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I Am

By Brooke Davidoff

March 29, 2011

I am sad. I have had a shitty year but I'm strong and will not let it overpower my life. When it comes down to it, sometimes life just SUCKS. From about two weeks after I got married my poor husband and I have been on this roller coaster of emotional heartbreak called LIFE.

We found out about a week after our wedding that my parents signed divorce papers while we were on our honeymoon. I had no idea they were even having problems. Two weeks later we found out I was pregnant.

Everything was normal until January when I was diagnosed with AIDS.

The shit continued in March when we were evicted from our apartment due to the price of my medications, and us not making enough to cover my medical bills, on top of rent, car payments, cell phone bills, yadda yadda.

We moved into a 2-bedroom duplex with 2 roommates, my brother-in-law and his best friend.

A newlywed couple expecting a baby, needing roommates to pay bills is a bit embarrassing. I had not disclosed our new health issues to everyone and found it hard to explain why we were moving from a 2-bedroom apartment alone into a 2-bedroom with 2 roommates when we were having a baby.

I loved our apartment; our son would have had a nice room.

In May my dad died from injuries he received in a motorcycle crash. I was 7 months pregnant with his first grandchild when he was injured and died.

We all (my brothers, mother, my husband, and I) flew in from different states and countries to see him in the hospital. My big brother, husband and I all flew into California from Seattle. My mother was in New York at the time for my uncle's funeral (he died of cancer the week before my father died), and my little brother flew in from Taiwan where he was living and teaching English.

My father was medically sedated with 4th degree burns on 80% of his body. He had internal bleeding and a massive list of broken bones and internal injuries. I had a personal nurse while at the hospital because I was so pregnant. We had to take him off life support once we had all said goodbye, since he had no chance of recovering.

We arranged his cremation and had a service; my husband and I flew home and back to work. Back to being the pregnant AIDS girl who now was fatherless. My brothers stayed in California in dad's house packing things, taking care of his dog and his fish. Trying to figure out what to do with a fully furnished 5-bedroom 2-story 3,000-square-foot home in a state none of us lived in anymore.

He was the most important person in my life. He was always there for support, comedy or just someone to talk to. He was gone. Way too soon, way too violently.

As time went on it just added to my list of silent, heartbreaking pain. I write to make it better; I talk to my dad and think he's still hanging out watching my son and me.

Some days I'm okay. Others it's still fresh and raw.

I'm sad and don't even know about what anymore. I'm not depressed, I don't think. I don't see why I'm not depressed.

He died just before my first column on was published. He knew they asked me to write and I was beginning to work on it. He knew I was diagnosed with AIDS; he knew I was having a baby boy.

He doesn't know my son was named after him, keeping with the Jewish tradition. Or does he?

I lost weight after I had Myles; I have gained it back. Is it medically related? Is it depression related? I have no idea. I eat the wrong things, and spend my whole day at work on the computer 5-6 days a week, then go home and play with my son till dinner and movie, then bedtime.

I need to exercise, Yes.

I need to eat better, Yes.

We are finally roommate free again after a year. It's nice to live together as a family again, and not in a frat house.

We are living on ONE income for 3 of us now. I am going to be in an article about HIV/AIDS in Glamour magazine in June of this year. I have to keep writing and fighting for us; I don't know what else to do.

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See Also
More Personal Accounts of Women With HIV/AIDS


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Voice of ONE

Brooke Davidoff

Brooke Davidoff

Brooke grew up in San Diego, Calif., and from a young age she wanted to change the world with her words. She has been writing poetry since 1992, and majored in journalism in school.

She was diagnosed with AIDS when she was eleven weeks pregnant in her first year of marriage. She is now a single mother living in Long Beach, Calif.

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