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I lost my only brother on September 11, 2007 to AIDS. He was diagnosed September 1996 with full blown AIDS and given 6 months to live. He and I were the only ones to know for 2 yrs. he was so ashamed and he felt i was the only one he could trust.
I am 12 yrs. older and have always been very close to him. He was my best friend. We traveled the country together, he told me all his secrets. I took him to all his doctors appointments which were an hour away because he was afraid to go to a doctor nearer to his home. He was a giant of a man, 6'3" 250 at the beginning. He had wasting in the beginning and lost about 60 pounds in a very short period. then when he began the drug regimen he gained a few pounds back and kept it on for about 5 yrs.
A month after we found out he had it our mom went in for triple bypass surgery and I secretly prayed she would die. I thought it would be better for her to not know or experience his death. He was the baby of our family of 3 girls and he the only son. He was a gentle giant, which was a name he was given by his fellow employees.
Where he worked he had good insurance and had climbed in the company to supervisor. The last year and a half of his life he had missed so much work even being on FMLA that the company demoted him and put him with new employees, they thought he had just started just like them.
It crushed his self esteem even more to be demeaned by a company he had given his all to. He worked up until a month before his death. He had a sore the size of a saucer on his butt from sitting in their chairs for 9 hours a day. He worked for V. the most cut throat business I have come to know. It is all about money to them. He had to try and sell more options to people who already were having trouble just paying their bills. V. didn't care about their customers and they cared less about my brother. He had to park so far from the door he would have to rest to be able to finish his walk into work.
When he died and his supervisors came to visitation they said “we didn't even know he was sick" come on now, he was a skeleton with a terrible color anyone with eyes could see he was very ill. For my brother and parents I said nothing, you see my brother would never have made a scene in public so I have remained quiet until now.
I miss my brother so much. I am thankful that God did give him 11 yrs, when the doctors had given him 6 months. He got to see his nieces and nephew graduate and his great nieces and nephew born. He lived his Christian faith and we were all blessed to have had him and known him for 38 yrs.