Monday, April 20, 2009

Palmer's Dream

As I was going to the Las Vegas Aids Walk yesterday, I saw this wild brain institute building, fronted by a Palmer sign and framed by a Mardi Gras mask. I thought, "Am I dreaming?" Talk about deja-vu and goosebumps!

I've been doing the AIDS Walk here, on and off, for about 10 years. My dad was HIV positive, so, for me, this is an important cause. After having a heart attck, a local surgeon refused to perform surgery on my dad, due to his HIV status. He was afraid of contamination of the heart-lung bypass machine, plus probably himself. He mentioned contamination and my father's age as his "reasons for refusal." Due to his prejudice and refusal to perform surgery, my father had multiple heart attacks afterwards, resulting in major permanent damage to his heart. Another cardiothoracic surgeon finally, and successfully, performed the surgery. Thank you to this doctor, and shame on the first! My father died a few years ago, partly because of this and its affect on his COPD.

My dad had always been interested in the workings of the human mind, and had also gone to (pre-Katrina) New Orleans with a couple of his dear friends, before all of this. He absolutely loved his New Orleans trip. When he passed, I decided to use a Mardi Gras theme for his memorial service. My dad was always up for a party, loved cooking, music and travel. He would have loved this! People came together in a true celebration of his life, with zydeco music playing, masks, food, and joy.

So, when I approached this scene, I totally got goosebumps! Okay, Dad, I know you're here! I love you!

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