As if I could ever forget them, ever, in my lifetime. The men, women, and children who died of AIDS over the course of this pandemic.
Some were the men I was supposed to be growing old with right now. We should be having barbecues in the summer and exchanging cards and presents over a lunch filled with laughs and teasing and lots and lots of love.
We had one like that about 15 years ago. I can't believe they have been gone that long. Gary, Chet and Jay, Jo and I having lunch at the harbor. It would be our last together. Chet and Jay were dead within six months of that lunch. Gary hung around for a while longer.
Their beautiful faces are still alive in my mind, the pain in my heart is still there, too. Their wonderful laughs ring in my ear still but sometimes I hear their screams from the cancer and the death rattle from their chests. It is all rolled up into the many memories of living and loving in the age of AIDS.