A mom wrote to me: My dad just passed, and my mother was having some dear neighborhood friends at her home after the service. I almost avoided the gathering because I didn’t want to be asked how my sons were doing and have to pretend all was well. I went and, while I was there, one of his dearest friends asked me how I was doing with my boys. I answered honestly, “Not the best.” He replied with kindness, “I’m sorry. I see you are struggling.” He understood and didn’t judge me. I was blessed to have shared a few minutes with him.
My personal reaction: There were many times I lied about my son’s struggles and our family problems by responding, “We’re fine. Our family is in good shape.” After many years of embarrassment and shame, I finally decided to respond honestly.
Today’s Promise to consider: It’s such a relief when we feel safe enough to share our feelings without fear of retribution or judgment. This is one of the reasons I find Al-Anon meetings sacred because people understand my heartache. Today, I will reciprocate that respect by listening to others with my total presence. We each have the right to respond to questions with our truths, and I will be there for them, just as others were there for me.4787