Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Precious Time

I saw this video at PAGAN’S place earlier today and it broke my heart. I always feel a sense of urgency about human rights. How long is an acceptable waiting period to be equal? If you’re the person whose rights are being trampled on I imagine a moment can feel like forever.

So I planned on posting the video and linking back to my dear wonderful friend Pagan. I planned on doing it tomorrow.

And I went about my day. A pretty crappy day actually – full of annoyance and a backache and worries.

My last chore for my crappy day was to put out the recycling container. And I ran into my neighbor from across the road. He looked drawn and tired – crushed actually. One of his closest friends just died.

I met this friend. He was 53 (same age as me), married to a wacky and wonderful woman. They have a beautiful teenage daughter. We met at a backyard party. He instantly took my son under his wing, turned out they do the same kind of work. We all spent an incredibly lovely evening together.

As I walked back up my driveway with tears in my eyes and a knot in my stomach I was thinking of how he was the same age as me, of how he had spoken longingly of retirement, of the way I caught him looking at his daughter – full of love and protection and pride. I remembered his eyes when he took me aside to tell me what a great guy my son was – how he knew how hard it must have been to be a single Mom – especially back in the day – in Brooklyn. Turns out we all grew up in the same neighborhood.

As I stepped into my side door all the wind rushed out of my sails.

What if he had been waiting to find out if his marriage was still “valid”? If it was “legal” to be married to the person he was raising a child with. The person he had been committed to for 20 years.

Life is so fragile. Time is so fleeting.

It is a disgrace that love needs to be defended. It is a disgrace that people feel they can attack love.

It is a tragedy to waste this precious time.

I hope you will go to COURAGE CAMPAIGN and sign the petition. It is 3 items down on the left side.


Kay said...

I love the video.... and you are so right about time beeing fleeting.

In the past week I have heard the news of four deaths of friends/family memebers.

Time IS short, what we do with it DOES matter.

Pagan Sphinx said...

sniff, sniff

I'm in that kind of mood, too. Everything makes me cry - both good and bad stuff.

I'm thinking of you, my friend. I'll email you about possibly having coffee. Or call. I believe I still have your number.


The Quiet Rage said...

WOW!!!! People in LOVE wanting to share their LIVES together! The CRIME! Don't homophobes have anything better to protest? I can't believe that will all the crap going on in the world that anything resonating love would be a welcome thing....

thornesworld said...

Gah! I can't stop crying over this. Thank you for commenting at my place, thank you for posting this and for signing and thank you for your heartfelt words and lovely voice!

the walking man said...

Ken Starr was an asshole 10 years ago and is an asshole still today. Why is it when these pricks talk about downsizing government it is only downsizing it in relation to regulation over banks and corporations and not in trying to regulate people's freedom?

Piss on the Ken Starr's of the world!

bobbie said...

thanks for posting this, Dianne. It's a beautiful video. Of course I signed.

Ivanhoe said...

Oh how I wish there was more people out there just like you.
Going over to sign right now :o)

Dianne said...

kay - I'm sorry for all the loss you're dealing with. Thank you for sharing your feelings - I send hugs

pagan - the frustration over Prop 8 just chokes me!! I can only begin to imagine how you feel - there is so much to do and so many obstacles. I'll e-mail you my number

quiet rage - I don't know what it is that makes people want to tell others who and how to love and live. I suspect that part of it is that it keeps them from needing to look at their own lives.

thornesworld - you're welcome. seems like such a small thing to do - I want to do more and get so frustrated at my lack of resources. It hit me like a ton of bricks when I thought of the loss and pain this man's wife is experiencing - imagine having to deal with all this other crap as well. It is so wrong.

mark - I'll stand side by side with you and piss as hard as I can ;)
One of my favorite quotes is from Bill Maher - "Republicans talk about how big government doesn't work, then they get into power and prove it"

bobbie - thanks :)
you're a good soul

ivanhoe - that's an incredibly kind thing to say - don't know if it would be an asset to the world but I do try my best ;)

Daryl said...

On my way... I am sorry someone so young has passed, so very sad ...

Deborah Godin said...

Beautiful sad and yet hopeful post. There is always time to make things right!

Jay said...

Dr. King used to talk about the "fierce urgency of now." And Obama has repeated that line a few times too. It applies to almost everything in life. Life is fleeting and there won't always be a tomorrow to worry about stuff.

Spartacus said...

You're spot on about precious time. I try and savor each moment while you can, and humble myself for having had it. Thanks for the link.I signed it.

Dianne said...

daryl - thanks. it is terribly sad about this man's passing - his daughter's Sweet 16 is coming up, they had so many plans for the summer
everyone described him as strong as a bull - and then he's just gone

deborah - I hope everyone who is married or wants to be married gets their rights soon - very soon

jay - maybe that's where I got the word 'urgency' that is always playing in my head. much of what Dr. King said over the years has stayed with me
thanks for the quote

spartacus - I know we both know a bit about losing people too soon - I guess the gift inside the pain is that we appreciate what we have deeper
thanks for signing

CG said...

These issues have been very much on my mind for the past two weeks, because I've recently had some very heated discussions with some family members who are - admittedly, homophobic. They see love between gay people as inferior/wrong/unnatural and worse.The discussions arose because of a story about a gay couple adopting a child in our media. I was shocked to my core and it made me wonder how many others secretly feel like that. Talking to my nearly 13 year old daughter, I was relieved to hear that she doesn't feel that way at all. Thank God.

I recently one of the kindest, most gentle and caring men imaginable, a carer for the learning disabled. His co-workers say he's truly special; a rare soul. He's also gay. I could cry when I think of what labels some people will put on him just because he's gay. Sorry to go on...you touched a nerve with your post.

maryt/theteach said...

Dianne, I've posted a birthday party for Mo at my blog. The post will go up at 4:00 PM today and stay up all day tomorrow! Come on over and leave a comment for Mo! :) Maybe that'll give you a little lift...

Richard said...

As always you write from the heart. I can't fix this issue, but if you come by the bloggerhood, I have a solution to an ongoing political problem that may amuse you.

You sound like you need it.

Dianne said...

cg - you didn't go on
your comment is heartfelt and genuine, which I'm sure is why your daughter is such a good open person

mary - I'll be over, thanks :)

rich - I'll come by the neighborhood also :)

Smalltown RN said...

Diane....As always your are a woman with a passion....good for you for speaking out....I went and signed the courage campaign..not sure if my vote counts seeing as I am Canadian...but I share the sentiments in the letter...

I recognized how fragile life was/is when I had my surgery in December...when things went terribly wrong in the OR. It could have gone either way....I try not to think about how it could have been the last time I kissed my girls and husband and said goodbye as I was being wheeled into the OR theater...I remember waking up and my husband and girls were all there when they took me off of the ventilator, we all cried when we realized just how fragile life is....yes we must seize each day...try to live and love to it's fullest...

I can't imagine some government ruling telling me that what I have is not recognize. That what I hold dear and call my family does not meet their criteria. Who are they to judge? Who are they to dictate what constitutes family? A union of love.

You are a good soul my friend...I know you have your down days...we all do...believe me...I admire how you push on...how you encourage others to push on...cudo's my friend...

Maithri said...

I've seen this video several times now and it always moves me,

Thank you for the love you bring to the world,

For speaking always with passion and compassion,

You make me proud to be a human being,

Much love, m

Travis said...

I don't understand the mentality that would deny equal rights. My brain just doesn't work that way.

Real Live Lesbian said...

I saw this yesterday. Thanks for posting it. Powerful stuff.

Bond said...

Unfortunately, we are coming into that age when we begin to lose friends and loved ones many before their time.

Your memories of this 'stranger' prove him to be a wonderful man.

Lisa said...

We do have so little time and it is a tragedy to waste it.

I've had a great love... I have no idea what kind of pressure and sadness would have put on it if the world had been against my own personal choices.

I'm lucky... my love was accepted and acceptable to the outside world.

Hilary said...

It's astounding to think that there are those who can self-righteously deny others their basic human rights. You'd think by now, the world would grow up and get it. Same sex marriage has been legal nation-wide here in Canada for almost four years now, and in most provinces since 2003. Hopefully you folks won't be too far behind. Life is just too short for such stupidity.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

It is APPALLING that Ken Starr has filed this suit---On Behalf of who??? People with no humanity in them at all. I am more and more depressed by the incredible lack of Humanity these seems to seperate so many of us in this country...What Planet are they from that they have nothing better to do than to spend Millions on trying to rescind love??? It makes me sick.
Thanks for posting this Dianne....This is so important.

I am sorry to read that you are going through hard times....It seems to be happening to so very many people...A very old friend of mine died the first week of February....So much sadness.

Years and Years ago---when I was still "marrying" people....(Performing Marriage Ceremomy's) I married three different Gay Couples. No, it wasn't legal---and there was no License, but what there was, WAS deep loving commitment. Two of these weddings were in the early 90's. In one case, one of the men died a few days after the Ceremony---AIDS related illnesses. This was before 'the cocktail'....He had been waiting for that Ceremony. THAT is how important being married was to him. That second wedding of two women, in 1993---Well, they are STILL together.
As you said, How can people be against love?

The amount of hate in the world and in this country is shocking to me sometimes....That so called "Cartoon" in the NY Post....Racism at it's worst.
Another subject for another day...yet, related by the nature of the lack of love, and representing the worst in people. Rupert Murdoch should be ashamed.

the walking man said...

Dianne if you aim low I will aim high!

Bob-kat said...

I wonder what this Ken Starr is so afraid of? Only fear can drive so much hate towards people they don't know.

Happily though, no amount of legal stuff can hurt the love these people feel for each other. Ken Starr cannot touch that at all. This is still hateful though as it ensures that these people do not have equal rights as everyone Ken Starr considers "normal" and that is just plain wrong. Why should they be vilified and treated differently because of whom they love? One of my sisters is in such a partnership and it was a wonderful day when they wed. No-one can take that away from them and happily no-one in the UK is going to take away their legal rights in such a partnership either. I wish it was the same there too. Very, very sad.

Dianne said...

smalltown rn - I didn't know about your surgery! thank goodness you're OK, I know how close your family is - that must have been an incredibly scary time for all - I love what you took away from the experience but then again I have always admired your insight and thougtfulness
thank you for your kind words for me - they mean so much

maithri - I'm as proud of you times 10 ;)
hugs sweet doctor

travis - I grew up with that mentality - my father hated my grandmother because she was an immigrant and Jewish, he laughed when MLK was killed, he called the assasinations of the Kennedy's "good days for America", while he was living in Louisiana he joined hands with others to fight school desegragation - he was full of hate and as I got older I realized how damaged he was

RLL - it is powerful. the entire "forced divorce" concept is so heartbreaking and so frustrating since so much of the opposition to gay marriage comes from those who claim to value family.

bond - he was a wonderful man - my son is reeling from this, from the sudden random horror of it

lisa - from everything I know about you I feel confident that you would have met and conquered any issues
you have an incredible spirit

hilary - and I assume Canada hasn't folded as a civilized society? ;)
family hasn't been destroyed, gay parades aren't breaking out all over - it is stupid!!!
and I am ashamed to say my country is often far behind others in matters of progress and human rights although we profess to be the moral compass of the world

oldold lady of the hills - what an amazing life you lead!! and what a wonderful voice and heart and soul you have
I hope I am wrong but I fear the separation in this country will get bigger
the right's idea of compromise is for us to give in, look at how they treat Obama's outstretched hand and look at their heroes. and as always they wrap themselves in flag and God - guess it makes them feel better about what they do

mark - it is a deal!! ;)

bob-kat - as I mentioned to Hilary re. Canada - the US is behind so many progressive nations - and if the right and the religious loons have their way we'll be traveling backwards at warp speed

Bob-kat said...

Do you know, I often wonder how such a nation as the US can be so far behind many European countries in such matters as equality of all kinds (based on sexuality, sex and creed) and even the rights of women to choose for themselves, but then I am reminded of the same thing we have here: Free Speech. Unfortunately those with an ax to grind usually shout loudest and most often. It is so important to stand up to these bigots!