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This Day in My History

 

2000: For the Birds
2001:
 Kiss Me, You Fool!
2002:  The "Flu Diet"
2003:  Reliving the Magic


WEBSITE OF THE DAY

Check this house and control the
Christmaslights yourself!


My Amazon
Wish List

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SHEILA's BLOG

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I blow in her ear and she follows me anywhere.

Sheila Videos
"See Sheila Run", "Meet Barkley"
"The Green Monster", "Sheila's Tongue"


Today's Search Engine queries:
(how people find this journal)...

  • winthrop monologue from The Music Man
  • photo of flying geese flock in v formation
  • lDorothy Chandler Pavillion phone number
  • cereal package openers
  • picture of Pavel Friedman
  • frog tunnel, Davis
  • pictures of the show Laguna Beach (steven)
  • seven ladies stuck in the lavatory
  • how much does muscle weigh?
  • hydrox cookies



         

CHRISTMAS LETTER.  Once again, I've posted our Christmas letter on the Internet.  It may not be as personal as holding it in your hand--but it's a lot prettier on the net! 


BLUE CHRISTMAS

18 December 2004

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His name was Clifford.   He didn't like having his picture taken.  I didn't know him well.  I met him through the Sacramento PFLAG and we attended 3 different Pride marches in San Francisco as part of the same group.  I also worked with him at two Pride events in Sacramento, where he confessed that he liked Steve's message, he just didn't like to hear him sing.

He was a good friend of my friend Kathleen, who heads up Sacramento's PFLAG.  He was like a second son to her.  Their love for each other was palpable, as I watched her march up Market Street in San Francisco's Pride March, hand in hand with Clifford and one of the other guys from PFLAG.  Mom with her kids.

He was just a sweet guy.

He died last week.

I received an e-mail from Kathleen this evening:

Cause of death was pneumonia as a complication of AIDS. The whole thing is bizarre.

Like all responsible gay men, Clifford tested regularly. His last test was in June and it was negative. Sometime between then and last week, he converted to positive, went into full blown AIDS, got pneumonia and died. The doctor said it was unusual, but not impossible.

Clifford had a bout with gall bladder problems and had surgery in July. He got a secondary post-op infection. Then he had a severe allergic reaction to a plant in the yard of his new house. We think all those put together opened the door just wide enough for the disease to take hold and rage through his body. When he got bronchitis and then pneumonia, the doc was going on his history and assumed he was HIV negative. His lack of response to conventional treatment together with the doc's impression that this was acting like pneumocystis, prompted them to test him for HIV again. This time it was positive. On Wednesday 12/9, the docs said they had no more rabbits to pull out of the hat and there was absolutely nothing they could do. Clifford could not breathe on his own and was in and out of consciousness. Paul and Clifford's mom decided together to pull the tubes and let him go. He died four hours later.

Anyone who thinks we are "getting on top of this AIDS thing" is kidding themselves. Yes, there are folks walking around 20 years HIV positive and appearing relatively healthy. And then there are the Cliffords.

Needless to say, I was stunned.  Clifford died the way the very first friend I lost to AIDS died back in 1986.  Within weeks of his diagnosis.

Surely we've come farther than that in nearly 20 years.

I go around with Steve and I listen to all of the talks that he gives to kids, educating them to the reality of living with AIDS.

But that's the operative word: living with AIDS.  Steve is walking proof that AIDS is no longer a death sentence.  There are medications.  Protease inhibiters.  People are now living with AIDS. 

And then along comes Clifford.  Careful.  Responsible.   Diligent in testing.  And he's dead within weeks of his diagnosis.

If young people coming along these days think that AIDS is not the danger that it once was, they need to take this message to heart.  Yes, more and more people are living with AIDS, but it's still a killer and last week it claimed another sweet, loving guy who should have lived a lot longer.

As Steve says--all you need to do is not exchange bodily fluids and the whole thing could be prevented in the first place.

I hated having to add a new ribbon to my personal web page

Such a sad, sad loss. 


Mood
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PHOTO OF THE DAY

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