Last week I learned from Bill, a chat buddy of mine, that Kelley, his partner, had passed away. Bill and Kelley had been a couple for the past 21 years; quite an achievement in any relationship. Brett and I had only met them once for dinner in the few years that we have traded IMs and emails. I know that Bill checks my blog every now and then and has commented on my posts. With today’s technology, you make friends in new ways. I definitely consider Bill a friend from our on-line conversations.
I wanted to pay tribute to Kelley and to Bill, his devoted partner with this post. I respect Bill’s privacy but must share that he emailed me the details of Kelley’s last days in the hospital. It was truly a moving email. The devotion that Bill showed Kelley in the hospital was so caring with long hours and constant support, love and devotion. He also shared Kelley’s mother’s letter to her dieing son. It was so touching. When I read Kelley’s obituary, there was the recognition of the love and support that Bill shared with Kelley and his family through the years.
Bill, you have Brett and my sincerest condolences. I know that in the coming months and years that you will be blessed with the memories you keep of Kelley and your time together. Kelley and you exemplified the loving, long-term relationship between two men that many in this country deny can exist. They can deny it, but you are testimony that it does and no matter what those people do they can not erase or demean true love and commitment.