Train 93

Submitted on Apr 16, 2024 by  KimberlyC

**Content Warning** This piece discusses suicide. If you are thinking of hurting yourself or committing suicide, please tell someone immediately. In the US, you can call or text 988, or call 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433) or 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255). To find a suicide hotline near you, try; this website lists US hotlines by state as well as hotlines by country (click on the "International Hotlines" link at the top of the main page). 

Being a Black woman and wearing the badge of honor of being strong is exhausting to say the least. It's now embedded in us to keep showing up, pushing through so much that we don't even know any other way to be. I know that this blog post is supposed to be a summary of me attending the International Workshop on HIV & Women which, in the name itself should actually be Women and HIV, but I digress. The conference was held in Washington, D.C. on April 12-14 but I just needed a minute and a space to talk about what happened before I even stepped my pinky toe foot in Washington.

Hmmmm... Where do I start? The delayed train.


A Girl Like Me blogger Kimberly Canady sitting on a train with a mask on, looking out the window.

My train was delayed by 45 minutes which usually wouldn't have bothered me or even be a factor, but I already experienced in the week prior my flight being delayed by four hours and not actually being able to fly. I just wanna say sitting on a plane and feeling the plane trying to lift off but can't is a scary feeling, so let's just say my train being delayed had me a little on edge. But again I put my big girl panties on and chose not to think about it too hard because I had things to do and people to see.

So now I'm on the train and everything is good. We picked up my colleague on the way and kept moving towards Washington, when all of a sudden the train abruptly stopped in the middle of nowhere, the lights cut off and the air as well. When I say I was confused, nervous, scared and hungry (I get hungry when I'm scared; don't judge me) I had all those feelings.

The conductor made the announcement that we just had a trespasser strike!!! Do you know what a trespasser strike is? Because I had to use my context clues and figure it out at that moment. For those that don't know - the train hit someone. I have never been on a train that hit a person, and to later find out that he was there on purpose to end his life threw me off. I couldn't even process the incident at that moment because we were on the train with no power. Fun fact: you can't buy food with a debit card if the train has no power so please carry cash at all times. Anyway, back to the story. The train was out of power and it started getting hot really quick. Of course I went into mommy mode and was looking for food and being the entertainment for the train car we were in.

After being on the train for seven hours for a three-hour ride, we were exhausted, annoyed and hungry and still had to get ready for the conference that was in less than 12 hours while trying to get a cabby to pick us up. I was over it.

The way we put ourselves together, presented our poster presentation, and got back on the train in hopes that nothing else happened was swift and somewhat alarming. We are so conditioned to keep working, keep smiling, that we didn't even process that Larry (we gave him that name) was emotionally unstable and chose to end his life by a train, the train that we were on intending to hopefully save a life or two with the work that we presented.

I don't wanna live in a life where I have to keep working and keep pushing on because the work needs to get done. Larry ending his life made me look at mine differently. I know I didn't like what I saw - and changes need to be made.

Submitted by boseolotu

It is so sad that life can be so stressful.

But I still love life and I have to try and change the way I change to some situations of life challenges. 

Thank you so much for sharing. 

Submitted by KatieAdsila

Wow, that’s a lot, that’s a lot to carry, I hope sharing has helped, sending hugs, btw, I think you’re an amazing woman 

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