Tuesday, October 21, 2003

My Friend Willy

A message from a Suite101 discussion..... It has been edited from the discussion, to reflect, the heart of the matter...

My good friend Willy, died from AIDS..

He was 80 pounds, yellow and sick looking. I think of him often. His name was Willy. He looked me in the eyes some 24hrs before he died and said "thank you for being here".

The loss of Willy has taken a chunk of my heart. This happened seven years ago or so. At that time, I was not a saved man and knew nothing of Jesus Christ, nor did I even care. Today, the guilt of this is immense, my fellow brothers. I cannot describe to you the thought of what I think happened to Willy. I cannot remember whether or not we even talked about religion, as we were all heathens in that day. Most, if not all of them, still are... We drank, smoked, did drugs, etc.....

I have known Willy for nearly 14 years now. I miss him, and he was my good friend. I have never watched a friend die before that day. I can tell you it is hard indeed, even today, as a born again child of God, who understands His word, that it bothers me greatly that I did not witness to him as I would today. I do not know what happened to Willy, if he is in Hell, or if he reached out in faith and knew the Lord Jesus. All I know is, he was a good man, and he was my good friend. It is difficult to share this, as it is not his death, his absence, that has me heart burdened.

No.. it is the fact that I do not know where he is. I remember one afternoon seeing a nun in the hospital room, and I went to speak to her. Willy would not sleep as he looked scared. Friend, he LOOK SCARED. I do not say this other than, I have no idea what a dying man is seeing or thinking when he is near death. I asked the nun, and she said that they (the dying) usually fixate there eyes on the ceiling, as if they may be staring at something, and that they are afraid to sleep. It appeared like that was what he was doing as he did not speak to any of us anytime after he went into this daze.

I thought, thinking back at that time, yeah... he is seeing the light or something like that. What did I know about God then. Who cared about God, we never consider it. Well anyway, I dont want to sound harsh or seem unfriendly, or whatever any of you think of me. All I can tell you is, that it is only God that knows about Willy. But.. He was my friend.

There is more to this story. You see, he was lovers for 10 years with one my best friends. Well, 4 years ago after nearly 15 years of friendship, knowing his entire family and all that, (he is 62) he kicked me out of his house because I embarrased him in front of his friends one night at one of the gay bars. I witnessed God to his friends, and he really did not like this. It has hurt me immensely to know that I have lost my friend because of this.

One of my gifts is the ability to go into this type of environment and witness to these men, in their world. I know many gay people and they all are my friends, you can ask them. Our restaurant raised $6200 one time for the Hope House, a hospice care facility here in KC.

Friend, listen closely to me, please. I am not mad at anyone, or hate anyone. Heck, the man who broke my wrist (a closet homosexual) I looked him in the eye one night a few years ago and forgave him. So trust me, I know what I am saying. I have known at least 15 people who have died from HIV and they were all my friends. I miss them. I was a heathen in that day, an unsaved man. That is strong guilt friend. The Lord has to help me on this daily.

Well, Willy was cremated and buried under a tree in my ex-best friends backyard. Yeah, it's not so strange. He had the most awesome funeral I have ever witnessed. Ballons... man I tell ya. No actually, only those who were there (150 people) would know what we experienced. It was love expressed for our friend, who is now dead. We have a picture if you would like to see it.

I wanted to share this with you all, as I had no desire to at first, as so you may understand that this has nothing to do with the man, as it has everything to do with his soul. It is just that Willy was like a brother to me. He still is. Sometimes, I find myself saying a prayer for Willy. But I know that this does not matter, as the judgment is sealed. He will never return to this earth, ever, unless he was saved. I am unsure. I do not know, only God knows. I hope I am able to see my friend again. I will be looking for him. I hope that, in his heart, at one time he may have known the Lord. This is the one part of going to Heaven that I am worried about, not being able to find my friends, family members or neighbors.

It is my duty as a Christian, to make sure that I bring light and truth to all who pass my way, even at the cost of losing a friendship. If you have a friend like this, then you are indeed, blessed.

(smile) <-----this is for Willy (I love you Willy, always and forever).....

(sad) <-----this is how I feel. Today.. all I have is the hope for what is promised to come, and this is what makes life worthy for me. Well.. maybe this helps you to know me, just a little better.


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