Friday, September 22, 2006

To a friend who is leaving us too soon...

Jean Mayberry (left) and Aleta Fenceroy comprise the team behind Fenceberry, an informal news source that gay civil rights advocates and members of the media turned to for information during the past eight years. Fenceberry stopped operating on July 31, (2004) primarily because it consumed so much of the couple’s time. - The Washington Blade

One of the hardest working members of the modern glbt equal rights movement is leaving us soon. Aleta Fenceroy, who along with her life partner Jean Mayberry for eight years spent hours every day before and after their "real" jobs in a pre-Google world gathering and distributing news about the glbt community in the form of their Fenceberry Articles is about to leave us. Jean tells us:

Aleta (Fenceberry) is under hospice care now. There will be no more treatments or visits to the doctor. The chemotherapy that she underwent for 9 weeks did not work. Now the hospice team of nurses will come to us, but only to make sure she is comfortable and pain free.

The hospice nurse from Visiting Nurse Association told me yesterday (June 20) that it is a matter of weeks now, maybe less if Aleta's liver can't hold out. Aleta sleeps most of the time, but still enjoys visits and calls, although she has some difficulty following conversations some times. It is extremely difficult for her to walk now, she sleeps a lot and can't really stay focused. Her body is shutting down.
Hey Aleta,

Jean tells me that you are moving on to bigger and better things soon. I just wanted to drop you this note and wish you a great trip.

Hate to see you run off a little ahead of the rest of us, but you know that we will all be catching up with you real soon. In the meantime its good to know that you are going to be the advance party. I bet that by the time I get there you will have heaven better organized and more lgbt friendly than anyone could have ever imagined!

Before you take off be sure to have Jean get a photo of you grinning and flipping the bird. She can have it enlarged into a big poster in case Phred and his clan show up at your funeral.

Best of wishes on this next step in your journey. Until we meet up again you have my...

Love and Hugs,

Paul

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