Sunday, November 6, 2011

Anniversaries this month

I have a list of topics that I want to write about, as the time seems appropriate.  This weekend doesn't quite feel right for it.  Last week and this next week are some important anniversaries.

My mother's birthday was last week, she would have been 57.

Six years ago last week, her father, my grandfather passed away.  I had a flight to go visit that afternoon, he passed away overnight before I'd left. Six years ago this weekend, I had a surgery that saved my life.

Two years ago this weekend, on the anniversary of my surgery, my mother had a surgery that marked the beginning of the end of her battle with cancer.

I've read that twenty years ago tomorrow, Magic Johnson announced that he had contracted HIV.  Which means that twenty years ago this coming week, there was a knock on our door one evening.  A mother down the street wanted to talk with my mom.  The local TV station was going to be interviewing the family, and she wanted us to know ahead of time.

We had known that one of our neighbors had hemophilia.  I was into genetics at the time, so I was fairly aware of what that meant genetically.  Well, apparently some of this child's classmates were talking about Magic Johnson, and confused by the difference between HIV and AIDS.  In frustration, the neighbor with hemophilia came out and said "I have HIV, and I don't have AIDS."

My parents are from Indiana, so I guess I had followed the story of Ryan White for some time, and I'd like to think I was pretty educated for the time.  We never worried about going sledding, playing tag, or statue or hide-and-seek, any of those things.  The mother had explained to us earlier that if they ever bled, they'd need to get shots, so we watched out for blood.  But I never remember them bleeding, so it was okay.

I've often thought of this person over the years, prayed that things continued to go well for them.