January 13, 2010

January 13, 2010
A Walk in the Park

Welcome to another day in my life. Today is Wednesday and we have made it to the middle of another week. I hope you are having a safe and great week so far.

As I mentioned yesterday, I recently found out a dear friend of mine, Michael, passed away unexpectedly sometime Monday. My ex, Gary, found him in the shower but it was too late for anyone to do anything for him. Gary was nice enough to call and let me know instead of hearing it from somewhere else.

While I have lost literally thousands of friends (most due to HIV/AIDS or its complications), it never gets any easier. And it is especially hard when it is someone like Michael. Not only had we been friends for several years, worked the LSS food bank together, had him in one of the support groups I facilitated; but Michael had been a loyal and faithful volunteer for Dab the AIDS Bear Project since its beginning. He was one of those loving, giving people of which the world has far too few.

Now in my heart, I know Michael is in a better place now. He no longer has to worry about all the pain and medications for HIV/AIDS and cancer. Or having to struggle month to month living on Social Security disability and worrying about how to keep the bills paid and food on the table.

So today I went for a long walk through a park near where I am and thought about all the great times Michael and I had shared over the past decade. Thought about the great talks we had. Thought about his great smile when we were handing out toys to the children with HIV and AIDS at our Teddy Bear Touchdowns. Seeing him at our support group meetings. Working together at the food bank and even remembering the hard times while he was dealing with infections, Karposi's Sarcoma and other illnesses.

It is for us left behind that are feeling the pain and hole in our hearts since his passing. But Michael will always be in my heart and thoughts. See I believe as long as those who loved us are still here; we are never truly gone.

I do not mean to be too deep or philosophical. I guess this is just my way of dealing with the loss of someone special.

The other point I would like to make is we never know when we might lose someone dear to us and not be able to reach out and tell them we love them. None of us are guaranteed tomorrow. So I encourage you to reach out to those you love NOW and tell them you love them. After they are gone, it is too late to do so.

I hope you will call or message all of those dear to you NOW and tell them I love you.

Until we meet again; here's wishing you health, hope and happiness.

big bear hug,

Daddy Dab