Tuesday, November 6th is the big election. Please vote, no matter what you vote for. Voting is both your privilege and responsibility. If you don’t vote someday someone is going to take that privilege away from you. “No!” you say? “It can’t happen,” you protest? How do you think Spain-owned toll roads in Austin got built? Hmmm…. Think about that for a while.
Other politics aside, Proposition 15 calls for creating a rather large fund earmarked for cancer research. The idea is to inject $3 billion (BILLION) into cancer research over the next 10 years with a goal toward curing cancer. Whiners and naysayers have recently shown up in droves claiming that this is a bad idea (“It’s a new tax!” “It’s gonna increase abortions!” “It’s gonna cause cancer!” – ok, sorry. That last one I made up but I got caught up in saying idiotic things.) But the other two are true.
You, yes you, with the eyes reading what I’m typing HAVE to go vote! What follows is verbiage straight out of the League of Women Voters’ flyer (found here in it’s entirety).
PROPOSITION 15 – Official Ballot Language
The constitutional amendment requiring the creation of the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas and authorizing the issuance of up to $3 billion in bonds payable from the general revenues of the state for research in Texas to find the causes of and cures for cancer.
This amendment would establish a state-wide cancer research and prevention institute which could manage and disburse state monies for cancer research and prevention studies and programs in Texas. It authorizes the issuance of up to $3 billion in general revenue bonds for this purpose.
In other news, Maggie and I went on a date last night with Nurse Jolie and her husband, Arturo. We had a great time mostly. We went to the Alamo Draft House, a local favorite dinner-and-a-movie-as-a-combo-pack place to see “Dan in Real Life.” Sold to me by Maggie as a comedy (I tend prefer more simple “boobs and blowing up stuff” motifs), I was horrified to find out it was a family-style love comedy which ranks only slightly higher on the chick-flick scale of horror than Fried Green Tomatoes or YaYa’s of the Traveling Pants. But, as a supportive husband and a man, I toughed it out… but only because Alamo serves beer.
That is, until we realized that the story was about a single dad trying to get back into the dating game after losing his wife to cancer three years back…. Yeah, I had the same reaction you just did. Except mine was mixed with beer… which tasted like crying… and lime.
So, where the audience saw touching moments of letting go and moving on, Maggie and I saw my difficult future. Awkward “first date” moments teased out painful emotional mixtures I don’t quite have the words to describe. His thoughtful memories were painful reflections of experiences we see looking forward. How hard it was to watch someone learn to feel good about falling in love again while sitting in the chairs we sit. The complexity and richness of the emotions we were both experiencing was numbing. Even as I write this now, I find myself still recoiling at the intensity of what happened. It was probably one of the most difficult movies I’ve ever sat through. I’ll bet that wasn’t the intent of the producers.
I still can’t help but be thankful that Maggie and I can share those moments, despite the pain and the reality, without distracting ourselves or diluting the moment. We are both very scared of our future and that’s hard to face. I’m terrified about what things may come. She and I are both terrified about how I’m going to make it without her. She tells me she’s more worried about how I’m going to make it through this than she is of dying. I think I’m equally worried about both. Hard to tell the difference. They both really, really, really hurt my brain. My heart drops in and out for brief visits. But, at least for now I have her here to talk with about this mess. She is my best friend, no matter how uncertain the future.