By Reggie Smith:
My father was a New York City Housing Authority policeman who was killed at a party December 18th, 1978. He was out drinking with some people who said he had a heart attack. My good friend was the mortician whom I asked to get his body. That is how we found out he was shot. His killer was found, convicted, and sentenced to only 3-7 years. My dad was 47 years old at that time 38 years ago. I was 22. I consoled myself thinking he had lived a relatively long life (for a Black man/cop). In fact, he was gone way too soon, right?
When I got close to the age of 47, I realized how young that is and how much life he could have had left to live. It subconsciously became a goal for me to surpass the age of 47. Obviously I did, but making it to 50 was not easy or expected. Actually, I had been living with AIDS for 22 years by then, and had very nearly died at the age of 49. I could not have imagined all the twists and turns of my life, but I do enjoy watching the adventure unfold. Destiny plays its part, but are you doing what you can to live well?
I often ask people what age they want to be when they die? I ask because it is always pertinent and thought provoking to consider the fact that we are all going to die, and none of us really knows when. The answers folks give are interesting and illuminating. Many have never considered death. Some choose woefully short expectations. Everyone is reminded by me that whatever the number we visualize, we should ask ourselves if we are living like we want to live well, or like we expect to die soon?
I expect to live to be at least 200! I plan to be healthy and of sound mind. I expect that my light being and vibration will emanate love. So many of us are conditioned to limited thought. As a person living with AIDS, I have wanted my experiment with conscious living to provide abundant life for myself, and be an example to others diagnosed with this and other diseases. I had to change my mind to get here. I also have been the beneficiary of God’s grace and mercy.
On this World AIDS DAY 2016, I thank our Creator for life and love. I thank all of those spirits whom have come and gone. They are the energy from which we draw life. I send love and healing to all those who have lost loved ones, and strength to those still here as we cope and thrive!
Like I do for the man who killed my father, I forgive those who have, through ignorance and fear, perpetuated stigma and hate. As humans, I submit, none of is getting out of this thing alive! While we are here, it is imperative that we participate in our own survival (salvation). If not, we are most certainly complicit in our own demise. AIDS is a lesson for us all about human evolution. We need use what we have learned and apply it as new wisdom. As always I remind you that it is time to #RISE4WAR (Resurrecting Inspirational Spiritual Experiences 4 Wellness Awareness & Recovery)