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Letting Fences Fall

I voted one way. He voted another. It skewed our relationship. I did not see his anger coming. When it’s a son, a mother can go blind, deaf, and dumb. I did not pick up the clues or see the bread crumbs.

I believe behavior. My behavior said he has the right to vote however he wishes. My behavior also said our relationship was far more important to me than any election.

Elections come and go. Family members are here to stay. My family. I love my family, but I try to give everyone in the family space to think for themselves, to be themselves. I am not a smothery, hovering mother, nor have I ever been accused of being that.

My children are adults with big responsibilities and families of their own. I respect what they are about. I love each of them. We have had big fun together and great respect for one another. Normally, we talk through issues and confront what we do not understand. Not this time. My fault, his fault.

So this election-thing threw me when my son said he couldn’t deal with how I voted and needed space. What’s a mother to do? First, I cried, then I voiced my feelings to my husband, but I let my son have space. I stayed connected with his little girl, but I let him have space. I went on loving him, but I let him have space. I prayed for him and me, but I gave him space.

It was hard to always be on guard, to always be in my head when information had to be exchanged. It was hard to constantly watch my words, but I wanted the relationship, so I stayed the course, talking from my head, not my heart. He surely knew a fence was between us. I could not step over or tunnel my way under the fence like a mole. I could only respect the fence and let it be where it was, praying that God would provide a way under or over it.

I missed his stream of laughter, his sharing of thoughts and feelings. A great loss.

I asked God to help me trust what I could not see. Little by little, my son began responding more like his old self and initiated calls, giving reassurances that he was okay, that he loved me, loved the family. I didn’t know whether to trust it or not. Trust is everything. Trust had made my life so wide. Believe me, I was not grateful enough for trust until I lost it. Well, fear made it small. How I hated that.

I asked God to grow my trust. My love never diminished. My trust did. God is definitely growing my trust, even larger than it was before. I am grateful.

God is for families and relationships. He is relationship. I thank God for this conflict with my son. Yes, I thank Him. How else would I know the greatness of God? How else would I know He can show us how to let fences fall? Even where there exists the perception of great value differences, God is greater.

Tonight, I smell the last daffodil, heavy with the scent of God.


Pat Durmon

P.S. If you wish to comment, there is a section below for that. All comments appreciated.

Photo by Pat Durmon of fence at Wolf House, oldest log structure in the state, in Norfork, Arkansas. March 25, 2017.

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