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richard r blake
Age: Over 65
4 Stars Out Of 5
A Heart Wrenching Story of a Mother's Love
June 6, 2011
richard r blake
Age: Over 65
Although only a few readers will have experienced the ongoing traumatic trials experienced by Brenda Rhodes in her story: "Someone's Son: A Mother's Fight for Her Gay, Drug Addicted Son" most of us will be able to identify with Brenda's helplessness, uncertainty, and the need to turn to God for strength, comfort and leading in face of our individual testing.
Brenda's childhood was a roller coaster of ups and downs as her parents tried to work out her mother's deep emotional problems and her father's attraction to other women, Brenda became angry with God when her father died of a brain tumor at 59 years old. She lived in a state of rebellion against God for the next 23 years.
Three broken marriages later, Brenda continued to work at creating a healthy home environment by doubling her efforts to fill the role of dual parenting in her single parent status.
Even with all of the difficulties during these early years Brenda was unprepared for the unexpected announcement her 26 year old son Ronal Paul made when he revealed that he was gay. Later he became addicted to drugs, and was infected with AIDS.
Rhodes writes of her personal suffering as she fights to maintain a relationship with her family and son as he becomes more demanding, self centered, and belligerent as a result of the drug abuse.
Her story will touch your heart, inspire your faith, and introduce a new awareness of the struggle and serious issues involved when sexual abuse robs a child of their innocence. Ronal Paul carried the burden of his abuse under threat from the predator and as an adult became addicted to sex and drugs in an effort to fill the void left through the absence of a father in the home.
Although I sometimes found it difficult to follow the timeline of the story because of fragments, back stories and incidents introduced out of sequence, I found I was entranced with Brenda's account, felt an empathy, cried with her at times, felt anger and confusion with her at other times, and was deeply moved as she related her experience of retuning to the Lord at the lowest point in her life of overwhelming crisis.
"Someone's Son: A Mother's Fight for Her Gay, Drug Addicted Son" is a timely and important story. Heartwarming, inspirational, and informative.
I received a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes with no obligation to post a positive review.
Sometimes life is very hard, filled with endless challenges and heart-break. In the midst of such personal circumstances, it's difficult to see God, to believe that He really cares for you and about the mess that is happening in your life; in the midst of crisis, the words of the Bible might seem like the words of an ancient text, hardly applicable to modern life. Yet there are books such as Someone's Son by first-time author, Brenda Rhodes, that speak so clearly about God's love for us and involvement in every aspect of our lives.
In this true story, she recounts her son's journey through molestation, addiction, homosexuality, HIV/AIDS and finally death. As she journeys with her son, Ronal Paul, her own faith is impacted. She comes to the end of her rope and finally allows God to be God in her and her son's life. As she watches God's plan unfold, she is able to find peace in the circumstances of their lives and is ultimately able to rejoice in what God has done.
The reader is left with a challenge: to view someone like Ronal Paul as someone's daughter or son, not just a person who has made a mess of their life. Christ came to redeem them, just like He came to redeem the rest of us.
A review copy was provided free of charge in exchange for my honest review.
Brenda Rhodes just wanted to have a loving husband and raise successful children. Her choices put her in a position that changed her life's course. She had her two children, but her marriages failed for one reason or another.
From her first marriage she had her daughter, Wendi, and her son, Ronal Paul. Wendi had a lot of wit and wisdom. Ronal Paul was the tenderhearted outcast, everywhere, except for his mother, sister and Brenda's brother, to a point.
Someone's Son is the heart-wrenching story of a wayward son and his mother's unquenchable, unending love for him. His lifestyle brought out the worst in him through his behaviors and attitudes. She fought for him with a tenacity that never seemed to end.
The heartbreak of watching a son self-destruct right before your eyes is not a pretty sight. Brenda held nothing back. Her emotions and despair sit clearly on the pages. She describes the good and the ugly about her son. My heart was breaking just reading about her endless, futile efforts to bring Ronal Paul back, despite all her good intentions. She definitely brought out the mothering side of me. This is a very touching, moving story.
Brenda wrote this book as a memoir of her son and to reach out to others suffering with family members who have addictions and other maladies. She doesn't want us to dwell on the ugly side of Ronal Paul's life. She came to realize that nothing she did in her own efforts brought Ronal Paul back to the young caring man she once remembered until she turned her own life over to the Lord and surrendered to His will. This is what she wants the world to know- that lives can change with God in control. Her book is a book of hope and restoration, just maybe not the way she envisioned it. This is usually true for most of us.
I would recommend this book for those who do and those who don't have these issues in their lives. It is helpful in learning how to empathize and bear one another's burdens, pray, and be there for each other, especially family. It shows the undying love of a mother for her son and the undying love of God for His children. She is the first to acknowledge that her book is not a Ã¢â¬Ëhow-to,' but rather more a Ã¢â¬Ëhot-not-to.' I don't totally agree with her assessment.
This is also a book about choicesÃ¢â¬âhow those choices affect us and those around us. We do reap what we sow, but we also have a merciful God who can redeem our poor choices.
This book was provided by Tina from The Blog Tour Spot in exchange for my honest review.