the UK), continuing legal problems with her son, the loss of her Mom, a brother who cares only about himself, an ex husband with severe mental problems, losing her best friend of many years to cancer. She has tackled everything life can throw at her with grace and dignity.
Today is Boxing Day in the United Kingdom. Have a GREAT day, Liz!!
more on Liz to follow soon (and Liz, you're encouraged to comment on this -- LOL)