I remember people, places, organizations, and relationships from those years (1990-2000) when I was part of the Seattle AIDS community. I was a massage therapist. I was a friend. I was interested in learning about the disease and hoping to bring some comfort to people I met during those years.
I was in transition in 1990. I had been working for my husband’s wholesale clothing business. I wanted something different and ended up going to massage school (1992-1992). I wanted to participate in the LGBT community. AIDS seemed like an important way to do this. I eventually left my marriage and moved to my own house (fall 1993).
It is now 25 years since my friend John died of AIDS, having never dictated or written the story of his own life. I wish he had. He often said that he planned to tell his story. All I can do now is tell part of his story from the years I knew him. When I began thinking about writing his story, I also began to remember other people. I began to think about all I learned from those years. And I began writing.
As I wrote, I remembered people living with AIDS and caregivers. I remembered theories and treatments. I would like to share these memories with others provide medical care for sick people (whether with AIDS or dying from other causes). I would also like to share with therapists and social workers, who help with practical solutions and emotional support.