All These Years Is One Book That I Shall Reread For Its Life Lessons!!!
I completed your book a few weeks ago and really should have written to you earlier. Life seems to get busier as we get older and I wanted to take time to let you know how much I appreciated your writing.
There were differences in our lifestyles with gay partners – up until the latter part of my marriage, our intimate life was good and at times, romantic, though I must admit, there were times of distance that truly puzzled me. I always blamed myself.
We moved to a larger centre, and that part of life certainly slowed down… and then ceased altogether. He was freer to pursue his gay lifestyle near the larger centre of Regina. Our move coincided with a time, when our youngest disabled son was placed in a group home, and our older children became more independent.
I must have been blind not to realize what was happening, as I look back over those years and previous times. His job meant that he did have much work to do in the evenings and at times in Regina, but it was his extreme reactions to concerns about late returns home that should have clued me into his activities. His replies were nasty and hurtful and definitely extreme. He did not want to be found out.
He’s a good dad, but I do get tired of saying that, since I did the best I could to be a good mom in extreme conditions. Parenting a severely autistic child is difficult enough, but add to that two teenagers and a cheating husband – well I’m sure you get the picture. He still doesn’t seem to recognize what he did, and I don’t thnk that he ever will. It’s his loss, because at times, he allows his antipathy to surface, and that doesn’t impress our older children.
I see less of him, but we do have to coordinate our youngest son’s life. In our late-sixties, we are getting too old to keep up constant week-end care of our son. We have agreed about that. I also realize that it will take a special man to take all of this in and still care enough about me to keep up a relationship.
I’m going to British Columbia in late September to be present at the unveiling of a memorial plaque to my parents’ volunteer work at an extend care facility. I’ll be enclosed in the warmth of my family of origin. They don’t know why I separated, but trust that I had no other choice. It’s good to feel a family connection.
I still have many friends in the gay community whom I truly respect. To my knowledge, they have never tried to offend and hurt their former partners, and many have chosen lifestyles that would avoid that completely. Your book, and their lives prove that that is possible. Perhaps some day, my spouse will realize what he has done to hurt me. Maybe he already has and that is why he is so angry.
I know your book is one that I shall reread for its life lessons!!!
Thanks again for sharing your wisdom.
Take care….B J
All These Years Is Rare and Extremely Refreshing!
Nice work Carol!
It was such an enjoyable read. I admire the way that you and your family dealt with such an uncontrollable situation. It’s very rare, and extremely refreshing.
Your unwavering honesty throughout the story makes the book very appealing.
I recommend it to everyone…especially Ellen DeGeneres!!
Thank you for sharing your story
I’ve known you for many years and have listened to your advise about life, and used your wisdom many times. You’re a person one can open up to. Your caring soul and concern for all comes deep from your heart.
When I heard your book was finished, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. I remember the day you dropped by Body Glamour and had the book in your hand. Looking at you brought tears to my eyes. I’m so proud of you!!!!
Once I started reading it, I couldn’t stop!
I love the way you write and express your feelings. You’re a survivor. You’re my princess. I look up to you.
You Are A Person Whom The World Needs To Meet!!!
I truly recommend that everyone reads your book!
Thank you for all the advise, “all these years”……
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Greetz : Kuroi’SH, RxR, K3L0T3X
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Hacked By GeNErAL! !
I just finished reading your book. What a wonderful gift!! Easy to read and entertaining, while sharing a tremendously important message: We all have choice in how we face adversity!! Life, and what it throws at us, isn’t going to change. It’s how we choose to relate to life’s curves that define us.
I simply couldn’t put it down!! Some was familiarity. Some was relatedness. Some was inspiration. Some was empathy. And, all of it was perfect!!
Your journey is what you make it, and I believe you’ve chosen wisely and effectively. You have more drive and talent in your little pinkie than most have in their entire body. Your willingness to share those gifts will positively affect many you come in contact with, as your journey continues.
I urge you to continue with velocity!!! Share and share again! You have a lot to give!
I will encourage my partner Sally, to read it, and give a different perspective. I know she will.
Your giving is more important than you know, and I hope and pray that it will touch many!!
Just finished reading “All These Years” two minutes ago. Have been reading for the last four hours. Couldn’t put it down. Eyes still wet. Difficult sad times; fun times. It’s all an adventure. My dog, Samson lying next to me, looks up at me as I was laughing out loud at times.
Two of my favourite parts: The ‘running out of gas within an inch of the pump.’ And the ‘dead guy playing cards.’
By the way … I think Kevin Costner would be great to play Carter in the movie. I have been at a few of your parties. I would like to play myself with George Clooney as my date.
May, 10 2011 – I was sitting in my stylist’s chair at the salon and he asked how I was doing now (referring to the breakup of my marriage because my husband is gay) … I said you grieve over and over on so many levels … my stylist was quiet for a moment and then he said, “I have another client, Carol, who’s been through the same situation. Can I give her your phone number?”
I said YES! I was desperate to talk to another woman who had experienced what I had. The fact is, I have several gay friends and am not anti-gay in anyway. Through brief discussions on the phone I learned Carol had indeed experienced the same heart wrenching trauma I had. She said she was writing a book about it.
Jan 19, 2012 – Carol emails to say she has published her book.
Jan 19, 2012 – I receive the book! I must stop all I’m doing to read it.
Jan 19, 2012 – Below are my thoughts as they tumbled from my mind while reading through Carol’s book:
Pages 1 – 32 – I’m stunned! It almost feels like I’m reading about my life. Other than Mark admitting he was gay, our stories are so similar. Like we’ve been living parallel lives.
My flashback to the beginning:
Sept 15, 1979 – I marry the man of my dreams. We had dated for five years. The wedding was perfect. A candlelight service at St. Mary’s Kerridale, Vancouver, BC, followed by a reception at Cecil Greene Park at UBC. One of my uncles asked me, ‘Is he light on his feet?’ I was a young 22, he was a handsome 23. I had no idea what my uncle was referring too. So I laughed and said NO … trying to pretend I was knew what he was referring too.
Nov 2, 1983 – We welcomed the birth of our son … he is the most wonderful son ever, I’m in love to the very depth of my soul … a wonderful husband and now a beautiful son.
Dec 13, 1986 – We are blessed with a baby girl … we arrived home from the hospital three hours after her birth. I couldn’t sleep, but stood and watched as the three people I loved more than life itself, lay sleeping. My husband holding the new born (now four hours old) and our son who was just over three years old.
Sept 8, 1994 – Seven days before my 25th wedding anniversary, my husband announced he wanted to live like brother and sister. I thought I was imagining what he’d said, so I asked him to repeat it … he did. I was devastated. My brain checked out … as though I’d seen an image of my body leaving my body and drifting out through the window. I knew life had forever changed. Through E.M.D.R. therapy I’ve learned that is Little T Trauma that I had experienced.
***Carol, as I read your story, how could I’ve been so blind to the signs? Not a hair out of place. Perfectly dressed. Suggestion of an open marriage to get my needs met, and he wanted to go on living as though nothing had changed.
Thank you for writing this! I’m going back to reading it now, just had to share some thoughts with you.
Page 106 – Hilarious! Been there done that … I’m still laughing …. I think we may have dated some of the same men … too funny!
Page 129 – He was feeling tired, stressed, unhealthy … this began happening to me on my 23rd year of marriage, after having sex several times a week since we met.
Pages 107 – 220 – Could not put it down! Had to finally sleep …
Page 221 to the END – Woke up at 6 am and finished last twenty pages. What a difficult journey, but through it all you and Mark remained friends. That made me happy for you and your boys, but sad also as denial on my husband’s part lead to the opposite direction. Through our divorce he won the sympathies of our children. He’s taken great joy in their estrangement towards me. Last night I learned my now ex-husband was in Australia celebrating our son’s graduation from training … It feels awful to be left out … I feel like I’ve been left to forge a new life all alone without my loved ones of the last 37 years. I wanted to be friends with my ex-husband so we could celebrate what we had created together. My ex’s desire to hide his sexuality to the corporate community in which he works is at the expense of our children, myself, and any hope of a future relationship.
I have a new man in my life, who loves me dearly, but I miss my kids so much.
I always felt if he had not denied it, and just been honest, it would be easier to handle, but I can see it is a loss just as real. For me I questioned my attractiveness and sex appeal etc. The most devastating difference was, my ex-husband made it about me. Mark assured you it was not about you. It’s still a loss. The loss of the dreams. The lifelong plans. I so longed to hear those words, ‘It is not about you.’
You wrote that there were many good times. I admire the strength Mark and you have demonstrated. Your ex-husband is gay, and you love him, and Mark gets that!
From the bottom of my heart thank you for sharing your story. It allowed me to feel as though I was not the only one out there who had experienced the loss of a dream.
I shipped your book out to Manitoba – and my mom finished it in 2 days.
Her comments: “I read Carol’s book in 2 days. I couldn’t put it down. Very good!”
I warned mom about the sex parts…but she seemed okay with it.
So, if a small town farmer’s wife can read it – everyone can!
After reading my mom’s book I can honestly say I was surprised and blown away for many different reasons and on many different levels. First off the skill she has in writing and depicting various stories was absolutely amazing. Being able to describe in such detail, events that happened 25 to 30 years ago was unbelievable. The way she used certain metaphors to describe various emotions, situations, etc. was exceptional. I always knew my mom was a very smart and talented woman, but I wasn’t expecting the writing skills to be of that high-level caliber.
With regards to the story, for me it was very hard to remember a lot of the events in this book, as I was so young. A lot of it was a memory jogger for me. Also, it was difficult to read much of it, because I had no idea at the time what my mom was going through. She concealed it very well. If I had known, I would’ve been there for her a lot more (at least as much as I could’ve been at that age). When you’re that young, you’re still learning so much about life and I guess I was just so focused on being a kid.
The day my dad came out to us, I wasn’t as fazed by it as I would’ve been if it had happened today. I didn’t really know what being ‘gay’ was back then. To me, he was still my dad, he hadn’t changed towards us, and most importantly, he and my mom still loved each other very much.
What was more difficult for me was our 2nd family meeting when my dad said that he was moving out. Up until then, nothing had changed. And now they would, and it hurt.
Throughout reading the story and all the hardships and pain that my mom went through, I remember saying to myself, ‘When’s Carter going to come and save the day?’
There were times I just wanted to skip the chapters until he was introduced, but had to restrain myself. I’ve always really liked Carter, but after reading how he came and basically pulled my mom out of the darkness, and finally gave her that part of her life back, gives me a new appreciation for him.
Reading this story and being able to be inside my mom’s head has given me admiration for her, my dad, their journey, and the special love they share.
Now at age twenty-three, as I read all these stories and events from my family’s past, my parents’ situation, and everything that happened, I realize theirs is a rare type of relationship that I know not very many families go through.
I believe this book will do very well because it’s a fascinating story that’s unique and told so well. I am proud of my mom and how she was able to put all her thoughts to paper and express herself. I know it was very therapeutic for her as well. Everyone who reads this, whether you know her or not, will be blown away by the story, and will take away life lessons.
I love you Mom, Congratulations!
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