Join Prism Book Alliance® as Hank Edwards goes Outside the Margins today.
This election has ground many of us down to tiny nubs. Both sides harbor strong feelings, and I’m not going to get into right or wrong here. I am, however, going to write about how it’s made me feel.
In the early nineties, I worked with a fun and outgoing man named John. We laughed often, had very similar taste in men, and really enjoyed each others’ company. We never dated each other, we were simply friends. John met a man named Mark and, soon after, moved in with him. A short time after that, John went to rehab for alcoholism, which was where he was diagnosed with HIV. Mark, as it turned out, was also HIV positive. John returned home and tried to stay sober, but it was hit and miss for him. Because of his drinking, he developed pancreatitis. In January of 1993, John suffered a debilitating attack of pancreatitis and was hospitalized. He died a few days later, and I was crushed. I had never lost someone so close to me before. Mark, of course, was suffering as well, and I did all I could to help him with things around the house. Mark was in and out of the hospital for a variety of issues, and I would always look after his cat, an orange tabby, Maine Coon mix named Tom. In March of 1994, Mark passed away. He left me a good sum of money from his life insurance, Tom his cat, as well as the furniture and other belongings in his house.
My very good friend, Cheri, Mark’s good friend, Carolyn, and I all met at Mark’s house shortly after his funeral to pack up his things. I was pretty much numb, hit with a double dose of grief. We went through all of John’s things as well as Mark’s, and then started to organize Mark’s furniture. We paused now and then to hug each other and cry a bit. Every now and then one of us would find something and show it to the others. Many times we wondered about the meaning of the thing. Had it been purchased or received as a gift? Was the significance of the thing the place it had come from, the person who had given it, or the object itself?
Now, more than twenty years later, as I watch the nation’s president-elect announce his staff, I am suddenly engulfed by those same familiar feelings of loss and grief. I feel as if I am packing up the liberties and civil rights gained over the last eight years in the same manner I packed up Mark’s belongings. My friend Cheri, still a comforting fixture in my life, is as distressed about the election results as I am. As we have commiserated about the results — and, yes, railed against the system — it feels so familiar. I will miss President and Mrs. Obama; their elegance, grace, and humanity served as examples for us all. I am nervous about what is to come, much like I was so long ago when I’d just lost two good friends and inherited a cat (who turned out to be one of the most awesome cats ever and lived with me and my husband for twelve years).
But then I remember that not long after losing these friends, I met a man who I would one day actually be able to call my husband. I would experience staggering grief again — losing another close friend just a year and a half after losing Mark — and then almost two decades later when I lost my father. But even with so much heartbreak, there has been joy. There has been laughter. There has been progress, and, most of all, there has always been hope. And these days, that hope is what keeps me going every day, keeps me engaged, and keeps me writing stories of love and struggle and, ultimately, hope. It’s not always been easy, and it’s taken a hell of a lot of work and determination, which is something our community is more than familiar with. We will not be silent. We will fight to keep the rights we have been given, and press for those we all deserve. This is who we are.
Things are going to be all right.
About Hank EdwardsHank Edwards is a curious mix of practical realist and feral dreamer, with over a dozen books published. His body of work covers a host of genres from gay romance to humor, paranormal to suspense, and mystery to time travel romance.
He is also a member of the Story Orgy group (www.facebook.com/SOGroup), a clan of writers who post free gay romance reads to their blogs every Monday morning and self-publish steamy stories based on writing prompts. Find his posts atwww.hankedwardsbooks.com/hankerings.
Like his Facebook pages (www.facebook.com/hankedwardsbooks or www.facebook.com/venomvalleyseries), favorite his Amazon page (www.amazon.com/author/hankedwards), and follow him on Twitter (@hanksbooks) to become a true “Hankie.” You may also visit his website at www.hankedwardsbooks.com or send along an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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