Sunday, November 30, 2008

World AIDS Day

World AIDS Day is a somber but necessary day for those of us with positive loved ones. I pray for the day that it can be renamed HIV/AIDS Eradication Day due to the discovery of a cure for HIV. However, until then, I struggle with how to commemorate the day in a manner that is appropriate for my family. In the not-so-distant past, before I had children, I typically took part in community events as a part of my job duties in the various social services/health education positions I have held. Later, when my oldest daughter, who is a teenager and is HIV-, joined the family, she was reluctant to participate in any events related to HIV/AIDS because it was a painful reminder of the manner in which the relative who was her long-term caregiver died. Being sensitive to her feelings, I didn't push her...but with my positive younger daughter, I feel it is important to try to be involved in some way. The question Most of the activities being held in our city are not family-friendly; the events were designed for adults and would be confusing and possibly even frightening to a younger child. I'd like to see an event that incorporated a celebration of life with the virus as an alternative to the memorial services/vigils; perhaps featuring artwork, drama, and/or uplifting music created by positive children/adults or by others who have been inspired by them. Maybe I'll bounce the idea off of some local youth organizations and ASOs; maybe they can collaborate next year and include such a program as part of their 2009 World AIDS Day events. At any rate, as World AIDS Day has arrived right on the heels of Thanksgiving, let's all be grateful for the advances in treatment that have allowed our precious children to lead healthier and more fulfilled lives in spite of this illness.

1 comment:

Leslie said...

That would be great, Sheri. I totally agree. I'd love something age-appropriate to do with my family. The candlelight vigils and memorial quilts are emotionally overwhelming for adults, and for children, even more so. I was thinking something with balloons... I'd love to brainstorm ideas about this.