This Should NEVER Happen To ANYONE
My partner and I had been together for 12 years, in 2003 he was diagnosed with “Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma”. He started chemotherapy, which was exhausting and took a tole on his body. His doctor suggested that we spend as much time together as possible so I quit my job and we struggled to live off of his Social Security Disability of $600.00 per month. He was also HIV positive, but undetectable. It was a struggle just to survive physically for him and financially for both of us. We couldn’t have survived without the help of AIDS Organizations who helped us with food, utilities, his HIV meds and rent sometimes.
We thought we had everything covered as far as legal stuff, Medical Power of Attorney but no will (we refused to give up hope). When I thought it couldn’t get any worse on May 25, 2005 the nightmare begun. The person that was the love of my life and with whom I would spend the rest of my life passed away at home in my arms. The people from Hospice were wonderful and the staff of UNC Chapel Hill (treatment hospital) were incredible. I found out about an hour after he passed just how little rights we had. I could not make his arrangements for cremation because his father (who he had a strained at best relationship with for 20 years) was still alive.
Once that was taken away from me I found out that I was going to be evicted because my name was not on the lease and none of the AIDS organizations could help me because I was not a client. I found myself at 43, widowed and homeless and unemployed a place that almost destroyed me. Thank God for his wonderful brothers that took me in and gave me time to grieve and get my life together. I felt sorry for myself for about three years and then I got mad. I finally have a place of my own and getting stronger everyday. I tell everyone that I meet my story because I vowed that what happened to me should never happen to anyone ever again! I really don’t care about people’s religious hatred against gay marriage, that’s on them, but as a tax paying citizen of the United States of America, I demand and deserve ALL of the benefits that come with Civil Marriage. That’s why I share my story and won’t stop until we get FULL EQUALITY UNDER THE LAW and ensure that this senario never happens to anyone ever again!!
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