So children, single and struggling I didn't think was a bright idea and then when I had a husband, HIV treatment and care wasn't what it is today. There was more of a risk of infecting a child back in the early days; a whopping 30% and that was 30 too many. Now things have changed and it's about a 2% chance that the child will be infected if a woman takes a very specific anti-retroviral treatment in the first trimester. This is why HIV testing for pregnant women is so critical.
I'm grateful that my home could be a safe place, it clearly takes a village. But truly my dogs have really filled a void.
|Imani in her prime|
I had Imani for 12 years and she so taught me how to live outside of myself. She had some kind of lung disease and there would be nights when she and I would sit on the toilet with a hot shower running so she could get the steam. Lawd, watching her die almost killed me. After I put her under I cried for days, weeks and months. There would be days I would be getting ready for a speaking engagement and tears would just start to flow.
|Nambi a year before she died.|
But when she was 12 years old, like her mother Imani her health started to take a turn. I drove down to the University of Illinois State of the art animal hospital so they could fix my baby girl up, like I had done with her mother, but they told me her time was near and that I should put her under.
I cried all the way home, me her and Sophie. I had gotten Sophie two weeks prior. It had taken me a whopping 3 years to get a new baby after Imani's death.
|Sophie at 2 months|
I got back to Chicago and nursed my baby. I had put one baby to sleep and I didn't think I could do it again. I knew it would kill me too, I just couldn't. It was madness in my bed. Me, Nambi and Sophie. Sophie is bigger than Nambi and she would lay across Nambi and look into her face like, "When we gonna play?" And Nambi would growl through her sickness, "If you don't get off me bitch you better."
She lived another four years. I had her for 16 years. The vet thinks bringing the puppy into her life made the difference. And it gave me more time. Time to let her go and time for Sophie to steal my heart.
For sure this is Sophie's world and I'm just her mom. Since Nambi's death a tad over two years it's just me and her. She is for sure the queen of this castle. She just waited Nambi out; but for sure she had been waiting to be an only child.
Lawddd this girl since day one has been a handful. When she was 6 months she knocked down my 8 foot Christmas Tree with ALL my $100 ornaments I had been collecting for over 10 years. There's never a dull moment with Sophie NEVER!
|Sophie and her friend Jack|
She has this way of making me LIVE!. Taking me out of myself, out of my shit, my chaos, my mind and my illness. Some days when I'm in this bed stuck in the darkness, she insists that we get up out of this bed and go to the living room and sit on the sofa and look out the picture window.
She has this way; this wonderful way of taking me out of the darkness of this disease.
So it's 7:00 am and I'm up with her. I've been up since 4:00 am. She woke me up, something is wrong. She's whining and clinging and breathing heavy and restless. Most likely it's a belly ache, I pray. But I will only be able to know for sure as the day goes on. But for sure, I'm not thinking about my shit, my nerve pain, my finances, or all the work that needs to be done in the next week before the tweet-up. At this moment, all I can only think about is being Sophie's Mommie.. BTW.. You can follow Sophie on Twitter Here...
|Me and Sophie in the Ocean in Turks and Caicos|