by Richard Harris
(Jacksonville, FL, USA)
Let’s not use the disease that has ravaged our lives to fuel the anger, hatred, and bigotry against others each of us has had to face.
Let’s not wallow in our grief and sorrow over the death of those we love until our own lives become bitter or even worse meaningless.
Let’s not keep the memories of our pain and anguish as the only source of motivation left in a life, which has suffered enough losses.
Let’s not forget the joy and happiness we once knew with them simply because their affliction causes us to fear for ourselves.
Let’s not dishonor our friends, lovers, and acquaintances by sharing only our grief with each other and withholding the best of all they gave us.
Let’s not allow our lives to become a parody of their death for we will have to help others die knowing they are loved even as we continue to live.
Let’s not allow our guilt for having been spared overshadow whatever time remains to the rest of us.
Let’s not permit death, disease, and suffering to become the only common ties between us and sever us from what joy remains to be had with each other.
Let’s not let their only epithet become “he/she died of AIDS” or we deny not only their entirety but our own.
Let’s not give up demanding, looking, praying, and hoping for a cure or we may overlook the one avenue by which it can be obtained.
Let’s not stop educating ourselves and others or we may miss the opportunity to save another life.