Saturday, October 23, 2010


On Wednesday, I heard on TV that we should wear purple in support of those who had been bullied and/or committed suicide. It said gay but I think it is for any young person who has been bullied. If you have the time, I have a story for you:

There was a baby boy who was born in England and traveled with his military parents, brother, and sister back to the United States in 1960. He was so tiny, but so precious. His brother was 14 and sister 12. The sister cared for baby Paul as if he was her own. It was like playing with a real doll and really took the pressure off her mother. She loved to rock him to sleep at night. A couple of years later, her mother had her baby sister, Cindy. Paul was the good boy and Cindy was the one who always caused a ruckus. Paul grew up into a fine young man who was very popular at school and was considered a real catch. He was in the band and played the trombone and Cindy played the clarinet. He had a girlfriend and they seemed very happy. They were in Louisiana by then and the older brother and sister had made families of their own.
Paul went off to school at North Western and I am not sure if he discovered it there or had been hiding it, but he was gay. He didn't want the family to know, so we didn't. His parents moved to Dallas and his mother started her business there as an interior designer. Paul worked with her a few years and decided to get a more regular job with benefits. He went to work for American Airlines. Flight attendant was a good job for him. He was a nice person and a real people person. Unfortunately, the lifestyle for male flight attendants swings toward homosexual. There being so many opportunities to travel and vacation in exotic places was a real perk. He did this for a few years and then he came back to Dallas. His sister had moved to Dallas to work  for his mother and he would stop by occasionally to work in the shop when he had a customer. He told her he was gay and then he told his mother and father. It didn't seem to matter to his mother, but his dad took it really hard. Soon, his sister left and moved back to Virginia.
A couple of years down the road, his sister received a phone call, Paul had AIDS. He was still working for AA and never missed a flight. One day, his supervisor called his mother and told her that he hadn't shown up for work and that just wasn't like him. They were really worried whether he was alright or not. Mother found him in his apartment just sitting and staring at the wall. There was a  tumor in his brain and he couldn't recognize anyone unless they spoke to him.  He was in the hospital for a short time and sent home to die. His father stepped up and even took care of him until he passed. He was a kind, loving person who was sweet and caring. He had been through some bad times being gay. He was bullied by some. I think that is why he didn't tell anyone until he was older because he was afraid of the bullying.

When Paul died, AA flew all the brothers and sisters to the funeral in Dallas, First Class. They provided flight attendants as pall bearers. AA was very supportive of my parents and made sure that things were expedited in a timely manner.

No one should have to put up with being bullied. Paul had to put up with it from his father, who was a bully, so why open himself up to others. His father, my stepfather was basically a good man at heart who had a terrible temper when things didn't go his way. He bullied us all, beat on us until we all left home, one by one; we escaped. We went home occasionally, but not too often. If you were around too long, it would start again.

Paul Burns was my brother. I loved him very much. The upshot of this is that after living with a father who was a bully and a brother who was gay, I wore purple in support of those who have been bullied. I had also married an alcoholic who spend his life bullying others, not with violence but with his mouth.
Breast cancer is not the worst thing that can happen to you in life. It feels like it sometimes, but when you have a past that takes over your life, you can see that there are other things that can be even more devastating. Make it clear to those that you know that you will not tolerate a bully. Anyone who is a bully has no place in your life, whether it is a friend or relative.

There is no one in the world who has the power to bully you if you won't let them.  Don't let them. If you need to, report them to someone. If they are physically violent, make sure they spend some time in jail or treatment. Don't put up with a bully. If you are married to one, remember the bully is not just changing your life but the life of your children and your family. Nothing is worth the pain a bully costs. There are people out there who can help.


GOD LOVES YOU AND SO DO I! God is good all the time!