Saturday, March 5, 2016

One year

On our front porch
It’s been a year. Oh, Leslie. I miss you. I’ve loved you all my life – since we were 16 – for 55 years. I can’t believe how lucky I am. My heart is full – full of love, full of gratitude, full of grief. I adore you. You are the best thing that ever happened to me. Oh, what a life we had. It’s hard to believe how good it was – how full of love, how true – nothing was undone, nothing unsaid, nothing unfulfilled. 

Our happy little family. You, me, David. Talk about love! Through deeply magical times, through everyday times, through hard times, you loved him and are loved by him in full measure. With a year of your life left, he gave you (and me) a whole city – San Francisco, the best city in the world. And now, he’s taking good care of me. You taught me everything I know about being a parent – a good father, thanks to you. Sweet Leslie, we have a Son for the ages.

How we wish, how we wish you were here.
With David in Beautiful Hue - our favorite place

I was thinking a few weeks ago that you probably thought adoration was your due. When the roses were in bloom, I would scatter rose petals where I knew you would walk when you got home, on the sidewalk, up the steps, across the porch and to the front door, and I think you were like, that’s about right – and so it was. 

I can’t say who – the announcement isn’t mine to make – but someone you loved is pregnant. It’s a girl(!) and her name will be Leslie. Someone you helped in elementary school is graduating from Jesuit and has scholarship offers (>$40,000/year) from St. Edwards and Baylor. I’m in touch with your friends and they are all doing well. Your Son and his husband are well. Your husband is doing better – after all these years I love you as much as I ever did. 
January 2015

It’s probably against the rules, so I’m not actually saying that we’re scattering your ashes in the beautiful National AIDS Memorial Grove, and on Haight Street where so many people were so kind to you, and at the magical 37 bus stop, and in the Castro – places that you loved and where you were welcomed. And of course among the roses and perennials at our home. 
About 10 hours before you passed away.
Edematous, but look at you - Hi Leslie!

We had a beautiful life together. And then, in the past few years, it got even better. There were times in those last few months when it got hard between us (I didn’t understand what was happening). Then, somehow, we both surrendered and love came down like a shimmering fall of beauty and truth. Real. And then, as our time ran out, we were pure – ahhh, Leslie, how we loved.

You died as you lived, loving and loved.
A new Leslie!

The pain is unbearable. Stabbed to death every day – and still grateful, still loving, still adoring. 

National AIDS Memorial Grove - in the meadow, on the hillside, among the redwoods. Leslie!


1 comment:

Ally Fiesta said...

This was so beautiful to read. What a wonderful love to have!