"Mom?" Walt spoke into the phone.
"Hi, Walt. What's going on?" his Mother replied.
"I was wondering if I could drive down and see you today."
"Sure; I'd be happy to see you anytime. Nothing's wrong; is it?"
"No. No. Nothing wrong. I'll see you in a little while."
Walt, a 30 year old man with an athletic build, hung up the phone with a great deal of apprehension.
He dressed and hopped in his truck to drive the 70 miles to his Mother's house. The long drive would give him time to practice what he was going to tell her.
Walt thought it best to just blurt it out; short and quick. Like ripping off a bandaid.
After arriving at his Mother's house he knocked and upon entering, made small talk for a few minutes.
"I have something to tell you," he started.
"What's wrong?" his Mother inquired.
"No. It's just that I've met someone and we are talking about moving in together, but I wanted to talk to you about it before I did."
"Well, these days living with a girl before marriage isn't that big of an issue. Your brother lived with his girlfriend for years before marriage. What's her name and when will I meet her?"
"It's not a girlfriend," Walt stammered a bit. "It's a guy and his name is Ray."
Walt's Mother looked perplexed. "I don't understand. You're getting a roommate? Aren't you too old for a roommate?"
"Not a roommate. Ray is my boyfriend. We've been dating a good while now and I love him."
Walt's Mother didn't say anything and just looked more confused.
Walt blurted out, "Mom, I'm gay."
With those words, Walt's Mother stared to cry. "If your Father weren't already dead, this would have killed him."
The cruel words slapped at Walt, but he continued. "This isn't something I can change. I've been seeing a psychiatrist for several years now and I've learned to accept this part of myself."
"Where did you two meet?"
"We met in a gay bar."
A torrent of tears flowed from his Mother.
Walt felt terrible and relieved all at the same time. "This doesn't make me any different and I don't want to hide this part of my life from you. I have to be honest with you.
Walt continued, "Ray is a really good guy. You'll like him."
"If you get AIDS, I want you to tell me," his Mother muttered.
"I'm not sick. I've been tested. I'm healthy as a horse."
His Mother had a surprised look on her face.
"Is this your first?"
"Relationship. Your first relationship?" she clarified.
"No; not my first relationship. The first where I want to move in with a fellow."
"This doesn't make sense. You've always had girlfriends. Girls always loved you."
"I've had friends that were girls. There's a big difference," Walt replied patiently.
"Look, this is new stuff for you. I've had years and years of therapy to sort this out. It's hitting you all at once."
His Mother grabbed a tissue.
"It will be alright." Walt went over and hugged his Mother as she continued to cry. "I love you. I just couldn't lie to you." Walt continued to hug her.
"Is there anything else you want to know before I drive home?"
"Don't tell the rest of the family," was all she said. "If that's what you want."
That was a promise that Walt wouldn't keep for long. Once that closet door swings open, it's hard to close it again.