Love and Marriage
Written shortly before the California Supreme Court decision rejecting the challenges to Prop. 8 in California, which banned Gay Marriage, but maintained legal the marriages before the passage of that electoral initiative
May 24, 2009
On Sunday May 17th, four days after being diagnosed with an aggressive form of Leukemia my brother-in-law’s sister, Jamie, died in an Oakland CA hospital, just after celebrating Mother’s day and making holiday plans with my nieces. That Sunday she felt weak, and on Monday entered the hospital from which she would not leave, felled tragically in the middle of her plans for life by a previously undiagnosed and asymptomatic ailment. She was 38 years old and is survived by her five year old daughter Phoenix and by her wife, Michelle. Jamie loved poetry, worked at a bank, graduated from UC Sta. Cruz, played music, loved her family.
In the Summer of 2008 a brief window opened in California that allowed long time life partners to marry each other. Jamie and Michelle took advantage of this opportunity and legally and socially sealed the bond that they already had personally. After 11 years together they could now be treated equally under the law, as a married couple. In the tragic circumstances of her death, this legal treatment allows for a better resolution of the burdensome reality now overwhelming her closest ones.