Happy Holidays: Mom Rosie

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Ho, Ho, Ho Oh Beautiful One!

How fortunate am I?  To be your Holiday Mom for such a loving soul who just wants to be loved and accepted for you.

I am Mom Rosie, also known as Debbie, and the holidays are a time of year for some to celebrate with family and friends.  For others, it may be a time to shy away from because it’s a reminder of what may not be. Having a warm loving, accepting family. A family who loves you for who you are.

For me, this time of year is very difficult. Four years ago, five days before Christmas, my son passed away.  I was devastated.  My world was turned upside down. That day when there was a moment of quiet, I picked up my gratitude journal and started writing how grateful I was for the 30 years I was gifted and blessed to be Ken’s mom. 

I have been blessed with two sons, Ken was my first.  He was such a great guy, a very loving soul, just as you are. It was in May of 2002 that Ken came home after he completed duty in the Air Force for 4 1/2 years, and that’s when he came out to me. I already knew. I was so touched and proud that he felt safe to share a very vulnerable moment of his life with me.

As he shared he was gay, I smiled and I looked at him and said, “I know son.” He looked at me with a puzzled face and said, “Mom, how do you know?” I said, when you brought your friend home last year and you were so loving and just took such great care of him.”  Ken looked at me and asked, “Are you mad?”  I looked at him and I put my hand on his knee and I said. “Ken, No, I’m not mad. Why would I be mad? I have shared with you since you were a little guy, I love you and accept you for who you are and where you want to go in your life.”

You know, there is one of many memories I hold close to my heart that I would like to share with you about him.  Back in 1998 I started a new tradition for the three of us, (my two son’s and I).  I wanted to create a memory for all of us, that we would remember.  Each year beginning in 1998 for Christmas I found these beautiful Swarovski Crystal Christmas ornaments, and I thought, wouldn’t it be cool, to start a tradition for them, to start collecting their own ornaments for their own special tree.  So I wrapped it up and put it under the tree. It was a tradition to start collecting their own special Christmas ornaments for their tree. At times I thought they would think that it was dorky, yet it meant a lot to me to create a tradition for them as their mom. I think I was the one that was the most excited, because every year’s Christmas Ornament was so beautiful and special. Yet I know it was my tradition, that I wanted for my boys. I was able to experience seeing Ken’s ornaments on his tree back In December 2005. Ken graduated from college at Embry Riddle University in Prescott Arizona. The whole family decided to fly out to Arizona for the event.  Grandparents, parents, step-parents brother, sister and friends to watch him walk, receive his congratulatory hand shake and pseudo degree (you know the real one comes in the mail) and then celebrate with him. As we arrived at his house, and I walked in the door, there it was, a beautiful green Christmas tree with 6 years of the beautiful Swarovski crystal ornaments I had given him and a few other colorful ones. I was so touched, my heart sang with joy.

I am so grateful for the lifetime of memories I have with both of my son’s. I am grateful for you because I get to share this story with you and share a bit of my life with you. I understand and know how hard it is to lead a double life.  How do I know? I am blessed with Ken’s journals. I know you are constantly on the lookout thinking who can I share safely with, when I meet new friends, that I am gay, bi or trans.  It’s daunting and tiring to constantly have to watch and be careful.  I know you just want to be free, loved and accepted for you and who you are… a loving soul that God has blessed us with.

Sharing a very personal, vulnerable piece of your life with your family, and loved ones, and friends is very scary because you don’t know if you will be loved or accepted for who you are, or rejected and turned away. Hear this and feel it… feel it in your bones: YOU are a gift from God, a blessing to us, a blessing to me.  I am so grateful for you, a shining radiant light full of love that wants to be accepted and loved for you.

This holiday year, you have given me a gift, the gift to allow me to share my heart and a vulnerable part of my life, a time of my life, with you.  My wish and hope for you is for you to create loving memories for you with a friend or a loved one.  Share your own tradition.  Create a tradition I would love to hear about it, share it with me, your holiday mom.  I am here right by your side.

I honor you, I love you… just for you, every freckle and smile.

Love you . . (smooch, smooch, smooch ) Your Holiday,  Mom Rosie


  1. Kathy says:

    Mom Rosie: Thanks for sharing yourself with all of us. How lucky your boys are to have you as their mom. I could only hope to have such a warm loving mother. I was given up for adoption as an infant and spent the first 9 mos of my life in an orphanage. I have “sensory memories” of waiting and waiting and then giving up. My adoptive parents had good intentions and loved me the best they could, but my mother just wasn’t a happy person, nor very demonstrative. She didn’t know how to give encouragement, complements, and I could never do anything right. As I got older and would come to visit, her greeting was “what do YOU want?” Hugs? I don’t remember really getting any. When I came out as a lesbian, my parents’ response was “why didn’t you tell us, we would have gotten you some help!” When I had my first girlfriends, I felt like I had to talking in neutral pronouns. I was beaten up by my girlfriend’s brother. While I crave hugs, warmth, love, I find it difficult to open up to people. In my most vulnerable moments , I worry that my love will be rejected, or I will be accused of being “inappropriate” with other women. Love becomes so complicated. My mother has been gone for 5 years. While i miss her because she was my mom, I also miss the love of a mother that I really never had. I appreciate your giving heart despite your own loss. Thanks for your holiday warmth and your radiant smile. Love & hugs–Kathy

  2. Elizabeth says:

    Thank you for being a holiday mom. Your letter made me feel a lot better and helped me see that there are a lot of people who care. Your son sounds like he was an amazing man. Happy holidays, Elizabeth (a holiday child)

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