Friday, February 17, 2006

What is it with February?

First, a belated Valentine's Day picture - what happens when you give August a box of conversation hearts and put a sleeping cat in front of him:



Anyway, this period from the 11th of February until two days from now is one of those stretches that pop up occasionally through the year (the end of August is another) that is filled with rather difficult and emotional dates for me.

11 February 2005: Shymmer's death. Obviously, not a happy anniversary, and it's hard to believe it's been a year. Of all the friends I've had who have died (and between AIDS and cancer and the violence that accompanies street life and the despair that accompanies that, I have seen a lot of death), Shymmer's haunts me the most. This, I believe, is because it was the most horrible - it was so easily preventable, at so many stages. From his parents kicking him out of the house to the sickening abuse in Chicago that aggravated his eating disorder to starving himself to death to the hospitals that flat-out refused to treat him, even when he was a skeleton, too weak to stand on his own and had to be carried through their doors.

14 February 2005: My first speech, at Equality Maryland's Valentine's Day rally. This ties in a lot with Shymmer, too, because he had died three days before and it was him, more than anyone else, that has set the tone for me of my activism in the past year. It was what I saw happening to him and so many like him (Remy? Paul? Their stories were similarly horrifying) that prompted me to try and do something about it - to try and make sure that people wouldn't continue to just overlook these things. But the 14th is important, because it was the first really public thing I did, and it got me started down this whole crazy year...

17 February 2004: Zeke's death. He was only 16, but still, it was fairly peaceful. He'd had cancer for a while, and after a life spent in darkness (he had a genetic disorder that prevented him from going out in the sun) I was glad his pain was over. I remember thinking, after I got off the phone with Matty, his partner, that it was a gorgeous sunny day and for the first time ever, he would be able to enjoy the sun with me. Zeke's death was also inadvertently responsible for my relationship with my now-ex girlfriend; I was in India at the time, and talking to Matty, I asked him if there was anything at all I could do to make things easier for him. There were a list of people he had who had been Zeke's friends and needed to be informed of his death, but Matty didn't know them too well or at all and he wasn't feeling emotionally up to calling a list of near-strangers and repeating over and over that his partner had died. Bria was on that list, so it ended up being me who called to tell her - a strange beginning to a strange relationship. So, inadvertently, Zeke was responsible for our meeting - I have him to thank, or to blame, depending on my mood.

19 February 1987: Matty's birthday. Matty killed himself this past spring, on my birthday. With suicide, I always am left with a feeling, rightly or wrongly, that there was something more we could have done. But then - emotional pain can be as intense, and as incurable, as something like cancer. Matty never really recovered from losing Zeke, and combined with a lot of other pressures in his life, his choice was to end it. I can't really fault him for it. I just pray he has peace, now, and he and Zeke are together again.

So, there it is - 8 days that are filled with a lot of dates that can be painful to remember. Combined with everything else that's been going on in my life these days - rape, losing friends, breaking up with my girlfriend, financial difficulties - I've been finding it harder and harder to stay in the world, myself. I feel like maybe I should sleep through the next month.

4 Comments:

Blogger Sassy said...

Hi. :) First off, I'll start with... What a cute picture! I wish my cats would stay still for something like that. *glances towards cats running around like crazy*

Moving on, I can't say that I can personally relate with any of the events that had happened in this month or probably any monthes in your life. However, I just wanted to comment and let you know that your actions and speeches and even your blog inspire me and my friends. I wish I could give you more words on happy solutions to death or suicide, but I find I can't. Instead I wish to give you my unconditional support.

Please, keep going for the people you inspire and who love you for merely speaking out. : ) Thank you so much.

*hugs*

11:47 PM  
Anonymous Skyzombie said...

*hug*

Wow, this is a rough stretch, ain't it? You're right, I can't believe it's been a year since Shymm. Man.

You're really an amazing woman, though, Mol. I bet Shymm and Remyremy and Paul and all the rest would be proud, touched, joyed at what you've done - and all I know you will do. If even one kid ends up avoiding a path like theirs because of your work, you've done more than most people will in their lifetime.

9:06 PM  
Blogger Ted said...

I would ask on my own behalf and Laura's that you remove links to our blogs from your page.

9:56 PM  
Blogger Ted said...

I tried asking respectfully and received a response in my blog that was less than that. I will ask again, please removed mine and Laura's links from your blog. Nobody's buying your attempts to discredit us. No one. You've lost any cred you had with them. I ask because I do not want to be associated with you. Not right now.

And please tell August that I am not Sid. I have no control over Sid. What Sid says is not what I say. Stop confusing us. I mentioned I have suspisions and August's actions reinforce them. I have to think about things. I'm not making judgement yet. I'm not saying I want out of your life, just that I don't want and cannot deal with the issues in your life as well as the ones in my own. So please, Don't make assumptions.

4:37 PM  

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