December 1st 2010 is both World AIDS Day and the first day of Hanukkah.
They both mean something, and something the same; dedication. Dedication to an idea. Both are Dedicated to the idea of Justice, or Fairness, of a Mitzvah ?????; making a kindness is one interpretation, and commandment is another.
Behold Angels In America:
How political. How contentious. How human. I won’t spoil the rest, but really, from what you just saw, who made the mitzvah? Any rabbi will tell you, from the point where the patient said “You hate me” the rest of the actions by the nurse are total mitzvah. And many actions and statements before that. . . .
I lived this life in the ’80s. Everybody died, no matter what we did. It was horrible.
In 1989 alone, I went to 40 funerals/memorials and I couldn’t stand it any more. In November of that year I ran away from Phoenix to the Pacific Northwest, Portland to be precise.
And the Universe rewarded me with Eddie Hubbard.
And I am proud to say We Confounded EVERYONE. We did. We ended up living on the Washington side of the Columbia River in Bingen. Near to Ed’s dad. That ultimately killed Eddie.
Maybe not though. Eddie quit taking his AZT. Back in those days, one had to wake up in the middle of the night to take a proscribed dose. We fought about that. He won, and he left me.
I watched him across the Columbia River. He snuck in my purchasing office in the hotel I worked at, and left me a note in pencil on my blottter on my desk: “I love you.”
I kept that for the longest time.
Eddie Hubbard died from a Kaposi lesion on his brain about 2 months after he left me. Twenty years ago next April. His sister was sweet, but his parents were nasty about the whole thing.
Who made a mitzvah in all of that? Did I? I knew what I was getting into. Eddie was completely forthright about his HIV.
Did Eddie make a mitzvah in going to his parents before he died? Or did he punish them? Did he punish me, or did he save me, and thereby make another mitzvah?
I don’t know, and can’t answer these questions. But what I can say is this:
Live. And – be dedicated somehow.
Make a kindness, no matter your religious belief. I have none myself, but finding a reason to make a kindness just always sits right with me. As well as dedication.