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Love Has No Age; Love Has No Limits; Love Has No Death!
The year of ‘firsts’ is coming to an end, so it seems fitting that I publish this post today, March 9, 2015 at 1:20 pm. As Diane Lade so eloquently wrote on April 13, 2014 in her Pulitzer Prize nominated story; “Richard loved opera and classical music, and they were listening to the joyful finale of Gilbert and Sullivan’s “The Mikado”: The threatened cloud has passed away, and fairly shines the dawning day! What though the night may come too soon, we’ve years and years of afternoon. From his seat at the table, Chris suddenly looked at the hospital bed across the room. Chris saw Richard shrug and turn his head toward him. At 1:20 p.m. on March 9, 2014, on a sunny Sunday afternoon, Bernard Richard Schiffer died.” 1.
Richard loved opera, in fact, I remember him taking me to my first opera, ‘Madam Butterfly’ in 2006. “This will be a good first opera for you because it is not too heavy.” Of course, the sentimental side of me said upon leaving the theater that evening, “You didn’t tell me it was going to be such a sad ending.” He just smiled and laughed at me as we walked down the sidewalk for dinner. It was fitting that we were listening to Opera on that ‘sunny Sunday afternoon’ as Richard spirit was lifted up, pain-free for eternity.
My year of ‘firsts’ has had its ups and downs. We move on with our heads held high, taking the good days with the bad, the bad days with the good, and all that goes on in-between. I’m still trying to find my place in my year of ‘firsts.’ Leaving my job at Sun-Serve, spending extended time in New Orléans, going out on my own with my radio show, Healing Ties on iHeart Radio, learning the group cruise business, becoming theNational Caregiving Advocate for Answers for Elders . com all of which has proved to be a challenge, but very rewarding too. Yet there is that empty feeling which seems to linger, and never go away. So many of you, near and far, have been so kind and so supportive. I find so much comfort from your thoughtfulness.
As I reflect today on my life with Richard, I can sum it up into one sentence…I am lucky to be loved in the way that I am loved by him. Unlike Madam Butterfly, we did not have a sad ending, just a new beginning, it is the adjustment period that makes this year of ‘firsts’ so difficult at times. As I have written before, my faith tells me that I will see him again, my mind tells me that he is forever pain-free, and my heart tells me that he is right next to me. Because in the end, just as in the beginning, love is the winner!
1. Lade, D., & Jean, C. (2014, April 13). In Sickness and In Health: A Couple’s Final Journey. Sun-Sentinel. Retrieved from http://interactive.sun-sentinel.com/lgbt-dying-couple/