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HIV/AIDS Blog Central

My Fabulous Disease

What It Feels Like for a Mom

A Video Blog

By Mark S. King

April 28, 2010

This Mother's Day, my mother Anne King, 83, will be in Michigan spending the holiday with her own mother, who is turning 104 years old. My grandmother still lives alone, cooks her own meals and will give you an earful if you have the time. Please God, bless me with one tiny scrap of the health genes you have granted these amazing women.

The healing balm of a caring mother is a precious resource, and I'm lucky that neither being gay nor having HIV has deterred Mom from loving and encouraging me. In the 1980's especially, when AIDS was more mysterious and feared, several friends of mine lost their family when they gained a virus. Although I've lived far from home since graduating high school, Mom's voice on the phone transports me right back to her. She knows just when the motherly purr of "there, there ..." is required.

In this video episode, I sat Mom down to find out things I've never asked before. What did she really feel when she found out I was positive, back in 1986? Did she believe I would die? Do mothers have a right to know? What advice would she offer other families? We also talk about the actual loss of an immediate family member to AIDS and the repercussions from it we still feel today.

Episode 17: What It Feels Like for a Mom

Motherly love comes in all shapes and forms, so if your mother is gone or isn't understanding, I hope you find familial intimacy somewhere. We all know how important feelings of love and belonging are to our health and well being.

If there isn't a Mother figure in your life that understands HIV, feel free to borrow mine for the holidays. Just e-mail me Mother's Day greetings for Anne King and I'll be sure my Mom receives your message!

In the meantime, my friends, please be well.


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See Also
Personal Stories: Mothers


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My Fabulous Disease

Mark S. King has been an active AIDS activist, writer and community organization leader since the early 1980s in Los Angeles. He has been an outspoken advocate for prevention education and for issues important to those living with HIV.

Diagnosed in 1985, Mark has held positions with the Los Angeles Shanti Foundation, AID Atlanta and AIDS Survival Project, and is an award-winning writer. He continues his volunteer work as an AIDS educator and speaker for conferences and events.

Speaking engagements: Mark King is available to speak to groups. Contact Mark about speaking at your organization or event!

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A Place Like This by Mark King

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Interviews With Mark:

Mark King Looks Back at the AIDS Epidemic's Darkest Hour in the U.S. (May 14, 2008)

This Month in HIV: Crystal Methamphetamine and HIV (August 2007)

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