Today is World AIDS Day. I looked all day for something I could photograph to post here in honor of AIDS Awareness, but in all my errand-running around town, found nothing publicly posted.
Which leads me to believe that the general public, at least in my neck of the words, is simply not aware that this is World Aids Day.
So instead of taking a photo today, I will share this photo of my friend Cynde‘s brother, who died of AIDS in 1993, just before the “good HIV meds” became available. She will tell you that she did not accomplish much homeschooling with her two oldest boys that year, because they spent a lot of time visiting Uncle John in the hospice, as well as befriending many of the other patients there.
They were the only visitors some of the patients had. Some of them had been disowned by their families, either from fear of catching AIDS, shame from drug abuse or rejection of their son’s gay lifestyle. So while Cynde’s boys did not hit the books as hard that year as they normally did, they did learn the value of a human life. They learned compassion. They learned not to be afraid of things they didn’t understand. They learned that even when people are rejected by others, and even when they have made bad choices like drug abuse, they are still people, and all people need love.
I can tell you that both boys, now young adults, were changed by this experience. It shaped who they became. They are two of the most compassionate, caring and gracious young men I have ever had the pleasure to meet.
So here’s to you, Uncle John, and to the countless others whose lives were cut short by this horrible disease. May we find a cure. May we find it soon. And may we never cease to be aware.