Tag: father

Lesléa Newman Writes of Her Aging Father in Her Latest Book of Poems

Lesléa Newman Writes of Her Aging Father in Her Latest

Lesléa Newman may be best known to readers here as the author of Heather Has Two Mommies and other children’s books. She is also, however, an award-winning poet, and her latest volume of poetry for adults is a wise and loving look at her father in the last years of his life.

I Wish My Father - Lesléa Newman

I Wish My Father (Headmistress Press; Amazon/Bookshop) is a companion book to her 2015 I Carry My Mother (Amazon/Bookshop), about her mother’s battle with and death from cancer, though each can be read alone. (My review of the earlier volume is here.) I Wish My Father picks up after her mother’s death as Newman and her father face that loss as well as his own aging. It ends with his own death from a stroke. In its narrative poems, we see Newman’s own struggles as his caregiver, always loving but occasionally exasperated. Through vignettes and deft dialogue about supermarket trips, doctor’s appointments, looking through old photo albums, and more, she gives us an image of the man, stubborn and proud, as they navigate the last years of his life together. The particulars of their lives, however, also speak to the universals of change and loss and time, and everyday moments carry double meaning. One poem, “My father is slipping,” begins:

My father is slipping
his glasses up his nose
eager to see the stars
on TV

It goes on to show how other parts of him, too, are slipping away, making the title/first line re-resonate. Another poem shows him reflecting that he and his wife had always planned that he would die first. He then sits in the doctor’s office “to wait and wonder/when on earth he’ll be called,” and we understand that it is not just a medical appointment that he is wondering about.

Newman understands that aging is not a simple or linear process. Her father remains able to do complex arithmetic in his head even as he starts to see visions of people from his earlier life and ones who have never existed. Newman finally convinces him to move into a nursing home, and writes:

My father is moving out
of the house he shared with my mother
for more than 50 years and every damn
day I find a brand new way to break
his broken heart.

These are not easy or comfortable poems, especially for those of us who are caring for or have lost our own parents, but they are powerful in capturing what so many of us go through. They may offer the solace of showing us that we are not alone in our feelings of loss, frustration, grief, reminiscence, and love. Newman dedicates the volume to her father, adding the traditional Jewish wisdom about one who has died, “May his memory be for a blessing.” In sharing her memories of him, Newman is also sharing some of that blessing.


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Emotional Eric Trump goes on weird tangent about how his “beloved” daddy is a “father to America” / Queerty

Emotional Eric Trump goes on weird tangent about how his

Eric Trump has declared his dad, Donald J. Trump, a “father to America” and one of the most “beloved” political figures in our nation’s history.

Appearing on Sean Hannity’s show yesterday night, Eric spent the entire segment spewing lies about how popular his dad is and bitching about how Democrats are mean.

“They tried to manufacture everything under the son against my father, against all of us. They do it every single day,” he whined. “They continue to do it. Even when he’s a private citizen, they’re still trying to impeach him.”

Clearly, Eric doesn’t understand how the whole impeachment thing works, which is a little odd since it’s happened to his father twice.

Democrats aren’t “trying to” impeach the ex-president. They already did on January 13, one week after the insurrection on the U.S. Capitol, while Trump was still in office.

What happens now is a trial.

Eric went on to say people want to “tar and feather” his dad for no good reason, saying, “They know he did a great job for this nation. They know that there’s never been a more beloved political figure in our country’s history.”

Except that Trump lost the popular vote twice and left office with the lowest approval rating of any president in the age of modern polling. All that would actually make him the least beloved political figures in American history.

Things only got weirder from there.

“What my father did is something that no political figure has ever done in American history, and he changed his country, and he changed it for the better,” Eric babbled on. “And he taught people how to fight, and he gave Americans the greatest civics lesson, and it’s exactly, frankly, what this country needed.”

“He’s really a father to America.”

Watch. Or don’t.

Graham Gremore is the Features Editor and a Staff Writer at Queerty. Follow him on Twitter @grahamgremore.

Gay father shares wholesome sex advice with his gay son / Queerty

Gay father shares wholesome sex advice with his gay son

Gay father and gay son Craig and Austin
Craig and son, Austin (Photo: Cut/YouTube)

A gay dad is being praised for his parenting skills and the support he shows his son. The two men took part in the video series Truth or Drink for media brand, Cut. The older man, Craig adopted his son, Austin, when the boy was 13. Austin’s current age is not given but we’d guess he’s in his early 20s.

In the video, Austin says he was “noticeably gay” from a very young age. He explains that his biological parents were homophobic. He says his mom was a drug addict and he was removed by authorities and then adopted by Craig and his partner.

Related: Gay dad shuts down inquiry about whether he wants his son to like guys or girls

Craig says that when he first adopted Austin, it took some time for trust to be established, and it took around a year and a half before the youngster really began talking to his new parents.

“He watched us. He started to trust us. And then he started blooming into this beautiful, amazing, artistic creature,” says Craig.

The two men discuss what they think of the label “queer” (Austin says he doesn’t have a problem with it but Craig says it still has too many painful connotations for him to embrace it), before moving on to more candid questions.

Austin asks his dad who his first queer crush was, and Craig reveals it was Rob Lowe in the movie, About Last Night.

Asked what the “queerest thing” each had done, Austin reveals Craig used to be a “well-known” drag queen. Craig says the queerest thing he sees Austin doing is showing his “butt flaps on Instagram.” However, Craig says this doesn’t bother him: “The queerest thing? I don’t think of you on those terms. I think of you as my kid out there living his life.”

One thing both men declined to answer, opting for a sip of drink instead, is whether they’re top, bottom, or versatile.

Instead, they do opt for answering “Who’s the oldest person you’ve dated.” When Austin reveals he’s had sex with a man in his 50s, Craig shoots back, “Was that for money?”

“Shut up!” replies a mock-offended Austin, before adding, “Fifty-year olds on the West Coast really know how to preserve themselves.”

Related: Gay dad is furious when his son gets a tattoo — until he sees what it is

“Do you have any sex advice for me?” Austin asks next.

“Absolutely,” replies Craig. “Enjoy it. It’s not bad. It’s one of the most potent and beautiful things two people can ever share.”

“Well, sometimes there’s more than two,” replies Austin knowingly, to his father’s shock.

Austin shares memories when he felt threatened or unsafe because of his sexuality, which concerns Craig but is something he can relate to, having also lived somewhere that takes a conservative view of same-sex relationships.

Craig becomes emotional when he asks Austin, “Was I a good parent to you when you were growing up? What could I have done differently?”

Austin replies, “No parent is perfect, whether you’re gay, straight … I’m happy for everything you’ve done for me and I wouldn’t ever change anything about that. As of right now, where I am in my life, I’ve never been more happy and more comfortable in my own skin.”

The response to the video online has been overwhelmingly positive.

“He seems like such a caring and good father,” says one man on YouTube. “I am heterosexual myself and my father died when I was 3 years old and I would have loved to have a supporting father like this.”

“This father deserves an award,” said another. “Dude made my heart twist and I’m a straight dude with no children.”

“If all dads were this caring we would have flying cars by now,” added another impressed viewer.

Several others … well, they just wanted to know the name of Austin’s Instagram account!