Thursday, April 10, 2014

Every Hat Has a Story: A Poem about HIV/AIDS from 3 Sisters in the Spirit Ministry #saveryanwhitepartd #nyhaad


3sisters in the spirit Theatre Ministry / sister mama sonya-09©

I remember how I felt when I put on this hat as if it were yesterday. Hurt. Hollow. Empty. As if my heart had been cut out. It was a cold February day. Not a cloud in the sky. The sun was shining so bright. The sky was the perfect blue. We gathered early that morning at my sisters house because it was close to the
Church. On fact we could have walked there if it weren’t so cold. The pastor came to pray with us as he always did before the family left. They don’t make preachers like that anymore. He’s a forgotten breed~ we miss that pastoral compassion so much. Any way as he prayed I looked up at the many pictures of my son. His first baseball game. His music recital. His last basket ball camp before college. His graduation pictures. I was so caught up reminiscing; almost forgot where I was going.
25 years old. He had a long life ahead of him. I loved that boy. He said he loved me so much because I accepted him as he was. Never condemning. Never throwing him away. I respected him for all of the good work he did with the children he taught. Even tho he got his PhD and was offered all kinds of positions in the school district, he wanted to stay in the classroom with his students. I was so proud of
him. He was the best son. I was there for him when no one else was. I heard the whispers, saw the stares, felt the hatred. Yet he always smiled graciously.
I wore this hat proudly into the church. I knew some were here just to be nosey. However, the majority loved my child. This awesome young man. So many others loved him too. He was the best… He was my baby. My hero.

When I put on this hat, that cold February morning, my heart was so heavy. I felt bad that morning as we got ready because I had treated my nephew so bad in the end. And that was so terrible because he was my favorite when he was growing up. He was my little road dog as he called himself. We went everywhere together. The movies, Chuckie Cheese, bowling, ball and baseball, soccer and
football. I think I loved him as much as his Mama and his Daddy before he died.
When he told his Mama, she was so hurt at first. Yet she didn’t turn him away. She loved him and took care of him.
When I found out I treated him badly. (tearing up) The
blaming and shaming and mean spiritedness I showed was so horrible. How could I have done that to my favorite manchild. When the people in the church started to talk, I didn’t join in, but I didn’t stop them either.
And when they whispered and laughed I remained silent.
I refused to go to the house cuz I didn’t want to get it. I didn’t know. It was back in the early days. People like myself were so ignorant. We just didn’t know. But you know he kept on sending me messages saying he loved me.
During the final days, tho’, I saw a movie that almost
mirrored this situation. When I saw myself on the screen I was convicted. I ran to the house and my sister let me in as if nothing had happened. When I went to his bedroom, he just looked at me and mouthed the words I love U. I asked for his forgiveness and he just nodded his head. I stayed with him
for the next two days all day and night. I never left his side. He was so weak. He had lost so much weight. On that third day, I cried all day and night. I just couldn’t believe it. AIDS is a terrible thing. Yet our ignorance is almost as bad as the disease itself. I lost so much precious moments with him because of that ignorance. Yes I had a Hattitude of Sorrowful Shame that cold February morning.

I had a Hattitude of Sorrowful Pride as I buried my precious baby.

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