Honoring the Women Who Inspire Us
Women have long been the foundation and backbone of society and families. Their strength, power, compassion, and love have been the glue holding communities together, since the dawn of time.
In the early days of the AIDS crisis, it was women who showed up to lend a hand or simply an ear to listen. At a time when the virus was taking the lives of primarily gay men at an alarming rate. Their “logical family” made up of lovers & friends were barely able to say goodbye to one life when another became an angel. It was primarily the lesbian community who provided emotional and physical support, cooked meals, and helped with the end of life tasks. In San Francisco General’s Ward 86, it was the nurses who stepped forward to care for the wave of sick men entering the hospital. Their courage and selflessness in service to those most in need, when much was still unknown about how the virus spread, was nothing short of heroic. Societal fear, stigma, ignorance, and a great deal of prejudice kept friends and life partners from being able to spend the most precious final moments with their loved ones.
In a sadly parallel circumstance, today’s Covid-19 pandemic has also made it impossible for friends and family to gather at the side of their loved ones in their last moments. Again many women in healthcare have held the hands of the dying, made the fateful calls to their families and friends, and stood in the face of unimaginable pain and tragedy with spectacular grace and ferocity against an unknown, advancing, deadly enemy.
We all have examples of women in our lives without whom we would not have made it through life’s greatest challenges. These women consistently stood by us never giving up hope and always delivering sage wisdom helping us to move forward.
This year we walk for all the women who have stepped forward over the last 4+ decades of the AIDS crisis. We also walk with three angels who continue to provide inspiration and guidance from above. Our mothers, Patti & Liz, and John’s sister Marnie. These three women are examples of the strength of women and also the best of humanity. Our hearts are full as we pay tribute in memoriam and ask of you to recall the women in your own life who have touched you and say THANK YOU!!