Who knew what my life would hold for me when my beautiful son came into my life on August 17, 1986! He came into this world in a difficult way. After many hours of labor, it was decided he could not come through my pelvis. The doctor repositioned him back up into my uterus since he was not going any further. They set me up for a C-Section and just as they were cutting me, the epidural wore off. So, it was nite nite time for me. I didn’t get to see my little Angel until the next day. His poor little head was shaped like a cone. I remember asking the doctor was it going to stay that way. He laughed and told me of course not. He said babies head are malleable and his head would re-shape properly. I remember holding him for the first time and I knew right then that he would always and forever be entwined with my own life…this. my little miracle.
I can tell you…life with Brandon Charles Kittle was never boring. He was a quiet little child his first few years but he eventually came into his own and started keeping me quite busy. I absolutely hated to go back to work and leave him with a trusted care giver. I could hardly wait to get home to him every day.
Once he started pre-school, I began noticing he was having some difficulties. He had a hard time keeping focused on his school work and it only got worse when he entered elementary school. I had talked with his teachers and they set up some extra help for him. He was having trouble with Attention Deficit Disorder. With a little extra help, he was able to overcome it and did very well.
We did all the normal things kids and parents do. Played make-believe, hide and seek, went to water parks and theme parks, petting zoos….anything and everything we could think of. He had two girl cousins close to his age and they were always together. He also had little girls that lived next door that were his best friends. He was such a happy child with an inventive and very active mind. Tree forts were everywhere in our back yard. They would even drag old, thrown out furniture up into these tree forts! I was quite surprised he had not broken anything other than his arm! Those were some awesome times for both him and me.
At age 5, I began noticing little things that were different about him. He seemed to only want to play with girls. He was shy around most other boys. He and his next door neighbor buddies would raid my closet and parade around in my work clothes! They giggled gleefully as I chased them around trying to get my good clothes back! It was always one thing after another. Lots of fun to be had, for sure!
As time went by, I did notice a few things that gave me thought. At the age of 16, he came to me and told me he was gay. I had many years to reflect on things before this day came. My reaction was to simply say, “I know, son”. That seemed to surprise him. I asked him how he wanted me to react. He said “You’re not mad at me? I think I just smiled and said “No son. You are who you are”. We sat down and had a long talk and I did express to him my concerns about his safety. We had the safe sex talk and the talk about others out there who would be more than capable of hurting him because he is gay. There is so much hate in the world.
As time went by, I began to see how other parents treated their own children. Brandon would bring home some of these kids and the stories that came out of their mouths just mortified me. One mother, after finding out her daughter was gay, replied “I wish I had aborted you!” It felt like someone had kicked me in the stomach! That was just one of the many stories I heard from these “throw away” kids. My heart hurt every time I heard one of these stories. I even gave shelter to a few of them for a short time until they could get back on their feet. Not ONE of them ever took advantage of me.
Fast forward many years. My son and I were always very close and still are. I have been his defender, his supporter and his biggest fan. Not because he is gay, that part doesn’t matter…but because he is my beloved son, my only son. The sun that fills my world with light and hope for a better future.
Brandon was diagnosed with relapsing remitting MS 2010. Every doctor he went to with his symptoms, told him it was all in his head. The final straw was when he lost feeling in his legs. He went to a trauma center in Atlanta, Ga. My poor child had to wait on a gurney in the hall for over 12 hours until he was finally seen. They did an MRI and found lesions on his spine and brain. In order to make certain, they also did a spinal tap. That confirmed it. Had someone believed him, he may have been able to get treatment earlier and avoided developing new lesions. He has been on several meds to keep the progression from continuing.
He has damage in one of his eyes and sometimes has a few flare ups. My Brandon is such a strong, determined young man. He holds down a job at Ulta in the Asheville Mall as a Master Hair Stylist. He is so very talented. I could not be more proud of him. He has turned into the kind of man who any parent would be proud to call son.
As humans…we all look for love. It seems to be a driving force in our lives. Brandon is no exception. He has dated and always seemed to come up with “snake eyes”. I know, deep in my heart, he wants a partner to love and care for…someone that will love him and care for him as well. It almost seemed he was about to give up. Trying to find a diamond in a pile of useless rocks, feels like an unreachable goal. But, to his surprise and delight, that diamond DID show up.
In November os 2016, he met a wonderful man named Jeff. They started dating and it seemed like fortune had smiled down on the both of them. In May of this year, Brandon proposed to Jeff and he said yes! We are all planning for a May wedding in 2018. They are both hardworking young men and are saving for the big event.
Unfortunately, I was disabled in 1996 due to RA. I live off a very small social security income. I am trying to save as much money as I can, but it seems like I am climbing a mountain. Jeff’s Mother is no longer with us and can’t help in the planning of her son’s wedding. We are all racking our brains trying to figure out how we are going to pull this off. I love my son and I love Jeff as much. I want this to happen for them. I want them to have the wedding of their dreams. Although, we are not planning anything ostentatious, we would like to have something that they will remember forever. My son has finally found his soul mate and I am determined to find a way to get this done.
When I was diagnosed with RA, it hit me hard and it hit me fast. My son was there with me through it all. He had to assist me in and out of chairs, get me in the car to go to doctor’s appointments, push me in the wheelchair and even help me to the bathroom. He took care of me. He never gave up on me, not once! I won’t give up on him either.
So I decided to run a Go Fund Me campaign for my son and Jeff. We are hoping that with the money they save, and money I have stocked away…along with anything we can raise with the campaign, that we can give them a wedding they deserve. Thanks to new NC laws now allowing same-sex marriage, we can do it legally. I can tell you, that day will be the happiest day of my life, besides the day my Brandon came into this world.
I ask as a favor that you pass this far and wide. Maybe someone out there will see the merit in this and decide to open their hearts and give.
Thank you to all who are reading this. Let’s keep it going!