06/21/2013 07:02 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

DOMA Stays: What Do I Do?

The looming cloud of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) has been making me stressed, sad and worried for way too long. I went to the doctor to get some help, and we adjusted my meds to help me cope. She told me I needed to know what I was going to do if DOMA stayed the law of the land. She said I needed a plan so that I wouldn't be so worried, so wracked with stress.

I know she meant well. It was wonderful advice. In fact, I do have a plan. Sort of. As much as we can plan for something that might not happen, Karin and I know that we will sell our house, move to Scotland to be at Findhorn for our base and come to America as often as we can -- especially during the harsh Scotland winters.

That still doesn't take care of Bud Light, my cat. She will be hard to deal with, since she is 13, has only lived at the house where she is now and is not much further up the civilized chain from feral. She usually lets me pet her, but not always. We haven't ever been able to catch her, even after sedating her, so if she needs to be relocated, the prospects are hard to deal with. The permanent alternative, euthanasia, is one I refuse to consider.

So, if DOMA stays, we go. Guess that means we have an estate sale, though we are still alive. Here we are: Judy Rickard and Karin Bogliolo:


It means I leave behind my widowed sister in town; my relatives from my original family in Hawaii, Washington, Tennessee, California and Texas; my aging parents in Oregon; my newly married niece and her husband in California; my siblings and family from my birth father and bonus mom in Oregon; and my brother and sister from my birth mother in Virginia.

None of this makes me feel good. It makes me very sad. The fact that we will see family in Scotland, England, France and now Belgium (the latest branch on this family tree) feels good, but leaving behind so many in America doesn't feel good.

Karin and I will be together wherever we are. That's a big change, since we have had to be apart for months at a time because of DOMA. We got over that hurdle with me taking early retirement. But that had its downside too: less money to live on for the rest of our lives.

So I do have a plan, such as it is. I still worry. I am still stressed. But I am not completely clueless about the future I hope we don't get handed down.

So we wait for the decision -- only a few more possible days left, even if the Supremes add a special decision day or two. The clock is ticking. We are waiting. We are in a holding pattern, and we are tired of it...