Through The Eyes of Chad

My journey living with HIV, Addiction, Loss and Hope

It’s My Birthday


My story corp experience was a tough one for me. I talked a lot about my parents struggles and I have always been afraid to really share this publicly because I do not want anyone to think badly of my mom or dad. Or, be angry with me for talking about these things publicly. They both struggled through out their lives, but they did the best they could.They both loved me in the ways they could. They both would have given their lives to protect and help me. 

Over the past 9 months both of them have passed away and it really breaks my heart. My family has been the thing that has held me up when I couldn’t hold myself up. I surely wouldn’t be here without them and without the help of others, some complete strangers, who gave of themselves not because they wanted something in return, but because they just wanted to help. 

Today is my birthday and the only real gift I want is to talk to my mom and dad one more time. I know my mom knew how much I loved her, I was able to talk to her in the hospital before she passed. My dad and I were never able to have those conversations. I was stubborn and he didn’t have the tools to navigate it. I don’t regret things in life that have happened, opportunities missed, wreckage created. All things bring about teaching moments. 

But if my story can help anyone not go through what I have, then it is worth sharing this publicly. Tell the ones you love that you love them, even if the relationship is difficult. Find compassion for those who are struggling, especially the ones that are close to you. Remember, their journey is their own and you really have no idea what they are dealing with. Assume positive intent in all of your interactions and above all if the words that are going to come out of your mouth aren’t true, aren’t compassionate, aren’t useful, don’t say them. In the end, when you reflect on the way you treated someone good or bad, these things are what you will carry with you in your memories.

RIP Mom & Dad. You are forever in my heart. Thank you to both of you for loving me unconditionally, even when I made it hard. I haven’t always done, or said the right things, and sometimes I may have even been hurtful to you. I am sorry for those things. I continue to try to be a better, more understanding, caring, and compassionate person. 

Thank you Adrian Sky​ for encouraging me to share my story. You are a true inspiration!

For those who wish to hear the shortened version of my storycorp interview on WBEZ, check out the link below.