Gay Marriage: Apparently I am not a Family Member
The pain of losing Hugo was hard enough. It was worse because I never got to say goodbye. You see Hugo had had a wife and four children. When his wife Grace had an affair, he was 47. At that point he decided that living a lie for her was no longer sustainable and decided to come out. His reasoning was that if she could betray him like that despite his faithfulness (against a backdrop of his own sexuality issues); he was quite free to be himself. We met when he was in the middle of the divorce and were inseparable until bone cancer cruelly took him away from me.
All those years, Grace had contracted a series of increasingly outrageous marriages. At one point she was even in the papers for dating a 21-year-old student. Hugo did not want to hear from her but was desperate to keep in touch with his beloved kids. Grace did a good number on him and they all hated him (three girls) apart from the boy who seemed to have some sympathy for his situation. The girls always said that her mother would not have strayed had he been a loving and “normal” husband. Hugo explained his predicament countless times but they were having none of it. Esther had become born again and was adamant that her father’s sin was the very worst in the world.
I know that Hugo wrote dozens of letters to his children. It is only Richard who ever answered back. Esther was joined by her young siblings Mica and Ruth in their vendetta. Richard was considered to be a Judas because he had met me and would bring his family around some weekends. There were many hysterical scenes. Esther was not particularly bothered by us. She had gotten Hugo’s house and all his pension. As she spent it on toy boy after toy boy; the fact that Hugo and I were growing old together seemed less important. She knew that at least three of her kids would never see eye to eye with him. That was her legacy. The rest did not matter.
Hugo Comes into Money
After the divorce left him penniless, Hugo’s aunt promised that she would give him all her inheritance in compensation. Ada was a retired school administrator and had been widowed for 11 years when she died. She left Hugo about $900,000 in cash, a house and stocks which amounted to about $1.3 million. After a long time struggling to make ends meet on my salary; it was a relief to us. We told Richard about it and somehow the news reached Esther. We were all surprised when we received a notice from the court saying that Esther wanted more money. Her argument was that Hugo had hidden his inheritance at the time of the divorce and she now wanted half as well as guarantees that the children would get their share.
I was so furious; I could hardly speak. Thankfully we got a lawyer who sorted it all out and the case was thrown out. Esther then changed her strategy. If she was not going to get to the cash, she would at least ensure that her children got it. When Hugo was diagnosed with bone cancer, we were devastated. He said he did not want expensive treatments but I insisted. Esther had the audacity to come to the hospital to complain about how I was frittering her children’s inheritance away. She really was like a deranged woman. Not a single word about her dying ex-husband. Just all about the money. I too was determined. She was getting absolutely nothing if I had anything to do with it.
Hugo and I missed the gay marriage age. I was told by the hospital authorities that the next of kin was actually Esther with her siblings acting as alternatives. I meant nothing. I could inherit nothing and would not be allowed to visit him. We panicked and by this time Hugo was getting a bit delirious. He wanted to write a will to prevent Esther from pushing me out but went into a coma before he could finalize it. Esther swung into action. She called me every name under the sun and accused me of being a devil who had seduced her father into sinful lust. Esther said that she had decided on giving everything to a local charity because the money was tainted by my Hugo’s “abominable sin”.
Gay Marriage: The Law is Not on Our Side
It was then I realized why I had to become an advocate for gay marriage. My case was hopeless but I wanted to ensure that nobody else would be treated like I was. A man that had been neglected by his family for a great part of his life was suddenly torn from the lover he had known for more than a decade. I could not visit, let alone hold his hand. A friendly nurse used to give me updates when Esther and her entourage were not there.
They would come in to check how he was doing but nothing really person. Not once did any of them touch his hand. I personally felt that they were doing a count down. Things became so tense that I once confronted Esther. She told me that it was not about the “dirty money” which was going to a charity anyway. She just wanted to ensure that her father would be saved from a painful after-life. That is why she came to see whether he could come round and he could confess his sins before he died.
Richard applied for custody but the procedures were not really helpful. It was taking too long and Hugo was dying. I only learnt about the death when I came for my daily clandestine visits. Apparently Esther had decided that the body had to be cremated. It was so humiliating for me when I fell to the ground and asked for the ashes. There was a mixture of pity and disgust in Esther’s eyes. I know it was sad, but I felt that I had to retain something of Hugo. He had been my companion for so many years. He had literally saved me from recurring depression.
If anything, my entreaties only served to harden Esther. She completely refused to countenance any rapprochement. I was not to come to the funeral and was not to be mentioned as a partner. The obituary described a “divorced man”. They had won but my last few years would definitely be spent campaigning for gay marriage. I was there at the Supreme Court and saw the ups or downs of the legal arguments. I was shouting and dancing when we won, even if it was mainly on a technicality and just by a whisker. I know that other gay couples will have some options at least.
Esther Lets Us Down Again
I really would like to say something nice about Esther but I would be lying. The woman is a harridan without a single redeeming character. As her behavior following her father’s death has shown, she is a hypocrite of unparalleled shamelessness. The money never went to any charity. Richard told me all about it. Esther paid off her mortgage and offered to split the remainder amongst the siblings. Richard took his shared and transferred it to me. I was very grateful since the bills had really eaten into our savings and I was back to square one without the prospect of a new job.
Grace is still going on with her husbands. She had the nerve to ask me for money when she realized that Richard had given me his portion. I said “not even if they paid me for it”. The woman must have some sort of dissociative disorder because she behaved as if my reaction was the strangest thing she had ever witnessed. I was flabbergasted when she told me:
“I forgive you Arthur. I know you are missing your boyfriend and that is why you are so mean to me. We will talk when you are calmer.”
I really had to control myself. This woman was some temptation and God, I was about to commit a sin that might probably land me in jail for the rest of my life. Thankfully Richard was with her and he politely told her that it was better they left.
Now that we have gone through all this, I often wonder: how could anyone think that someone like Grace was a better care-giver for Hugo than me? The woman was nuts and her daughter Esther was not too far behind. The other two girls, I could not care less. They say I am a sinner but I would argue that they are far worse than me. Nobody who has a shred of decency would treat their parent the way that they treated my Hugo. With the obvious exception of Richard, I think they were just pure evil.