Dear Parker,Brayden,and Savannah,
My name is Michael Glendon Weaver but you know me much better as Uncle Mike. I am the middle son of your grandparents Alvin R. Weaver and Brenda C. Weaver-McConnell. Your dad is my brothers. I am thirty-five years old and I have been an uncle for almost six years now. Within this six year time frame I have noticed that I do not really go out of my way to visit you guys. I never pick up the phone and call your parents to announce I'm coming to visit the P. B. or S. I have to admit that in my older age my patience is lacking when it comes to being around small children such as yourself. I definitely favor dogs over children so hang in there....I will be the better uncle eventually. By default, I am a typical Weaver uncle. Your dad and I has never felt a closeness to any of our uncles on either side of our family. This is not a complaint. This seems to be just how the Weaver family rolls. I'm willing to bet your grandfather's uncles were not as hands on as well. So in case this trend continues for the rest of our lives, I thought I'd write you kids a letter and offer some advice,insights,rants,or musings pertaining to the events that surround your immediate and/or long term future.
It occurred to me the other day that if you kids can manage to live another eighty years, you will be knocking on the door of the 22nd century. Wow! May I just say....I'm jealous! I can not begin to imagine what life will be like in 2050 (my 75th birthday) much less what your lives will be like in retirement age. Hopefully by then the stem cell research that is occurring in 2011 will actually allow everyone to live comfortably past 100 years of age.Maybe you will see the year 2100! Hopefully by the time you retire you will not have to worry about developing cancer or Alzheimer's. The sciences that are being studied this year could very well save your lives or even prolong your lives for many years to come. Do not fall in these traps that religious neo-cons have set for you by attempting to cause you to distrust science. I promise you the science that the neo-con is falsely mistrusting is the same science he enjoys when its time for his vaccine or flu shot every year. Yes! Its hard to believe but even in the year 2011 we still have people living their lives as if its the bronze age! Its as if we just graduated the idea of stomach flu is caused by a small toad or dwarf living in our bodies :D
Embrace science...it will embrace you back :)
Another thought: I'm not sure how old you will be when your parents decide to discuss or answer any questions you have concerning why your uncle Mike is not married or even has children of his on. I'm pretty sure I will let them handle telling you that you have a gay uncle.Comparatively speaking, I know your parents are far more conservative than I am (even though I suspect they are closet liberals). But at least two of you kids are attending Baptist churches and I know what the church's official stance on homosexuality and marriage equality is. Your dad (my brothers) has shown nothing but love and support since finding out I was gay back at the turn of the century, and I'm pretty sure that love and support will be transferred into your mind and hearts as well. It really is a non-issue in the Weaver family. I got lucky!
I am not married or have children because the state in which you currently live (Virginia) does NOT allow its gay or lesbian citizens the right to get married or adopt children. I have no idea what year you will be reading this so try not to laugh when I tell you that Virginia has actually allowed its electorate to go inside its voting booths and cast votes on whether or not some of their neighbors would be allowed to get married. Strange but true. It happened. Ask your nearest neo-con for details. Assuming they still exist.
Your generation,Parker,Brayden,and Savannah, will look back one day with so much shame in your eyes over the fight for equality. You will look back at the early part of the 21st century and wonder with shame why the neo-cons of the previous generation were so resistant to human rights. I'm wondering it myself and its a very young 2011 I live in. Just imagine the attitude society will have towards the early 21st century neo-con once you kids hit your early to mid 30's in age. You are not alone in your generation's shame. The same type of shame is being carried around by your dad and I as well. We are part of a generation that carries the shame of our previous generations (including our very blood relatives) reluctance to accept change and grant rights to a certain group of people. Your grandparents and especially your great-grandparents were part of a generation that resisted civil rights to the African-American community. So you and I have a lot in common when it comes to bearing shame. I hope in the future mankind will continue the fight and struggle and see to it that ALL men are created equal.
Lastly: Lets play a trivia game. I'm willing to bet you kids 200.00 a piece that you will not be able to answer the following question:
List the first names of your 4 great-grandparents on your father's side.
OK! I'm assuming between the three of you; You owe me 600.00!!
You kids are by no means in trouble by not knowing this. In fact, If you asked me the same question I would fail miserably. I'm betting most people would. And that's my final point.
You three could very possibly be my closest relatives on the day that I die. Its very possible that you could be in charge of my funeral and ash scattering ceremonies once the time comes. Your dad and I are so close in age that its a complete toss up in the order in which we die. The memories you will have of your Uncle Mike will only last until the day that you die(perhaps sooner). Once your life and memories fade, "my spirit" completely vanishes and will cease to exist on this planet. No one in the latter 21st or even 22nd century would have even heard of a Michael G Weaver of Roanoke,VA. How do I know this? Simple. You failed to answer the above question. Its evidence that people only remember their loved ones for just a generation or two while living on Earth. I have every intention of making sure that the lasting memories you share of us are good ones. I want you to think of us in the year 2065 and smile over a great time we had together.
I just wanted to let you guys know that I love you and think of you often. Even when I do not seem to be any where around. I hope and dream that you will have continued good health and much success throughout your entire life. If you ever need anything (other than a new car) please do not hesitate to ask.
PS, The answer to above trivia question:
1. Homer (Weaver) d. 1975
2. Lera (Weaver) d.1997
3.Noel (Cockram) d.1994
4. Ruby (Cockram) d. 2010