My Rose: An African American Mother's Story of AIDS
"From the time he was eighteen years old, my son sent me beautiful roses for every occasion. The rose, a symbol of love and commitment, seemed so appropriate from him, always a tender and thoughtful child. The other children would seek to find new and different trinkets for every event. But Jeff always sent me roses. I love roses for their fragile beauty, their strong sense of presence, and their lingering loveliness, even as they dry and fade. Roses have come to symbolize my son for me. Even on the day he died, roses were sent to me, on his instructions, by his best friend. I knew there was a significant story waiting to unfurl in the gift of these roses". -- from the Introduction
The subject of AIDS continues to be taboo in the African American community, especially when it is associated with homosexuality. "My Rose" is Geneva Bell's moving story of her gay son as he lived with and eventually died of AIDS. It is the story of a mother's shame and anger at God -- but also of her courage and her strong faith as she learned to understand and ultimately come to terms with this tragedy.
Taken mostly from Geneva's journals, this honest narrative tells of the close but sometimes strained relationship between mother and son -- and of the struggles they endured without the full support of their church. In Jeff's story, you will witness the painful discovery of a hard truth, and see a family and a community of faith transformed by God's love.
Study questions are provided at the end of each chapter for individual reflection and group discussion. A list of suggested resource books and organizations is also included.
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