On this Day of Winter Solstice

On this Day of Winter Solstice,

The date is forever emblazoned in my heart.

 

I had been living in my car for about 3 weeks, until it died.

Then I spent a week at Motel 6 thanks to my son...

Then 1 night with a family of a friend of mine....

 

I was out of places to lay my head...

I wasn't thinking clearly...

I was fresh from being locked out of my home of 7 years by the man I thought would be my "forever" (ps NOT my infector)

This "forever" man was dealing with issues of his own...going through what I now realize was partly pride, and partly male menopause (as I say manopause)...which he had not addressed, which cause irrational anger, etc. towards me...

He thought I was his "Eliza Doolittle My Fair Lady" that I needed fixing...I did NOT need fixing...

 

At least not until he absolutely devastated my heart....

 

His last words to me in cruelty were that I would NEVER make a difference in the world of HIV AIDS...

 

At that time, 4 years ago...I was so broken, so fragile...

Into my life came AIDS Care Service, Inc. in the form of then Vice President Katherine White Foster and Cheryl Kiser (then housing coordinator)

 

They swooped in their almost matching Volvo wagons to pick me up at the apartment of said friends of a friend....

 

And to the #Horseshoe I went...wrapped in the warmth, love and encouragement that is Acs Winston-Salem`

 

I cried for so long, fought accepting the loss of the "forever" man 

 

Slowly but surely...over the next few months...

The words that he had left with me...that I would NEVER make a difference kept ringing in my ears...kind of like the toll of the Salvation Army bells, just ring, ring ring.

 

The tears started coming less and less...

A new determination started replacing the tears...a drive to survive...

 

AIDS Care Service saved my life...

as it has done with 100s before me, and 100s since me...

 

As I grew stronger...the Wanda that you know today started the transitional process...

I wanted to volunteer, to give back to ACS...

I wanted to speak out, to let others understand that in some ways I was unique (which truly had not occurred to me until I came to ACS)

 

How am I unique....

This will come as a shock (those that know me will "GET" this)

I am Caucasian Damon Grandison I always think of you when I think about this..."she bumped me, did you see her give me a bump!"

I was 48 years young when I became HIV+

I was 54 when I was given the diagnosis of AIDS

Each of these things...given all the "educational" information about HIV AIDS, and even an idiotic statement given my then head of our Forsyth County Health Department...that risk of HIV was only in terms of gay men, IV drug users and prostitutes...

 

THAT statement friends is what LIT the FIRE that we now call 

Wanda Brendle-Moss

Activist, Advocate, if need be Hell Raiser...

Seeker of opportunities to speak the TRUTH about risk of converting to HIV+

Woman that seeks scholarships to go to important HIV AIDS events...

including volunteering for 10 days at XIX International AIDS Conference, 2012

being a part of Treatment Action Group (TAG)

 

Who went to her 1st AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP Advocacy Association / aaa+) summit in 2013, the only person from North Carolina,

who Brandon Macsata and Amanda Kornegay were impressed with,

who Brandon challenged to bring at least 4 more people to ADAP summit 2014 (I recruited 5, 1 was sick so only 4 of us went)

Who was awarded (completely a shock to me) "Emerging Leader 2013-2014"

 

A woman who is now a active member of Positive Women's Network - United States of America

Recruited as a blogger The Well Project - HIV and women

Campaign to End AIDS

The Stigma Project Stigma Ambassador

#TeamNOShame with Kevin Maloney

The inaugural HIV is Not a Crime Conference

 

One of the 10 sexiest women with HIV 2014 (nominated by Jody Eddy...from half a world away)

 

Now on the board of GNP+ North America

 

I am sure I am missing something or someone....(#Atripla Fog)

 

ALL THIS TO SAY...

 

I would still be that shriveling crying woman of 2009, if not for ACS

would not be a friend to Adam Foundation, Inc.

PRIDE WS

The Shalom Project of Winston Salem

Green Street United Methodist Church

 

I am housed (3 years now), healthy (despite pending gall bladder surgery)

 

So trust me when I say...

AIDS Care Service deserves all the support that you can give them

Now under the amazing leadership of ever tireless Jesse Duncan

Watch us grow and grow and grow!

 

The picture you see is from Dining With Friends Clients Give Back (December 2013), the 1st time we the clients had done an such an event...

 

Why did we do it...Because with ACS...we each have no idea where we would be...

 

I hope this gives some encouragement...

To those who say to me..."I can't be you"...

If you read this correctly...I had to grow into who I am today! You can too, in your own time, as much or as little as you wish!

 

May these Holidays give you joy, and may my words give you food for thought as to how you proceed with the next minute, 5 minutes, 30 minutes, hour, day, month, years and years of your life!

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