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What disturbed me most on that last good day, though were his eyes. Luminous beacons in the sunken recesses of his skull, they had never been more lively, more determined. More accepting, more at peace. More beautiful.

Roaming the surface of the cards, they'd shone with something that had been sorely missing in our lives during the past year. Something the monster that was AIDS had stolen from us. Something the ever-haunting specter of death had kept us from sharing as we counted down the days and kept a watchful vigil over our cherished, only boy-child. And as he raised his eyes in triumph, filled with confidence that the power he held i nhis hand would shut my partner and me out and take him and his straight to Boston, the thing I saw shining in my big brother's eyes, reaching out to touch me and bring comfort to my heart, was given a name.

And its name was hope.

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