Since before my wife’s death this past April, I began to live in the house that I had moved out of four years earlier, when I began my life as an out gay man. I had never planned to live in our house again. But that all changed as my wife’s health declined from terminal cancer.
In my work I have often prided myself at being able to look at a project and know from the onset if it would be a success or a failure. This same projecting into the future and imagining what will be has always been a part of my life. I can often look at a situation and see the key outlines or framework of what it will be in the future, even if I can not see the details.
Until my wife was diagnosed with cancer two months ago, I thought I was in the final stages of ending my married life and beginning a neww life with my partner. I went from planning my divorce to planning my wife’s cancer treatment. My wife’s battle with an aggressive cancer brought me back into her life, after three years and four months of separation. Her tumor was found the week before we were set to begin divorce mediation.
One of my favorite sci-fi books of all time is Dune by Frank Herbert. In one of the early riveting scenes, Paul Atreides, son of Duke Leto, is given the test of the gom jabbar by the Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam. Without going into the details of what the test is – you will have to read the book — the purpose of the test is to know if Paul is human. If Paul is not human then he is an animal.
At the end of September, at 5:20 in the morning I got a call from my wife. “I am in the emergency room. They did a CT scan and found a mass in my abdomen.” “Do you want me to come to the hospital?” “Yes.”
This weekend I visited my son at college for his fraternity’s fathers weekend. As a gay man I was not quite sure what to expect. Before coming I asked my son, jokingly, was I going to have to play football? A sport which I know very little about. He assured me, no football. Continue reading →