Thursday afternoon I spent lunchtime visiting old friends at The Shelter (Cat Welfare)… most everyone looking good. Gemini was asleep in a bed under a table; of course he woke up as soon as I sat down beside him. He came out, happy to see me- looking for the attention he knows he’ll get.

He continues to lose weight- I sometimes think he doesn’t eat if I don’t show up. His eyes are as bright as ever, but his face is very red around the eyes. In fact he looks the worst I’ve seen him since he was let back into the main room from Iso. I know that he was in bad shape- I am the one that found him after he hid away (suspected stroke or similar). His head has lost most of the tilt, but he is slowly going ‘down hill’.

As I sit there with him in my lap, I flash back to sitting in Casey House (aids hospice in Toronto) with Lucas. So young, so sweet- so horrible to lose yet another friend. One of the reasons I decided to leave Toronto was to get away from the constant reminders. The places that haunt. Now when we go back every summer I can actually walk along the permanent aids memorial downtown and not lose it. At least, not physically. This year we skipped the annual Thursday night Candlelight Vigil. I still miss all those people- realize there is still so much that needs to be done- but I just couldn’t face it.

I get myself together, say ‘see you Sunday’ to Gemini and get back into the ‘real’ world.

Yesterday evening we drove out to Johnstown OH (about 35 minute trip) to walk in the Relay For Life with one of my co-workers. She has recently joined the ever-growing group of Cancer Survivors. It was so good to help her celebrate her victory (is that the right word? success? luck? hard work?).

Sad to say I was also walking for a former co-worker (still a survivor, but moved out of state) as well as customers, friends and acquaintances. I had intended to stay until dusk to mark the Luminary Lap (candlelight for those who have crossed over) – but I just couldn’t face it.

I don’t know if this aversion to candlelight events is permanent…. I hope not.

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