Rows of Crosses

I’ve been to Arlington National Cemetery. I’ve seen the Eternal Flame. I’ve seen the row upon row of crosses as they march across the grass. And I know that they represent a person who either served our country or died serving our country. For those of you who don’t know what the difference is, Veteran’s Day in the fall is in honor of every person who served our country in the military. Memorial Day honors those who lost their lives serving our country.  Memorial Day is for those crosses.

Every Memorial Day this poem reminds of those who lost their lives. It’s one of my favorites and my father, who was a veteran of WWII, loved it too. It’s ironic that it was written by a Canadian, but you cannot argue the truth and emotion of the words.

For those families who lost a loved one in service to their country, I thank you. This poem is for them.

In Flanders Fields

By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)
Canadian Army

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

I’m off to work. There is a big event at the cemetery today and you are all invited. If you come by, my boss will give you a hot dog and a bottle of water! (He’s in charge of the food tent again.) You won’t see me. I’ll be inside holding down the fort for my department so we don’t fall behind at month end and lending support to the receptionists by giving locations of graves to those who aren’t interested in the event.

Before I go, it’s never a Monday without Marcus so here’s a very solemn one. It just wouldn’t feel right to post a half naked one on Memorial Day. 🙂

Wishing you and yours a happy Memorial Day!

Now Comes the Night

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?

Before I go I’d like to invite you all over to my Lex Valentine blog on Wednesday when guest blogger, author Karenna Colcroft, talks about trust…and anal sex! *wink*

Have a great Monday!

What You Wish For

Today, I have a Tuesday Tune and then I’m gonna get all personal on you.

When people ask me what my favorite Christmas song is, I usually offer up the old carols. The songs I sang in accapella choir. The Boar’s Head Carol, the Coventry Carol, the Holly & the Ivy, Carol of the Bells… you know the stuff. The very old non-commercial stuff. I could tell you all about the Coventry Carol and Lady Godiva and some other stuff, but MEH. No one cares anymore. Everyone likes modern music. Madonna doing Santa Baby. That Mariah Carey song. Aaron Neville.

Don’t get me wrong. I like some of ’em too. Bing Crosby and David Bowie doing the Little Drummer Boy. But the truth of the matter is that in some ways I am a child of the 80’s still. The band that rose to such huge prominence and to this day retains as much respect for their politics as their music holds a place in my heart with their Christmas song.

Last year, I cried for hours. I just wanted Rott. I was so lonely without him. I was worried about him too up in the Sierras in the cold. I wanted things to be like they used to be. Of course, stupid me was thinking back several years instead of just one or two years. Our first Christmas together in Huntington Beach.  The year we were homeless and he brought a tree to the motel on Christmas Eve. I missed just holding him and having him hold me. Last year felt so much like my first Christmas without my parents that I got a little drunk. Couldn’t take the pain.

This year he’s home and all the joy and love that I thought would be there isn’t. It’s been replaced by wariness, caution, fear, trust issues, and a host of the most painful emotions I’ve ever experienced. I’m beset with loss and the man is right there. Things may not be hopeless but at the moment my limboland is painful and painfully barren. I’m not alone like last year, but the loss of so many of my hopes has left me feeling raw and even more lonely than I was last year.

I laughed at myself a few days ago about getting what you wish for. All I could wish for last year was to have him home with me where I knew he was safe and where I could show him that I loved him. This year… I know he’s safe at least. And when he smiles, I can see it. And I know that all this churning emotion at least tells me that I am still alive inside this shell.

And even if we can’t yet cross the chasm between us, and may never be able to, I have those places I can go to in my heart where I can still feel the heat of those memories we made together.  In my mind, Christmas will always be about that night we struggled to decorate a tree that filled a little room and how we laid together in the dark, holding hands, listening to midnight mass on the TV as the lights blinked on that dried out tree.

Sometimes, the best Christmas’s are the ones in your heart.

Himself Didn’t Work

Remember when people were retweeting Neil Gaiman’s call for people to help me find homes for the kittehs? Remember how so many people emailed and said they would take them? Do you know how many of those people actually did what they said they would do? None of them. Well, one person who said she would take one, ended up not being able to, but yanno… she found someone else who would. An author from Lyrical Press came and adopted the only female.

So all of that frenzy was pretty much for naught and makes me wonder if those people just said those things thinking the great Neilhimself would notice them. I’m still left with my life falling apart and pain in indescribable places and the babies still need homes. Oh, they are fixed and have had shots now though.

Nicki’s cat Neko will not be coming home from the foster care home because the vet discovered she has a heart condition that will require expensive medication and treatment. I can’t afford that. I don’t even have a car that works at the moment and I have DH who is looking for a way to not live with or be with me anymore.

I have an ad on Craigslist in the hope that the smallest of the babies will all find homes. I’m afraid to give them all up because then the DH will still leave and I will have nothing. Having nothing to look forward to is a very desolate feeling. I’m pathetic enough to wish to work things out with him. When he says he cannot live like this and he’s going to leave because of it, I just want to throw up and pains begin in various parts of my body. I’ve swallowed some Tylenols so hopefully the physical pains will dull soon.

As for my heart… I think it’s done. Three times I let a man have it and two times it’s been tossed back. Third time doesn’t look like it’s a charm. I really think he’s just gonna stomp all over it and walk away as if the last ten years was ten minutes. When people stop talking to you and tell you they don’t want to talk about it, that’s a pretty significant thing.

So aside from being an emotional zombie who doesn’t know how to do anything except sit and let the hot tears wash down her face, I still need homes for some of the babies. Last time the mobilization got me all jacked up on hope and got one kitten a home. Can it be done again? This time to save my sanity or my life (since my blood pressure is about as high as strokesville.) You tell me.

Am I wasting my breath again? Maybe I should just open the door and push them all out… cats, the DH, the lazy kid. Or maybe I should just quietly get the car fixed, toss some stuff in the trunk, pick up my netbook and walk away from all of them. That seems really irresponsible of me. I’m not usually the type you can’t rely on to see things through, but I’m tired of the lip service from everyone starting with my daughter, the man I’ve been with for ten years, and all those people on here who promised to help me but couldn’t be bothered to return an email. Am I the only person out here with ethics and a heart? Is that why everyone stomps on me? Is that why I feel so miserable that I’m gonna have to run to the sink and yak as soon as I post this?

For years I’ve been responsible for others. I’m still responsible for them, sacrificing for them. And I don’t feel appreciated in the least. Now, I’ve strangers treating me the same way with their empty promises of assistance. Am I wrong to want someone to be straight up with me and just help me without asking for or expecting anything in return or reneging? And those people I would like something from – my kid, my DH – why is it that they care only for their own feelings and nothing for mine? Am I just something they use like a utensil or a car? I’m convenient and acquiescent I guess. Perfect for giving lip service to.

If you know someone who could help find the kittehs homes, please repost and retweet the Craigslist link. I really do need homes for them before they end up in the street. I have a feeling that is where I am headed here soon because I just do not see a HEA up ahead.



I remember how I used worry about Motley when she was little. Fear was always close to the surface. Today, I’m thinking of Dawg and what I posted last year and what he’s had to live without for two years. And my heart bleeds for him.



Hug your kids today. Please.