Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Rose

It was two years ago this morning that Craig, my handsome young lover died. At 8:00 AM I found his body on the floor of his bedroom. He had died of "accidental auto-erotic-asphyxiation". [see my blog on here dated September 19, 2006]
The last two years have gone so fast....were it not for my many friends I could not have survived as well as I have. Today I spent some time with Jazz [that's her picture in the About Me column]. I'm sure she wondered why I cried all over her but she likes being held. Years after my father died my mother told me "It never gets better, but it does get easier". I have to agree with mom.

Tonight I went to the Baltimore Symphony with our friend Steven. On the way home this song was playing on the radio. While Craig and I both liked Bette Midler this song was not particularly special for either of us. Since he died everytime I hear it I tear up. Isn't it amazing how music effects us? The words pretty much describe how I feel about Love. Yes, I freely admit to being a sentimental old fool.
Here are a few pictures of Craig. The young man with Craig at the Cloisters in New York City is our friend Gunny. The first infant Craig ever held was Lila, a good friend's daughter, I'm glad I got a picture of the two of them. And that's me standing behind Craig and the big yellow duck.

The Rose Lyrics – (by Amanda McBroom)

Some say love, it is a river
That drowns the tender reed
Some say love, it is a razor
That leaves your soul to bleed
Some say love, it is a hunger
An endless aching need
I say love, it is a flower
And you, its only seed

It's the heart, afraid of breaking
That never learns to dance
It's the dream, afraid of waking
That never takes the chance
It's the one who won't be taken
Who cannot seem to give
And the soul, afraid of dying
That never learns to live

When the night has been too lonely
And the road has been too long
And you think that love is only
for the lucky and the strong
Just remember in the winter
Far beneath the bitter snow
Lies the seed
That with the sun's love, in the spring
Becomes the rose
(performed by Bette Midler)

Friday, September 5, 2008

Stand Up 2 Cancer

Okay, I'll admit to crying at the drop of a hat. I don't really sob, it's more that my eyes well up with tears and overflow. Sometimes they flow through my beard and drip off my chin. Usually I mop them up before they get that far. Now you are probably asking right now "What got you started this time?"

Well, I just watched a one hour television special aired on the three big channels, ABC, CBS, and NBC. (Fox counter programmed with "Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?") The program, Stand Up 2 Cancer, was a telethon for cancer research. It featured a number of celebrities as well as normal ordinary people whose lives have been touched by cancer (survivors, patients, family members, and friends). It also featured doctors making great strides in cancer research.

A close friend of mine, Mark, is currently undergoing chemotherapy for his third bout of Hodgkin's lymphoma. (Check out his blog at I've been spending a fair amount of time with him this summer. As I watched this program at first I was thinking of him and my mother who died, in 2000, from cervical cancer. Then it hit me I am a prostate cancer survivor. I don't often think about my own cancer (I was very sick afterwards with diverticulosis, totally unrelated to the cancer).

I am very lucky, my tumor was classified as Grade 1a (which means that it could only be diagnosed by a biopsy). Treatment last January was to have my entire prostate removed by robotic-lapriscopy using a machine called a DaVinci. The surgery went well with few complications. Thanks to the DaVinci there was very little nerve damage (no incontinence and few problems with impotence). Compared to Mark or my mother I suffered very little.

Each of us fights cancer in our own way. My mother was 88 years old and chose to accept death gracefully and with considerable faith. Mark is fighting his cancer with patience, enduring his chemotherapy and its side effects. And thanks to my many friends I, too, am a cancer survivor.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Just the facts, Ma'm, just the facts!

Okay, for the sake of open disclosure (and fearful that you might think otherwise). I am a liberal (make that very liberal) Democrat. I listened to Gov. Sarah Palin's speech last night. I found her more than a little irritating but that might have been because I am a liberal (make that very liberal) Democrat.

I'd like to suggest you who are reading this check out these links:

John Stewart Hits Karl Rove, Bill O'Reilly, Dick Morris On Sarah Palin Hypocrisy

Georgia Republican Rep. Lynn Westmoreland used the racially-tinged term "uppity" to describe Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama Thursday.

and one of my favorite sites since it is an equal opportunity "de-bunker"

FactCheck's Mission reads in part:

We are a nonpartisan, nonprofit, "consumer advocate" for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics. We monitor the factual accuracy of what is said by major U.S. political players in the form of TV ads, debates, speeches, interviews, and news releases. Our goal is to apply the best practices of both journalism and scholarship, and to increase public knowledge and understanding.

They have Special Reports going back to December 2003. Reports from 2004 focused on the last Presidential Election and took on both Kerry & Bush.

Now I recognize that I haven't posted links to the Republican National Committee or John McCain's webpage, but then again I haven't posted the links to the Democrats or Barack Obama.

On another post here I'll talk about my (short) career as a Democratic leader and that, my friends, is a "teaser".