As the holidays begin to wind down, I reflect on all the gifts I have received. My gifts have not been merely material items, but also supportive family and amazing opportunities. Could I also consider HIV a gift? While certainly not a “gift” in the sense of something one desires, but rather in the sense that it has brought greater clarity and meaning to my life.
I consider the future MUCH more that I ever did prior to my diagnosis. This helps me make better choices. I think of my family first, because I now realize that I am fortunate and should not take them for granted. I think of the voice I have been given and the influence that I could have (if I allow myself).
As I reflect on my gifts, I realize that I also need to give more. I need to give more to the HIV community. For the last few years, I have been coping with shock, anger and finally acceptance. This year...I will give more.