I met Ron many years ago. After I left the navy,
I returned home to find all my friends had moved away. In the
small Maine town I lived in, there wasn't much to do. Ron worked
as a waiter at a very nice cozy little restaurant downtown. I went
there 3 or 4 times a week just to get out of the house. After just a few
weeks, Ron told me it was time to really get out at night, and go with
him after work.
I hated going out as I was not handsome or popular.
Ron on the other hand was a young, tall, handsome man with a great tan
and warm smile. He was the type of guy I hated as everyone loved him.
I was afraid that around him, no one would know I existed. I
thought about it a few days and decided I had nothing to loose.
One Friday night I walked in and told him I was ready to give it a try!
Off we went!
That was the first of many nights out on the town
together. Ron made me feel good about myself even though we had
little in common. I just enjoyed his sense of humor and friendship.
He was like a kid brother to me and I loved him very much. I had
some of the best times of my life with him. When AIDS came out and
doctors knew how people got it, I talked Ron into being tested 3 times
as he lived a wild life. Each time he got a clean bill of health,
and I was happy. I often asked if he played it safe and he did
most of the time.
After a few years past by, Ron did in fact get full
blown AIDS. I was so angry with him as he had a clean bill of
health and knew how not to get AIDS. Yet with all the facts, Ron
still did the wrong things with his life and got a death sentence he
could have avoided.
I loved Ron so much, yet my love was not enough to
stop him from bad habits that could have saved his life. The last
week of Ron's life was spent on Morphine to cut back on the pain.
I held his hand in mine as he took his last breath and wondered if it
was worth it to him. I sat in the chair staring at the wall as
Ron's hand slowly became cold in mine and thought of what a loss this
was to the world! A young man that didn't have to die. I
prayed that never again would I have to sit back and watch a friend
place there life in danger for no reason at all when they could have
I miss my dear friend so much and often wish that my
love for him would have been enough to make him want to live a long life
and take better care of himself.
After Ron passed away, I went on with living my life
and making new friends. In [company] I have met some wonderful people
that I love very much. In fact I love them like dear sisters. A
few of you are my dearest friends and many of you make up most of my
friends. All of you and the Star Gazers make up 80% of all my
friends sense I have moved. Yet, there is one among you that I
love with my whole heart. She is my dearest friend at this stage
in my life. I love her more than I'm able to express. I envy
her husband and children that get to live with her. She is a
wonderful lady that has enriched my life! In the worst of times
and the best, she has been a part of my life. After many years,
only she has been able to fill the void my beloved Ron left behind.
Just a few weeks ago my worst nightmare came true.
When I needed support to make it through the ACS part of conference, she
was there. We talked just before It started, then I went to my
place. As the program went on, I thought about how great it was to
have so much support in [company] from all of my friends. Next
thing I know, Dianne Baldridge spoke a truth I had not thought about.
My mind flashed back to Ron and how he could have
changed his outcome. Then I thought about my [company] friend.
She was a smoker that had not yet quit. She can change just one
thing in her life that might be the one that saves her. I don't
know what I would do if I lost her to lung cancer or any of the many
other things smoking causes. I wish that my love for her was
enough to make quitting worth it, but it's not. She must do it on
her own! Her family and I can only sit back and watch her puff
away. She is hoping like Ron, did that it won't happen to her.
The fact is that it's going to happen to someone that smokes and why not
her? Ron made changes in his life only after he became sick and it
was too late. Must she also face death before quitting? It
Your [company] family is asking you to think about
quitting this year. Dianne Baldridge spoke for all of us when she
asked you to quit! I can't think of any of you that smoke I wish
cancer on. Those of you that have touched my life in any way even
if only by e-mail, I love you! Please think about who loves you.
Star Gazers, my sky would never be so bright without you! We sit
and say little to you as we know what you would say to us. Let me
tell you it is painful to watch you take a chance that it won't be you. We
My dearest friend, and you know who you are; I
will do anything in the world for you! Please think about quitting
so that you never have to ask me to hold your hand as you slip away from
With love, Hank
P.S. Please sell the Gemini in September.
This page last
updated July 06, 2005