Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Men of Michael

three men and a tree
Originally uploaded by

Yesterday I added some music to my blog. I gave it a great deal of thought prior to posting it, as it has significant meaning. The group whose music I have on the play list is Secret Garden. They are a Norwegian Duo who won the 1995 Euro Vision Song Contest. So how did I come to know of them? Michael.

When I met Michael he had recently moved back to the states after many years of living over seas. For 7 of those years Michael lived in Norway with his previous husband. This was a very significant relationship for him. Part of his reason for moving back to California was that his mother needed some help, as she was raising her raising her grandchildren. Michael needed a break from the relationship, his mother needed some support, and he eventually decided not to return to Norway. Even though he felt good about his decision, he had many happy memories of his time in Norway. He maintained contact with many friends there, one being his ex.

When Michael and I first got together I felt a bit intimidated by the way he described his life with his ex. They enjoyed a lifestyle that I could never compete with. His ex was a well paid doctor, I was a social worker with three kids. In time I became more comfortable with the fact that he still had loving feelings for his ex and the life they had. I realized this was nothing to feel threatened by, as I knew Michael was in love with me.

The day that we learned of Michael's brain tumor it became my responsibility to contact his friends and family. I knew that Michael would want his ex to know. He and I had never spoken to each other, but he knew of me. That day I called a woke him up from his sleep. I introduced myself, then quickly shared what was happening. His ex obviously cared very much for Michael, and he began sobbing. There I was, consoling Michael ex husband.

I later got to me the ex, as he, and a few of their friends came to visit us a few months later. He was very nice, yet we were obviously a bit nervous around each other. On the last night of their visit I asked to speak to him alone. I told him to please call me anytime for updates about Michael, and that he is welcome to visit again. He was very sweet, and wanted to be sure that he was not invading our space by visiting.

The week before Michael died he suddenly became unable to communicate. He was able to understand what we were saying, but none of his speech made any sense. One morning I was looking on his cell phone and saw that his ex had called. I called his number, and explained that Michael's tumor had progressed to the point of his being unable to speak. I asked the ex to speak to Michael as I held the phone to his ear. After a period of time, I brought the phone back to my ear to let him know that Michael heard what he had shared with him. The ex asked if I needed any help with Michael. I thanked him for asking, and let him know that I had Michael's mother, and I had the hospice nurse helping out. After I hung up I realized that what he was really saying was that he wanted to be here. I called him back and invited him to come visit. He got on a plane the next day.

When the ex arrived he walked in with a bouquet of Michael's favorite flowers, Irises. I took him down to our bedroom and gave him the chair next to Michael's bed. He sat there with Michael speaking to him in Norwegian. It was wonderful to hear him speak his native language, and he was so please when he realized that Michael clearly understood him. I wanted to complete the mood, so I put on the CD by Secret Garden. Michael had played it many times in the past for me. I knew that it was a favorite of his from that time. I now understood that we shared Michael. We both loved him. We both knew what made him happy.

Later that day Michael's best friend arrived. Michael's best friend was his best man at our wedding. Michael's best friend was also Michael's first lover. There we were, the men of Michael. We all held a special part of Michael in our hearts, and we all had a part of Michael's history. Together we were a testament of a lifetime of love, Michael's love.

The music playing is the music that played throughout Michael's last days. It is the music that guided him peacefully from this world. It is only recently that I have felt strong enough to hear it once again. And, although I say strong enough, it still reduces me to tears. Tears of love.


  1. solemn. beautiful. poignant. you and Michael are blessed with the love you share.

  2. You have a very generous spirit. Lovely music.

  3. Wow, this sure got my tears flowing! What a testament to the true power and strength of love. Unbelievable - an amazing gift to Michael but I am sure all of you there were blessed too.