I couldn't get off the dining room floor. The crushing weight of Christopher's declaration—and his emotionless departure—left me feeling cold and lifeless. No discussion. No compromise. Just the slamming of the door that seemed to say, "Good bye . . . forever." Receiving news of his death would have been easier to accept than all of this.
I was overwhelmed by the reality that my son was gay and didn't want to change. Our family was broken, and my life was falling apart. Every dream I'd had for years—for my marriage, for my sons, for my future—was gone. I could see no more reason to live. I was certain that I'd have no satisfaction or happiness in this world. I saw only sadness, disappointment, and rejection. And I wanted no more of it.
I slowly pulled myself off the floor and went to the bedroom, where I sobbed until dawn. I was at the intersection of life and death. Death's road seemed less painful—so it was the one I chose.
I would end this misery that had started long ago.
When my husband, Leon, and I first came to the United States in 1964, we were two young transplants on foreign soil, struggling to grow roots. We had no family here, no friends, and no money. Starting with nothing, we raised a family on meager financial resources. Leon got his PhD and his DDS, and I gave birth to two sons—Steven and Christopher. We lived on a very tight budget, but that didn't matter because we were building a future for our sons. Those days were full of hope and anticipation. I had a family—a place where I belonged—and I poured all of myself into it, expecting to find the joy and satisfaction I so longed for.1