birds in a barrel's mission is to release creative nonfiction into the wild.

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

Love is Love is Love

To Aunt Linda,

Thank you for your typed, hand-signed letter saying that you can't attend, or won't attend, my wedding. Which is in 7 days. I appreciate your honesty that you are too anxious to face my mother and her sister when you haven't spoken or seen them in over 5 years. Your note is not at all passive-aggressive. It's just passive.

Remember, I am the one who listened as you told the story of meeting a new person at the NOW conference, someone who appreciated you for who you are. I listened intently as you told me that you, at 50 years old, had come to the realization that you are attracted to women. That this person you had met made you feel special and loved, and that you loved her back.

When my mom did not understand why this was "happening" (to her) I explained and fought and persuaded. No, this is not a phase. Yes, she is still your sister. Yes, she still loves you. No, she is not doing this to spite you.

I always bridged the gap between your family who supported you (your two daughters, your ex-husband), and the other side who did not welcome your girlfriend into the family, and thus cut off ties with you for many many years. I called, I texted, I visited. I sent gifts and cards.

So, I understand that you are too afraid to attend an event where you will see this side of your family who does not embrace your lifestyle and the person you love. But, I had hoped that you would be strong enough, brave enough, to walk in, hand-in-hand with your loved one. That you would do it for me, if not for you. That you would show the family that love is love is love. And that you would support me as I made my own choices in love and in life.

I am disappointed, but I understand. I will not hold it against you or boycott your own daughter's wedding. I will still be there for you.

With love,
Your niece