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Author Topic: Your Montreal experience: please post (here)!  (Read 21923 times)

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Offline sweetasmeli

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Re: Your Montreal experience: please post (here)!
« Reply #50 on: August 28, 2006, 03:03:31 PM »
Well I didnít go to Montreal as all who went obviously already know, but I just wanted to say that I have enjoyed following this thread. Reading about everyone's experiences has made me even more certain of something I already knew before: I WISH I HAD BEEN THERE!

The fact that there were so many different expectations, hopes, perspectives and reactions doesnít surprise me in the least. Thatís a guarantee wherever humans are involved.

As I was reading I found myself wanting to pass comment on so many people's experiences and observations but as I read on and on I find there are so many incredible truths written in this thread I was really at a loss where to begin. I'm not quite sure why but one comment that really brought a lump to my throat was this by Alan:

If anyone had told me, back in the early 90's when I was so desperately ill, that I would visit Montreal and WALK all over the city in 2006, I would have laughed in their face.

Maybe because it stung of such truth that not only is he still surviving with hiv after all this time but he is really living with hiv. There's a big difference. For me this simple statement sent out the powerful message:
Hope springs eternal.

I think all you guys and gals who attended Montreal showed incredible courage. I will be there at the next AMG for sure.

In admiration

Melia :)
« Last Edit: August 28, 2006, 03:05:04 PM by sweetasmeli »
/\___/\       /\__/\
(=' . '=)    (=' . '=)
(,,,_ ,,,)/   (,,,_ ,,,)/ Cats rule!

The difference between cats and dogs is that dogs come when called, whereas cats take a message and get back to you.

Yeia kai hara (health and happiness) to everyone!

Offline AlanBama

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  • Alabama: the 'other' 3rd World Country!
Re: Your Montreal experience: please post (here)!
« Reply #51 on: August 28, 2006, 03:51:19 PM »
Thanks for that, Melia.   :-*

It really is pretty incredible, when you think about it.   It certainly keeps me humble, and helps me keep my priorities in order.

Love & hugs,

"Remember my sentimental friend that a heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others." - The Wizard of Oz

Offline heartforyou

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  • I must be a survivor in many ways...
Re: Your Montreal experience: please post (here)!
« Reply #52 on: August 28, 2006, 04:37:22 PM »
I have attended  four AM gatherings up till now.
Toronto, Nashville, Amsterdam and Montreal.

I have spoken the language of the heart at each and every gathering.
Left as much as possible of my head out of the meetings with my family and I realised that only then I can see what my life is about.

About sharing warmth, hugs, body and love.

It is amazing how much I have distanced myself from the material things that have kept me tied up.
As a final move I will, if all goes well, sign the contract to sell the business tomorrow.
All the memories are in my heart now.
The more I give with my heart, the richer I will become.
It is that wealth that I strive for in my life.

Ask me what my experience of the AMG is about? Communicating with my heart is what I am good at.

Love, universal love. And about BEING ALLOWED TO BE MYSELF.

Yes,40 people is indeed too many to have a conversation with.
We are a mixed crowd, and I think this is perfectly allright.

But, one look into a pair of eyes, told me more about  many years of pain, despair, loss, lost dreams, destroyed futures, abuse and much more, but also the beauty of a fragile soul flourishing in the safe privacy of two true companions. That is the real value of these gatherings to me.

I will be at the next gatherings. As Herman. And ready to share my heart with every single one of you.

Wit all my love, in gratitude and respect for all of you unbelievable people.

« Last Edit: August 28, 2006, 05:57:56 PM by heartforyou »
Diagnosed in 1987 and still kicking
Kivexa (Epzicom),Tivicay once daily.

Switching to Viramune, Isentress and Emtriva

Happiness is the freedom of breathing fresh air every day.

Offline cmhjeff

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Re: Your Montreal experience: please post (here)!
« Reply #53 on: August 31, 2006, 10:57:27 AM »
Wow! I'm tired!  :) Using my text to speech program it's taken me almost 2 hours to listen to this thread. I could have stopped at anytime but I wanted to be there and this thread along with the photo thread gave me that opportunity. I don't drink and I don't smoke and I'm generally quiet & shy so my connections would have been few and far between. There's no way I could have kept up with the group and would have chosen to stay back many times in fear of holding anyone back. You could say I'm some what of a voyeur and a giver so I would have just been happy being there sitting back basking in everyones happiness and love.

 :-* :-* :-*

PS - I definitely wouldn't have missed the strippers!  OINK OINK  ;D

Offline david25luvit

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  • Member since March 2005
Re: Your Montreal experience: please post (here)!
« Reply #54 on: September 01, 2006, 07:21:36 AM »

              Climbing stairs is very difficult for me...and a couple of times I had to climb several flights to join the group.  Amazingly, being there and wanting so much to participate with the others was all the encouragement I needed.  It reminded me that if you want something bad enough....you'll find a way.  At the same time I also felt I could get assistance from several of the guys had I needed it.
In Memory of
Raymond David McRae III
Nov. 25, 1972- Oct. 15, 2004
I miss him terribly..........

Offline RAB

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  • Joined March 2003
Re: Your Montreal experience: please post (here)!
« Reply #55 on: September 04, 2006, 10:49:51 PM »
It's what scared me the most.  Times (x's) 2.  TRULY

I was about to meet two men with whom I had forged a very strong friendship. 

I don't express my emotions very well, I certainly don't display them freely if I can avoid it.

But there were two people I eagerly anticipated meeting/I wanted to run away from meeting.

Cliff  I don't know where the time goes, but for nearly two years you and I have travelled a roller-coaster and still forged a bond and friendship. 

I remember standing on that darn sidewalk for hours waiting for you to arrive.  I remember you didn't show up with Moffie or anyone else who was on the schedule. 

I remember wondering in the back of my mind if something happened at the last minute which was preventing you from attending.  I also remember reading earlier that day that you had in fact left for the airport in London.

What the hell was going on?

I can't remember where the group went.  I think we went to grab a bite to eat.  Don't ask me where.  My head was in a spin.

I do remember when we returned to the hotel, I immediately went to the reception desk and asked about the status of "arriving guest Cliff XXXXXX".

I remember the little blond gal saying (without even checking the computer)  "Yes, he has arrived"

I remember that call. 

"Cliff XXXXXX please"

"One moment and I'll connect you"

"Hullo?"  Somewhat groggy I might add.

I remember the bank of elevators was in a separate alcove.

I remember we were all sitting in the chairs just off of that area.

I remember hearing the "ding".

I remember the doors opening.

I remember feeling like I was about to die.

I remember hugging you and whispering in your ear.

I knew I had better not tear up or else you'd smack me!

I remember how you were just as I had expected.

I remember feeling like we had known each other all of our lives.

Alan. For well over a year, we had spoken dozens and dozens of times on the phone.  We connected on so many levels via the cyber world.

You had become a friend.  A man who I had never laid eyes on physically, but whom I knew was someone very special.

I remember the damn car pulling up to the curb.

I remember all of us standing out there, smiling like a pack of fools, waiting for the next member to arrive. 

I remember my heart falling into my stomach.

I don't remember many details after that.  (The sun was shining though and it was daylight as I recall.)

The next thing I can recollect in my head is wrapping my arms around you and holding on with all my might. 

I remember never wanting to let go.

I remember the damn tears that began to flow from my eyes.

I remember that after I finally let go, I turned away and tried to regain my composure before I totally lost it.

To both
I remember the amazing power of finally (at long last) seeing two men I am proud to call my friends. 

I wasn't just emotionally touched by both meetings, I was enriched, I was grateful.  I WAS A BETTER MAN FOR HAVING THE OPPORTUNITY.

I was/am a better man for everyone I had the chance to meet.  For everyone I had the chance to see.  For everyone with whom I can always remember my trip to Montreal as being a part of.

We are truly a very powerful group!  JUST SAYIN

RAB   ;D

Offline emeraldize

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Re: Your Montreal experience: please post (here)!
« Reply #56 on: September 05, 2006, 12:40:29 AM »
« Last Edit: October 31, 2006, 10:13:17 PM by emeraldize »

Offline AlanBama

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  • Alabama: the 'other' 3rd World Country!
Re: Your Montreal experience: please post (here)!
« Reply #57 on: September 05, 2006, 11:46:11 AM »
Everyone there definitely made a 'handprint on my heart'.   Especially you, Rocky....my ROCK.

You know what?  Sometimes it sucks, being an emotional basket-case who cries at the drop of a hat....I'm sitting at my desk now, with tears just streaming down my face.   But they are most assuredly GOOD tears.

I've lived with HIV now, for almost 20 years
They haven't all been sad ones (but there's been a lot of tears!)
This family has helped me, to work through many fears....
And hearing all your voices was like MUSIC to my ears!
"Remember my sentimental friend that a heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others." - The Wizard of Oz

Offline RAB

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  • Joined March 2003
Re: Your Montreal experience: please post (here)!
« Reply #58 on: September 06, 2006, 12:53:32 PM »
Forgive me everyone.  I'm not done with this thread yet. 

It's just that I've got so damn many memories flying around in my head, I don't want to lose any of them. 

This will be rather long I fear, I'm certain it's going to seem disjointed, it's just going to come out as my brain allows it.

1.  My luggage got lost (actually it never left Denver so it wasn't really "lost").  I arrived in Montreal very late, walked through a downpour the first night (actually early a.m.) looking for someplace to buy toothpaste and a razor. 

2.  The first person I met was Canuck.  It was so easy and so simple.  He was gracious, kind, and full of eager anticipation.  I do remember how frustrated he was getting with the Bourbon, they kept passing him off to someone else.  Once he made contact with Guy everything for the meet and greet came together easily.  Canuck wasn't about to have it any other way!

3.  Suzette pulling up to the hotel in her rental car (her car had been in an accident).  I remember being in awe of just how pretty she is.  Her pictures are good, but seeing her in real life just sort of magnified it by 100.  I remember sitting in the back seat as she tried to squeeze that car into what must have been the tiniest parking space in the entire garage.  He He He

4.  I remember how I eagerly anticipated seeing the friends I had made in Toronto.  I wasn't afraid of those meetings (like I mentioned before), I was so anxious to see everyone again I couldn't wait.  Jody, Jan, Joe, Trish, Stephen, Dingo, Robert, Moffie, Herman, and the grooms to be Ric and Thom.  I also remember feeling sad that Brian, Gregory Scott, Marcus Maximus, and Alan (dishes) weren't going to be there this year.  These people will always hold a unique and special place in my life, it really was meeting them that brought about my strong belief in these gatherings.  Nothing is ever going to change or match what that trip was for me.

5.  I remember the power of those sidewalk greetings in front of the Gouverneur Hotel Place Dupuis.  I remember the stretch SUV that brought Ric, Thom, and Basquo.  I remember the town car pulling up and seeing Jody in the front seat, but because of the damn tinted windows we couldn't see who else was there too.  It was like opening a present when that car door finally opened.  I loved that feeling.

6.  I remember being completely overwhelmed by Ric and Thom's wedding.  I remember laughing so hard I nearly cried (O.K. that's the excuse I'm using for the tears) when Ric said "I promise to order you".  That will certainly go down as the "line" remembered from the Montreal gathering.

I was honored to be able to be part of that ceremony, they are two very special men.

7.  The fourth person I met was Aztecan.  He arrived on Tuesday evening.  I remember seeing that infectious grin coming down the sidewalk.  I wasn't prepared for that first hug though let me tell you.  He has so much sex appeal I was literally swept away. 

8.  I remember Wednesday and Thursday standing on that sidewalk with growing anticipation and excitement.  Each person, each arrival, each hug was building on the previous. 

9.  I remember seeing Herman for the first time and that sparkle in his eyes I recalled from Toronto.  I was happy to see that it was there.

10.  I remember being shocked by how tall Jerry was, quiet and shy, but cute as a bugs ear.

11.  I remember how wonderful David NC and David were.  They both bring so much to the gathering just for being there.  I'd have followed those two anywhere. 

12.  I remember making the mistake at lunch of getting into a verbal sparring match with Lisa.  That girl is crazy but do not mess with her let me tell you.  I remember having the good sense to know when I was being outgunned and quickly admitting defeat.  She's a treasure for sure.

13.  I remember breakfast at Chez Cora.

14.  I remember the roof bar at Sky.

15.  I remember Jonathan with bright clear eyes that could peer deep into anyone's soul.

16.  I remember being completely intimidated when I first met Tim Horn.  Not just his physical prowess, just his very being.  What a remarkable man, good looks and brains too.  Wow!

17.  I remember Andy's amazing story telling.  Any conversation with him is like being taken on an adventure.

18.  I remember Minh being so damn cute, tiny, and just full of life.  I kept having trouble seeing this man as a college professor and lecturing a large class.  He looks so young, it just seemed impossible to me, his intelligence quickly put those questions to rest though.

19.  I remember the first hug Dan J. received in the lobby of the hotel.  I remember an involuntary tear forming in my eye just witnessing it.  I remember Lisa seeing it too and hugging me for it.  I remember I liked that.

20.  I remember discussing the art of real Manhattan making with Gary (Lou-ah-vull), that man knows his bourbon let me tell you.

21.  I remember skipping the trip to Quebec City and spending some time with David and Marc as we went shopping. 

22.  I remember Shane's infectious laughter and constant grin.

23.  I remember the remarkable woman I knew nothing about, Anne Emeraldize was a total surprise.  I remember our brief conversations and her amazing intuition.  She can read people like no other.
24.  I remember Zephyr's dance (was it a rain dance?  I forget) at the Hotel Bourbon.

I don't know what the point of this is.  I just have these memories, simple snap shots really of what my experience was in Montreal.  I've got more snap shots floating around, I wish I could organize them and put them into some permanent album to replay time and time again.  There were so many special people there, so much emotion, so many chances to laugh, enjoy, feel alive.

I remember wishing it could go one for just one more day or two.

I remember Montreal as being something I wouldn't have missed for the world.

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Offline Lou-ah-vull

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Re: Your Montreal experience: please post (here)!
« Reply #59 on: September 06, 2006, 10:58:20 PM »

It was great to meet another bourbon lover.  In  Canada, it is not easy to find.  Now that I am back, I find I still prefer the Old Fashioned to the Manhattan, but i have yet to try your novel variation to the Manhattan recipe.  As soon as I restock some grenadine, I will give it a try and toast to you!

Diagnosed Oct. 2005
10/05:  367 (26.2%), 24556 VL
01/06:  344 (24.6%), 86299 VL
04/06:  374 (22.0%), 87657 VL
05/06:  Began HAART 05/15/06, Combivir/Kaletra
07/06:  361 (27.8%), 1299 VL
10/06:  454 (32.4%), 55 VL
01/07:  499 (38.4%), UD
02/07:  Switched to Atripla 2/8/07
04/07:  566 (37.7%), UD
08/07:  761 (42.3%), UD
06/08:  659 (47.1%), UD
01/09:  613 (43.8%), UD
07/09:  616 (47.4%), UD
01/10:  530 (44.2%), UD
07/10:  636 (48.9%), UD
01/11:  627 (48.2%), UD
07/11:  840 (52.5%), UD
01/12:  920 (51.1%), UD
07/12:  857 (50.4%), 40
10/12:  UD
01/13:  710 (47.3%), UD
07/13:  886 (49.2%), UD
01/14:  985 (46.9%), UD
06/14:  823 (47.2%), UD
01/15: 1366 (45.2%), UD
07/15: 1134 (50.7%), UD
02/16: 1043 (55.1%), UD
08/16:  746  (55.4%), UD
08/16:  Switch from Atripla to Genvoya


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