i have a friend who has just been diagnosed with full blown AIDS. if he catches a cold now, it could kill him. we met in college and graduated together. he was once my best friend until he moved from Nebraska to Cali. he's been back a few years and we kept meaning to get together but only have once or twice. he is a gay man and i was just discovering my own sexuality at that time. he helped me a great deal with getting through the pain of it. we always joked around that we would marry each other had we both not been gay, because we had such an intimate level of friendship and understanding of one another.
back in the college day a few of us including him, would gather at my apt. a few times each week for a study group... I'd cook dinner, feed my little ones and put them to bed- then we'd study, laugh, cry... whatever we needed to do. we struggled together and rejoiced in the fun the 4 of us had together. he is a fellow nurse and worked in pediatrics for many years. the lil kidlets just loved him and referred to him as uncle Tim. he made them laugh even whilst they were in pain. he worked with his heart on his sleeve, loved deeply, and played hard.
i just saw a picture of him now and my heart skipped a beat as he looks so different from last time i saw him. he has been HIV pos. for over 10 years and the medications he took helped him stay well until about a year ago. he would give you the shirt off his back, do anything to help humanity, the community, was very involved in changing laws for equality, lives true gay PRIDE, has the greatest sense of humor- all the qualities you could desire in a best friend.
and he's dying.
i don't feel the grief yet, although i am terribly sad to hear the news. he has always lived each day to the fullest, filling his time with friends and family, the 2 most important things to him. i do feel guilty that i haven't kept in close touch with him, and now time is running out, i surely don't want him to think i am only racing against the clock to alleviate my own guilt because i am not. i have just realized that his time here is numbered and i would like the chance to say goodbye in a proper way and tell him that i love him.... not for me at all, but just so he will know he has one more friend and that i do care, and that i was blessed to have had him a part of my life back in the day when we were young and oh, so foolish..
he is taking his destiny with more courage than i could ever hope to have, if it were me. he says he has lived a full life, is ready when the time comes, and just wants to be with his mother now...
god be with you dear friend. i know your beloved mother will be waiting with open arms. you have missed her SO much.
i love you.