Wednesday: Open Doors

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Keeping it together, when we mourn loss, is sometimes sketchy. Emotions come and go, just like feelings. The farther from the point of impact, one gets, doesn’t necessarily put one in the clear. This is so true, depending on the circumstances of the loss.

Our kids are mourning.

I think, all of us, who are adults, feel for them deeply. Even more, if we, ourselves have children of our own. It is terrible and sinful that trolls in space have been demeaning and degrading the suffering of our kids.

I’ve heard it sad today that the next President needs to be a rousing, angry bunch of kids. They are on the march, and they are moving society and a nation, all by themselves. Albeit, with some superpower support from some in Very High Places.

I grew up in Florida. Over my lifetime, growing up, we had seen our fair share of crime that hit our home several times. But life was safe. I mean seriously, when I was an elementary school kid, we had keys to the house and we would come home after school and have all afternoon to hang out and play.

Our schools were safe. We really never saw the kind of violence that our kids have seen over the last ten to fifteen years. People had guns, but, if memory serves, we never thought about using them on each other.

Let alone, on our Kids …

I don’t ever remember any kid I knew, in any school I attended who had problems or issues that would have pushed them to kill innocents, because they walked into a gun shop and bought an automatic weapon, just for kicks.

There were plenty of guns in our house. And we used to go out to the Everglades and shoot cans and rocks. And there are always plenty of guns shows that used to pop up all over the place. But guns were not so much an issue when I was a kid, not to the extent guns are an issue today.

We need smart, and proper gun control.

We need to vote OUT those politicians who are in bed with the N.R.A. All those men and women who have taken SIX DIGIT SUMS from the N.R.A. for their continued

We need to wrest control of society from all those who think that guns don’t kill people, and that guns are the constitutional way of life for everyone. Because that is the way it is for so many today. We need human beings in government, because the government is a mockery and a joke.

We need Serious change. And if anyone can do that, OUR KIDS CAN.

Stand with our kids. Support them. Love them. Raise them up.

Over the past little while, I have been posting stuff on Facebook for my friends I grew up with to read, because they all knew my father, and my family, all too well.

What I did not expect was what happened today.

I had been grocery shopping and my little “granny cart that could” was straining to hold everything that I had packed in it for the walk home. On the way back, I ran into a friend I got sober with, all those years ago.

He is of Native decent. And he is sober, almost as long as I am. after he got sober, a few years in, he went to work on the streets of Montreal, caring for the Inuit and Native populations who are strewn all over the city. He has an office, in Cabot Square, right up the street from home, and that is where we found each other this afternoon.

We are friends on Facebook, but we don’t connect there. He has been reading my writings, as they went up. And he was really excited to hear of recent events concerning my father.

He told me to mind my dreams and pay attention to them seriously. Because he said that if I am being visited, it is because my doors are open.

My doors have been open for the whole of my life, is why family, all returns to me after they have passed on. I shared with him that story earlier.

People don’t have to like us he said. Some people are just angry, and may not accept who we are today, even if we are sober. Trying to make restitution and goodness, sometimes is hard in coming. And sometimes we don’t succeed.

The one thing we have in our favor, is that We Are Sober Today.

I needed to hear his words today. They went right where they were needed.

You can always count on your friends. At least I can.

Always keep your doors open …

Thursday: Every Day, a Different Emotion


Several days have passed since my father died. Two days ago, the eight page letter I sent my brother, was received. And he texted me to tell me that he got my letter, and that I should stop spending money trying to reach him. He does not want to hear from me and that he then tossed the letter in the trash, UNREAD.

I spoke to my aunt that evening and she believes in high numbers that my brother would NOT have trashed that letter without at least reading, in her vernacular “What that fucker had to say…” Curiosity would have gotten the best of him.

My husband has been less than helpful and none too compassionate. He doesn’t want to hear anything any more, he’s tired of listening to me talk to my friends. He told me that I just need to leave my brother alone. Just fucking shut up already.

I’m at a loss emotionally. And every day it is something different. Emotions come and tears fall from my eyes, whenever I talk to my friends. And I can’t help it.

There is a young lady, who is sticking close to the rooms, having survived her first holiday sober, and she is sticking close. Tonight, on my way out of the church she stopped me, and offered her condolences again, and she hugged me and smiled.

I said to her that, “we are both sober tonight, and that’s all that matters.” She agreed with me. I worked very hard at keeping her in the room over the holiday. I worked hard to keep all of our kids, in the room, Sober. That was a success.

My young lady in her own way, gave it back in a simple hug.

I don’t understand many things. I don’t understand what makes people sick, what makes them bitter and what makes them so crazy that they can fuck off and abandon their children and go to their graves with corrosive hatred coursing through their veins.

I don’t understand how a couple can go from the altar professing all those virtues and platitudes of being married, to ending up in separate hospitals, sick, not talking to each other, and at some point in time, fuck off on their vows, leaving my father in a hospice, ALONE to die ALONE.

And that man, who hated me so hard, and in that hatred took two hostages. My mother and my brother. I was the one who got away, and God damned me that I chose to get away and get a life and live that life fully.

I don’t understand how blood of my blood and body of my body, turned away from me and went to his grave never knowing the man I became and never allowing me the privilege of showing him just how well I grew up.

I am nothing like him. I will never be like him ever.

And on the way home I saw Juan and Nadia, coming home from a wedding appointment, and during our conversation I let loose some of my pain, telling them the truth and what I know and what I hope they NEVER do to each other, or their children one day.

I am emotional. I am sad. Angry in a way, and thinking over dinner, stewing …

It was not like anyone in my family to ask … Well, how do you feel ? Nobody seemed to care. Nobody came to ask, or inquire. In all the years after I got sick, they came to visit, together TWICE. In twenty-five years. My father was more forthright in his visits. Because every time he came to visit, he had an agenda.

He wanted to make sure I would die, and sooner than later. His only goal in his visits was to impress on me how important it was to him that I just DIE ALREADY.

My mother never said that to me, but they were a sick couple and whatever line my father took, she was in on the deal, because she married him.

They made a mockery of marriage. Truly, fifty years on, I know what that marriage looked like at every stage of the game. I know every secret they kept, every lie that they told. And those secrets and lies destroyed the fabric of this family.

Knowing the truth afforded me certain abilities that my brother did not have. The truth afforded me certain freedoms that my brother had not. And choosing to use those lies to my advantage, left me at a Disadvantage, because the nexus of Red Blooded American, die for your country, its my way or the highway, was just blown out of the water, and made me persona non-Grata to my parents.

I pissed them off. Resentments that already existed against me, were just made deeper and wider.

And now my father went to his grave, hating me as hard as he did.

And I will never know what was going on in his head before he died, because my mother’s curse that if one or both of them got sick or died, that nobody would call me, well she got what she wanted, that evil CUNT.

And my brother is just as sick as she is, because he hates me as hard as they hate me.

Was it because I left and left him there in that mess ?

Was it because I dishonored my father by choosing the life that I chose to live ?

That I was Gay, that I live with AIDS, that I live in Canada ?

Is he angry or jealous, or does he ever wonder who I am, and why I made the decisions I made? If he read that letter, he knows now.

All I can do now, is feel my feelings, write than down and wait him out.

Eventually that CUNT is going to die, hopefully sooner than later. She doesn’t want me, and hasn’t wanted me for a lifetime. She turned her love of her first-born child into loving a man who taught her to hate her own son.

Hopefully when she spits her last breath, she will remember who I am, and beg God for forgiveness.

Sometimes I wish I had the money and the will to do stupid things, just to prove a point. And thank God I don’t have that privilege. Because I’d seriously fuck some people up.

Because they hate me so hard, for no Godly reason, but for pure hatred.

God forgive me.

Monday: Another Sad Story


Many of my friends, whom I grew up with have been calling to check on me. All of them, in one way or another, knew my father. Well.

I grew up in a neighborhood filled with kids I went to school with, went to Youth Group with, and had over to our house for one reason or another. All of my friends saw my father in raw action. They all saw the same things I did. And each, in their own ways, had interactions with the man themselves.

When my parents moved to Sarasota after rebuilding and selling their house in Miami after hurricane Andrew in 1992, they moved to a neighborhood that was populated with the Parents, of the kids I grew up with. My friends, were still a part of their own families, and over time, had interactions with both my mother and father.

In the end … as it came out, many of my friends parents who lived close, would be out somewhere for dinner, and find both my mother and my father, drinking at the bar.

My mother was just as guilty of the shameful behavior that my father exhibited. She was just as arrogant and opinionated as he was. And my mother was very good at swinging doors shut in your face, and off offhandedly, telling you to fuck off.

Alienation was a common theme in my family. My parents were masters at their craft. If they disagreed with you, or you did not share the same point of view as they had, or you just pissed one or both of them off, You Too would find yourself shut out.

I’ve talked about, over and over again, in the past, that once my parents shut your light switch off, you were in the dark forever. That was a convenient visual for me to explain just what they did to everyone. Family or Friend.

My mother never thought for herself, even if it was prudent or good for her. She always deferred to my father as the wisdom giver. However, Unwise, he actually was.

At the end of the day, my parents were sick. Rumors were going around just to how sick they really were. Nobody really felt the need to call or inquire directly, because who really cared, when my parents shut them out of their lives, and stopped communicating with those friends for a decade or more.

I cannot, in good conscience, justify away their behavior to alcoholism, however a direct link there is to alcohol in the end. They have proven to my friends and their parents, that my parents were assholes. Nobody cared to engage them any more.

They just walked away.

This kind of walking away is a familiar refrain in the Big Book. I mean, who wants to hang around a couple of morose, alcohol addicted, self-righteous, arrogant assholes?

The Four Horsemen took them,

As we became subjects of King Alcohol , shivering denizens of his mad realm, the chilling vapor that is loneliness settled down. It thickened, ever becoming blacker. Some of us sought out sordid places, hoping to find understanding, companionship and approval. Momentarily we did. Then would come oblivion and the awful awakening to face the hideous Four Horsemen – Terror, Bewilderment, Frustration and Despair.” Unhappy drinkers who read this page will understand. BB. pg. 151

Both my parents were in hospitals in the end. My mother in one, alone, suffering a major coronary episode. My father, alone, in another, dying from Cancer. Neither of them communicating with each other.

My mother had, the presence of mind, however addled, she walked away from him too. She had decided NOT to participate in taking care of her ailing husband any more. Leaving him to take himself to and from Chemo, ALONE.

Once my mother was discharged, my brother whisked her away to Virginia to live out the rest of her days. Leaving my father alone in a hospice, where he witnessed my father die. Alone …

They had no friends, They had no family, save my brother.

They had NO ONE else. Not Me, No friends, No one who cared …

My father died, alone. and as they have all said to me: He, in the end, he was a dick.

None of my friends or anyone else in this family, mourn him.

There are those Too …


Do you have any questions about your father’s death ? I said NO.

But I cannot help but wonder, what was going on, in my father’s final moments. What was he thinking, what was he feeling, who was he thinking about ? And I wonder, if I was in any of those thoughts.

I cannot help but ponder the fact that, when my father proposed sex to my mother, in the backseat of his car, in that drive in, in New Britain, what he was thinking in that moment?

I cannot help but ponder, on the day I was born, when my father gave me the name of a soldier, who died serving his country in war, what he was thinking?

I cannot help but wonder, what happened, to the name of honor that was given to me, in the moment my father decided that, I went from honor to a mistake in a single breath.

My family believed that I was a mistake and should never have been born, went on for the whole of my life.

How does one move from the miracle of birth of your first-born son, to regretting ever conceiving him, and for the rest of his life, remind him, abusively, “Hey, I hate you, and I want you dead, and you don’t matter, and never will.”

I don’t understand how a human being can live in the space of toxicity and resentment for the whole of his life, and be justified in his beliefs?

I know how it happened. I was there. I lived this existence.

My father is dead. And I never got the chance to say all those things I needed to say, to defend myself, my honor, and my integrity.

Living in resentment and hatred only makes one seriously sick. It turns your heart into a stone. And separates one from, what we call, in sobriety, The Sunlight of the Spirit.

Hatred is a serious thing. It is objectionable.

For the whole of my life, my father never shied away from airing his views at home, in front of others, and beaten into his children and his wife.

My father used many words to describe “people.” Words we are hearing from the President of the United States.

I knew very early on, that I did not agree with my father, and I surely never used one of his colorful metaphors to describe my friends. I knew early on that I would never be like him, ever.

In sixth grade, I had one friend. Leighton. Leighton was from Indonesia and his mom and dad were from that region of the world that my father found objectionable.

Leighton had dark skin.

One day, Leighton came over our house after school, and my father looked at him and said, what is that Nigger doing in my house? Leighton had to go home, and my father passed a decree that there would not be any dark-skinned people allowed in our house, because God forbid, my white neighbors might see them.

Leighton was not black and he surely was not a Nigger.

I don’t think that you can go fight a war in another country, and not return home tainted by that experience. I don’t know many veterans in my life today. It’s not something I go around asking my friends, who are older than I am.

My parents lived in resentment. They lived in anger. And they lived in hatred.

My father wanted a cookie cutter American family. So he imported a wife from Canada. What she did not know then, could have saved her a great deal. But she assented to assimilation. I think she wanted a husband as much as my father wanted a wife.

Systematically, my father alienated each foreign family member from our family, but only AFTER they served their purposes, that my father and mother needed.

Namely, the services of foreign family, as baby sitters.

My father’s parents were taken from us when I was in eighth grade, a year apart. My grand mother had a debilitating stroke that took away her speech, her ability to walk, and all of her memories. She went from vivacious to a vegetable in one night’s time. A year to the day, my paternal grandfather went the same way.

When my father took me out of school, and flew me 1500 miles from home, hoping that just the visual of me in my grandmother’s hospital room, would rouse her from her stupor and that she would wake up, right then and there and be healed.

That morning, as I walked into her room, looking at the shell of a woman she had become, I was so shocked that I collapsed, and fainted. Hitting the floor like a rock, and I ended up in hospital myself for hours.

I think my father was so angry with me that whatever he had imagined would happen and then did not happen, he resented me for the rest of his life.

I wrote my brother the letter I posted here the other night. Admitting my amends for what I had done as a stupid twenty something.

My parents lived like elephants. They never forgot, hard things done to them. When one lives in the space of not being able to forgive, taints us and builds a shadow over us, that never goes away.

I will never be a man. I will never be NOT a Mistake. I will never be forgiven.

I don’t understand how someone who is human, can live within such darkness and then take that darkness to their graves.

Regrets ? I have a few.

Maybe I should have made that trip to say all those things I needed to say, that are all but moot points now.

There is nothing I can say anymore. And my friend Joe, said to me, after the meeting that, toxic people cannot be reached, and attempting such communication is pointless.

You just have to let it go and go on with your life.

I just don’t understand, and I don’t think I ever will.

There are two people still left in their world who hate me as hard as my father hated me.

Will that ever change? That answer is up to God and timing, and using the right words and doing the right thing for the right reason.

I think I did the right thing for the right reason.

We shall see …

A mass of life will be offered for my Father Sunday Morning, at the Anglican Cathedral here in Montreal. My friend and mentor Donald will be saying his mass.

It is the most spiritual thing I can do for a man who went to his grave hating me.

God has dealt with him. And like we all know, When we get to the Pearly Gates, we get the question, we must answer, and in the end, he probably got a long look from God, and then forgiveness.

May he rest in peace. A peace he never knew in his mortal life.

I hope, at least, it feels good to him, finally.

World-renowned AIDS researcher Dr. Mark Wainberg dies suddenly


When I moved to Montreal, Dr. Mark Wainberg was researching AIDS drugs, like he had in decades past. I was one of his test patients at the Montreal General. Every drug that came out of his lab, went through Doctor Chris (my doctor today) and people like me, for the drugs to get to the world market.

I mourn his passing.

Dr. Mark is directly connected to my life as I live it today.

One of Canada’s leading AIDS researchers has died suddenly in Florida.

Dr. Mark Wainberg was in a Miami suburb with family on Tuesday when he had difficulty while swimming.

According to the Bal Harbour Police Department, his son noticed Dr. Wainberg was missing, swam out to where he was last seen, and brought him to shore.

“The victim had been in the water with his son, his son had lost sight of him. He didn’t know where his father was, so he swam out to where he had last seen his father – was able to retrieve him and swam back to shore with him,” said Acting Chief Mike De La Rosa.

“Other beachgoers assisted in bringing the victim onto the beach which is when we arrived. After fire-rescue was treating the victim, he was transported to hospital.”

Firefighters continued performing CPR as Dr. Wainberg was taken to hospital, where he died.

Acting Chief Mike De La Rosa could not confirm if Dr. Wainberg drowned or had some other medical condition that led to his death.

Groundbreaking research

Dr. Wainberg was a world-renowned researcher who began his work on HIV/AIDS in the 1980s

His group discovered that 3TC, also known as Epivir and lamivudine, was effective in treating HIV.

As the founder and director of the McGill University AIDS Centre, and the Lady Davis Institute at the Jewish General Hospital, he oversaw research into HIV and AIDS in conjunction with dozens of scientists and several companies, including BioChem Pharma.

He co-chaired the International AIDS conference in 1984, and went on to become the president of the International AIDS Society from 1998 to 2000.

He also organized the 13th International Congress on AIDS in South Africa.

Wainberg frequently lobbied for more funding and more education about HIV and AIDS — which is one reason he chose South Africa as a place to hold an international conference.

Friends and colleagues said Dr. Wainberg was fantastic about encouraging people in their research.

“Thirty-five years after the discovery of AIDS and Dr. Wainberg would talk about AIDS like it was the first days,” said Dr. Rejean Thomas.

“He would transfer his passion to colleagues, to young doctors.”

Dr. Thomas said Dr. Wainberg spoke last week at a conference in Montreal, and told him he had no plans to retire.

“Working hard with passion, that would describe him. And doing for the patients, first thing, doing for the patients,” said Dr. Thomas.

His recent work focused on trying to cure HIV infection and working on different strains of the disease and their drug resistance.

Dr. Wainberg said the world should also spend more money on getting antiviral drugs to the estimated 7 million people living with AIDS in the world who cannot afford treatment.

International recognition

In 2001 Dr. Wainberg was named to the Order of Canada, and made an officer of the National Order of Quebec in 2005.

He became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 2000, and in 2008 was named a Chevalier of France’s Legion d’honneur.

Wainberg is also known for advocating to change a controversial policy in Canada that barred all gay men from donating blood.

In a 2010 article published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, Wainberg and his co-authors suggested the policy should be modified to allow gay men in long-term, monogamous relationships to donate blood.

Two years ago Dr. Wainberg was inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame for revolutionizing the understanding of HIV/AIDS at the medical and political levels.

Born in 1945, Dr. Wainberg would have turned 72 on April 21.