• Aled Rees

Wrong again Karen!

Updated: Jul 9, 2020

My dad suffered from a double heart attack, yes a double heart attack, one literally after another on the same day.

I worked for a Social Housing company at the time, and I’ll never forget that phone call from my mother, the noise of her sobbing her heart out, a woman at the brink of a breakdown as the man she loved was literally at deaths door as the ambulance sped across the county to Moriston hospital.

I hung up the phone, walked back to my desk, void of all emotion.

I had become life less, emotionless numb.

As I walked through the office the echoing of voices around me yet I couldn’t hear a thing.

My voice, as it passed through my lips, mouthed, that I needed to go home, that my dad has just had a heart attack and I had to be there for my family.

To this day I don’t remember what anyone in the office said, I don’t remember leaving the office and I certainly don’t remember driving home.

As I miraculously arrived at my family home, I remember finding my brother fast asleep on the sofa.

I remember my mother crying that she had tried to get in contact with him for ages however as per usual he didn’t answer his phone, this was standard for my brother.

There he was, laying on the sofa like some sloth, phone constantly ringing however he was out for the count.

I saw RED! A volcanic eruption of sheer pain flew out of my body. A concoction of hate, anger and pain! Why was he sleeping? It was the afternoon! Why didn’t he answer his phone, why did he never answer his phone? At this point the tears blinded my vision as I screamed my pain towards my brother.

He eventually got his innings in as all he had to do was to throw that one fatal blow towards me! Five simple words, yet Five powerfully poignant and painful words!


I was stunned! Like I had just been punched in the face by a champion boxer! I was out for the count!

“It’s all your fault, you dirty faggot! You’re too blame for dadi’s heart attack! If he dies it’s all your fault!

These words haunted me for a very long time. My dear estranged brother will of course, deny these words, he will also suggest that I have made these up however, for me and I’m assuming for a lot out there, that I tend to only remember the bad things people have said to me.

It’s strange isn’t it? Why remember the bad things and why forget all the positive and nice things people have said? Yet for me I always and only remember the bad things, and sometimes these like to replay in my mind like some sort of sinister audio book. But, I must add this is a very rare occasion these days, I find that if you surround yourself in positivity and positive people then these historical negative words will eventually disappear.

My Mother arrived at home, she seemed ok, but as she turned the corner and entered the Kitchen she fell to her knees, she fell down as her heart broke into pieces. I remember holding her, as her entire body weight lent against mine. The tear flooded voice.

This was no ordinary cry, this was the cry of a desperate woman, a woman who would so anything so that her husband, the love of her life to live.

I held my mother like a babe in my arms, I told her that everything would be ok, that everything will work out and that we will pull through this for father! That he was not going anywhere and that we will be strong for him.

No mention of the argument between my brother and I was mentioned, there was no need to bring this up and I was determined she was not to find out.

The three of us got into the car and drove straight to Moriston Hospital.

There’s probably nothing more frightening than to be rushed into a private room in a hospital and then told to wait by the nurses as you sit there in contemplation of what the verdict will be. Will he pull through this horrible ordeal or will death win and takes his next victim?

Hours passed, and thankfully! After receiving a stent into his arteries (I believe this is the correct terminology, however if I’m wrong please point this out as I’m all for learning, everyday truly is a School day) my dad pulled through, yet the double heart attack naturally took a lot out on him.

He went from being a sturdy 6ft man to a little frail old man, bedridden and void of all strength, however you could see the determination in him to get better and the life slowly returning to his body.

Living in a village, a particular small village in Wales, gossip is the bread and butter in which the community thrives on. It is the reason that the Karen’s of the world wake up and get out of bed.

Gossip Gossip Gossip! They don’t need any food to live on as they feed upon the tales of those in the village, like a vampiric creature sucking on the woes and tales of the villagers as they spread their purely filtered shit amongst their followers.

One person’s woe is a gossiping so and so’s lively hood.

It’s extremely sad but equally very true, and we are all part of it. Even if we aren’t the ones spreading the gossip we are at someway of another contributing to the archives of bullshit. And that’s the fugly truth.

My coming out, a chapter in the chronicles of the village gossip was one of which the villagers felt they needed some form of creative control over, Cue gay son causes dad to have double heart attack.

“Did you hear, Roger has had a double heart attack, apparently it was because of Aled, his eldest came out as Gay and to top it off, he’s got a boyfriend!”

“Apparently he could take the fact his son was a poof, and it got to him”

“Oh, i always knew that there was something odd his eldest, I’ve always said he was one of them” backs against the walls boys ha-ha

This, as petty as it sounds, was the fabulous gossip that my family, or to be more precise I had contributed to the village chronicles.

If I’m truly honest, I’m actually annoyed this fabulous tale wasn’t published in the local rag! I’m surely front-page material, however Mr Jones and his oversized marrow beat me too it.

I can clarify, at this stage that my father, the man who brought me up and told me I could be and do whatever I was in this world, never really had an issue when I came out.

Yes, he was shocked, yes, he was naturally worried about me, yet in all fairness to the man and like the majority of the people of his generation, they never truly understood what being gay was. All they knew was man and woman.

A man and a woman gets married, they have a baby, they live together, the children grow up and move on and have their own babies, then the man and woman get old together before they head to their final resting place 6ft underground.

They came from a generation were, firstly being gay was a criminal offence, not forgetting that being gay was the cause of the aids pandemic in the country during the 80s, and so too them being gay was something negative, something that ruins lives and eventually will kill you.

Thankfully we all now know that this is ridiculous however there are still those out there who still hold on to this mythical tales of hate and of course will forever hold onto them.

We can try and encourage them too change but sometimes we can’t change everyone.

I remember apologising to my dad, I didn’t want to be gay, I didn’t want to bring shame to the family, and that’s when he told me,” don’t be stupid, you have never brought any shame to the family, I love you no matter what, you are my son and I’m truly proud of you! You can love who you want to love and be loved by whoever chooses to love you back, I will always be there for you”.

As the joker my Dad is, he, if he ever reads this, will blame the morphine for this! Nevertheless, these where his words and I will cherish them forever.

To clarify any misconception, I was not to blame for my dad’s heart attack, I know shock horror.

His dramatic episode was due to a hereditary heart condition along with a lifetime of unhealthy eating and drinking, something that I will probably inherit at some point of my life, and so that is why I fully believe in enjoying oneself.

I am truly here for a good time and not particularly a long time however if I could hang around for a few more years then I would be eternally grateful.

So I regrettably inform the Karen’s of this world and the editor and chief of the local village gossip publication that they were wrong!

The information that they spread like wild fire was, as Donald Dump would say, Fake news!

But I will add, having worked in PR for many years, all news is good news and so I thank you for your time and energy in taking notice of my fabulous life and spreading the great gospel of Aled amongst your peers.

To be continued...

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