It got better ..... and then

  • LuckyGuyKC

    Posts: 2080

    Jan 17, 2011 12:34 PM GMT
    Please also see "The Rest of the Story" http://www.realjock.com/gayforums/1351696

    I was so moved by the obit of this young man I did not know that I wanted to share it with anyone interested in gay adoption, HIV, AIDS, and gay parenting. This story has sadness but also victory in it's core:
    ROBERT (BECKFORD) CAREY-HOGUE

    Robert Carey-Hogue (formerly "Beckford") of Kansas City, Missouri, died January 10, 2011, at KC Hospice House after a long battle with AIDS. Robert was born Robert Beckford in North Kansas City, Missouri, on February 27, 1970, to Melvin Beckford and Cynthia (Sue) Flint Beckford. His parents died when he was 10 and Robert and his two sisters were moved to Fort Meyers, Florida where they lived with their maternal grandparents. When he was 13, Robert and his sister, Beth, were placed in the custody of a paternal uncle and his wife in Shawnee, Kansas, where Robert attended Shawnee Mission Northwest High School. Like many other gay and lesbian adolescents, Robert was turned out of this home when his sexuality became known. Robert was fortunate that a gay couple, John Carey and Dudley Hogue, stepped forward and the court granted custody of Robert to John in 1985, making it the first known adoption to an openly gay person granted by a court in this country. Robert graduated from Bishop Miege High School and attended the University of Kansas prior to spending two summers in Costa Rica and The Dominican Republic as a volunteer with Amigos de las Americas. When he turned 18, Robert petitioned the court to change his name to Carey- Hogue in honor of the two men who had parented him. Robert lived for several years in Washington, D.C. and New York City before returning to Kansas City in 1995 to work on the AIDS Walk. At a fund raiser for the event, he met Rand Souden, his partner of the past 16 years. They moved to California where Robert was a software sales representative for the Los Angeles office of CT Corporation System. They returned to Kansas City a few years ago to be nearer their families, splitting time between their home here and in the Los Angeles area until Robert's illness prevented him from traveling. Robert is survived by two sisters and their families: Beth (Beckford) Watson and her husband, David of Wellsville, Kansas, and beloved niece and nephews Hailey, Alec, Brandon and Erik; and Melissa "Missy" (Beckford) Reynolds, of Fort Meyers, Florida, and nephews Marshall and Brian. Also surviving are his parents, John Carey and Dudley Hogue, of Prairie Village, Kansas, as well as his partner, Rand Souden, and their dogs, Tilly, Mickey and Petey, at the couple's home in Kansas City, Missouri. Robert's family would like to acknowledge the wonderful work of everyone at Kansas City Hospice and Palliative Care, particularly Drs. Riseman and Harris and Peggy Green, Robert's long-time case worker and a valued friend, as well as The Good Samaritan Project, especially our friend and case worker there, Rhonda Adams. The family also wishes to thank so many friends, both local and from across the country, and neighbors in Squire Park whose kindness and generosity throughout Robert's illness has been overwhelming, especially our nextdoor neighbors, the Benedictine Sisters of Atchison, Kansas, who have lifted us up in prayer and embraced us with love continually throughout Robert's lengthy infirmity. Friends and family are invited to remember Robert at a service to be conducted on Saturday, January 29, 2011, at 11 a.m. at First Lutheran Church, 6400 State Line Road, Mission Hills, Kansas, followed by a reception in the church fellowship hall. Friends, neighbors and family are also welcome to attend an informal come-and-go reception celebrating Robert's life at Robert and Rand's home at 1200 Manheim Road, Kansas City, Missouri, on Friday, January 28, 2011, beginning at 7 p.m. Robert loved dogs and was an avid supporter of rescue organizations. He and Rand shared their home with 13 dogs during their years together, rescuing most of them from shelters or finding them abandoned in parks. It was Robert's wish that, in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions be made to Sachi Animal Rescue (SAR), on the web at SachiAnimalRescue.com. The family suggests donations to SAR, your local animal shelter or to Kansas City Hospice, on the web at KansasCityHospice.org. Published in Kansas City Star on January 16, 2011


    I don't mind printing here that I teared up when I read this amazing story; the story of young man that had been thrown away by his own family and rescued by two men, found love with another man, and a man that worked and lived with HIV/AIDS.

    Beautiful - I thank his partner and family for sharing this story with the world.
  • Ironman4U

    Posts: 738

    Jan 17, 2011 2:43 PM GMT
    Great story...thanks for sharing.
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    Jan 17, 2011 3:12 PM GMT
    Wow, that is touching. I couldn't imagine coming out at such a young age back in 1985...although, I did have a closeted bf back then.
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    Jan 17, 2011 3:33 PM GMT
    very moving...thanks for sharing
  • RSportsguy

    Posts: 1925

    Jan 17, 2011 4:13 PM GMT
    Thanks Lance! I wish his family well!
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    Jan 17, 2011 5:49 PM GMT
    That was very moving. It just shows that FAMILY is so much more than blood and DNA. Family is, above all, about LOVE.
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    Jan 25, 2011 2:53 PM GMT
    very touching story. thanks for sharing.
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    Jan 25, 2011 3:08 PM GMT
    this is incredible. thanks.
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    Jan 25, 2011 3:16 PM GMT
    Awesome! There is hope in this crazy world. Gets a little overwhelming at times. 2011 Is gonna be a great yearicon_smile.gif
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    Jan 25, 2011 3:21 PM GMT
    sashaman saidThat was very moving. It just shows that FAMILY is so much more than blood and DNA. Family is, above all, about LOVE.


    Completely Agree, whoever said we can't choose our family and relatives are wrong.
  • MuscleComeBac...

    Posts: 2376

    Jan 25, 2011 3:59 PM GMT
    It is our obligation in life to tell, and re-tell, and pass forward the stories of the men who inspire us and better us.

    This story is worth passing on now and always. Even when we've conquered HIV - and we will - it is critical to remember the people who faced it in its worst of days, and who triumphed.

    Pass this one on!
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    Jan 25, 2011 4:16 PM GMT
    I loved it, thank you. Where did you find it? I'd like to pass it along, if it's online.
  • LuckyGuyKC

    Posts: 2080

    Jan 25, 2011 4:50 PM GMT
    Just search Robert (Beckford) Carey-Hogue and his obit will come up on several websites.

    I found it in my local paper - Kansas City Star.
  • fitdude62

    Posts: 294

    Jan 25, 2011 5:26 PM GMT
    We do choose our family.....

    Peace,
    David
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    Jan 25, 2011 5:33 PM GMT
    Great story, even though the ending is sad.

    There was another very similar story in the New York Times this week. An AIDS baby born to a crack-addicted mother was adopted by a gay couple. Despite being told he would not survive they were determined to give him the best life possible. He ended up surviving to age 20 and touched many lives in the process.

    Against All Odds, a Beautiful Life
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    Jan 25, 2011 5:34 PM GMT
    This is such an inspiration ......and so touching ....
    Thank you for posting it here .icon_smile.gif
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    Jan 25, 2011 9:10 PM GMT
    I am moved beyond words. Thank you!
  • BenBrother

    Posts: 1

    Jan 25, 2011 9:17 PM GMT
    Great man, We'd share more stories like that ...
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    Jan 25, 2011 10:19 PM GMT
    I have never read a story that so very much expresses the true meaning of UNCONDITIONAL LOVE. This story should remind all of us that it is through unconditional love that that one can truly give of himself freely to helping all people. Robert is a true inspiration of a life well lived through the care and love he received from his Gay adopted parents. I only wish all parents could read this beautiful story of courage, love, and true compassion. This story truly defines the term "FAMILY".
    Thank you so much for sharing it with me.
  • baseballjock

    Posts: 6

    Jan 26, 2011 1:20 AM GMT
    This story definitely has huge victory in its core. May rest in peace.
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    Jan 26, 2011 1:29 AM GMT
    It just plain GOT better... there isnt any 'and then'.
    He blazed a trail magnificently!
  • LuckyGuyKC

    Posts: 2080

    Jan 26, 2011 2:03 AM GMT
    Hey Guys - First of all thanks for voting me Man of the Day. I think it's cool but at the end of day not important unless I do something with it.

    So all day I have been asking well wishers to take 2 minutes and read the story of man I did not know but touched my life.

    Robert's story reminds us that a lot of progress has been made in the past 15 to 25 years - but when it comes to HIV/AIDS resources and education, gay adoption, and gay marriage we still have a long way to go.

    Ok there is more to the story that was published as a case study on the web. Robert's health insurance company raised his premiums to $3600 per month. United Healthcare later while collecting this exorbinant premium quit paying for his anti-virals. It was at that point that Robert's body lost it's ability to keep his blood counts in check and he progressed into full blown AIDS and died.

    Let's remember his life as a victory along a journey that our community is collectively taking; and guys we are are just at the beginning of the road.

    Loss of parent and family abandonment do not have the be the end of the road. HIV while not an immediate death sentence is still a life shortening chronic health issue with economic consequences; huge progress is being made and who knows what the next year, decade, or longer will bring.

    I hope you have indulged my MOTD desire and finished reading this post on this day that you allowed me to be Man of the Day.

    Thanks - jp (LanceKC)
  • TheIStrat

    Posts: 777

    Jan 26, 2011 2:06 AM GMT
    It says he was adopted by the gay couple in 1985, when he was 15. He was thrown away before he was even 16. The fact that he was able to do so much good shows that it really can get better.
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    Jan 26, 2011 2:40 PM GMT
    Thanks for posting this inspiring story jp and honoring this brave man. I hope everyone on RJ gets a chance to read it.
  • LuckyGuyKC

    Posts: 2080

    Jan 26, 2011 5:14 PM GMT
    TheIStrat saidIt says he was adopted by the gay couple in 1985, when he was 15. He was thrown away before he was even 16. The fact that he was able to do so much good shows that it really can get better.


    EXACTLY - This is why I was hoping a lot of young guys could see this post - and remind all of us that HIV/AIDS is still with us, and that issues of gay marriage and gay adoption have improved greatly.