Through The Eyes of Chad

My journey living with HIV, Addiction, Loss and Hope

You Are Never Prepared


January 19, 2018

The last words I heard from my mother were “Come back home”. Those are the words seared into my mind. All my mom wanted was for me to come back to Salt Lake to be with her. I had only left two days before. Little did I know that my mom would pass away a little more than 24 hours later. That’s not true, I think I did know. That is the real reason I chose to leave on Thursday the 28th vs staying through the weekend. My mom passed away at around 3:15am on New year’s eve of 2017. 

I feel like a coward, but I couldn’t handle seeing my mom die. I spent a week with her in the ICU. I think I spent more quality time in that week before she passed, than I had really spent in the last 20 years with her. I never thought I would be combing my mom’s hair, or putting lotion on her arms and legs, or playing music for her while she sat in a hospital room. I never thought I would sit there on Christmas day and watch movies and laugh with her. Up until this point in my life I do not remember a time when I told her how much I really loved her. I never dreamt that I would tell her that no matter what happened I would always love her. When the time came 

It’s somewhat ironic that my mom died around this time of year. Eight years earlier I was fighting for my life and the person that saved me was my mom. On December 30th, 2009 I diagnosed with HIV. I was in the depths of crystal meth addiction, and I really didn’t want to live. I was practically homeless. I was alone. I destroyed all the relationships and friendships I had built over the previous 10 years. I had nothing left. My tank was empty. My heart was destroyed. My will was broken. I was a shell of a person. I never understood how my mother knew that I was so close to the darkness, but she knew. She was more than a 1,000 miles away and she knew. 

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