David B. Maxwell, 66, and James McCormick, 72, were together for 5 years and had recently moved into their own home in the Midland Beach neighborhood of Staten Island, known for its beautiful waterfront views and serenity. They had cats. They had each other. And by all accounts they had planned to spend their lives devoted to one another.
When I started working with James, I learned that he had suffered a stroke in mid-2012 that left him with limited mobility and confined to a wheelchair. He had to move out of the home he shared with David and into the Carmel Richmond Nursing Home.
I never met David, but I imagine him to have been a nurturing and caring man. He was described by his neighbor as a “lovely sweet gentleman,” and a devoted partner whose whole life was James. After James’ stroke, David would visit him all the time at the nursing home. David’s was the first face James saw in the morning and the last he saw at night.