Ambulance chasers aside, World AIDS Day provides an important focus

By “ambulance chasers” I mean media who wish they could report on the illness, the meds, a cure and some drama all in about 52 seconds.  And they try.

This year, rather than run to the annual UNAIDS report on HIV prevalence (good news and bad news as usual), I invested some emotional energy in assembling the stories posted here earlier today.  I’m definitely going to repeat the exercise and maybe, if I ask earlier, I’ll get a greater response.  Not that I’m disappointed, far from it.  Frankly, with most submissions arriving within the last 48 hours (hardly a surprise), it was all I could do to get them out by a decent hour this morning.

After a brief nap, and an even shorter appointment with my dermatologist, I walked over to the AIDS Memorial for some pictures – touchstones, really, of seeing another World AIDS Day in.  I hope I never take years for granted.

A very light snow-rain mix gave a tear-like sheen to some of the photos.  I wandered through again briefly at dusk as hundreds of red lights gave life to an AIDS awareness ribbon at the front of the park.

Earlier I got in a little closer to the names on the monument than I usually do in photos.  It was beautiful to see some fresh flowers, some not so fresh and I was momentarily overcome as, with the day’s “work” complete, I again saw how wide a swath the illness has cut through my circles of friends.  The hundreds and hundreds of names on the plaques from the early-to- mid-nineties here  zoomed my emotional focus out from the very painful, personal losses I have experienced to memories of how doctor’s visits, hospital stays, wakes and funerals overlapped each other at a dizzying pace sometimes.  A deep breath in and I was filled with the satisfaction, with raw emotion certainly, of the survivor that I am (among many), mixed with the profound loss of memories treasured and memories that would now not come into being.

I’m really tired.  Perhaps I’ll mix in some more reflections in this space tomorrow.

Specifically (what would seem like too much for such a day as this, but only added greatness to it) – wrapping up with a small, intimate number of people a short journey together through a bereavement group.

For now, though, more of today’s pictures.


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