I Made a Vow...

Lynette was in a Harlem hospital on the 3rd floor in a room alone, and refused to give her life to Christ as I stood there begging! Quarantined due to the opportunistic infection, her body was plagued with things besides her AIDS diagnosis. I pleaded with her that people said God was a just God, healer, a loving God, and most of all a forgiving God… "Let's give him a chance together." Lynette, just stared ahead as if off into a dream, she bellowed "Sonya, F&%^* you and F&%* God." I truly thought the ceiling was going to fall on our heads, and I held her hand, squeezing as if our lives depended on the squeeze, and in essence it did. She wouldn't budge, she just wanted me to go to the corner and get her something to get her high, as she was telling me the imaginary man in her room was there to have sex with her.

My best friend, confidante, ride or die partner, neighbor, & sister friend was on the brink of death, pointing her finger and directing her anger at me because she was positive and I was not. Lynette was upset beyond words because life dealt her an unfair pair of cards according to her… no spades to cut to win the book. Yes, she knew she was positive; we went and got tested together. Instead of her taking her meds and living a sober life she spread the disease knowingly to men and women and some say the family dog. She wanted to take out as many as she could because no one cared about her or told her anything about this thing called HIV/AIDS, so why should she care about anyone else! Besides, she was only 27 years old without ever experiencing a few simple things in life like being a mother, purchasing her first home, going to her high school prom, or driving her own car.

Those were the last words I ever heard my friend mutter…she died before Monday could grace the calendar. She left the world angry, upset, and cursing me and God out. I made a vow to God at her funeral…the funeral where they didn't even open her casket for us to say our goodbyes because they thought HIV/AIDS was going to jump out of the casket on to them! Foolish Stigma thinking people!

So, when people ask me why I do what I do pertaining to HIV/AIDS Awareness…I think back over my life. I think back to that day we went and got our results together and one of us was positive. I understand that pivotal moment in my life of living was at that precise moment. I was mandated with a charge to keep and a God to Glorify. I do what I do because I want others to live stigma free, live without judgment, to be aware that most people don't care about spreading the disease to others, to use protection, and get tested. I do what I do because I made a vow to God, and I made a vow to my best friend Lynette to learn as much as I could about the disease, and to ensure that no one else would knowingly just spread the disease because of fear and anger.

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sonyamallard's picture

Thanks so much Katrina, and you are right the work is far from over :)

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Katrina Foster's picture

Because of your loyalty to your friend and a vow you made to her on her death bed.... You fired a passion inside of you which led to a vision..... And in return, you have reached out and helped countless others! I am so proud of you and the work you do.... Your work is far from over, but yet you've came so far.

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