Friday, Dec. 10, 2004
It's not supposed to be like this.
We talked about it all the time as we worked out together at the gym. They were going to put another couple of years into the bed and breakfast, sell it and spend the rest of their lives kicking back. They'd been saving. Planning.
Then a month ago a blood vessel exploded in Michael's brain and when it did, it blew up all their dreams, too.
The brain is an amazing thing. For a while it looked as if a recovery of sorts might be possible, but those hopes have faded now. They've taken Michael off life support and now all that's left is the wait.
What do you say to someone who is about to lose the man they love?
What do you say to someone who's forsaken all others for almost 20 years now, endured the for better or for worse, the richer or poorer and is just a few years short of the big shared dream?
What do you say to someone who has spent a month looking over the precipice of what the words in sickness or in health can become?
Someone, please, tell me what to say. I've had my pen hovering over a card for an hour now. I just can't get the words to come.
Glen and Michael were married, even if they couldn't have the piece of paper. Their commitment to each other was absolute. When you saw them together you realized that they completed each other. Michael was the outgoing one, the clown, the jester. Glen is the quiet one, the serious one, the planner.
There's a cliché that you hear sometimes, that when you lose your life partner you lose a part of yourself. For a very long time I did not understand that fully, but now that my own 30th wedding anniversary is approaching I understand it all too well.
The spousal unit has a picture of me that no one else has. When he comes home and tells me about his day, when I tell him about mine, we have the perspective of 34 years' worth of shared days. If he were to die before me, then not only would I lose the man I love, I would lose a big piece of my past, my present, my future.
I can't help but cry for Glen and the enormity of his pain, his loss, but my tears cannot give him any comfort. I need to find words.
I worry about Glen. Because the spousal unit and I are married, I have a huge number of legal protections. I'm automatically allowed into his room if he is sick in the hospital. I have a voice in his care. My property rights are firmly spelled out. Marriage weaves a complex web of legal protections around me. For those who can't marry? The situation is not nearly as secure.
We are moving to extend the umbrella of marriage here across all of Canada to provide same sex couples with all the legal and social benefits that the spousal unit and I enjoy. Churches will never, ever be forced to marry gay or lesbian couples, but these couples can go to a court house and marry if they choose.
Yesterday the Supreme Court here in Canada ruled that our federal government can redefine marriage across the country. At the moment six provinces and one territory recognize same-sex marriages but we have some hold outs. In January the government will present a bill to end the Balkanization of marriage here in Canada.
It is going to be a squeaker.
We have this amazing document here in Canada, our Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Among the many promises it makes is that no one will ever be discriminated against because of their sexual orientation. Are we a country that keeps our promises? We are about to find out.
If you are a Canadian, you can make your voice heard. You can find your member of Parliament here. Remember, this is an open vote on a controversial issue. Politicians hate controversy because controversy affects how people vote. Politely tell your M.P. how you feel and that how they vote will affect your vote in the next election. Trust me, they're listening for this one.
None of this, of course, brings me one step closer to writing my card to Glen. I think I'd better put a pot of tea on. It's going to be a long evening.
P.S. – The Big Adventure has been nominated for a Web Log Award. These awards are run much like a Ukrainian election, meaning that you can vote more than once—every 24 hours, if you wish.
I think my three loyal readers can agree that this nomination was some sort of computer error. The odds of it ever happening again are oh, say, the equivalent of me being hit by lightning. We're talking a one shot deal here. I need your votes.
(This would be the part where the room goes dark except for a single spotlight. I wander into it, looking extremely piteous. Well, even more piteous than normal. There is heart rending violin music playing softly in the background. Inexplicably you feel your eyes well with sympathetic tears.)
Remember, I am older than dirt. How long do I have left to live? I ... I ... I could die without ever knowing the joy that is winning a Web Log Award for being obscure.
Do you understand how empty and meaningless that would make my life? Do you? Huh? HUH?
I'm just sayin' ...
Oh man. This is going to be hard
Goal for 2004: 1,000 miles - 1609 kilometers
Want to delve into my sordid past?
She's mellllllllllllllting - Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012 - Back off, Buble - Monday, Dec. 19, 2011 - Dispersed - Monday, Nov. 28, 2011 - Nothing comes for free - Monday, Nov. 21, 2011 - None of her business - Friday, Nov. 04, 2011 -
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