Recent Posts

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Just the Road of Life

In preparation for my new phone tomorrow, we have to download any photos are videos we want to keep because no data will transfer (including pics, video, voice or text messages) which is a pain in the tuckus but whatevs.  The silver lining in all this is that I got to take a walk for memory lane and I bring to you the highlights that I never got around to writing about or are worth mentioning again.

2012 In Review:

1.) NYE 2012 I headed to Kingston and on the other side is a tiny crepe shoppe (note pretentious 'pe').   Garlic, spinach, chicken, almonds and parm wrapped in a warm blanket of crepe-y goodness.  Good thing this is a ferry ride away otherwise nothing would stop me from making this a regular part of the meal rotation.

2.) I spent the latter 3 months of 2012 living in West Seattle which is conveniently close to Lincoln Park and a really lovely running trail.  Instead of running on the trail, one day I ran the beach when the tide was out and spotted some urban art.  One of the many reasons I love Seattle, art everywhere, when you least expect it.

3.) I love these people.  

4.) Sometimes the dinner party group opts to hit up the dim sum which is obviously brilliant and delicious. Let's do this more in 2013.

5. I got to go to Phoenix a lot this year to visit the sister and squeeze the nephew.  Each trip is so great and I start to make plans to go back.  I'm planning 2 international trips this year so I'm not sure how much I'll get down there but every chance I can, I'll go.  He calls me Aunt Cawa now. How could I not go....!?

6.)  One of the professional highlights of the last year was hosting the Director of "How to Survive a Plague" for a private viewing of said documentary.  He's now nominated for an Oscar for the film.  NBD.  This is how the movie arrived.  With guards. Literally.  It was one of the those moments that made me feel a lot more important than I actually am.  

I wrote about that night but never posted it.  Here's what happened: 

I have just one story to tell tonight.

For tonight's evening event we hosted a screening of a new documentary about the history of the AIDS activism and drug development. We invited the film's director to participate in a panel that would accompany the film. We showed the first 20 minutes of the film and then hosted a panel session reflecting on where our panelists were when the epidemic started and their perspective on the evolution of AIDS activism .  We heard from two nurses at the time talk about watching their friends dying so quickly for no reason.  We heard from clinicians and career activists.  They talked about their experience mostly in the US but also watching the migrations of the disease spread through Africa.  They talked about the things they saw, the exhausting weight of the epidemic, the friends and family they lost. 

One woman talked about as a nurse her struggle to find  surgeons to operate on her patients because at the time there was such discrimination from the health care community that people wouldn't operate on AIDS patients.  One patient's mother in particular lost her son to AIDS around the holidays and as an expression of gratitude knit this nurse a stocking and to this day she uses the stocking to remember and honor the young man.

It was all very touching.Not a dry eye in the house.

But the most moving moment of the night was a brief interaction.  One of our most notable grantees was the last person in the room when the film ended.  He'd watched through the credits and just sat as everyone exited.  When he got up to go I asked what he thought of the film and thoughtfully pauses and says, "It makes me so sad.  I was a physician in the hospital when AIDS hit the scene." He starts to tear up and says, "I watched so many people die that I couldn't help. I knew those people. I just brings up so many memories." With tears in his eyes he just looked off beyond me, nodded his head and walked away. 

I work with many fancy scientists who sit in fancy labs looking for the "silver bullet"  that will end AIDS.  They look at blood and cells of mice and macaques and run a bunch of assays in their sterilized facilities far removed from the front lines of the epidemic. And I think sometimes how hard it must be to connect the science to the human element. I think that probably because it's hard for me to connect with it sometimes. Then I am reminded that many of our grantees do what they do because they WERE there.  And they don’t need to be reminded because they can't forget what they've seen.  They can't unsee.  They can't forget, and they shouldn't.

That's why we do what we do.  Because to this day 25 million people have died due to AIDS.  It is estimated that the death toll of AIDS epidemic will surpass the Black Plague. We do it because the epidemic will not stop, people will not stop dying if we do stop what we are doing.  

7.) I got a lot of work done on my car that I had been putting off.  Fixed the leak, the bumper, front guard, new rear breaks and rotors   It all cost a super shiny penny.  But, while Big Red was in the shop, I did get to drive a Chrysler 300 which was stupid amazing.  I should not be allowed to drive powerful luxury vehicles nicer than the one I own.  Why? Because I have a disposable income with a taste of luxury and no self-control. (No secret there.) I almost traded in Big Red for Super Fancy Powerful Big Black.  But reason prevailed just in time....THIS time. I make no promises NEXT time.  

8.) Before the aunt and uncle headed South for the winter, I made one last trip up. We ate, we had a jam-fest on the patio, we ate some more, we picked flowers, I went for some good runs. We probably laughed tons too.  I miss them....they are decidedly too far away.  TOO FAR! They are also in the luxury of sunshine so the jealously compounds the feelings.  Also, I need a Gumboot fix.  Can y├íll come home now?

9. The trip to San Diego was a true highlight of the year.  I got to spend good quality in person time with PB which rarely happens.  And there was sun and sand and surf and grilled peaches involved.  Nothing bad about that combo.  

10. I saw the Grand Canyon before I turned 30.  Cross that off the bucket list! Seeing this picture reminds me that sometimes on the road of life you approach corners where you can't see beyond where you're at.  And sometimes, more often than not, beyond that corner is a life so much greater than you even managed.  So keep going.  Corners, traffic jams, roadside break downs, back seat drivers, speed limits, run-ins with the's just the road of life.  So roll the windows down, keep smiling and drive.


Post a Comment