Yes, I'm gay. I probably was since the day I was born. On my 21st birthday, I sort of had my debut. I came out to my parents. A little drama from mom, and some indifference from dad. An above-average coming out. Almost perfect.

Nine years later, two weeks before my 30th birthday, I found out... I'M HIV POSITIVE.

And so my story begins... I'm BACK IN THE CLOSET.

Friday, December 26, 2008

My 1st Christmas

Christmas HeartFinally, another Christmas Day is over. It wasn't as bad as I expected it to be. No sadness, no crying. Hardly any consciousness even. I was nothing more than half-comatose yesterday, asleep for most of it, only waking up and getting out of bed to eat meals and take showers. What the hell happened? Let’s flash back to Christmas eve and start from there.

I worked Christmas eve, remember, and only managed to flee around 3:00 in the afternoon. But instead of heading home, I made a stopover in Cubao searching for Baby Nathan’s family. Baby Nathan’s dad sent me some directions to follow and fetched me at the nearest corner, flashing his now familiar smile from all the way down the street. As we walked, he updated me on Baby’s condition, and although he never mentioned the underlying condition of HIV, I was happy he freely mentioned all the names of people and hospitals involved, not even the least bit concerned of who might hear him. And trust me, this was a small community where everyone seemed to know everyone else. I knew that from the way everyone we passed would stare at me, probably wondering who I was.

We walked past some kids playing in the street, and I thought it would be funny if Baby Nathan was doing so well that he was already one of those kids running about. But of course, not yet, he’s just over a year old, remember? The dad led me into a tiny path between houses, from which we headed up a steep flight of stairs. Upon reaching the top, there he was, Baby Nathan on his tummy on the floor, flanked by a couple of pillows, playing. And wow, that face staring up at me just made me smile. Those big puppy dog eyes set in his now healthy looking face could melt anyone’s heart. I sat down as the dad introduced me around. Baby’s mom was there, his sister, his lola and lolo, and his twinky uncle. And the way they welcomed me was overwhelming.

We sat around a bit as I cooled down, which was when I got my first ever chance to really take Baby Nathan in my arms. I’d been hesitant previously, not really knowing how to handle his frail body. I mean, I do love kids, and although I doubt if I’ll be having any of my own, I know how to handle them, but during the first few times I’d seen Baby Nathan, he just looked so fragile, I chose not to carry him myself from fear of breaking him. So this was a first for us.

Shortly after, I reminded the dad that we had a bit of shopping to do, for a bit of stuff for their Noche Buena, or Christmas eve dinner. He asked if Baby Nathan could tag along. Sure! And before I knew it, even mom and sister were all dressed up ready for the trip to the mall. And man, you should’ve seen Baby Nathan, dressed in his little shirt which I gave him before, his little jeans and his little rubber shoes, and even his little bonnet... wow, such a cutie.

We did our rounds at the grocery, with me pushing the cart, dad carrying Baby Nathan, and mom taking charge of the sister, as well as picking out what food to get. Some stuff for spaghetti, some fruit salad, hotdogs, chicken… the works. I wanted to make sure that they’d get some of that Christmas spirit without having to worry about where to get it from. Now hold on, I’m just a medium in all this. One of you good souls reading this blog helped me out to make this possible. You know who you are, and on behalf of the family, thank you.

We hardly heard a peep from Baby Nathan the whole trip. It was apparently the first time both kids were to go around the mall, which I could imagine was exciting enough. But Baby Nathan was extreme. He was so quiet and so wide-eyed, as if not wanting to miss any person, any thing, any light, or any color that we passed by. And compared with the sterile hospital room he’d been calling home for more than a month, there indeed was a lot to see.

From there, we headed back home, where I hung out a bit amidst some home-made kakanin and juice the lola offered me. The mom and the lola started preparing their Christmas dinner, as Baby Nathan was given some milk and put in bed for a bit, obviously overwhelmed by the sightseeing treat he got. It was just past 5:00 in the afternoon, and I had been getting messages from my mom asking where I was, because we were supposed to spend Christmas eve at my aunt’s house, so I left them to enjoy their Christmas evening and headed home.

My mom still thought I’d be coming from work, and I braved the terrible Cubao traffic going home, and made it past 7:00 pm. Barely even sitting down, I just took a shower and off again we went to my aunt’s house, where we spent the rest of Christmas eve. You can only imagine how tired I was by 2:00 in the morning. Now you know why I needed to space out for a whole day.

I’m still recovering, although I’ve already been able to take my mom shopping today. I did more window shopping myself, oddly enough, at the Baby Sections of the malls. I wanted to get Baby Nathan a baby walker, so he could see more than just feet, or a stroller, so they’d have an easier time taking him around. But I was a bit shocked at the prices at the local SM mall, especially for strollers, which looked like off-roaders and which were so expensive that I thought they’d better come with someone to push them for that price.

So I was thinking, maybe someone out there has an old walker and/or a stroller stashed away somewhere unused... I know someone who could put it to good use. Hint, hint. Nooooo! Not me! Grr. You know who I mean. Consider it a post-Christmas gift? Or us helping you clean house? Just give it some thought. Please.

So anyways, I’ve managed to keep my Christmas spirit going, which is so unexpected, this being the first Christmas I’m spending with HIV. And I can honestly say this is the best Christmas I’ve ever had. It’s like I have more gratitude for the little things in life, I’m living by the day, and I know that there is some reason that I was chosen for this blessing. Without HIV, I wouldn’t get the opportunities I’ve been getting lately, and I wouldn’t be meeting the people I’ve been lucky enough to meet. All thanks to HIV.



hays beautiful story again....

i can picture it and i can feel it....

Kiks said...

beautiful story, bitc.

i wish i have them strollers near me but they're all back there where snow is falling.

haaaay. ano ba ang maitutulong ko kay baby nathan....

give him my hugs.

Anonymous said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Anonymous said...

Hi just dropping by to say Merry Christmas and full of Positivism New Year.

If I can be of any help to Baby Nathan's stroller drom me a line

From NZ

PinoyPoz said...

Merry Christmas to everyone! The good news is I've gotten a pledge each for a SPANKIN' BRAND NEW walker and a SPANKIN' BRAND NEW stroller for Baby Nathan... Geez you guys are the best! Bestest!

Thanks Blackpool for everything...

Sorry Kiks, but the hugs go to BITCH and BITCH alone... Hehehe just kidding... :-) Thanks.

Thanks too Sarah...

And NZ... hmmm I haven't thanked you enough yet...