Honorable Mentions

Gayle Tauger
A Life of Learning

They said I had the courage to care
Truth is, I was witness to courage every day
I sat in my office at the HIV clinic
Watching bravery walk in and walk out

They said I was the tough old broad
Truth is, I just wanted my people to live
They knew that
They knew that

They said my hands held their hurting hearts
Truth is, my heart hurt for them but,
They had no choice
They had to take care of themselves
They had to live
So said the tough old broad

Our days at the clinic were a recipe for life
Care, compassion, anger, fear, pain, sorrow,
Heartache, denial, understanding, tolerance,
Acceptance, strength, conviction, laughter,
and love

I was the educated social worker
They were my patients, albeit, my teachers
I learned that yesterday was,
Today is
Tomorrow may not be, but
Together we had the courage to care.



About Gayle...

Gayle is a very recently retired Social Worker who worked for many years with people with HIV, most recently at a hospital outpatient clinic in NJ. She began her career in Social Work after having a “mid-life crisis,” graduating from college, and getting her Master’s Degree in her late 40s. She has made a difference in the lives of so many including foster care youth, abused women, and battered children, receiving the New York Daily News Woman of the Year Award in 1984 and Avon's Woman of Achievement Award in 1990. She is enjoying her retirement by spending time with her many pets (2 dogs and 7 cats), her three children, and her love of poetry and writing.

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