When I opened my very first bottle of Truvada, the first thing I noticed was a small cylinder container of silica beads (put there to keep the Truvada moisture free.)
I didn't know what to do with it, but I felt an urge to save it for some reason, so I decided to set it on the edge of a shelf in my hallway closet. I was certain I would get pregnant immediately, so I didn't think much more about those silica containers in my closet.
Of course, as the months wore on, and I opened more and more bottles of Truvada, I ended up with quite a collection of those little containers. When I ran out of room on the edge of that shelf, I put the little silica containers in a decorative box that was covered with shiny bronze fabric and metallic rivets.
I saved every single one of those silica containers from every single bottle of Truvada that I ever used. I realized I was saving them to show to my future child, a visual aid of sorts, for telling our little one the story of how badly we wanted them to come to us that we spent years and years chasing information, chasing options, chasing doctors...chasing our dream.
When I found out I was pregnant, the silica container from my last bottle of Truvada was already in that box, and I didn't give it another thought until just a few nights ago. I was with a group of people, talking about the book, Positively Negative and the memory of those containers came to mind. I looked for that box in my closet today. It took some digging around, but I found it. Here it is!
I opened it up to find 17 of those little silica bead containers. I took them out, counted each one. Studied each one as I slowly spun it with my fingers. Shook them next to my ear, listened to the tiny beads shake around in their cylinder cases. And suddenly, all kinds of memories flashed in my mind, like a slideshow...different scenes and different moments of the journey.
Funny thing is, there were other things inside that box. A scentless Lavender satchel envelope, an old pair of my husband's sunglasses, and 3 disposable cameras. Kind of ironic, that box is full of old, irrelevant, and expired items.
Are those little silica beads irrelevant now? In theory, yes. But they serve as proof of our journey, proof of what my mind remembers. Sometimes it feels like a story to me, not moments lived...just words that portray the sorrows, the longings, the unquenchable desires. The moments of promise...of grace...of elation, all sprinkled throughout the story. They are all that's left of the long journey. I'm so glad I saved them!
Here's my daughter playing with them. She loved to shake them, and listened to the sound close up to her ear. She doesn't know it yet, but those little containers contain the story of her.
This article previously appeared on Poppy’s own blog on HIV Negative Spouses here.