Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Jean,

You and Aleta have been such angels to so many for so long, it is painful to think of what you are both going through right now. We've never met, but like hundreds (thousands?) of others I feel like I know you, as you became such an important part of my life for so many years. As a native Iowan, I always have had a parochial pride knowing your work honored my state of birth. As an AIDS activist, I have wondered if you understood how much your information dissemination, with the kindness and conviction that so clearly came through in your messages, has meant to so many frightened and searching gay men.

You have given comfort to those who were frightened, knowledge to those who wanted to learn and an unconditional love of community to us all.


In these most terrible of political times, when we are surrounded with avarice, ignorance and greed, it is reassuring to remember that we do have heroes. You and Aleta are two of mine. There will be a day when those who gave so generously of their love and time and effort and resources will be appropriately recognized and honored for the important role they played in fighting the epidemic, for our community and for a better world. You have my thoughts and prayers.

I don't know the age of Aleta's children, but I understand your comment about children never really knowing their parents as people. I don't know you or Aleta in the personal sense--we've never met--so I don't know your faults and shortcomings. But I do know the impact of your efforts, I do know the result of your love, I do know the difference you have made. In the long run, that is all that matters.

With love,

Sean Strub

POZ Magazine

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