Friday, December 01, 2006

World AIDS Day Comes Home

I'm wearing a pin today that has a red ribbon on it. Actually, the pin is a reproduction of a stamp . . . as in "Stamp Out AIDS".

My brother was a postal worker. He collected a few stamps through the years. When I see one that intrigues me, I think of him.

My brother died but not from AIDS. He was alive one March evening and then suddenly he wasn't. In my family, hearts are full but not always strong.

Today, I'm remembering a great many dead people because today the world is supposed to be coming together to say AIDS is bad and we need to be rid of it.

I agree and I'm wearing a ribbon. But I'm also thinking about Bart and wondering what he'd think of me now. I've changed a bit since we last chatted. We used to agree to disagree about many things -- politics, religion, the way the church worked or didn't. And though many people say they can do that and then don't, Bart and I did. We loved each other and that transcended discussions about ideas. I know ideas shape us and we are our ideas but, for Bart and me, we were more than that.

Brother, sister, family. God, I'm grateful I can remember that.

Today my prayer is that those living with AIDS have a family they can turn to that gets to the heart of the matter, that those living with AIDS continue to live, and that those families who don't yet get that nothing in life is guaranteed and have not yet embraced their loved one and that people can leave us in a moment . . . well, I pray that they go now and grab the hug that I long for.

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