Keeper of the Flame
Posted on November 26, 2012
Keeper of the flame. It sounds important, doesn’t it? Well, I’m the keeper of the flame. Sort of in an unwilling way. Mom is HUGE into family history. I’m not. Mom is HUGE into printing it all out and putting it into books. I’m not. Mom is HUGE into talking about it. I’m not. And I’m going to inherit it all. My thought is since I’m going to meet all these people one day anyway (hopefully), why not just hear about their lives directly from them?
And that’s not all I’m supposed to represent.
Oh, no. No. There’s my own family history with my immediate family. This is part of the fun of being an only child. Somehow, I have to pass on information about my parents to…who? Exactly. I don’t have kids. I have fish. Now, I did worry my mother once because I told her I was considering keeping in with the tradition of having a child when I was 20. Why? Because there’s twenty years between grandma and her, then twenty years between my mother and I. Therefore, in order to keep with things, I needed to have a child when I was 20. Had I actually managed to succeed…I’m 39 now…my child would be 22 and graduating from college. That’s just wrong. Wrong, I say! So I didn’t. And this decision may have saved mom from many gray hairs at a much earlier age.
I could just continue to use this blog to record as much about their lives as I can. I already serve as a happy medium between my parents as it is. Mom tells a 2 minute story in 10 minutes. Dad would tell a 2 minute story in 30 seconds. I prefer the 2 minute version, which is why I feel I’m the happy medium. Dad was a man of few words. Mom made up for it. She still makes up for it.
I’ve mentioned before that as children, we put our parents on pedestals and don’t always see them as human beings. On the flip side, parents can sometimes be blind to seeing their children as anything other than children, not as adults with their own agendas. My mother used to have her projects. My project was to get out of doing as many of her projects as I could. That was also my agenda. Mom’s agenda included volunteering dad and I to help anybody who hinted they needed it–whether they realized they were hinting or not. I had more karma points by the time I was twelve than most people did when they…when they…weren’t. Dad was more subtle when it came to his agenda. I’m not even sure I knew what his agenda was back in the day. It turns out he was planning ahead for mom and I by thinking long-term. How so? By working as long as he could, then continuing to work after he retired. He wanted us taken care of. The cost for this in terms of his health may not have been worth it.
It crossed my mind to wonder if I would be friends with my mother and father if I was older and not related. Have you ever thought about that? With your parents, not mine. I don’t know. Dad liked sports. I don’t. But he also enjoyed going to concerts like Sarah Brightman, Heart and Pat Benatar. I do, too. So we’d have that. He still likes taking very long drives and looking for wildlife. I don’t. Okay, he’d be good to hang with on holidays. And Mom? If we communicated via e-mail instead of talking on the phone (stories tend to get abridged in e-mail), then yes. She’s like a woman with a mission when she…er…gets a mission. Want information? She’ll get it. Need the FBI’s site cracked? She’ll do it. Want someone to clean your attic and move your house a little to the left? She volunteer her husband and kid.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go grab another book of matches. The candle tonight is about to go out and I need to light another.
It’s all part of being that keeper of the flame.
Incidentally, Keeper of the Flame is an AWESOME song by music artist Fiona. I highly recommend it!
Kristoffer Gair (who formerly wrote under the pseudonym Kage Alan) is the Detroit-based author of Honor Unbound, A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To My Sexual Orientation, Andy Stevenson Vs. The Lord Of The Loins, Gaylias: Operation Thunderspell, several short stories featured in anthologies (to be combined in a forthcoming book), the recently re-published novella Falling Awake, its sequel, Falling Awake II: Revenant and Falling Awake III: Requiem.
6 Responses to “Keeper of the Flame”
Patricia Logan says:
November 26, 2012 at 11:34 am
It’s sad that you never procreated. You would have been a great and funny dad. My own father was the funniest man I ever met and my kids, to this day, repeat silly lines that he coined. But that said Kris, you are a great person and you should adopt a grandkid or two and infect them with your extraordinary personality. There are children out there who are missing out!
November 26, 2012 at 10:36 pm
I would really love to get a dog or two one day. That would be a wonderful starting place. But a child? I know I don’t have the patience for one and I don’t know that I’d be a good father. I really wouldn’t want to disappoint a kid.
November 26, 2012 at 12:16 pm
I really enjoy reading your blog.it has helped me to expand my old way of thinking about things.
It strikes my odd how many family similarities we share and also share as a GLBT community.
Thanks for the support that I never thought I needed; and it is fun to hear about someone who is going through similar circumstances and how you and other cope.
Thanx for sharing; you are the best.
November 26, 2012 at 10:37 pm
I didn’t do a whole lot of publicizing this blog post today because it almost felt a bit like a throwaway. I had no idea what I was going to talk about when I sat down and I think I rambled in too many places. That being said, I appreciate the kind words, Lloyd. =)
CR Guiliano says:
November 26, 2012 at 3:35 pm
Dang it Kris! Monday morning after a four day weekend and you’ve got me actually thinking…THINKING!! That’s just wrong. But, yea, that question as to whether you would be friends with your parents as an adult….my mom? Absolutely. We had so many things in common, I was like a little clone. My dad? Not a damn thing. He likes golf and sports, I don’t. He has a dry wit and thinks he knows everything, I don’t. However, he irritated my mother for years by reading out loud to her from the paper, a magazine..a book, most anything. I do that, much to the irritation of those who love me.
I find it wickedly funny that you have the 20 year gap..as do I. My grandmother was 20 years older than my mom, my mom, twenty years older than me…and what do I do? I adopt my first kid at the ripe old age of 27…I never was one to conform. *grins*
November 26, 2012 at 10:39 pm
I’m pretty sure I’ve picked up some of my parents more charming traits. I have my mother’s emotional reactions to things and my father’s desire to plan something out. They sometimes work to my favor, but more often than not, they don’t. lol God knows what I’d pass on to a kid.