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Author Topic: another milestone  (Read 1284 times)

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Offline leatherman

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another milestone
« on: December 27, 2008, 06:36:27 PM »
As I was trying to get my blog update finished (with my trip and Christmas pictures) and online (http://reigningpages.com/leatherman) the day after Christmas, I realized that there's another "milestone" that has happened in my life.

In an earlier blog entry in the month, I had noted how a few days before Thanksgiving marked when I first moved to Ohio. I have now spent the first 23 yrs. of my life living in North Carolina; and the last 23 yrs. of my life living in Ohio.  Then, Monday Dec 8th, my two little boyz (cocker spaniels), Aries and Zeus, had their own milestone when they turned eight years old. Looking back as I was updating, I also noticed that reigningpages.com (my domain named after my defunct pet store "It's Reigning Pets) had been online for over a decade now having gone online back on May 27, 1997. (obviously, I missed marking the exact date because I was occupied with other more pressing issues back in May after Jim passed away).

Perhaps because the last few months of my life has been spent in introspection and retrospection (that'll happen when you lose two long-term partners to AIDS and yet survive yourself, in spite of your own hospitalizations and med adherence problems), I am today recognizing an "anniversary" (another "milestone") that usually goes by unnoticed by me.

Sixteen years ago, on the day after Christmas(12/26/92)and just a few months before I would turn 30, a nice middle-aged lady nurse from the Canton City Health Clinic told me that I was HIV positive.

Over a third of my life now has been drastically changed over and over by those 3 letters and plus-sign. All the gay friends I had in the early 90s have all died; two partners have been taken from me; and I've nearly died in a hospital twice. That little acronym has pushed me into such poverty that I've lost two homes (14th St and Jim's house on 48th) and two cars (my old Taurus and Jim's Hyundai).

Though many may say that I should find this milestone an occassion for celebration, my heart is too still just oo broken to feel anything but sadness. Nor do I feel like celebrating the upcoming new year. Sure I'm glad the year is changing and I can't wait to put 2008 into my past; but events of this last terrible year robbed me of all the joy I've had of surviving these last 16 years (though many of those years weren't so "joyous" themselves). The only reason I survived past Randy's death and through those following six years of being desperately ill was because of the love and friendship of my best friend Jim. His encouragement, support, and love turned my life, and health, around making the last eight years simply incredible.

Now I stand on the cusp of a new year, maoving into my 17th year of having AIDS, approaching my 47th bday, alone again trying to become a "whole" single person (rather than the other "half" of a loving couple) for a second time in my life. Only this time, I have no best friend or partner to rely on. I can only count on myself and my experiences to keep on going. Thankfully, my experiences have taught me that life IS worth living; and if I'm alive, I better try to enjoy the life that I do have. Though I may sound pretty depressed and pessimistic at times; I do have hope, so all is not lost. My experience of losing Randy has taught me that I will survive losing Jim (e.g. if I did this once before, I will be able to do it again). Though I don't have the impetus that I used to have to stay compliant to my meds (to stay alive so as to not put Jim through the grief of losing me), I do have the habits I learned while I was with Jim to take my meds every day. Using 2008 as the yardstick, I have nothing but optimisim about 2009, as it HAS to be better than this last year. (you see, I have no more boyfriends to lose, so I know it will be a better year no matter what happens to me)

So as I head into my seventeenth year of battling AIDS and trying to stay alive another year, I say "goodbye" once again to the life I thought I'd lead, and "good riddance" to 2008, the worst year of my life. Though battered and bruised emotionally, my meds have made me healthier than I've been in many a year, so I can't help but say "hello" to 2009 and whatever joy and troubles it'll bring into my life.
leatherman (aka mIkIE)

All the stars are flashing high above the sea
and the party is on fire around you and me
We're gonna burn this disco down before the morning comes
- Pet Shop Boys

chart from 1992-2015


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