When my kids were younger, I often sang to them to put them to sleep. I am not a fan of most lullabies (babies falling out of cradles? Really?), so the songs I usually sang to them were worship songs and/or R&B or pop songs. Often the lyrics had to be modified a bit, but not always. One song that was perfect as is and didn’t need modification was “Seasons of Love” from the “Rent” soundtrack. They love that beautiful song that talked about the significance of the passing of one year. I do as well.
Although we were located in the same state (Texas), I never had the pleasure of meeting Elisha, but from what I’ve gleaned from her family she seemed like a pretty unique woman and one I would have liked. She liked motorcycles (now that’s cool). She loved her two sons fiercely. She was cared for deeply by her family and friends and was a member of a local church. She lived openly with her diagnosis of HIV.
Elisha’s family is a close-knit and loving group of individuals whose bond and whose strength has been evident as they have coped with these life-changing ordeal. They have survived what no one should have to, yet they continue to go on. We owe them a debt of gratitude for permitting us to fight for justice for other women across the globe in their daughter’s memory. They will forever be a valuable part of the community of people living with HIV, affected families, friends, and supporters who all wish to see a change in the all-too frequent violence perpetuated against positive women. Please know that we are here, and that Elisha is not forgotten. With one out of every four HIV positive women experiencing violence at least once in their lifetimes, clearly much needs to be done to change things for the better to prevent more people from having to bury their loved ones. We must, as a society, continue to speak out against stigma and discrimination as a whole, including that which is perpetuated against HIV positive individuals.