I miss playing monsters with you

He was a beautiful man.
He was my mom’s brother.
He visited every year. We kids counted down the days for months.
He sang, Puff the Magic Dragon, and made us believe we could fly.
He brought us matching shirts from Mexico.
He was the only person in the world who could convince six children to wear them.
He was intelligent and creative.
He wrote a book about St. Vincent de Paul.
He played monsters with us.
He carried us on his back every year, until our shoulders surpassed his in size.
He visited us one summer then returned to San Francisco.
We didn’t know it was his last visit.
He died from complications associated with AIDS.
He was a beautiful man.
He was our beloved Uncle Robert.
uncle robUncle Robert is modeling the jacket I painted for him. Being the hip uncle, he wanted to strike a cool pose for his photo op.

AIDS has caused more than 36 million deaths.
Today, 35.3 million people are living with HIV.
AIDS was first recognized in the US in 1981.
Uncle Robert died in 1985.
He was 45 years old.

29 thoughts on “I miss playing monsters with you

  1. And a cool pose he did strike, given the depth of kindness you show for your uncle so many years down the road. My brother, David, died in 1984 at 20 years, from a heart attack. May their souls collide in poetry lane and if luck could have it, they can become friends like the one’s who loved them and were left behind. A beautiful photo of your uncle Robert young lady! A beautiful tribute! And a Happy Mother’s day to you!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It was 1983 and I was in graduate school in Cincinnati when deaths from HIV/AIDS exploded and drew National attention to the problem. I recall sitting on two State sponsored committees and task forces after returning to New Jersey and no one knew what to do. Thirty plus years later, I have a hard time remembering all the friends that died that death. May your unlce’s and all their memories be eternal. Thank you for reminding me of those years.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I remember the panic back then – for awhile it seemed there was nothing to be done, and finding a cure was as remote a possibility as living on Mars. At least today, there are “drugs” to hold symptoms in remission…and sometimes more.
      The loss of life due to AIDS is still so very tragic – so many beautiful people gone too young.
      I was thinking of my uncle, having just done a post for my mom and thought it would be a nice tribute to him.
      Thank you for your kind words.
      And thank you for trying to be part of the solution…
      Have a lovely week.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. He sounds so cool:) I love his jacket. I’m happy he was part of your life. AIDS is still killing and we need to STOP it. So many are gone because of it. Young, beautiful people lost to a horrific killer. It’s no longer front page news but it’s still here. I’m sorry for all of you.


  4. I remember back in the “olden days” when AIDS was decimating the gay community, all the while making us realize that no one was truly exempt from its horrors. The drugs that have been developed in the years since mean an AIDS diagnosis is no longer an unavoidable death sentence, but it is still an ugly disease. Think sweet thoughts about your uncle…he was obviously very dear to you. – Fawn


    • Yes, I recall rampant fear for a long time – that fear of the unknown sickness…
      Uncle Robert was really a wonderful man. After I wrote my Mother’s Day post, I started thinking about my grandma and Uncle Rob…
      It’s funny, the very next morning in our local paper, there was an article about Gov. Cuomo and a plan/blueprint (he’s calling it that) to virtually end AIDS in NY by 2020…the plan calls for earlier screenings, greater availability of drugs…
      We’ll see.


  5. sadly sweet. That one special uncle….mine was Uncle Jim. I wrote in tribute to him under my Cherished section. I only wish you could have had your uncle for a much much longer time. Young angels are far too many.


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