Thursday, December 30, 2010
A few years ago I read this Dear Abby (see below)....It has come to my mind many times.
Almost 4 years ago Zack came and told us he's gay. We had him go to counseling, we had him talk to the Bishop, we asked him to try not to be. We had him read articles in the Ensign (Church magazine). We've made him go to church and go to Seminary. I got much advice from family and friends. What it all comes down to is this....He's our son....we love him. He did not die, he is not sick. Although it is not what I would of chose for him it's his choice. Early on a dear friend (who has so much life experience) pointed out to me that I could tie Zack in a chair and keep him away from all of his friends but the one thing I could NEVER do is change the way he feels....that is not my right. So this is what I choose....I choose to be a BIG part of my son's life. I choose to enjoy in his triumphs and be there with him through his trials and sorrows. So, if others choose to judge me or Zack...I have to say...I don't care. I want to be a part of my son's life, I want him to come to me and tell me things that are going on with him. I want him to share his thoughts and feelings with me. I may not always agree with his beliefs or always understand them but I'm okay with that....He's my Zack...I love him.
My husband and I raised our two sons and two daughters. One son and both daughters married well. Our other son, “Neil,” is gay. He and his partner, “Ron,” have been together 15 years, but Neil’s father and I never wanted to know Ron because we disapproved of their lifestyle.
When I was 74, my husband died, leaving me in ill health and nearly penniless. No longer able to live alone, I asked my married son and two daughters if I could “visit” each of them for four months a year. (I thought living out of a suitcase would be best for everyone.) All three turned me down.
When Neil and Ron heard what had happened, they invited me to live with them. They welcomed me into their home, and removed a wall between two rooms so I’d have a bedroom with a private bath and sitting room. They also include me in many of their plans. Since I moved in with them, I have traveled more than I have my whole life. They never mention that they are supporting me, or that I ignored them.
When old friends ask how it feels living with my gay son, I tell them I hope they’re lucky enough to have one who will take them in one day. Please continue urging your readers to accept their children as they are. My only regret is that I wasted 15 years. –Grateful Mom
Dear Grateful Mom:
You are fortunate to have such a loving, generous and forgiving son. Sexual orientation is not a measure of anyone’s humanity or worth. Thank you for pointing out how important it is that people respect each other for who they are, not what we would like them to be.You could have learned that lesson long ago, had you and your husband contacted Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) when you first learned that Neil was gay. Among other things, the organization offers support groups and education for parents who need to learn more about gender issues. The address is 1726 M St. N.W., Suite 400, Washington, D.C. 20036.