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    “One day you will ask me which is more important? my life or yours? I will say mine and you will walk away not knowing that you are my life.”             Khalil Gibran

    “My dearest Michael, it was 30 years ago that we first pledged our commitment to one another, but it seems like just yesterday that I was standing across from my handsome partner. We have been through a lot together. We have survived all contradictions and pressures from our parents and relatives. They did not believe in our relationship. Through all those times, I can honestly say, I loved you every step of the way. You have shown me what love feels like and for that I thank you.

    Today, I want to renew those vows and again pledge my love and life to you. I promise to be there for you in sickness, especially now, cancer is ripping you away from me.  I will always think that you are perfect – perfect for me. I am here to be your supporter, your confidant, and your best friend.

    You are everything I need and at this moment I know all of my prayers have been answered and that all of my dreams have come true.  I have been blessed for the last 30 years and I praise God for you Michael: for all of your love and constant friendship. I know that our love is heaven sent and I promise to be here for ever and always. From this day forward, you shall not walk alone. My heart will be your shelter and my arms will be your home. As I have given you my hand to hold, I give you my life to keep.

    I love you.”

    I had the chance to witness this touching pledge of love between two souls who have supported one another in their weaknesses and mistakes in life. Their love is like light, growing dearer towards the dark

    I have known them for many years. I have watched them and become a testimony of their love. I saw their struggles against the conventions of society. A long of period of unemployment to be able to stand by and assist a dying partner. I know that their deep faith in God’s Mercy and Love, lifelong commitment, loyalty, and self-denying love are the dominant themes of their long term relationship. They have taught me that true love never gives up, it “never fails“.

    How many of us have given up on our relationships or marriage? Unwilling to endure through better or worse, sickness or health, poverty or wealth?

    Three days ago after their renewal of vows, Michael died. He did not die in vain. He left a legacy: Enduring love and commitment is possible even between two males.

    John showing me Michael’s last note

    The world, for me, and all the world can hold is circled in your arms,
    for me there lies within the lights and shadows of your eyes the only beauty that is never old.”

    made me realize they both shared their last wisdom of the afternoon.


    We only regard those unions as real examples of love and real marriages in which a fixed and unalterable decision has been taken. If men or women contemplate an escape, they do not collect all their powers for the task. In none of the serious and important tasks of life do we arrange such a “getaway.” We cannot love and be limited. – Alfred Adler

    Domestic bliss and divorce are but two sides of the same coin, that coin being commitment” – Cheong Suk-Wai

    Does anybody really think that they didn’t get what they had because they didn’t have the talent or the strength or the endurance or the commitment? – Nelson Mandela

    The fear of making permanent commitments can change the mutual love of husband and wife into two loves of self-two loves existing side by side, until they end in separation. – Pope John Paul II

    I believe life is constantly testing us for our level of commitment, and life’s greatest rewards are reserved for those who demonstrate a never-ending commitment to act until they achieve. This level of resolve can move mountains, but it must be constant and consistent. As simplistic as this may sound, it is still the common denominator separating those who live their dreams from those who live in regret. – Anthony Robbins

    When you make a commitment to a relationship, you invest your attention and energy in it more profoundly because you now experience ownership of that relationship. – Barbara De Angelis

    You need to make a commitment, and once you make it, then life will give you some answers. – Les Brown

    So, before you are tempted to give up or get discouraged, remember all success is based on long term commitment, faith, discipline, attitude and a few stepping stones along the way. You might not like the stone you are on right now, but it’s sure to be one of the stones that lead to great opportunities in the future. – E. James ‘Jim’ Rohn

    Love, like truth and beauty, is concrete. Love is not fundamentally a sweet feeling; not, at heart, a matter of sentiment, attachment, or being “drawn toward.” Love is active, effective, a matter of making reciprocal and mutually beneficial relation with one’s friends and enemies. – Carter Heyward

    Unless commitment is made, there are only promisesand hopes but no plans.” – Peter Drucker

    In life, many thoughts are born in the course of a moment, an hour, a day. Some are dreams, some visions. Often, we are unable to distinguish between them. To some, they are the same; however, not all dreams are visions. Much energy is lost in fanciful dreams that never bear fruit. But visions are messages from the Great Spirit, each for a different purpose in life. Consequently, one person’s vision may not be that of another. To have a vision, one must be prepared to receive it, and when it comes, to accept it. Thus when these inner urges become reality, only then can visions be fulfilled. The spiritual side of life knows everyone’s heart and who to trust. How could a vision ever be given to someone to harbor if that person could not be trusted to carry it out. The message is simple: commitment precedes vision. – High Eagle

    I’m doing what I think I was put on this earth to do. And I’m really grateful to have something that I’m passionate about and that I think is profoundly important. – Marian Wright Edelman

    Commitment is not the end-all. It brings the beginning of another age, another war, not an automatic happiness. The circumstances under which the choice is made is not predeterminate. Thus the indeed mythical line: ‘They married and lived happily ever after’ should have been ‘They married and may live happily ever after’.” – Marcie Gordon

    Whoever said anybody has a right to give up? – Marian Wright Edelman

    Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world’s grief. Do justly, now. Love mercy, now. Walk humbly, now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it. – Attributed to Talmud

    The relationship between commitment and doubt is by no means an antagonistic one. Commitment is healthiest when it is not without doubt but in spite of doubt. – Rollo May

    Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can. – John Wesley

    A promise must never be broken. – Alexander Hamilton

    Losers make promises they often break. Winners make commitments they always keep. – Denis Waitley

    You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it. – Margaret Thatcher

    If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced. –Vincent Van Gogh

    Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did so. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. –Mark Twain

    The question in life is not wheter you get knocked down. You will. The quesiton is, are you ready to get back up … and fight for what you believe in? – Dan Quayle

    It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare. It is because we do not dare that things are difficult. – Seneca

    “Whatever I have tried to do in life, I have tried with all my heart to do it well; whatever I have devoted myself to, I have devoted myself to completely.” – Charles Dickens

    Commitment unlocks the doors of imagination, allows vision, and gives us the ‘right stuff’ to turn our dreams into reality. –James Womack

    He who is most slow in making a promise is the most faithful in performance of it. –Jean-Jacques Rousseau

    The fear of making permanent commitments can change the mutual love of husband and wife into two loves of self – two loves existing side by side, until they end in separation.” –Pope John Paul II

    Passion is the quickest to develop, and the quickest to fade. Intimacy develops more slowly, and commitment more gradually still.”-Robert J. Sternberg

    Committing yourself is a way of finding out who you are. A man finds his identity by identifying.” –Robert Terwilliger

    I can’t imagine a person becoming a success who doesn’t give this game of life everything he’s got.” –Walter Cronkite

    Never, never, never give up.” –Winston Churchill

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