Thanksgiving to World AIDS Day

Thank you. Thank you for acknowledging the power of a virus to ravage lives. Thank you for extending compassion to every human being, protec...

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

50 for 50


Bret would have been 50 today had AIDS not cut his life too short. Admittedly, it would have been fun to return the favor of lampooning my brother's milestone birthday to at least the level he'd have "celebrated" mine last summer but the fact that I can't won't stop me from celebrating.

On this day, I choose to celebrate my many HIV+ friends who are or will reach their 50th birthdays! They'll get to try out the latest wrinkle creams, fight to lower their cholesterol, lose their graying hair, bemoan their stiffening joints and celebrate every second of added life achieved by advancing HIV/AIDS treatments and therapies. Happy Birthday to YOU!

Consider today the day you make more birthdays possible with a $50 gift toward ending AIDS.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Footprints

Disappointed that the first lunar landing was scheduled to miss Bret's 10th birthday by only one day, Bret, Tammie, Becky and I kept up a steady stream of pleas for our new brother or sister to arrive on the day man first set foot on the moon. Alas, Steven was born as due in August and July 20, 1969 would make Granato family history for the single memory of rushing in from play to stare at the black and white scene of Neil Armstrong descending in slow motion down the ladder to step on the moon then staring at the glowing moon that night, quite sure we could see signs that "man was here".

Much has been said about Armstrong's script for that first step. Appropriate words for such a significant event yet they could only be spoken by one man. How often do we fail to take a step if it can't make a considerable difference - a "giant leap for mankind"? Leaps are noteworthy because they are rare, yet mankind can only progress in the direction of our dreams by the many small steps of many men and women. At the end of the road I walk we'll defeat AIDS. Where do you leave your footprint?

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Day the Music Died

I plead guilty to watching the entire Michael Jackson memorial today with tears streaming down my face and it was good - the release that is. I avoided most of the media retrospectives throughout the week in an attempt to focus on my own memories of the man, his music and his impact on my life.

In the end, I’m glad his memorial spent a good deal of time on Michael Jackson, humanitarian. Media never focused on it much but if you paid attention to the music, it was easy to remember how his heart overflowed. Michael Jackson expected no less from the rest of us than to Heal the World.

So we must, but he could also make us dance! The magical combination perks me up in spin class and was central to a favorite story from my 2002 Breakthrough Ride.. Day 11 of 12 from Seattle to San Francisco, cycling a long, hilly stretch from Davis to Napa on a sweltering day. A crewmember asked what he could get me to make the ride more comfortable and I asked him to blare some tunes from the top of the next steep climb, maybe something from Michael Jackson. Several miles later I was well into the climb up Cardiac Hill when I heard it, oh so faintly at first but once I caught the beat, I too “Beat It” right to the top with a smile on my face.

The young man was amazed at the affect but not me. The Michael Jackson musical medley may have come to an abrupt end but I’m grateful for a robust playlist that continues to inspire my most challenging uphill climbs – to the top of a mountain, to defeat a disease, to end the discrimination and stigma attached to HIV/AIDS, to heal the world.