The speakers were on time (for the most part), fascinating and relevant. I learned so much, and even though I nearly fell asleep after lunch (I brought my own sandwich – no kosher fare!), I still managed to keep up.
To end the conference, the organizers presented a panel of people we could question. Who were they? Longtime victims of HIV. I was floored. Before the two presenters could tell their story, a letter written by a third was read to us, stating how she would love to join us but couldn’t live with the stigma. The majority of people in her life did not know she was HIV positive and she couldn’t bear to be rejected again – she had already been rejected by her family. When we heard the other two stories, I can safely say there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. I know I was crying, both because of their pain and the injustice of it all.
We like to tell ourselves that G-d has a plan and it will all make sense eventually. Then you stop and think about all the pain and suffering people go through and have to ask – “is it possible to make sense of this?”
To all the people in the world who suffer alone, through no fault of their own, know that my heart breaks for you. I dedicate my future to making your life, nutritionally, better. In terms of me, that just might be G-d’s plan after all.