Friday, November 21, 2008

Me and Glen

I had a thoughtful moment yesterday when I realized the date was November 20th. That day will forever belong to Glenn, the young man you see pictured with a very young me.  That photo was taken in 1977, the year we sang together in the ReGeneration. 

Glenn was my "mike partner"--meaning that we shared a microphone, a stage position, and pretty much sang into each other's faces every night. Glenn and I had something else in common, too, though we only talked about it to each other.  You see, ReGen had ten singers and was known for its exceptionally low bass singer and very high soprano singer.  When those two were respectively lifting the rafters and growling like a bass fiddle, someone else had to cover the lead, so there was another first soprano and another bass.  That would be me and Glenn.  We often joked about being the anonymous "couple on the end", i.e, spare parts, but it really wasn't a big deal.  And trust me--once I developed nodes on my vocal chords, I was grateful to not be the only one singing the soprano part. 

Anyway, Glenn was like the brother I never had.  His birthday was Nov. 20th, mine was Dec. 20th. We wore the same size shoe.  (Not sure I should confess that in public.) :-)  He was funny, charming, handsome, and his voice was like velvet.  I still love listening to him on the albums we recorded. 

Glenn was also the first person I knew personally who died of AIDS.  I didn't find out until a couple of years after he died, because we'd come off the road and gone our separate ways. I knew he was living a gay lifestyle, but he would never admit that to me. 

He brought the AIDS crisis home to my heart. When I heard the news, I mourned him and wrote his mother, who wrote me back and gave me the full story about how Glenn had gone home to his family and had been reconciled with the Lord and his parents before he died.  

Ever since, I've had a heart of compassion for gay people . . . yes, I'm appalled by the way some have refused to accept the will of the majority with Proposition Eight out in California, but still I think of Glenn . . . and I know there's hope.  But we have to see people as people, and not as groups or causes. 

I don't think this post really has a point today, other than to take a moment to reflect upon a young man who lived briefly . . . but touched more lives than he knew.  



Kathy Cassel said...

Wow. Don't know what to say.

SmilingSally said...

Your post is Chinese food: sweet/sour. Glenn return to home and Christ is sweet; his death is sour.

I found the fortune cookie. My mother's birthday was the same as yours! No wonder I adore you.

Anonymous said...

"people as people" - absolutely. Well said.

Jess the Mess said...

I love this blog.

Affording the Mouse said...

Thanks for this post, Angie. I remember the first person I knew personally who died of AIDS (the costumer at the theatre where I had performed after college). I think we could all take a lesson from your experience with Glenn. Loving the gay people among us is not ignoring what the Bible teaches about homosexuality--it's doing what Jesus himself taught. My gay friends in the theatre all knew where I stood, but it never came between us--maybe because I didn't beat them over the head with my Bible. :) I still have several gay friends, a few of them who profess to be believers. We don't see eye-to-eye, but we agree to disagree. And we keep loving each other.

Mocha with Linda said...

Well said, as always.

And completely off the subject. . . . can I just say I NEVER had as tiny a waist as you did in that picture!

Angela said...

Long time ago, Linda. :-) I made that dress. Vogue pattern, as I recall. Back when I used to have time to sew.

Holly said...

My Chris' brother died the first year we were married from AIDS.

It was a very hard hospital stay and death. I have a memory (here I am just 21 years old) of going into ICU by myself with Calvin, who was in a coma. I was terrified and didn't like hospitals. I began to tell him about my mom's horses and how he could ride them someday. He squeezed my hand, as I spoke.

I learned two very distinct lessons--I believe people do hear you when they are in comas and also I learned that a Christian family like my husband's could handle death with grace, laughter and a sincere sadness--without blaming the system or being ready to sue some doctor or hospital.

It changed my life. I am better for having gone through this with my Chris.

Anonymous said...

Things are getting pretty ugly here in California. Many people on both sides of the Proposition 8 issue seem to have forgotten civility. I like what you said about people vs issues. It is easy to get caught up in the issue and forget to show God's love to the people involved.

Cindy Swanson said...

That was touching, Angie....thanks for sharing.

By the way, as I've told you before, I absolutely loved the silky harmonies of ReGen back in the day. Who knew that one day one of its singers would end up being one of my favorite authors? :)

Cindy Swanson said...

Oh, and yes...your waist IS incredibly small there!

Kay Day said...

I like this post, Angie. I agree that we need to see people as people.
They choose to live in their sin, but others choose to live promiscuous heterosexual lives, others choose to hold on to pride, others are gluttons. Sin is sin. It bothers me when people act like there is something worse about this one sin.

jmiles said...

Your post made me cry, Angie. I, too remember the day I heard about Glenn's passing. What great fun we had on the road together. And Glenn was one of the funniest people I've ever known. Thanks for sharing this today.

Anonymous said...

we are commissioned to love our neighbors. thank you for sharing that with us!
and, by any chance, are there any "regen" albums for sale out there?

Caitriona said...

What a great way for you to honor your friend Glenn's life and for you to affirm that each person in this world is worth caring for.