To Richie's mom,
I was a loyal JW for 30 years and during that time, my firstborn son was DFed. When the 1981 WT article came out and we were counseled against association with non-household DFed JW family, I followed the WTS advice. I did as the WTS said, and I shunned him until he "would become ashamed and repented of his ways"....which never happened.
He got a great job, married, had a lovely home built on five acres of land, and became a father to three children now 23, 19 and 13. Sadly, I missed all of their births, their first steps, their accomplishments in dance, band, track, basketball, scouts, as well as all the charitable works they still are involved in today within this community. They are well-adjusted and ***pretty much polite and caring individuals.
The first time I set eyes on them (other than seeing items in our smalltown newspaper) was last November for one afternoon. The oldest, my grandson, *** (explanation for "polite") turned around and left the room when I walked in....the younger ones, the girls, were polite and accomodating enough to put me at ease. I was glad to be there...but it was apparent that I was not "Gramma Annie", but a stranger who had just dropped by. It isn't their fault.
How much devastation and gut-wrenching heartbreak could have all been avoided had I not "listened" to the ever-changing dictates and counsel of the "spiritual leaders" of this religion. Twenty-five wasted years of not being in my son's LIFE, because of a shunning policy that can change by the next WT magazine's "new light". Twenty-five wasted years that we could have been a real family.
It stil pains me deeply that it was "my choice" that this came about....my choice to throw away what had once been a close-knit family....into a disaster. I have been told point blank that things will never EVER be able to be restored, and I will just have to be content with what very little I can scrape together NOW, as far as "being close" ever again. I have cause that much pain to my son, and his wife and children have definetely "picked up" on all this.....the "missing Gramma that they never saw". I live less than five mies away from them.
Richie is all of what has been said about him by the posters on this forum .....and MORE. How much we worried about drug involvement, making good grades, getting "in with" the wrong girl or undesirable friends.....and yet you have none of these concerns with this wonderful young man you have raised.
You now know only a bit about how much I have hurt MY son....and have seen the total wreckage and unnecessary pain we can make on our children's lives....by CHOOSING to disown them, not have meaningful association with them, and generally pretending they don't exist and are "dead" to us, due to our anger and disappointment that they didn't "go with the WTS program".
I am begging you to reconsider any harsh moves that I KNOW you will regret for the rest of your life.