Dear Mom and Dad,
As the holiday season approaches, I can't help but feel a certain amount of sadness. Once again, I will gather with my wife and son, in-laws, and friends, but you will not be there. Many of these people, in fact ALL of these people, are of no blood relation; yet I share stronger bonds with them than with you. Do you find that peculiar?
One year ago I sat in my kitchen with my head buried in clasped hands. Tears ran down my face. I felt nothing but despair. My wife felt lost and helpless; she hadn't the words or ability to comfort me. You didn't call and you refused to respond to my calls. You would not acknowledge your grandson because, as best as I can figure, he is "guilty by association."
You have allowed your religious dogma to rob you of a relationship with your offspring. THAT, is unnatural. The thing that is most telling is your choice to be absent from your 6 year old grandson's life, this is what I find most bothersome. You will miss watching him grow through childhood. You will miss his beautiful smile, his innocent laughter, his amusement at the simple things in life. You will not be there when he hits his first home run or loses his first bit of skin in a bicycle crash. You will never again experience the way it feels when he wraps his little arms around the neck of someone he cares about, and whispers, "I love you."
You have allowed your religious dogma to undermine what could have been the best years of your life. You have broken my heart. You have broke your grandsons's heart too. It's ME that has to answer him when he asks, "why doesn't grandma and grandpa call me or come see me anymore. I don't' think they love me." A confused 6 year old who doesn't understand why his grandparents acknowledge the rest of their grandchildren, but not him. You don't know how this rips my heart out of me. But make no mistake about it, I will survive, and so will he.
There will probably be days where I will shed tears. As much as I wish I could turn off the pain, I can't. I doubt I ever will. But it's better this year, and I suspect it will get better as the years go by, or at least I will become numb to the pain.
Know this, and know it well. I will not pretend to be something I'm not, I will not pretend to believe something I don't, I will not pretend for you, or anyone else, in order to make you feel more comfortable about believing a lie. It's just that simple.
So...with as much enthusiasm as I can muster, happy holidays...and fuck you.
Your ATHEIST son.
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