I often get e-mails from people who are thinking of adopting a positive child, and sometimes I receive a heart-felt note from someone who's been newly diagnosed with AIDS. They say that I offer them hope because my life seems so normal and happy. I am happy. This surprises even me sometimes. True, life has it's ups and downs and more than likely all of us will at one point or another face some sort of "life challenge." I know I have. There was a time when my kids were very sick that my heart hurt so badly that I really wasn't sure that I was strong enough. Luckily, that's where family, friends and faith usually pick-up where we ourselves drop off...lifting us up and moving us forward.
Thirteen years ago I made a conscious decision. I decided that HIV had taken enough from me, I wasn't going to let it steal my joy or ruin one prized moment that I had left with my children or the people I loved. Thirteen years ago, I also found hope; hope for one more good year, hope that my children would grow up, and now I hold hope for a cure. HOPE. Let that word sink in, and then reach for it because it's stronger than fear, stronger than a bad medical report, stronger than anything bad that can come up against you. And when you have hope, miracles happen. Thanks to research and people who refused to give up today we are making great strides toward curing diseases that were previously thought incurable–HIV being one of them.
My life is not perfect. My children and I still have HIV. We still have to take medicine every day to keep the virus undetectable. But here's the truth; life doesn't have to be perfect to be joyful and purposeful. You can be utterly flawed and your true friends will still love you, go figure! A good day isn't always one filled with sunshine and ease. Sometimes, a good day can come between ragged breaths and tears; between life's inequities and unjust circumstance. A beautiful moment...it can last a lifetime or just a heartbeat. It's for us to decide.
Today, no matter what your challenge surround yourself with hope, love and sunrises...it's what sustains us all.