Sunday, January 12, 2014

Life With Baby Doll: Love Remains

WARNING:  The links contained within this post will take you to sites with content for mature readers only.  However, this post is suitable for a PG audience. 

Kiss at the Urge / 20091129.SD850IS.03533.P1.L1.SQ.BW / SML
This past week, I received an e-mail from a reader in response to my Life With Baby Doll series that carried a different tone.  To date, a large portion of my fan mail is directly related to this series. I never expected that what began as a husband’s way of coping with the uncertainty of his partner’s health would end up being the most read series on my Website.  For that, John and I want to say thank you to all of my readers. While I’ve received many e-mails of support in regards to the intense and passionate love affair that I share with John Jericho,  I have been waiting for more of the almost certain negative messages to arrive.  However, sometimes even within the most negative of thoughts, something positive can always be found.  
I’m not sharing the e-mail verbatim, due to the plethora of adult language and hateful slurs, but I will give a general idea of the intended meaning.  I was chastised by a reader for writing a series that he felt  did not represent a realistic lifestyle between two male counterparts.  In a direct quote:
“A relationship can’t always be wine and roses, Andrew!  Please come back down to reality!”
Usually, I don’t respond to e-mails of this kind, however I did reply to this one.  I thanked the reader  for taking the time to e-mail me.  I also invited him to read my next Life With Baby Doll post on Sunday.  After much thought, I told him my post would be titled, Love Remains.
For the remainder of the week, I tried to put myself into the shoes of this reader.  Perhaps, he hasn’t read the series from the beginning.  Maybe he missed the post where I described John’s chronic conditions that have plague him since 2000, followed by new medical diagnoses since early 2013.   He might be a man who was hurt by someone that he loved deeply, and my posts reminded him of that pain.  If that’s the case, I am truly sorry. A final scenario that ran through my mind, was that this reader was just frustrated with his own life from circumstances that may have been beyond his control.
Whatever the reason for the e-mail, I am writing this message for him and for anyone who has ever felt sorrow, pain, or uncertainly in their life.  Two important messages from the Life With Baby Doll series are that love is love between two souls, and that love remains regardless of one’s life circumstances.
I want to say to Nathan, the man who wrote me the e-mail, that you’re right, relationships can’t always be, “wine and roses, but love does remain. I do sincerely hope that you get a chance to read the links to the previous posts that I have included within the body of this post.  For those who follow the Life With Baby Doll series, I frequently make references to previous installments in the series for the benefit of those who may be just beginning to follow my writing.
John and I met in August of 1991.  The life and love we share has spanned twenty-two years.  A great deal had changed not only in the world around us, but in our own lives.  Together we have climbed many mountains, walked through countless fires, and have seen situations where mercy was only granted to us in the final hours of despair.  Above all we’ve tried to hold onto faith, hope, and love.  I can say without a doubt, that after all these years love remains.
While we had many heartaches, John’s recent illness will always remain one of the most poignant, yet meaningful periods in our relationship. I’ve made the statement before:  “What does one soul say when they owe another person everything?”  John rescued a young man who was suicidal, depressed, angry, and full of self-pity.  Baby Doll softened my heart with his love.  So this past summer, I had no second thoughts about taking care of him.
“His doctor’s are not sure, but theorize that the auto-immune disorder was responsible for reducing his kidney function to less than sixty-percent this summer.  As a result, he had to undergo hemodialysis four days per week.  Also in June, he developed a severe mouth infection, believed to be a rare side effect of the nephrology drugs he was taking.  John had to have all of his teeth extracted and started to wear his new dentures in late October.  During this time, his eye sight began to fail as cataracts in both eyes had reached stage 4.” ~ Excerpt taken from Life With Baby Doll:  A Gay Man’s Love Runs Deeper, November 23, 2013.  
One night in early May, 2013, I had woken and John wasn’t in bed next to me.  I found him curled on the bathroom floor shaking and nauseous.  The doctors had given us a list of theorized symptoms as a guide.  We experienced those as a couple, as well as a few that were not mentioned.  I brought him a pillow and covered his body with a blanket.  Dawn came as we laid together on the tile.
As I watched my partner grow sicker, I would remember lying awake many nights watching him sleep.  Even though he was cuddled in my arms, I would still make sure that he was breathing. My biggest fear was that I would fall asleep and he wouldn’t wake up the next morning.  Being the dominant man that I am, I believed that somehow I could keep him alive by that simple ritual.
For the next four months, we didn’t make love. John was simply too sick. The decision was an unspoken one between us.  Many nights, we would go to bed long before our regular bedtime and I would hold him in my arms. He needed my strength, reassurance, and comfort.  Sometimes we would spend as much as two hours lying in the dark, quiet in each other’s arms. We are making love again, and the bond that we share during those connections feels all the more sweeter because of the relationship that we have built during the times we couldn’t be intimate.
While I do believe that Baby Doll is on the road to recovery with his kidneys (barring another flare), his dental heath, and vision, he still suffers from the chronic conditions of the auto-immune disorder and nerve damage.  This week, he suffered a flair of the latter. As I held him close last night, I found myself falling in love with him once more.
“I’m right here if you  need me,”  I spoke, rolling onto my side facing John.

“I know.  I love you, Andrew.”

I twined our hands between us.  In placing a kiss on Baby Doll’s fingers, I also captured his lips with my own.  The kiss, while tender, was also laced with undertones of sensuality and eroticism.  

“I love you,”  I whispered, releasing his lips for a brief moment. “Now open your eyes, Baby Boy.”

When John’s eyes opened, I made sure that my stare gave proof that our love remained.  
The Life With Baby Doll series, while keeping with my writing theme of gay men in real situations of life and love, is also an unended love letter to my partner.
To learn more about this series and find a recent list of archives visit: Life With Baby Doll. More will be added, as I continue to update my new Website. Due to the increasing popularity of these posts, I have created the permanent tab on my Website that contains information concerning the intense and passionate love affair that I share with my partner, John Jericho.
I enjoy hearing from all of my readers, and look forward to your e-mails. Remember Love is Love…Period.
Andrew Signature

photo credit: See-ming Lee 李思明 SML via photopin cc

Andrew K Kinley Author Small

Andrew K Kinley is a ManLove erotic romance author for Siren-Bookstrand Publishing  and LGBTQ rights activist based in Hot Springs, AR.  All of his work can be found at:  A K Kinley.  For questions or comments please e-mail him at

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