On this 30th Anniversary of #WorldAIDSDay, I’m remembering the early days of the epidemic and my time spent as a young woman in New York City volunteering in the kitchen at God’s Love We Deliver. I remember a key lime pie-fueled road trip to Washington DC to participate in an AIDS March. And, I remember trips to St. Vincent’s Hospital in NYC – ground zero for AIDS at the time – often visiting with Anthony as he held court from his hospital bed. I fell in love with not only him, but the many women who came to bask in his aura. I remember the poems and short stories of women who gave their love, time, and energy to their male friends and lovers who lay dying – almost like the nurses in makeshift hospitals during WWI. It always struck me that women can wrap suffering and loss in a warm blanket of understanding. My song, “Right Beside You” directly came out of those experiences. Now, decades after those early days of this heartbreaking pandemic, I urge you to heed this year’s World AIDS Day theme and #KnowYourStatus.
I Have Been Right Beside You…Always