on the phone with my mother this afternoon, she said she had something to read to me from the local paper.
it was the obituary for someone i went to school with. in fact, i went on my first-ever date with him. (not a big chapter in my romantic life, but you tend to remember that first date.) i lost track of keith after high school; i knew he and his brother headed out to san francisco for a while. i knew he had returned to the hometown area when a bizarre story cropped up in the paper - his wallet had been stolen; he hadn't reported it because it was apparently during a drug purchase. the thief committed a major burglary and since he had been using keith's identity, the real keith wound up in jail. he later returned home. i tried looking him up a few times on trips home but never found him.
the obit mentioned a life partner/caregiver. one assumes AIDS in this case. i'm glad he wasn't alone. i feel sorry for his partner. the obit was written with a lot of tenderness and love, and mentions lots of family support. i'm glad the local catholic church isn't shutting their doors to his family for the funeral service.
after getting this news, we went out to run errands this evening and wound up in a food court. i watched a pair of men there; both probably the same age, one was noticeably thin and frail and in a wheelchair, the other gently assisting. they were watching the ice skaters in the center court. it was while seeing them that i began to feel the small good things in keith's situation: he wasn't alone, he had support, he was loved. things diseases can't steal.