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Indian Health Service The Federal Health Program for American Indians and Alaska Natives

Phoenix Area

Danny Memories & Prayer

Prayer for Native Communities on World AIDS Day

Memories

There Is Good in Everything

contributed by “Danny” on December 1st, 1997 World AIDS Day

I remember a most important and controversial decision I wanted to make in my life in joining a Christian religious faith, Mormonism.

I of course wanted my family’s blessings and approached my mother and father about this decision to be baptized into the faith.

My mother was disappointed and apprehensive in giving me full acceptance in my decision due to negative stigma the church had imposed on them as nonmembers of the faith. She reluctantly advised me if that is what I wanted to do, then it is OK.

My father, too, was cautious in his words and like mom, not immediate in giving full acceptance of my decision.

I remember a most important phrase my father had advised me and I don’t think he remembers this either, but I have used that phrase religiously ever since then in all that I see, hear, and do. It was a guideline to help me make decisions, judgments, and most importantly, to make an attempt to understand a situation especially if I was inclined to judge or decide negatively.

I recall my father saying that there are many religions out there especially in the white man’s world and all religions, faith, etc., have something good to offer. He continued to advise, “It’s not good to look at, hold on to, or focus on one way of doing things. There are so many ways to see things. So many ways to pray. So many ways to interpret words and actions, and all of them good. Good for you but not the next person, good for the next person but not good for you.” I simply remember my daddy saying, “There is good in everything.”

So now we have a new disease amongst us, a disease we thought would never affect us, a disease we did not even know about till someone got sick with it and died. Many of them friends, brothers, sisters, fathers, mothers, and spouses or lifetime companions. I have seen a special on TV concerning a whole family of six wiped out. This is most tragic! I have lost a younger brother to this disease and I can’t imagine my pain and sorrow compounded six times!

So what “Good” can come out of all this sickness and dying? If I have been given this “death sentence” as some may see it as, what is the “Good” in all this?!

I can only speak for myself, soon after my brother’s diagnoses of being HIV positive and also being considered having full blown AIDS, I too learned after coming down with pneumonia that I am HIV positive.

After getting over the initial fright, anguish, and “what do we do now,” we realized there was much work to be done and much to learn and many decisions to make.

I learned of others in my position, found out what they were doing and how they were reacting to their HIV status. I found many with positive attitudes and of course there were those with negative attitudes. I of course chose to learn from those with positive attitudes.

I too have negative feelings and thoughts from time to time—we are entitled!

I have seen much breakthroughs in dealing with HIV not unlike those dealing with cancer or other terminal illnesses. There is a reawakening of mortality, of life and spirituality. A realization that life is so important and time is of the essence. A realization that it does not have to be an illness that takes a loved one away.

We have heard and will hear many stories of how families have rallied together in such a time of crisis, and grown closer together because someone in the family is HIV positive. Stories of how a family once distant is now inseparable. Stories of communities, support groups, organizations, and individuals becoming a part of your extended family as they come to your side to support and assist in many ways.

These are but a few of the “Good” in all this, what life deals us may not always be what we want. I believe that for every negative there is a positive, when we see a bad side of a person there is also a good side.

To see the good is not easy, that is the way it’s supposed to be, the negative part is given so that it can be experienced, otherwise we would not know the difference.

I will always remember “There is good in everything.” It makes life a little easier sometimes, and other times it makes life so wonderful to see all the great and wonderful things. This is good!

There Is Good in Everything, by “Danny” 11/19/97


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Prayer for Native Communities on World AIDS Day — December 1st, 1997

Father, we come to Thee with much graciousness for all that Thou hast given us in this world.

Father, we thank Thee for our earthly mothers and fathers, our brothers and sisters. And all those that we hold dearly in our hearts.

Father, we thank Thee for the beauty that surrounds us, for Mother Earth who daily gives us suckle, for Father Sky who embraces Mother Earth, giving us warmth and life. We thank Thee for touching our spirits with yours, awakening our desire to seek Thee in prayer, finding we are not alone.

Father, we come to Thee at this time to ask for comfort in knowing we are not alone in our affliction, for knowledge and understanding of the virus that is affecting us. Bless us each with our own individual knowledge of what is good for us as individuals. We ask Thee to direct those that can help us in our direction, and also help us find them. Help us to gain the courage to help others as we learn to help ourselves.

Father, most of all please help us grow closer to Thee in all that we do. We want to feel Thy warm embrace and know that it will be all right.

Father, again with much gratefulness in our hearts for Thy many blessings Thou has given us. We ask these things in the name of all things holy and in the name of our elder brother, Jesus Christ.

Amen. So be it.

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