two women supporting their son and grandson with HIV

Recognition of Women

As we move into Women’s History Month in March, I would like to shed light on two amazing women who have been there for me through my diagnosis. These two women are my mother and my grandmother. These two beautiful women have helped me become the man that I am today, and I uphold the most love and respect for both.

My mother and best friend

I grew up in a single-parent household with my mother and two sisters. I never really knew my dad other than seeing him less than a handful of times my entire life. My mother was always there for me and was both parents to me in my mind. It was only my mother and me until I was 7 that created a closer relationship between us.

She was more than just a parental figure to me; she was also my best friend. My mother continues to be an inspiration to me every day, especially when I see how great she raised my sisters and me on her own.

My grandmother's support

I was always a grandma’s boy growing up, and I truly miss her every day. This amazing woman passed away in 2014, but there is not a day that goes by when I do not think about her. There are times when I drive to work and tell myself how proud I know she is of me and my accomplishments. My grandmother was also a single mother and did an amazing job raising my mother and aunt.

She was also a second parental figure in my life when my mother had to be at work to support her kids. I spent a lot of time with my grandmother because she was my babysitter growing up, and she would also pick us up from school every day.

More love than ever before

After finding out that I was HIV-positive, my mother was the only one that I wanted to call for advice. Better yet, whenever I need any type of advice, I always call my mother. I notice there are times when I already know the answer to something, but I call my mother just for reassurance.

I grew up with no father figure, but the women in my life showed me that I did not lack any love but rather had more than anyone could ever dream of. I hope to one day in the future show as much love and support that these women had for me to my own children.

From family to advocacy

I want the world to know that I was raised by two amazing women who I honor every day of my life. They both looked at the world through the lens of the glass is always half full rather than half empty. What I mean is they moved through life looking at the good rather than the bad in each situation that was dealt to them.

They are both equally responsible for the community advocate that you see in me today. Make sure you go and tell the women in your life how important they are to you.

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