We then went to a nice cafe in Redfern on a beautiful tree lined street. Being Autumn, the street is majestic, colorful and relaxing. We enjoyed some breakfast sitting outside and chatted for almost three hours. The sun was shining after three days of non stop rain and flooding across the city.
The conversation was a catch up, it had been almost four years since I had seen the girls. We spoke about Sister Williams, our memories and the quirky things she did that made us laugh. In the back of my mind was the idea that I wanted to "come out" to these guys, but this day was all about Sister Williams. I didn't want to spoil that in any way.
We went to the chapel, we stopped at a supermarket on the way to buy tissues, a prudent decision as we'd discover later at the funeral. This was the first time I'd been back to the chapel since I stopped attending Church, it's been about two and a half years I think. I saw people in my old Ward, my old Bishop, members of my High Priest Quorum and others.
How did this make me feel?Well, I suppose I was so focussed on Sister Williams and the event of the day that I didn't think too much about where I was. At the same time I found myself often referring to "we" or "us" as in the normal process of conversation, I was referring to my partner. One sister approached me with her usual question"are you here alone? Do you have anyone with you?". Well, I had my friends from Melbourne, but that's not what she meant. I really wanted to say "my partner's not here today, he's at work and couldn't make it". But that didn't quite eventuate.
There were tears, which for me was a combination of tears for Sister Williams, but also for me and my wanting to tell people about my life. Many of these people I've known for 20 years, they are my friends, they love me and I love them.
As we arrived at the chapel, a very good friend - almost my "other mother" (I have a few of those at Church) approached the four of us. She said "here are two of my favorite people in the world". I thought "that the!" (I knew she was joking). She then said "I have a kiss for my favorite people" I received one of those kisses. As we left the funeral I have a her a big hug and said "I miss you" to which she responded "I miss you too". I know she knows I'm gay and that I have a partner, I felt no judgement or malice from her.