My MotherHaving just received the requirements for my sixth grade science project, I was confident my project would not only be unique, it would be unforgettable. I would not research why the sky was blue, or where the colors of rainbows came from, because I was not just interested in finding out why something was interesting. I had a far more passionate connection with this project. My mother informed me that she had the Human Immunodeficiency Virus and that there was no cure for it. At that time, it was against my fundamental nature to accept that as a death sentence. Despite the fact that the doctor informed me that you could not take out all the infected blood and give her new blood to make her all better; I wanted to research answers on my own. I knew then as I know now, that I am not perfect, but I know I am creative, and questioned whether I could maybe come up with something.
Careful examination of everything I could find about this virus brought me a lot of heartache. Although it has been 18 years since I conducted this research, I will never forget how I would hold my breath as I meticulously read each page, completely captivated beyond my capacity to regulate my thoughts. Unfortunately, at that time being 11 years old; and with far less medication on the market, I discovered that my mother and her doctor were right. The most I could hope to do was to enjoy having her around for what I had no clue, would only be another year.
My studies helped me to better understand simple things like why my mother would never share a drink with me (precaution in the event of a cut in the mouth), to some of the far bigger, and more important things – like the fact that she could hug me and kiss me all day, and I would not acquire the virus.
It was particularly difficult for me think about this time in her life because once my father found out; he would not allow me to see her. HIV and AIDS was so new at that time, I could only imagine what he may have heard about how someone could catch it. As a child though, I hated the fact that he would not allow me to see her. I HATED it with AN INTENSE PASSION.
As a mother of a little girl of my own, living well into the information age, I try to be understanding and forgiving when I think about it. YES, IT IS STILL HARD! Nevertheless, I also try consider the fact that even if I had been with her, who is there to say what may have been...? Nobody knows. I then focus on redirecting my attention to my daughter and my family and I thank God for not only the memories I have created with them, but also for the opportunities I have to create memories with them.