One thing I have always done since Gregory entered Lieberman Memory Care, is to be very open about our relationship and about my love for him.
I feel no embarrassment at hugging or kissing him when I want to or when he needs me to, even if we are in a large group of people. If he cries with joy or frustration, I feel no problem in hugging him and rocking with him.
Our relationship, same sex relationship, has been accepted by Lieberman administration and staff as well as by residents and their families on Gregory's and other floors.
People will ask about our relationship and I will proudly tell them Gregory is my life partner, my significant other, my boyfriend for over forty years now. Usually they gasp in amazement and say something like, "Most marriages don't last that long."
If the person is not aware, I will not go into any detail. If the person asks what I mean, I will go into my "gay" or "married" etc description.
I am tickled when people, family of residents or residents, ask if Gregory is my son or if I am his son.
Many people, both staff and family, have commented on how lucky Gregory is to have me and I will reply, "I am lucky to have him."
People will comment on what a wonderful love we have for each other, several have mentioned never having seen such a great love, and others have said they only wish they will love someone as much in their life.
When I hear this, my first feeling is one of embarrassment due to the attention and the visibility of our love, on the other hand I work at not holding back on the love when with Gregory, so the next feeling is one of confirmation.
I guess I just love this man and am a little amazed when others are amazed. It is what we do. It is who we are. That's all. But I guess that's a lot!