Thursday, August 23, 2007

Today in Ninth Circle history

Eighteen years ago today, my cousin Michael died of AIDS-related complications at the age of 34.

While the memories of that day and the horrors of his illness are obviously difficult to think about, all of my other recollections of him are full of joy and hilarity and music and wonderful ridiculousness. He was and is my favorite person ever. It's strange to think that my life has already lasted a month longer than his did.

Three years ago today, I started this blog. These two events are not unrelated; were it not for Mike's influence, I doubt I'd be writing at all. He did everything he could to encourage my creativity, and continues to inspire most of it.

So thank you, Michael, for everything you were and are. And thank you, all you swell folks who keep showing up here and being so damned nice to me and whatnot. I've met some seriously incredible people, both virtually and in person, as a result of this forum's creation, and each one has given me one more reason to be happy that Michael lived rather than sad that he died.

Block #01361 of The Quilt.

15 Comments:

Blogger Da Nator said...

Sniffle... here's to Michael. (Lifting virtual beer in toast.)

4:12 PM  
Blogger BigAssBelle said...

oh honey, i am so sorry for your loss. what a terrible thing to happen to one so young and from such a wretched, dreadful disease.

that it inspired your (incredible) creativity is testament to the fact that he must have been pretty kickass and fabulous.

as are you. damn. three years. pretty impressive. i am glad you are back and weller and remembering those you love. thanks for sharing his quilt square and the fact of his influence on you.

10:05 PM  
Blogger Tina-cious.com said...

Oh wow.

I'm very sorry.

But he sounded like one of the few that left this world a better place for having been here.

You're lucky in that regard.

::::hugs::::

9:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Helen,

I hope this block comes to our University this Decemember 1, 2007. Each year our University host parts of the quilt and displays them in our Atrium. I'll be looking for it.

Much Peace and Love

Vince,
SUNY Downstate

9:46 AM  
Blogger Helen the Felon said...

Hey, thanks you guys. But no sadness please! He would hate that.

And Vince...I live literally one block from SUNY Downstate, so please keep me posted. Thanks!

10:10 AM  
Blogger GayProf said...

That was heartfelt and a nice way to remember Michael.

11:20 AM  
Anonymous tater said...

It's funny how you get to know people slowly over time, and the way different sides of them peek out from time to time, keeping you guessing and adding another level of depth to your understanding. This post is a prime example of that. I am grateful that Michael was an influence on you, and that he helped nurture your creative, and compassionate side. I have always sensed an old soul in you, underneath the irreverent humor, and the hipness that is Helen the Felon. Perhaps this is in part due the losses you have experienced, and now touch upon. In any case, love this post, and am grateful for your voice here in blogland.

3:51 PM  
Blogger evilganome said...

Great post, Helen. (as I blow my nose and wipe at my eyes) It is a great way to remember your cousin and I'm sure he'd be as proud of you as your 'mo posse is.

4:33 PM  
Blogger Amaya said...

I think most creative people have to have a dark period to draw inspiration from. Hell, what am I saying.. all people have a dark period. You either deal or you don't. Grow or not. Seems like you've chosen to learn from his life - and I'm sure he'd be proud of that.

7:25 PM  
Blogger RG said...

I've been putting off leaving a comment here, because this post just reminds me that I'm the only one left of my circle of friends I used to go out and get in trouble with, who is still alive.

4:01 PM  
Blogger Helen the Felon said...

I'm glad you made it, RG.

4:11 PM  
Blogger David said...

Well I'm glad you don't want us to be sad because I was gonna get all up in your kool-aid for bringing me down on this wonderfully Gonzalez-less Monday.

10:22 PM  
Blogger Red7Eric said...

Is that Michael in the lower left corner?

4:55 PM  
Blogger more cowbell said...

wow. Respects to your cousin, and if he's influenced your creativity he must've been a hell of a spirit, because your blog kicks ass.

5:46 AM  
Anonymous ivan said...

That's beautiful. Keep writing.

10:29 AM  

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