In Memory of My Uncle Michael Agelson... I'll Miss You
My uncle, Michael Agelson, died yesterday, May 16, 2005. He would have been 52 if he lived until Friday, the day he was supposed to witness my graduation from UC Berkeley. He was one of the most understanding people I've known, my most precious relative to whom I could confide anything. Although he quit smoking more than a decade ago, he got lung cancer that went undetected until it had spread so far that he was in his final weeks. He overcame so much in his life -- a troubled youth and the difficulties of being gay in the less tolerant 1970s, alcoholism, abusive relationships, the death of his partner to brain cancer 15 years ago. He found the strength to beat his inner demons and make a new life with his loving partner of the past 10 years, Tim Ryan. Finally, he had found true happiness and personal success. And he inspired me and all those who knew him. We'll miss him terribly. Here, Mom, Monica and Uncle Mike pretend to play instruments during happy times, before we knew about the lung cancer (Christmas 2003).