Season's of Grief and Grace a Sister's Story of AIDS

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9780826512611: Season's of Grief and Grace a Sister's Story of AIDS
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Susan Ford Wiltshire and John Ford grew up in the Texas Panhandle, "taking the long view of things, where there was lots to think about because there was nothing to see except the horizon twenty-five miles away." The four Ford children were taught the value of learning and hard work by their father, a cowboy with a serious love of poetry, and their mother, a Texas woman whose rural roots did not prevent her from mastering Latin or reading all of Shakespeare. Susan became a noted classics scholar, while John's work in Republican politics led to his appointment as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Agriculture in the Reagan Administration, from which he resigned in frustration to become active in the American Farm Movement. Just two weeks before his death, he was given the Heroes of American Agriculture Award. When disaster struck and John was diagnosed with AIDS, Susan began writing a work reminiscent of May Sarton's journals, Madeleine L'Engle's Two-Part Invention, and Jessamyn West's The Woman Said Yes. Drawing on the force of family bonds and her humanistic training in classical studies for comfort and guidance, she shows us two siblings sharing an agonizing but special journey, finding opportunities rather than resignation, commitment rather than withdrawal, and strength instead of defeat. This is, in short, a good and inspiring story - one that will help point the way for the millions of others - those who are HIV positive as well as their friends and families - who bear the emotional wounds this disease is inflicting on ever-increasing numbers of us.

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About the Author:

Susan Ford Wiltshire is chair of the Department of Classical Studies at Vanderbilt University.

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Seasons of Grief and Grace: A Sister's Story of AIDS is an unforgettable tale of the capacity of sibling love, unfolding and growing through the course of a fatal illness, an illness clouded by ignorance and fear. When disaster struck and Susan Wiltshire's brother John (who's work in the Republican party led to his appointment as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Agriculture in the Reagan Administration) was diagnosed with AIDS, she began writing this story. She shows us two siblings sharing an agonizing but special journey, finding possibilities rather than resignation, sharing rather than silence, and strength instead of defeat. This is, in short, a good and inspiring story, one that will help point the way for others. More than one and a half million Americans are now infected with HIV. If we count all the siblings, parents, grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and friends of HIV-positive Americans, the number of people affected by this epidemic grows astronomically. By telling her own poignant and informative story of her successful brother John, their childhood and family experiences, and their evolving love for one another, culminating in his experience with AIDS, Susan Wiltshire gives a voice to all those not physically affected by this scourge who nevertheless bear the emotional wounds the disease is inflicting on ever increasing numbers of us. -- Midwest Book Review

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