Magazine, website & books written by teens since 1989

A Most Moving Moment This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

By
   A Most Moving Moment

by Sarah L., W. Chazy, NY The spring air was crisp and fresh as I crossed the parking lot. Once inside, my feet were strangely drawn to the cold steps. I seemed to fly up them like a kite on a windy day. I passed the wonderful volunteers, drenched in sunlight from the huge windows.

I stepped inside and saw the many serious, emotional faces. A steady hum of voices greeted my ears. Then, my eyes spotted the first panel. I was immediately drawn in.

Having taken a stand against AIDS discrimination, I finally had the opportunity to glance at the sacred panels that are a glimmer of the remarkable people who have battled this disease.

I moved around the room in a welcomed silence. It seemed impossible to comprehend the quilt. The small section displayed in this room represented just a portion of the AIDS victims lucky enough to leave family and friends behind who had accepted their disease. I knew that each panel represented the life of a person who had not only battled AIDS, but had also fought against prejudice. Here were three-year-olds who had not even understood what it meant to live. Here were teens who had fallen short of their dreams of parenting, working and loving. There were also middle-aged people who would never hold their grandchildren. Each person had a different story, yet they had all suffered the same horrid fate.

Tears overwhelmed my eyes; I could no longer hold them back. As I knelt beside the intricate panel of a two-year-old girl, my tears began to fall to the floor. My heart ached at the thought of her mother holding her arms in an empty, loving embrace. How barren her heart must feel every time she visualizes her daughter's beautiful smile.

An invisible force seemed to help me to my feet. Suddenly, each panel took on an eerie, almost spiritual form. I found myself creating a story - a life for each name. There were men, women and children of every race, religion and sexuality. Most had not known of the invisible killer that had stalked them. For others, it had been a date gone wrong - just one mistake. Still others had been born with AIDS; their pure innocence leaving them ignorant that they would die so soon. Each individual had a purpose, a reason for existing. So many people had loved and cared for them that AIDS seemed a strange nemesis for their smiling faces.

A sudden nudge brought me out of my cloudy daze. I wiped my tear- stained face, and the monologue of names once again filled my ears. The room was crowded with the love and spirit of each person I had "met" while in my daze. We had a new understanding of each other. As I knelt and placed my hand on the quilt, a sense of peace washed over me. The panels became more sacred than ever. The incredible strength of the victims filled me. I would never be the same again. Never again would I tolerate AIDS discrimination. I must work to stop it. I must fight not only for the people already on the quilt, but also for the thousands who would be added. AIDS is a big battle to fight, but the war can never be won until its victims are freed from the ignorance of others.


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






Post a Comment

Be the first to comment on this article!

bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback