Typically I’m an open book, but even with that said I do believe that there should always be levels to what one chooses to share. I also feel like the best way to steer away from gossiping about others is to simply talk about your own shit, leaving very little for the next person to take from you. No one can ever take anything from you when you already own it. With that being said I’ll share a very personal story with you. My mother passed away when I was twenty. It was an odd time in my life. It was right around the cusp of me finding myself. I had just discovered my newly found sexual orientation, I was celebrating finally coming out of a toxic relationship I had been in my entire teen years and ultimately was in denial about my mother’s terminal stage. On top of it all The Lower East Side was still a sleazy slum hell hole (nothing what most of you may know about it today). It was tough growing up in the lower east side in the
eighties. Mostly everyone was an addict including my parents. Even with those kind of struggles, no regrets..nothing but hardcore lessons. I would say between the age 7-13 my mom was heavy on drugs. I was young yet independent through no choice. My mom still took care of me but really I took care of myself. She was lost but was always around. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t always a sob story…this woman was my very best friend. One day in 1991 my mother had hit rock bottom and as a result went
into rehab. She came home after three months and was clean for ten years before her passing. I had never seen my mother happier. She had never lived in this kind of pure light before. She was in her glory. All she ever did with her time left was try and make up for lost time. But now I’m 13, I’m too” grown”, with no time for anyone or anything except nonsense. I remember her always trying to set up dates with me, but no…I had too many friends to hang out with. Fast forward to around 1996….my mom received some devastating news. She sat me down (I’ll never forget where and when), and grabbed my hand….”sigh” her face (I’ll never forget that face) and said to me: Lisa..I’m going to tell you something and I don’t want you to get discouraged, worried or scared. Today I went to the doctor and (she then paused) and was told that…(her eyes were so desperate) that I have the Virus. Me: You mean like..because you’re addictive and contagious!? �� Her: No..like in HIV/AIDS. I immediately froze, she picked my chin up and said: Baby…there’s no need to worry, I’ve been reading up on it, my T-Cells are up
and there’s medicine I can take…I’m going to fight this monster and we’ll be okay. From that moment forward, she wanted to document everything, she wanted to dress as twins every moment we had, never told me no again and told me she loved me every chance she grabbed. They say that a mother & daughters relationship is special and just as special as it is it’s also very stressful and dramatic. They say growing up your mother is your best friend. They also say that when your daughter reaches between the ages 15-20 that they will put you through the hardest, most stressful and hurtful moments of your life but then they come back to you around 21 and from there it’s nothing but golden years. Well unfortunately for me when my mother turned her life around I was at that “know it all” age and just wasn’t ready to reconnect. “Sigh” anyway. Remember that talk we had: Baby…there’s no need to worry, I’ve
been reading up on it, my T-Cells are up and there’s medicine I can take…I’m going to fight this monster and we’ll be okay. Turned out my mother was allergic to most medications and as a result ended up
passing away about 4 years later. In her final days, I was told she was being put in Hospice, I didn’t understand at the time that, that meant she was on her way out. I remember being so stressed from her being in
and out of the hospital and watching her disintegrate before my eyes. February 14th 2001 I went to see my mom in the hospital with a fake arrangement of flowers since I knew they wouldn’t die. I still have
those flowers till this day btw. My mother who had been in and out of a coma from all the morphine they kept pumping into her system, sat with me and listened to me explain to her that I had booked a trip to Miami to get my mind off of things and that I’d be back. She said: Lisa, I wouldn’t advise you to go at this time. I once went on a retreat and a friend of mine well her husband ended up expiring while out on that retreat and because she wasn’t around to support him or say her goodbyes she was never able to recover from that let alone forgive herself. I don’t want you living with that. I told her: Why are you talking this way? You never speak like this to me. It’s like you’re giving up. Mommy..I’ll only be gone for
the weekend, I’ll be back. Pause. Long Pause. My mom passed away that weekend February 18th 2001 while I was in Miami. Never got to say goodbye. And the last time I saw her alive was on Valentine’s Day.
I’m sharing this story in hopes that you will find it in your heart to donate to my charity GMHC 2020 - The year I walked in the pouring rain "alone" during the Corona Covid-19 Pandemic.