Robert died yesterday afternoon. Robert was gay. He lived right behind us.
I find it strangely moving that yesterday was also the day that the last, huge, piles of leaves were collected: The last Autumn leaves. Pushed into gigantic piles. Overnight, just the day before. Collected yesterday - just hours before Robert's passing.
Yesterday afternoon at 3:00, Robert's life was "collected" by his Maker. Now he's free. And the most amazing thing happened. I say amazing because such a thing has never happened in the neighborhood before.
Last night, the doorbell rang. It was a young man, house-husband, who lives across from Robert. He takes care of the children while his wife works. He'd come in the darkness to our doorstep. To tell us that Robert had died. He'd just come from talking to Steve, Robert's partner. I don't know if he went around to other houses. But nothing like this has ever happened before.
Later on the phone rang. It was the old lady who lives next to Robert. She's a widow. A few months back she had phoned to ask us how Robert was doing, as the ambulances had come and taken him back to the hospital. This time she phoned to tell us that Robert had died. She had learned this. And felt moved to call us. Nothing like this has ever happened before.
I want you to understand: I hardly know these people! But I did know Robert.
Robert lived just behind us for a number of years. Maybe as many as 15. Steve came to live with him at a certain point. We'd known he was gay before Steve arrived. Robert loved gardening. He loved flowers. He loved his cats. And he loved Steve.
We also have a couple of lesbian couples in the neighborhood. Quiet people. Probably 4 doors down on either side - across the street. Quiet people. Families, just like everyone else.
Now here's the thing: You'd think that if such loving and stable relationships were a "bad influence" - then bad things would be happening in the neighborhood. Just the opposite! Young couples have moved in and are having babies like crazy. Many people keep going to church. Even sending their kids to parochial schools. Public schools too. Others just live lives of quiet virtue. There's a pretty active neighborhood association. There's a lot of getting together and caring going on. So much caring that Robert's death is being marked as no other event I can recall in the neighborhood.
So where is the bad stuff that opponents of gay marriage keep predicting? That's what's puzzling me: How come so much good is in evidence?
I have a scientific side to me. If this were an experiment, you'd be looking for the evidence. You'd set up a hypothesis - to prove or disprove. Please... where is the evidence of gay wrong-doing? Where is the evidence of any harm at all?
All I see is evidence that disproves what the fundies and the arch-conservatives are telling us. (Sure enough! Another phone call...)
a comment from jwalk559
November 16, 2009 9:58 AM | Reply | Permalink