This past week has been a rough one. Friends are having trouble with all sorts of bad things. I have my share of stuff too and stress over them is really bogging me down. Despite where I work and what I write, mortality isn’t something I think about every day. At least not in a conscious, personal way. Yet, a few things have happened that reminded me that I don’t live in the Darkworld where the immortals die mostly when they feel like retiring, giving up their bodies, and moving on to the Afterlife.
Two of the nicest people I know have had tragedies befall them. Both things happened rather suddenly. One friend had a spouse diagnosed with cancer. The other lost his partner. The devastation they feel is an emotion I’ve felt before and I have great empathy for them both. I’ve shed tears for them both. I hate that anyone has to go through this kind of pain. Yet, from it we tend to rise like phoenixes from the flames, the steel of our blades – our spirits – tempered and made stronger by the fire. Cliche, I know, yet so very, very true.
In the case of my friend, author Jason Edding, I was reminded yet again of what may be a landmark case for gays. Greene vs Sonoma County is a story that put the GLBT writer and reader community in an uproar. Blogger Teddypig of the Naughty Bits decided to do something about it and All Romance eBooks took a leaf from the pages of his blog. I’ve tossed in my support by giving 25% of my net proceeds from my GLBT book Fire Season and Christmas Catch for copies purchased from ARe through the month of May. My publisher has matched that. And then what happened to Jason brought the reality of this case into a startling focus.
When Jason’s partner died, he faced not only the loss of his loved one, but the loss of his home and belongings, his way of life. You see, they never made provision for Floyd’s passing. Now, in Clay Greene’s case they might have had that paperwork in place, I forget, but either way, the county ignored his rights. This could have happened to Jason too. I’m sure it was in the backs of the minds of all of us at MLR Press as we banded together to help Jason. No way was my friend going to be the next Clay Greene.
It does remind all of us that we should plan for the future in every conceivable way. Gays especially need to protect themselves and their partners by pre-planning which is something that isn’t just about funerals but about all the things connected to a serious illness or death. If something happens to YOU, where does that leave your significant other? Can they pay the mortgage? The rent? And even het couples, if they are unmarried, partners have no rights no matter how long they have lived together.
You might think this is a depressing topic for a Monday, but it’s not. It’s a timely topic considering all the stuff that’s gone on with people I know in the past weeks. Even Motley, who’s been driving back and forth from Corona to go to school…I reminded her that her boyfriend is not her next of kin and that she needs something in her wallet telling authorities who to call in an emergency. The thought of something happening to her scares me. When she reassured me that she had something in her wallet I felt better. I can’t stop bad things from happening, but I feel better that we’ve made an attempt to put plans into place should that occur.
So I sent Jason an audio book of Notturno so that the silence in his home wouldn’t be so overwhelming. I remember that silence well and I knew his need for a distraction from it. We’ve all been talking to him in Google Talk trying to keep his spirits up so he can deal with the new changes in his life as well as his grief. If you’re so inclined, feel free to stop by the post I put up on his site and leave him a message. The kindness of others, even strangers, has meant a lot to him. Showing him that he’s not alone helps immensely.
Before I get to Marcus I’m going to share the video I posted on Jason’s site. Just a little Rob Thomas this Monday morning. 🙂
Oh, it’s my favorite part of Monday now! I need a Marcus to sustain me! It’s going to be a looooong day I know. (I got up at 5 am. UGH.) *sigh* How pretty is that body, eh?
Have a great Monday!