posted Dec 4, 2015, 7:56 AM by Parish Administrator
This past Tuesday was World AIDS day. One of our members, Mitch Wood wrote this beautiful reflection. With his permission, I share it with you.
"Pray for the dead, and fight like hell for the living." -- Mother Jones
So, another World AIDS Day ... and I am *still* here to remember.
- There was the guy who turned me on to Grace Jones and Sylvester.
- And one who introduced me to Luther Vandross.
- The many in the rooms, dually diagnosed, trying to do the right thing one day at a time.
- The talented, passionate African American poet.
- Groups of men and women who participated in spiritual retreats, sharing their pain and stories.
- Staunch advocates for adequate funding, tenacious in dealing with bureaucratic indifference and unwilling to tolerate incompetence.
- An activist whose ashes became his posthumous protest at the White House.
- Sensitive, sensual same gender loving black men who were thrilled to see the reality of their lives reflected in Tongues Untied.
- The one whose hand I held tight when the biopsy for KS came back.
- A former music educator and editor.
- A woman whose sexuality was erased, her "lifestyle" denounced, at her family church's homegoing service.
- Members of our St. Margaret's parish--a vestry member, a fastidious guy who sported bow ties, a Sunday School teacher.
- That cheerful guy I met while doing caretaking shifts, whose memorial service included the presentation of the colors, rainbow flag included, by a leather group honor guard.
- A particularly spirit-filled, kind and gracious soul who was always diplomatic and positive in his counsel.
- The straight guy in a group home who made sure none of the other brothers' beefs about living with a white gay guy got out of hand.
- A veteran, a social worker, the father of a young son, and acquaintances whose Blade obits appeared before I even knew they were sick.
I also remember...
- the numerous caring and supportive friends, family and allies who fought to end stigma, educated to alleviate fears, who volunteered at food banks and prepared healing service dinners...
- the chaplains who visited hospitals and hospices to pray, the priests who received the common cup last...
- compassionate nurses who tried to make the needle pricks tolerable and who provided the extra cots during long nightly vigils,
- and politicians who risked their careers to oppose misguided, cynical legislation and anti-gay smear campaigns.
There are still far too many new infections, and there are still millions around the world and in our own communities who are not getting adequate education, awareness, social service resources and health care. There's still a lot of work for us to do