Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Mourning Lay-a-Way

Today, I woke up before my husband. In the morning stillness, I listened to the sound of him breathing next to me. And once again, I told myself to remember this sound....him breathing.

I tell myself to remember things a lot.

I tell myself to remember how it feels when he hugs me, kisses my forehead, holds my hand. Remember the sweet smell of his skin, his laughter, his blue eyes, the sound of his voice......but what I want to remember most is him breathing next to me.

I know modern medicine tells me I can expect him to have a nearly normal life expectancy, but there is a part of me that feels I should prepare for the worst. Its that part of me that wants to always remember these intimate details of what he means to me.

I would never tell him I'm trying to remember all these things, I feel slightly guilty even admitting them to you, but it helps me cope with the realities of his illness. We've all seen the pictures of dying AIDS patients in hospital beds. Skinny and serious. If that's how it will end for him, I don't want to remember him like that. I want to remember him breathing next to me.

Now I know, he may not even die of AIDS. He may die in a car accident tomorrow, but its just the nature of an illness like this. You imagine the worst.

Most of the time, I'm not quite so somber and I enjoy each moment with him, not thinking about anything related to his health. But deep inside of me, in the deepest core of my heart, I'm already mourning him.

Its a mourning lay-a-way. If I do some mourning now, then when the time actually arrives, it won't be as difficult because I've already mourned some of it away. And when the time arrives, it won't be so devastating because the sound of him breathing has been seared in my memory.

At least that's what I'm counting on.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

A Civil Rights Movement

This past election, the term "civil rights" was a buzzword. I have to admit, I don't fully understand the enormous cost, and full impact of the Civil Rights Movement; but every once in a while, when the news played clips of emotionally charged moments from that Movement....I was stunned. How could we have segregated ourselves? How could we have denied other human beings the right to equality?

We patted ourselves on the back and took pride in "how far we've come," with this historical presidential election. But, if we've really come so far....why does my husband feel he has to sneak taking his meds at work?

The truth is, people with HIV/AIDS and their families, need our own Civil Rights Movement. Every person affected by this illness has a story of discrimination to tell. Doctors that were rude and insensitive. Friends who stopped calling. Preachers who preached that HIV is "God's wrath on homosexuals."

My husband and I don't tell people anymore. And I suspect there are many out there just like us. Enduring the silent discrimination and ignorance of people who don't understand what their words or actions mean...

Yesterday at work, the topic of World AIDS Day came up. My supervisor said, "Having a day devoted to AIDS awareness just makes AIDS seem glamorous. We should have them all in quarantines....that's the real cure for AIDS."

Have we really come so far?

Sunday, December 7, 2008

What this blog is about

Hello, I am a woman married to a man who is HIV positive, and I am HIV negative. In my quest to find support for others in a similar situation as me, I found there are almost no resources or available information for my situation.

Just a short time ago, I got in touch with another woman in a similar situation. We decided to start this blog. We want to meet other women out there with a situation like ours. We are hoping to change policies and procedures that will make it possible for us to get pregnant using a technique called "sperm washing."

Please join us, leave your comments!