November 21, 2008

November 21, 2008
You Gotta Have Friends

Welcome to another day in my life as a long term survivor of HIV and AIDS in the United States. I hope you are having a safe and great week so far. Between the cold fronts and the stock market, the week has been a long one for a lot of Americans.

My biggest influences in my life and health have been my family and friends who make up my support group in life. Regardless of your HIV status, friends can help us through bad times and rejoice with us in the good times.

Speaking of friends, I was on the phone most of the day. This morning I spoke to another long term survivor friend from California. Todd has been HIV positive since 1989 and still doing great and staying active. We had not spoken in a few months and spent a couple of hours catching up on each other. It is always great to hear from old friends.

Heather called me today and we spoke about the plans for the wrapping party and the Teddy Bear Touchdown. She also told me that Dick Neiman wants me to sit with Lutheran Social Services for the Award Banquet on World AIDS Day. We had seen each other at the support group we co-facilitate last night but did not have any private time to talk so it was great to get caught up some.

Our HIV/AIDS community Thanksgiving luncheon was today. Donna, Beth and the gang from Northeast Florida AIDS Network (NFAN) always do a great job. There was an elaborate spread of food and drink inside with the cold weather adding to the holiday spirit on the outside. The Christmas and Thanksgiving luncheons are the highest attended of the year with usually 150 - 200 people.

This afternoon, I spoke with David who writes a blog for Talk about great guys! We have become quick friends since I wrote a comment on one of his blogs about my work at AARP and Divided We Fail. We have been emailing for a couple of months now. Since we are both activists, we can talk forever about what we would like to see happen for our community. David is being a great help getting out the word about our Teddy Bear Touchdown and the work of our organization. So here is a big shout out to David! You can learn more about David by going to his link on our I'm One in a Million section of our website.

Diane and I spoke this evening. She is having to deal with family issues since her brother remarried and moved out of town. Diane is now responsible for the transportation and care of her 90 year old mother. Her mother is not happy that her son moved so far away and feels abandoned. The holidays are going to be hard since Larry can only get home for a day or two instead of being in the same city. I hope it all works out for the family and they enjoy their holiday together.

So since this is a month for giving thanks, I would like to thank all my friends (both old and new) for making a huge impact on my life. I hope I have on yours as well.

Wishing you health, hope and happiness.

Big bear hug,

Daddy Dab