By any measure, Julie Lewis certainly qualifies as a long-term survivor of HIV. Marking 30 years of living with the virus is an achievement for anyone. However, as the mother of Ryan Lewis, one half of the Grammy Award-winning hip-hop duo Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, Julie realized she could mark the occasion with a lot of fanfare, enough to be able to give back.
Joep and Jacqueline are gone, but what they've left behind isn't just the long list of projects and activities they fostered. It's also the warmth and love that we, their friends and family, received from them, and that lives on in us. And that is an enormous consolation at this time of bewilderment and grief.
There are some days when I embrace the work, my activism, and keeping up with the latest about HIV/AIDS. And there are other days when I want to forget about it all and just escape. Because no matter what I do it never seems like it's enough, or that I could somehow be doing it better, or that maybe I waited too long to decide to act.