Sunday, June 10, 2012

To Life, Hope and Change!

  Some look upon a scarred body as one that has received so much pain, agony, hurt... I think on the scars I've seen in some of my family who went through surgery.  Older heart surgeries were huge for scars.

   Yet, there is an odd thing about a scar.... it is a place where an injury occurred, yet it has healed.  At least on the outside.
  Now, I think upon the concept of the sore; of the phrase "opening a sore wound".  Unhealed, barely scabbed over, aching, bleeding, frustrating and hobbling.  So many of us have wounds that do not heal, that do not even give us the merit of showing scars, only weeping wounds that will just not leave us be.  The tragedy upon all of that, it seems like scars are so evident where the seemingly more evident wounds would be easily seen yet are not.  They hide, behind small corners, shadows, little small smiles and ineffective laughs, yet the persist.  Staying closed until odd moments seem to bring them to the surface to be all but intolerably painful.
  I am fortunate to have certain things scarred over and, if ugly, at least acceptable.  They are memories of pain, yet no longer painful in themselves.  And, like all of us, I have my wounds.  I try to keep those covered.  Every now and again, I peek, but mere acknowledgement comes with its own trauma. 
  I tell you this to speak about my choices of living alone.  I choose that rather than let people close to me.  I know it.  I even have a good feel for why.  Such is my life.  And yet, every now and again a phrase hits me, and I realize that it still hurts.
  I mentioned in a response to an earlier comment that I had seen a great show on PBS. In that show, there were a few stories that had me empathizing and feeling their pain, even their hope and joy.  And, in some, I felt the words strike deep to my soul.  One of those phrases went sort of like this:  'Everyone needs someone to love - Someone to share the popcorn while watching a movie; Someone to wait with them as they see the doctor; Someone to pick them up at the airport, greeting them with a smile and a 'welcome home'.'   
  I don't honestly know what my future will bring.  I like living alone, and I understand that in part it is to avoid opening those sores that seem to weep and bleed upon investigation but otherwise seem quite healed and scarred over nicely.  I like that I come home and my dog is so happy to see me, loves to cuddle with me, be part of my family.  Will I ever have anyone else?  I don't know.  For that matter, I don't even know if the dog will allow anyone else on the bed - there are times she barely allows me!  
  Past injuries ought to be in the past.  Passed.  Gone.  Yet, hobbled and frustrated, pains come back to all of us, I guess.  Still, there is hope, still there is life. Here's to life, hope and change. 

ACLU vs. DOMA news

Another DOMA Win!
By James Esseks, Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender & AIDS Project at 7:44pm

When it rains, it pours! Late this afternoon, another federal judge ruled that the so-called federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) violates the federal constitution. The ruling came in an ACLU case brought by Edie Windsor after the death of her spouse and partner of 44 years, Thea Spyer.

Edie and Thea became a couple way back in 1965. By 1967, long before marriage for same-sex couples was anything more than a pipe dream, Thea proposed marriage to Edie – that’s just what their relationship meant to them. Thea couldn’t give her an engagement ring, because Edie wouldn’t have been able to explain it to her colleagues at IBM, so she gave her a diamond pin instead. They were inseparable for the next four decades.

In 1977, Thea was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, and they both worked, over the next 30 years, to accommodate Thea’s progressive paralysis. She first used a cane, then crutches, then a manual wheelchair, and finally a motorized one that she could operate with her one good hand.

In 2007, with Thea’s health failing, they got married in Canada. In Edie’s words, “If you live together for 42 years, and you love each other for all those years, how could marriage be different? It turns out it’s different, and you don’t know why.” Edie and Thea enjoyed married life for the next two years, until Thea died.

In New York, Edie and Thea were a lawfully married couple, but because of DOMA, they weren’t in the eyes of the federal government. So when Thea left their apartment and the rest of her possessions to Edie, the IRS taxed that inheritance as though they were strangers. Where a straight widow would have owed nothing at all, Edie had to pay over $363,000 in federal taxes.

Never a timid soul, Edie challenged that tax bill – and the insult to her marriage – in federal court, in a case brought by Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, LLP, the ACLU, and the New York Civil Liberties Union. And today, the federal trial court in Manhattan ruled that DOMA violates the equality provisions of the federal Constitution.

Edie’s is the fifth case in which courts have struck down DOMA, and the fourth ruling to come just in 2012 – a veritable avalanche of judicial wisdom on our side, and a sure sign of an idea whose time has come. Now Edie is off to the federal appeals court for this part of the country, and the DOMA issue is very likely to be before the Supreme Court this coming term. Let the avalanche continue!