It Was Frightening

Gay Pride

A group advocating AIDS research marches down Fifth Avenue during the 14th annual Lesbian and Gay Pride parade in New York, June 27, 1983. This year’s parade is dedicated to victims of the incurable disease AIDS which primarily afflicts homosexual men. (AP Photo/Mario Suriani)

It was the 80’s and I was a teenager. All of eighteen when I learned of AIDS. I know it had been around before that but as a teenager who ran fast with a fast crowd we didn’t exactly pay attention to the news. In 1988 I was working full time for an upscale auto collision shop in New Jersey. More and more AIDS was being brought to the forefront as was the hysteria surrounding it and in all honesty , it was frightening. At the time I didn’t know anyone who had AIDS but that was about to change. 

One day a customer came in who happened to be the daughter of one of our biggest accounts. She had an auto wreck and needed her car fixed she also, had AIDS. Thats when the AIDS fear entered my life. No one in the shop would get in her car to get her insurance information out of it because she had bled in the car and everyone was afraid. I admit, at first I was a bit afraid myself but that night I went home and decided to do some research and learn more and so I did.. 

Next morning I tried in vain to educate everyone in the office and the shop that they had nothing to fear that once “it dries it dies” but my words fell on deaf ears. Finally I got so angry I called every male in the place (I worked with 15 men) a pansy ass and went into the car and got the information myself. Well, you would have thought I was going into an unknown world. They all stared at me like I was insane.. To their surprise. I survived, the car was fixed and me and Doretta (yes that was her name) became friends. 

Fast Forward a few years and I got sick with Lyme Disease. By 1994 I was too sick to work but I was also full of anxiety and frustrated to no end sitting home all the time sick and in pain just staring at the TV. Someone suggested that I should try volunteering to see what I could actually get my body to do. I did just that and I picked a soup kitchen dedicated to AIDS patients at a church about twenty minutes from my home. I went two times a week for about a month when my body decided it had enough.

I will tell you though, those two months were the most rewarding two months of my life. I got to meet these people that others were so afraid of. Turns out with education and compassion there is nothing to be afraid of. I got to see life through their eyes. I remember a woman who would come twice a week on my days and she was very sick. She didn’t have long to live. I would arrive and there she’d be sitting in her chair with her IV pole  usually alone reading a book. We would exchange a smile or two when I served her a meal and finally one day I sat down and we began to talk. I never asked her how she contracted AIDS because it didn’t matter.. She was no different from me except that she was dying faster than I.  I don’t know if I brought anything to the days she had left but she had given me a gift that has lasted these twenty some odd years and will until its my time to leave this earth. She allowed me to know her, to be kind to her and to be a friend to her. I will never forget her or her beautiful smile.

I will be forever grateful for my time in that soup kitchen and if I am ever able to volunteer again  I would do it all over the same way.

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Grief & Consolation

For those who don’t watch my YouTube videos then you don’t know that I had a major loss on Friday. I had to put my Bailey to sleep. Bailey was 15 1/2 years old. He was diabetic and also had a tad bit of Parkinson’s but, he was holding his own for the longest time between tons of love and good medical care. Although I knew the day would come I would have to say good bye, the way it happened was completely unexpected and to be honest, I can’t talk about it right now because it’s still so raw. What I can say is, Bailey was my heart. Bailey was the child I could never have. I loved him more than anything in the world and there was nothing I didn’t do or wouldn’t have done for him. In my life, Bailey came first. Always. He deserved all that and more for the enormous amount of love he always gave me. My heart is broken. I don’t know when, if ever it will heal. Only the Lord knows and only the Lord can heal it. For now, I am heart broken and I miss my baby more than I ever thought I could. 

Blog Brain...

Through the deep grief I am feeling right now one thing is constant and that is God. He has so mercifully sent me consolation today in the midst of my pain. Today is Monday May 16th exactly one month to the day that my husband had a heart attack. Today was also his first follow up with the cardiologist who saved his life that day. Over the past four weeks I have been a bundle of nerves. Worry, anxiety, stress, overwhelm. You name it, it was hitting me and then… I lost my Bailey which for me was the proverbial icing on the cake. I was nervous while we were waiting to see the doctor this morning. Not sure what he was going to say. In comes God and gives me consolation through all of this. 

My husbands heart was minimally damaged, the rest of his arteries look good with the exception of some small ones down below the heart that have small blockages but we are working towards cleaning those out through diet and medication. The doctor is very pleased with Lou’s diet over the last four weeks which has changed dramatically. In another four weeks he is going to be allowed to start rebuilding our deck. The doctor is pleased that he is walking as he should. He took an EKG while in the office today and he told us it was very good. Then he told me something that completely floored me.

My husband was telling the doctor that he had been feeling massive heart burn, some pain which he thought was indigestion for three days before he had the heart attack. THREE DAYS! The doctor then said “well let me tell you what was happening for those three days. Your artery was opening and closing the entire time” So I said to my husband on the way home, lets just think about what he said.. Your artery was clogged so much to the point you had a heart attack  BUT, for THREE DAYS God allowed that artery to keep opening back up and allowing enough blood flow through so that you didn’t drop dead at home from a massive heart attack”.. How many people get a chance like that? God in all His mercy allowed you to live and not only did He allow you to live, He made sure it didn’t happen at home, He made sure it happened while you were in a capable emergency room, He made sure you had enough time to be transported to another hospital, He made sure you had enough time to be brought straight into surgery and He gave you a phenomenal surgeon who saved your life and He made sure there was minimal to no damage to your heart… GOD IS MERCIFUL! And then today He again bestowed His mercy on us once more with such a good first follow up.  

No matter how undeserving we should all know we are of any of Gods blessings, because He IS love, He bestows His love and mercy upon us still.. 

20160516_115922_HDR

Blog Signture

Grief & Consolation

For those who don’t watch my YouTube videos then you don’t know that I had a major loss on Friday. I had to put my Bailey to sleep. Bailey was 15 1/2 years old. He was diabetic and also had a tad bit of Parkinson’s but, he was holding his own for the longest time between tons of love and good medical care. Although I knew the day would come I would have to say good bye, the way it happened was completely unexpected and to be honest, I can’t talk about it right now because it’s still so raw. What I can say is, Bailey was my heart. Bailey was the child I could never have. I loved him more than anything in the world and there was nothing I didn’t do or wouldn’t have done for him. In my life, Bailey came first. Always. He deserved all that and more for the enormous amount of love he always gave me. My heart is broken. I don’t know when, if ever it will heal. Only the Lord knows and only the Lord can heal it. For now, I am heart broken and I miss my baby more than I ever thought I could. 

Blog Brain...

Through the deep grief I am feeling right now one thing is constant and that is God. He has so mercifully sent me consolation today in the midst of my pain. Today is Monday May 16th exactly one month to the day that my husband had a heart attack. Today was also his first follow up with the cardiologist who saved his life that day. Over the past four weeks I have been a bundle of nerves. Worry, anxiety, stress, overwhelm. You name it, it was hitting me and then… I lost my Bailey which for me was the proverbial icing on the cake. I was nervous while we were waiting to see the doctor this morning. Not sure what he was going to say. In comes God and gives me consolation through all of this. 

My husbands heart was minimally damaged, the rest of his arteries look good with the exception of some small ones down below the heart that have small blockages but we are working towards cleaning those out through diet and medication. The doctor is very pleased with Lou’s diet over the last four weeks which has changed dramatically. In another four weeks he is going to be allowed to start rebuilding our deck. The doctor is pleased that he is walking as he should. He took an EKG while in the office today and he told us it was very good. Then he told me something that completely floored me.

My husband was telling the doctor that he had been feeling massive heart burn, some pain which he thought was indigestion for three days before he had the heart attack. THREE DAYS! The doctor then said “well let me tell you what was happening for those three days. Your artery was opening and closing the entire time” So I said to my husband on the way home, lets just think about what he said.. Your artery was clogged so much to the point you had a heart attack  BUT, for THREE DAYS God allowed that artery to keep opening back up and allowing enough blood flow through so that you didn’t drop dead at home from a massive heart attack”.. How many people get a chance like that? God in all His mercy allowed you to live and not only did He allow you to live, He made sure it didn’t happen at home, He made sure it happened while you were in a capable emergency room, He made sure you had enough time to be transported to another hospital, He made sure you had enough time to be brought straight into surgery and He gave you a phenomenal surgeon who saved your life and He made sure there was minimal to no damage to your heart… GOD IS MERCIFUL! And then today He again bestowed His mercy on us once more with such a good first follow up.  

No matter how undeserving we should all know we are of any of Gods blessings, because He IS love, He bestows His love and mercy upon us still.. 

20160516_115922_HDR

Blog Signture