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Kenneth Melanson

December 1996

Christmas Wishes to a valued friend, and a very missed family member.

Writers note: As December comes closer and closer, I approach it not with joy, but with apprehension. It is a joyous time yes, but it also a time of remembrance for me. It is a month that very few joys come to me, due to the fact finals are on my tail, I have to do Christmas shopping (I love to shop, but not at Christmas, people are so rude!), and it comes a time to remember the deaths of two values people in my life, my grandfather, and my dear friend Chelsea.

It was a decision I made to make my column a sort of dedication to them. So, what I hope to do is to, by writing these letters, somehow allow myself the personal satisfaction of knowing that they know the things I am about to say, and that it is out in the open. I have a feeling they already know, but to me, this helps in the process of grieving.

Before I start, I want to say a few things about my grandfather and Chelsea. My grandfather was my father basically for all my life. After my mom and dad got divorced around age 5, my father's visits ended up being fewer and fewer until he stopped visiting all together. I rarely have contact with him, and when I do, I always am hesitant to speak to him. My grandfather took a confused, father attention lacking child and tried to raise him as a son. The day he died, to me, was the day my father died...and what he did meant to me, never had a chance to be spoken. Hopefully, this will allow me to say it.

Chelsea was a dear friend to me, from the small town I grew up in for two years in Nova Scotia. She was a kind hearted friend, a companion, a person I trusted, and one of the few people in that very backwards, homophobic town to know I was gay. It was the day before she died I told her, and she found it fascinating and wanted to know all about it. Sadly, the next day, while I was on my way back to the city, she was struck down by a drunk driver and killed instantly.

Dear Chelsea,

It has been too long since we last spoke. Not having you here is very painful, it is as if, a part of me being, my very soul was ripped out of me. I miss you terribly! The man who hit you, whose name I don't recall, well, he wasn't hurt badly, but he was so drunk it wasn't funny. I think they could have considered him legally dead from blood alcohol level. He was tried, but only got five years in prison, and served two, he got out on parole. I don't know what happened to him after that, but I know I lost track of him.

I was so devastated when I found out. I wish I could have been there, to at least, try to pull you out of the way. But I know I couldn't. I am so sorry.

I should update you on things, I am nineteen now! Wow has the time flied! Do you remember when we were fourteen, and we promised each other that we would both go to the bars together on our nineteenth birthday, I guess we can't. But, I did have one for you. I thought about you a lot. I went to my first gay bar too, reflections. it was really cool, the music was great, and the guys, well, lets just say I was impressed.

I wish you could see how much I have changed, well, I guess you can. I think I have changed for the better. I took your advice, and I have become a better friend to my friends. As you may have noticed, I've become somewhat of a councilor now to all my friends. Maybe I should change my degree to Psychology? Nah, I like geography. I want to close by saying two things to you, I miss you terribly and that I love you. You are one of the only straight friends in that town that truly understood me, and accepted me for who I am. A part of that town is lost forever, and a part of me is gone too. I know you are watching down on me, I appreciate. I think of you always, and hope where ever you are, you are always drinking one for me.

With love, and peace,
Ken (aka Woobie)

Dear Dad,

Its been a long time since I called you that now hasn't it? My god, four years since you passed on. It is incredible to me to see how long it has been since you died. It seems like only yesterday you were here and then bang you were gone. It still shocks me how quickly you slipped away.

Well I should update you on a few things, although I do have this sneaking suspicion you already know. Well, first the big thing. I am gay. I know, I know, you probably aren't happy to hear that, although I think deep down inside you always knew anyway. You knew right from the start, from the day I was born that I was different. You even told me that! You never explained to me what that meant, but I think you knew. I can be totally honest when I say that yes I have been with guys sexually, and don't worry, I am very safe (my latest HIV test came back negative.) I know this isn't what you wanted for me, but this is the way I am. I know you will accept it in the long run, but I wanted you to know now.

I graduated High School, I am sure you had a great seat for my valedictorian speech. What did you think? It took me two weeks just to write it. I couldn't believe how it hit people in the entire auditorium on such a profound level. I didn't realize how profound it was myself until I actually started reading it. I felt so embarrassed when I cried, but then after looking around at everyone and seeing they were in tears too, I realized it was perfectly okay.

You know, for a split second, after Mr. Whitman handed me that diploma, just after mom snapped her picture, and I was returning to my seat, I saw you standing there, at the top of the stairs, standing in front of that easy chair which you always loved, clapping, and smiling. I know you were very proud of me, and still am. I could feel it. I am in college now, which means I have to find the money for it. I've worked with different people, boy you would have been so proud of me seeing my at my first job pumping gas. I looked so ridiculous in that shell uniform. I think you were watching over me at Public Works and Government Services Canada though, cause there were a few times that I was almost going to loose it and then got a serge of energy. That had to have been you.

Well my marks are holding up, I am still holding honors averages, and I should get a scholarship next year to attend SMU which would be cool. I should be outta there by the end of next year if all goes well. I don't know what exactly I will be doing, but I will just be happy to be out of there.

I guess I should close, I just want you to know that I miss you, and I will be thinking about you always. I have to get ready to head up to Sydney to replace your wreath, as I usually do. I don't know if I will be going alone, or if I will have mom with me. We shall see. I love you dad, and miss you a lot.

With love,
Ken (Le petit crapeau)

Well, this article was very emotionally draining for me, but I think it has helped me over all in my healing process. I would love to hear what you think about this article. So why don't you send me some email on what you think! You can email me at School, or at Home. I love getting email, and even though I am in the middle of exams, I will try to get back to you asap! You can also visit my website, at its new url! The website is right Here! Thanks! Oh and by the way, I do apologize to all my readers for this string of rather sad columns, I think being sick and the winter blahs have taken a toll on me. I hope to have a more upbeat column for January! One more thing, may you all have a wonderful Christmas, and a joyous new years! Enjoy the time you have with your loved ones, and remember to tell them you love them.

And don't forget, sex can be fun, but safe sex is better!

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