I was going to write an obituary for a dear friend who is dying but then realized that I wanted to write a letter of love. Many of my followers already know Terry aka Spearfruit. It has been so long that I don’t know who followed who first or why but I do recall that I had an instant spark with him. At the time I didn’t know if he was gay, straight or married but it was an innocent flirtation since I have Teddy. When I started browsing through his blog, I became intrigued by a deep sadness in his past and a complicated history. On one occasion I noticed a comment from someone that crossed a line and asked something too private. Terry dealt with it in his usual gracious manner. Secretly, I wanted to meet up with Terry, get him drunk and find out all the details!
We shared some trauma in our childhood and a battle with depression but I was so in awe of Terry’s capacity to try so hard to recover from an episode of mental illness. He moved on with his life and eventually found the love of his life, Gary. When Terry revealed this, I commented that I was so excited to have a new gay boyfriend and he asked me if he could be #1 gay boyfriend. Terry, you will always be my #1 boyfriend. One shocking blog revealed that he thought he had cancer and many of his followers, including me, told him to be more positive and wait for the results. It was bladder cancer with a prognosis of 5 years or perhaps longer. As the first few months progressed I knew in my heart that Terry’s time on this earth was limited.
Shortly after the diagnosis, Terry and Gary decided to sell their large house in Dallas and move into a RV so that they could travel to treatments, firstly in Pensacola and latterly in Tampa. Gary is a veteran so he and his spouse can access healthcare at Veteran hospitals. This was last August and I had an opportunity to take a short trip. I considered visiting Terry and Gary in Pensacola but wondered if it might be too much, starting treatment, moving states and then trying to entertain Kerry. My excuse was that the weather was better in Salt Lake City but I will always regret my decision (not making that or a later trip).
My other deep regrets are that I have taken total breaks from blogging and reading and not communicating with Terry. There was no bad intent but I just needed to retreat during periods of ill health and depression. At other times I was aware that I couldn’t soothe Terry although I really wanted to. I looked at the comments of his many followers and wondered why I couldn’t say what was in my heart. Most of all, I wish that I had just been supportive instead of offering advice. Terry chose his own brave path through a very painful cancer but I was always urging him to take whatever medication would take the pain away.
If we had met, he would have known that my pragmatic stance on life is accompanied with many smiles and hugs. My provocative flirting is genetic – my mum was cougar #1! All of Terry’s followers know that Gary is the love of his life. They married right after the diagnosis and he has been the best husband. It is obvious from all the posts that Gary and Terry were meant for each other and I am so glad that they had years of fun, travelling and love. There is a cultural divide as well. Terry is from West Texas and I was brought up in Scotland. Most Scots are forthright, even about death. As a lapsed Catholic, I meander between longing for a heaven and not believing in one. Terry’s postings and communications will be with me until the day I die – unless I get dementia? Sorry, I couldn’t resist one little humorous comment.
Terry has lived an amazing, traumatic, joyful and intriguing life. He is an example of how we should live for the moment and embrace all that the world has to offer us. His blog is a wonderful mix of his love of ’70s music, photography, verse and memoir. Please visit Spearfruit’s blog and you will cry over many posts, especially this one “cancer will take my life”. There aren’t many people that have touched me as much as Terry. Thank you, I love you and will be with you in spirit all the way to the dream world.