R Man and Me

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I’ve been putting off posting any updates about R Man for months. Donna Lethal wrote me weeks ago and asked about us and I callously ignored her sweet note; I hope she accepts this as an apology and a reply.

R Man is very weak. He can no longer get out of bed and swallowing has become very difficult; he chokes on water. He is rarely lucid and often seems to be quietly hallucinating. This evening Secret Agent Fred and I were unable to wake him up to give him some medicine. He’s just sort of dazed, asleep with his eyes open. Considering the range of indignities that come with this level of invalidism, I guess that’s just as well, at least he is unaware of them. On the other hand he does not seem distressed or unhappy and he’s here at home. It is the end I would have chosen for him, I suppose.
As for me, I am pretty much all right. Honestly. The worst part of all this seems to have been earlier this summer. At that time, R Man as an individual, someone whom you could engage in conversation, who could make bad, bad jokes, who could remember the life we had made together faded and disappeared. The man I loved was gone and I was grief stricken and angry and crazy and it was a bad time.
So now I’m taking care of the physical remains. I don’t begrudge it, I still love him and would have this no other way. It’s just different.
If I ever imagined this sad time, I pictured the grief and wondered how I would get through it. I never thought about the physical part, never dreamed that the hard work of it would be the defining element. Let me take time now to give a big shout out to our many friends who have been such an enormous support to me through this, especially Super Agent Fred, John, Diane, and Gaye. Angels with dirty faces, one and all.
So why have I ignored all this in favor of chatting about bad movies and houseboys? In part because it just doesn’t seem to fit here. Also though, in reading other people who are going through or have gone through this, the same phrase comes up over and over again: “I just want my old life back.” I don’t want enlightenment, or piles of gold, or armies of buttboys; I just want to go back to sitting around the fire reading with R Man. I want my old life back, but that’s gone, that’s just how it is. But my blog has remained a tiny sliver of what I had before and I would like to cling to that.
So. I don’t think I will be talking about R Man again, until the end comes. Honestly, I can’t imagine that will be very long. When it does come, I know I can rely on you guys for internet based support. Thanks.

About mrpeenee

A former bon vivant and terror of a number of New Orleans bars in the mad, gay 1980s, I'm now quietly retired and widowed in San Francisco. I have a crooked nose due to an unfortunate Frisbee accident.

16 responses »

  1. He’s so handsome. Thank you for the update and many of us have been wondering but didn’t know how to broach the subject. You’re handling of this issue is very stoic and admirable. It’s a sad matter and I teared up a little just reading.

    Just to leave you with a happy note; What’s wrong with piles of gold, and armies of buttboys?

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  2. Mr PeeNee, you're my newest hero. A true gentleman and a braveheart to stand by his man through the most unimaginable of struggles.

    I read your words and I can see my possible future. Thank you for posting this. I'll remember it whenever something seems to hard to get through.

    Much love to you BOTH!

    xo

    K.

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  3. Hang in there Peenee … And just know that we are here for you both. caring for another is not an easy task at the best of times… let alone when you have shared half a life time together.
    It hurts … but we all cope in our own way… power to you for your “Stickability” and for keeping R Man at home with you. I'm preety sure it's where he'd want to be too. Love to you bothXXX

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  4. Of course our wishes are with you both. The situation you describe with such clarity and compassion is one that faces everyone eventually and as a friend once told me it is when we see what we are made of. All the best to you both during this trying time.

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  5. Dear Mr. P,

    What a gorgeous picture. You have done well by your R Man, both in photographic representation and in your loving, compassionate care. You are both in Miss J's thoughts and prayers.

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  6. Oh, Angel, if I could give you a big hug, and take some of the weight from your shoulders, you know I would, and in a heartbeat.

    I won't say that I have walked in your shoes, your journey is unique to you, but after caring for Mom I know the path you are on well as I'm walking it now but see the light at the end.

    It's going to get harder before there is relief, but relief comes for everyone.

    We all love you, and will do for you whatever you need.

    email me your number if you need to talk. I'm a good listener.

    My love to both you and Rman, Stu

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  7. I'd just written to you a few minutes ago, but my point is this:
    You and he have both been in my thoughts and prayers for months and months….and even more so now.
    I don't know if it helps…or ever can. But just know this, you're both very loved.

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  8. Peenee I only know you from the blogosphere but I know enough to know you could not have your blog any other way. I know too well the feeling of just wanting “everything to be back to normal.” You did what was best for you to cope under very tough circumstances. And La Diva ALWAYS expected to come here and find snark and a laugh. (and some nice tight buns!) Wishing you loads of love and healing. xoxoxox

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