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It’s been a few days since Orlando. I’ve barely been able to think about it. But on the way to work on the bus this morning, when the tears came, I felt the words that needed to come out. They may make no sense. But I can’t carry them inside anymore.

The friend I’ve had the longest in this world is gay. He is deep in the fabric of my history. The one where no questions need to be asked and sometimes no words said at all. Then there is Margo and Nicole, who I met in college – the couple that has been together the longest of all of us. And Bobby, who came as Sue’s BBF and we’ve kept him ever since. Now Randy, Bobby’s partner. They are family.

The Buzz, the softball team we sponsored for years at The Roanoke. A boy at The Girl Child’s school. A girl in my son’s class making the brave decision to embrace the man inside. Scott and Delmis and Jerald and Ian and Mike and Sue and Tara and Ashley and Madden and Andy and Gayle and Rebecca. The lovely married-to-each-other women at the bar who told me they hoped to look as good at my age.

They are funny, snarky, witty, brilliant, loving. Fiercely loyal. Because they know what it is to be on the other side of loyal, when friends and family cast them aside like nothing because of who they love.

So the tears came when I think that it could have been them. I couldn’t think that for a few days; I still can’t grasp the magnitude of loss. The mom getting the text from her son hurts on another level.

It isn’t fair. It hurts. And nothing I can do or say will change that. But I need you to know one thing.

I love you. I love you. I love you.

 

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