Saturday, August 27, 2016

A Funny Thought

We have been in our condo for over eight years now. Repainted a little over one year ago. Replaced the refrigerator. Rearranged the furniture. These changes have brought new life to my living space as Gregory left and made more space available for me.

Created a reading corner in the bedroom with the addition of a tall bookcase (matching the existing cases and end tables, a beautiful modern black leather chair, and a new floor lamp.


Then transformed Gregory's desk (living room library table) into my desk. I have been enjoying waking each morning, leaving the bedroom (where my desk used to be) and working at my computer, cup of coffee in hand, in a large open space. The large windows  and balcony door let me look out at the clouds, grass, and trees on the third floor roof garden below.



Had our two club chairs refurbished;  leather cleaned, conditioned, and redied to original 1950's color. Also added two new tubular floor lamps.




The final reclaiming (for now) of the condo is replacing the carpeting (eight years old, cleaned five or six times, and ready for replacing) with hardwood floors in the den/TV room/guest room and master bedroom.






It took a while to find a hardwood floor that matched the existing one, but with Randy's help (friend and owner of Restoration Creative) we succeeded. The wood arrives next week and has to "breath in its environment" for a while. The next week will see the carpet taken out and the floors installed.

Meanwhile, I have been preparing to empty all the book cases in the bedroom.



In the closet there is a large Techline closet wall which will remain, so I have been organizing it to within an inch of itself to keep some of the "Objet d'art," (French fancy for art objects:-) safely out of the bedroom.

Closet Left

Closet Right


This area is to the back of the closet and around the corner.


This finally brings me, as it so often does when I write, to the reason for the title of this post. 

As I have been making space in the closet wall, I reserved an area where I could put Grandma Carrie's sewing box, in which Gregory's remains rest on the bookcase shelf where I have created my Gregory Shrine.



In the shrine are included his photograph, some of his favorite objects, a Buddhist Bowl Bell (which I sound when I want to sit and have a chat with Gregory,) a vase with a fresh flower, and a small plate of dark chocolate (which I eventually eat:-) These things will go into a plastic box during floor renovation and be placed on a shelf in the closet next to Gregory.

The ironic issue here, is that through no fault of his own, Gregory is going "back into the closet" for a while! When I realized that I got the giggles!

Also, you may know the story of how I have somehow lost the key to Grandma Carrie's sewing box and while searching over and over again, cannot find it. I have referred to this as, "Gregory is grounded!" Again though no misbehavior on his part. Even though the box is locked, I am sure Gregory can come and go at will:-)

So if you drop by the condo in the next week or two and you are wondering where Gregory is, as I often do, HE IS GROUNDED AND HAS GONE BACK INTO THE CLOSET! Isn't that a funny thought?





Friday, August 26, 2016

Online New England Film Festival 2016

ALZHEIMER'S: A Love Story is part of the New England ONLINE Film Festival. 
Online New England Film Festival features 47 local films from 13 New England festivals from September 1-October 15, 2016 at newenglandfilm.com/festivalhtt…//newenglandfilm.com/festival

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Feedback From A Film Festival Attendee

Hello Michael

You don't know me, but I wanted to reach out to you. I just finished viewing a screener of Alzheimer's: A Love Story. As I'm wiping away tears, I had to track you down to express my awe and admiration for the love and caring you gave to Gregory.

You are a beautiful, loving soul. When we choose our life's partners, we are vowing to be there through the end. Watching you with Gregory in this film showed me how to do that with love and grace.

Thank you for your honesty in sharing that difficult, agonizing time in your life. You give us an example to which we can aspire when our end times come.

God bless you!

Cynthia Canty
Bloomfield Hills Michigan

Pleased to announce:

PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE that we will be part of the 13th Annual Southwest Gay and Lesbian Film Festival!

Periodic Feedback

Every now and then I will talk with someone who Gregory worked with or somehow knew in the past like in school or at university.

I just spoke with Doug, the owner of NuHaus Kitchens. Gregory and he worked closely (with our friend Kathleen who was NuHaus' kitchen designer) designing and building kitchens for clients in their renovated or new homes.

He had been aware of Gregory's journey with Alzheimer's, mentioned that he remembered when we "hung up the shingle" and also remembered working with me when I was office manager of Gregory Maire, Architect ltd.

He went on sincerely, about how Gregory was the most humble, sweet, gentle, kind, talented person he ever knew. He added that for being so talented it was amazing that he was such a wonderful person.

I thanked him very much and told him that his comments confirmed what I knew to be true but that it felt wonderful to hear praise for Gregory from others.

Feeling a glow and love for my honey!

You an visit Gregory's architecture web site and see some of the kind of work he was known for: http://www.maire.com


Monday, August 22, 2016

I have been invited to speak in August at The Palliative and Hospice Division at NorthShore University Health System Symposium on 9/30 at the Chicago Botanic Gardens regarding the process of grieving and how that grieving changes over time throughout their loved one's disease progression.



Toronto Queer West Film Festival



Thursday, August 18, 2016

ALZHEIMER'S: The Musical

This is the first posting of this next project / idea of mine.

Gregory and my love story is known by many, has received tears and rave reviews and awards around the world via the documentary created by Gabe Schimmel, Monica Petruzzelli, Riani Singgh, and Amanda Lee as told by Gregory Maire and Michael Horvich.

Besides the beautiful love story which took place over 41+ years,  there is Gregory and Michael's journey with Gregory's Alzheimer's over 12 years, finishing its run on October 4, 2015 when Gregory left on his next adventure on the other side of this life.

Finally, our documentary subjects, are old enough 😄, to have lived through so many (maybe most) of the millstones and milestones of the Gay Liberation Movement beginning pre-Stonewall and ending up at the United States Supreme Court's decision in favor of same sex marriage.

So it only felt natural that the world is ready for a Broadway Musical in which the three stories are woven into a heart wrenching, loving story; humorous and silly at times, with inspirational hellos and goodbyes, laughter and tears, sorrow and joy, raw and honest but compassionate and uplifting.

Reconciling Sunday











Pleased to announce the screening of "ALZHEIMER'S: A Love Story" as part of "Reconciling Sunday" on September 25 for the First United Methodist Church - La Grange, IL. ALL are invited to attend. If you want to be there, or need more 
information, please message.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Toronto

Our documentary screened this past weekend in Toronto.


OFFICIAL TRAILER
video



Sunday, August 14, 2016

More Exciting Documentary News

ALZHEIMER'S: A Love Story has been recently been accepted around the world. At the Cannes Film Festival in Nice, France we won two prizes. We will be screening in London; Florence; Madrid; Durbin, South Africa; Hong Kong; and are being courted by TelAviv.

We won Best Music:

And have recently been accepted to:  

AND





Wednesday, August 10, 2016

HOPE vs HATE

Have you noticed that the e-mail issue keeps coming up and then gets dismissed. People hear the negative, believe the negative, but don't see or hear the retraction and continue believing negative? Have you seen the list of other top Republican government officials who have also used private servers during their office? Have you noticed that this approach keeps popping up with Hillary? Negative issue ... issue dropped ... retraction not noticed ... negativity continues? What I believe is that Hillary (whether people like her or not, whether people feel "Republican" or "Democratic" or not, whether people trust her or not ... is the ONLY candidate when compared to Trump ... and with so much at stake ... this is not the cycle to vote for an independent or third party candidate or to not vote at all!



Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Documentary

If you are a member of Amazon Prime, there are many TV shows you can stream to your computer or your smart TV. 
I just discovered "The New Yorker Presents" a series of programs which present documentaries on many topics. 
Having been to a number of film festivals as the result of the documentary, ALZHEIMER'S: A Love Story, which deals with Gregory and my last days together, and having watched countless documentaries at these festivals, I have developed a new respect, understanding and love for the art of the documentary. 
I highly recommend this program.



Saturday, August 6, 2016

Michigan University Presentation

Spoke to 15 undergraduate students earlier this week on LGBTQ Issues, Care Giving, End of Life Decisions, Cultural Lenses on Such, and the law. We also screened ALZHEIMER'S: A Love Story. Received this thank you from the class's instructor.

Thursday I was able to process your talk with the students and they were all very moved. It was fascinating to hear what each of them took away-- stories about knowing yourself truly, inspiration on how to love deeply, counseling on grieving, a skepticism about the law as the only way to solve social issues, and many more.

Over all they felt they had a much better sense of the issues we had been exploring in class because they now had a face and a life to link them to. They were also very impressed with your courage to share your story with so many. 

Thank you so much for coming to share with us. It was a great gift of time and energy and was so appreciated by me and my students. 

Thank you for your enthusiasm and generosity. I hope we will see you in the not too distant future. Best wishes on your October road trip and your Mexico writing retreat. 

Many hugs until next time
B

Evolving Gay

Please to have been accepted by Windy City Times, Chicago's premier LGBTQ newspaper, as a guest columnist. Below is a link to my first article:

http://www.windycitymediagroup.com/lgbt/GUEST-COLUMN-Evolving-as-Gay/56085.html


Thursday, August 4, 2016

Fairy Doors

I love this concept. Magical. In Ann Arbor (and other places) Fairy Doors have been showing up around town. They have become a legend to be enjoyed, admired, wondered about and studied.

While I was in Ann Arbor, I only got to see one at a boutique on Main Street. These photos show what it looks like. The owner of the shop told me that theirs is the only Fairy Door with windows so you can see what is inside. Many of the items you see inside have been left outside other Fairy Doors and brought to the store. 

For more information:

http://urban-fairies.com/TOURMAP.html

You can also Google Fairy Doors to see articles, youtube videos, and forrest preserve managers that are "cracking down" on them being installed in local forest preserves because of the danger to the trees!

Fairy Door a seem from the street


A peek inside the street door

Inside the shop are these two windows

A peek in the windows reveals many wonders

Many of these items were left outside the other Fairy Doors around town and brough here as kind of a Fairy Door Museum and an Homage to Magical Experiences (my name!)


The photos below show a Fairy Door and Windows that have been installed in my guest bathroom in the condo for a couple of years now.











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