Wednesday, December 01, 2004

World AIDS Day...In my corner of the planet

I want to talk about Jerry for a moment. Jerry was my parents friend for 12 years. He worked with my father in the coal mines in Colorado. He was married to a much younger woman, Joanne, and they lived with three small children that my sister and I were older than. He had been born in France, and grew up in Missouri. He had been a Navy Seal in Viet Nam, and was a black belt in karate. This man spoke at least languages, and was the first real painter I had ever met. He got me interested in art, and Edith Piaf. Jerry went back to school and became a dentist in the mid 80s, eventually becoming an instructor in a dental school. And sometime in the 80s, caught HIV off of a patient. He died in the mid 90's.
I'm sharing this with you because I think every story of every victim in this pandemic is important. This disease is not faceless, sexless, or anonymous. It knows no borders, either of money, race, gender, or age. The powers that be would like to us to think that AIDS doesn't effect Americans anymore, that abstinence programs work and the need for easily available condoms are not necessary. This country has to wake the hell up and realize that this is serious, the whole world is being rocked from it, and to stop living in lala land. Before it's too late, if it isn't already.
Jerry would be in his 60s now. His kids are grown, he has grandchildren he never knew. His wife lives with her HIV under control, something he could not do. We have the technology to slow it down all over the world. Ingnorance is the worst perpetrator of this disease. Let us all band together loner than one day a year to stop it.


Luz said...

Oh, how I can relate to some of what you're going through. Your words hit home. As I scrolled down and read your blogs about Bush I was even more pleased. I too shall print the Liberal's Lament prayer and post it on my office door.