I just received a call from the sister of my friend Bill: he passed away this morning.
Bill had AIDS and had been HIV positive since 1986 - the year I became a mother for the first time.
I met Bill while we were both working at Telephone Takeout, and we remained friends after we both quit working there. He had recently begun to work there again.
I got Bill set up with a computer through Freecycle, and obtained a desk for him as well. Then I began to teach him how to use it. In the past year he went from being completely unable to use a computer to learning how to burn CDs and download music, pictures, etc.
In the past year, he spent more time being sick than he did being well... and we thought he was going to pass away on several other occasions. I am ashamed that I never visited him in the hospital... and even more ashamed of the times I did not take his phone calls because I "could not take the time" to chat. But what makes me more sad than anything is that he followed me down to my car when I was leaving last time I saw him - on Saturday - to get a hug. Before I could hug him, a neighbor came and said he'd called to have my car towed and I'd better hurry and leave before they get there... so I never got to hug him.
Hug your friends, your kids, your loved ones today. It may be the last chance you have to do so.