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Thank you for your compassion!
Jun 25, 2002

Dr. Franscino,

I know that I couldn't properly convey the appropriate words to let you know how much your understanding, compassionate and humorous words made an extremely difficult time pass with a smile. But I will try.

My uncle, who was afflicted with HIV in 1986 and diagnosed with AIDS in 1992, decided to "play dominoes with our maker" on his terms, 2 nights ago. I completely respect his decision but I cannot help the selfish feelings of wishing that he was still here with me.

Even though our entire (Roman Catholic Italian) family shunned him when they found out about his "lifestyle", his partner and his unfortunate illness, the two of us decided to battle this war together.

Many nights we would peruse your responses and laugh, smile and cry together after he moved in with me. Especially those nights where sleep was not an option. I don't mean to sound melancholy but I just miss him so much it hurts.

I guess that I am writing to let you know that what you do DOES make a difference. It brought us closer and I was with him to the end. I wouldn't trade a minute!

So...a virtual hug and a heartfelt "THANK YOU" for being you. I must say....your parents did an excellent job.

Keep smelling the roses!!

With the utmost respect and kindest regards,

Annabella in TX (formally from NYC) =)

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Annabella!

Thank you for your heartwarming note. I, too, was brought up Italian Roman Catholic and want to tell you that your compassion, kindness, and love are the real essence of the creator's (or creatoress's) message. I'm also a firm believer that your uncle has now found a place of health, peace, and wonderment far, far beyond what we mere mortals can even begin to imagine. Though his voice is now silent, I'm sure his spirit will continue to echo in your heart. In many ways your uncle is still with you, so when you miss him, talk to him. That's what I do to friends of mine that have journeyed on before me. After all, one day we'll all be together again. I truly believe life is often measured in the wrong dimension. Life should be measured in depth, not length! You and your uncle enriched each other's lives immeasurably. What a wonderful place the world would be if there were many, many more Annabellas! I'll keep smelling the roses, if you continue to demonstrate to the world - including the church - the true meaning of love and compassion.

On behalf of your uncle and all of us infected with the virus, thank you, Annabella! I return your virtual hug with my love, admiration, and heartfelt thanks.

Dr. Bob


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