A small group of mothers in the community began “Mom's Group” in July 1995 for the purpose of addressing the unique experiences and needs of mothers involved with caregiving or who have lost children to the AIDS epidemic. Mom's Group was originally formed by Jeannie Gillian, Ph.D. in HIV, who also lost a son to AIDS.
The volunteer mothers continue to be a constant source of support for each other and for families who are learning about HIV and how to care for their loved ones. They communicate with each other on an “as-needed-basis” through social gatherings, telephone calls, or written correspondence.
For more information:
If you are interested in support activities, need more information or would like to be on the mailing list,
please call 865-541-3767, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org,
or write: Hope Center, 1901 W. Clinch Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37916.
I know you.
I have known you from the beginning.
I knew you long before the world
smiled on your face,
before gloved hands
lifted you, raised you by your ankles
and encouraged life.
Before the stark bright lights
in your new sterile environment
caused your face to wrinkle,
your mouth to pucker,
your eyes to squint and cry.
I have known you from the beginning
when you were cradled
in a warm liquid-filled cocoon
inside my body,
before your hands and feet
had fingers and toes,
before your face developed its ears and nose.
Before you were male or female
I knew you.
I knew you when your small muscles
first started to contract,
when you first kicked and turned
and thrashed about.
As a melon grows
at the end of a vine,
the umbilicus tethered you to me
and provided you nourishment
I knew then you would grow
and become as large as myself.
And I also knew
that if for some reason
I would not be able to keep you,
to hold you and watch you grow,
I would always love you.
You came to this world through me
and live as a part of me--
I am called Mother.
Vernon Lee Gillian
©1995 (used with permission)