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.
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.
Visit Mark's live blog at www.MyFabulousDisease.com.