Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The Importance of Being... J.P. Bowie

Family... I haven't had a family in close to forty years. I lost my parents and both my sisters in a seven year span. You don't really know how important they are until there are no longer there. Yet, their importance lingers. Everywhere I look I see signs that tell me nothing is more important... some people even have it tattooed on their skin... Family First etc.I get a good laugh when I see porn stars with that inked on their chests... Hey Mom, lookit! Thinking of you while I fuck this uh, person.

This is my last post for OGG, so I don't want to get maudlin. And really when I think about it, I have been a lucky so and so for most of my life. Like most gay men and women, through the years, I have found myself surrounded by people I can honestly call friends, good friends, a surrogate family if you will. Forget the old cliche... you can choose your friends, your family is thrust upon you... sometimes your friends choose you, and your family thrusts you away. My family didn't do that, so they live in my memory with love. Again I was fortunate.

The wonderful man I am married to doesn't have such loving memories of his family, yet he remains true to the idea of a warm and caring circle of friends he can call family. It always amazes me that even out of the most repressive upbringings a soul can emerge, eager to forgive those who tried to smother the goodness within, and belittle the kindnesses so willingly given.

That does sound a little maudlin, so I will close with the wish that all of you have found love in some form or another... that there is someone close, friend or family member, you can share your hopes and dreams and troubles with. It's important.


  1. My memories of family, both mine and Momma's, are a bit more patchy. They never got their lives straightened out. Momma X and I saw how *not* to do it.

    Sorry to see you go, JP. Will miss your worldly posts and comments.

  2. Thanks Daddy - I will miss your pithy comments! Cheers!

  3. I've long said, "A family is a circle of people around you who love and support you." Blood relationships are nice, but not required. You can pick your friends, but as you said, family is thrust upon you.

    We tried to raise our kids to love and support each other. Judging by the speech my oldest son gave at his brother's wedding, and the letter the other son wrote to his marrying brother (and asked me to proofread), I think we've done pretty well. And my daughter is the same kind of big-hearted, "give me a hug, you fool," kind of woman that I am.

    I'll miss your blogs and comments also. This is a kind of quasi-family for me. I write things here that would shock my mostly un-shockable family...especially because I'm writing to people I "don't even know." But sharing always feels so good when there's a respectful and erudite audience. Slainte!

  4. J. P., I'll miss your perspective and your distinctive writerly voice.

    What you say about family is very true. Family matters, whether positively or negatively or somewhere in between. I've been lucky in most ways when it comes to family, and I'm happy to "give back" by doing whatever it takes to ease my father through whatever time he has left. He says he doesn't want to live to be 100, but that doesn't mean he wants to stop at his current 95, either.

  5. It's been a lovely experience blogging with you all - I'll be looking in from time to time. 'Til then, arra' best!

  6. J.P. -- You've brought a special light to the Grip. And it won't go out, even though you're no longer posting.

    Please don't be a stranger, because I agree with Fiona. You all are like family to me.

    Best of luck!

  7. JP, I'll miss you. I'm sad to hear about your losses, and glad to know you've found a lot of love in your life. Be well in your future projects. It's hard to imagine this place without you.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.