You're My Dearest Friend, But I Have To Walk Away Until You Get Vaccinated

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sad woman in mask
Contributor

Dear Conservative Christian friend,

I’m so sad to lose you. As I told you when you hugged me goodbye, "I love you so much, and I don’t want you to die."

You stepped up when my son started as a freshman playing college basketball on the team with your son.

I’m a single mom and didn’t know anybody. You and your husband took me into your family, and into the group of other parents of team members, making both me and my son feel welcome.

I sat with you during the boys’ games for three years. We cheered, we cried, we yelled together. We bolstered each other and our boys if the game didn’t go well. We celebrated with each other and with them when it did.

You hosted a party at your house when your son graduated. All the players and their two-parent families came, and you still made me, the single mom, feel at home.

You were one of only two friends I had when I moved here eight years ago.

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You’ve been there for me and I’ve been there for you during deaths, births, wedding and anniversary celebrations, joy and sorrow. We’ve stayed overnight in each other’s homes. I love your grown children.

I looked forward to meeting the newest member of your family, a precious new baby girl. Now that won’t happen.

I hope the only reason I don’t get to meet her is that you are no longer speaking to me. There are worse reasons.

I thought since she was born you and your husband had gotten vaccinated. I knew you were struggling with the decision. However, when you told me you quarantined for sixteen days before going to see your granddaughter the first time, I would swear you also told me you were getting vaccinated.

Since then, you’ve seen the baby many times. You came to visit me in the hospital when I broke both ankles. You brought dinner one evening when I came home, and you, your daughter and my niece ate around my dining room table. All without a mask.

All of us vaccinated but you, and you didn’t tell me then.

When you brought dinner again while I’m still recovering, I listened to your deep anguish about having to see the preschoolers in the class you teach with half their little faces covered by masks. You love your “babies” and want them to be free and happy.

Somehow, during this, it finally dawned on me. “Aren’t you vaccinated?” I asked you.

You answered, “No, I’m not vaccinated and I don’t want to talk about it. You say women should have autonomy over their bodies with abortion. Well, I have the right to make decisions about mine.”

I told you I wouldn’t go there with you. What I wanted to talk about was your health, your life. You continued to refuse and said you get up and leave when your children “start in on you” to get vaccinated. You said it’s between you and God.

Is it just between you and God, though?

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The thoughts that came up for me when you said that are: How can you not be vaccinated and teach preschool? Isn’t that between you, those children, their parents, and God?

I understand you aren’t afraid to die because of your belief in God, but what about your students and your granddaughter? Are they ready to die if you pass the virus to them?

What if your granddaughter dies because you give it to her and you don’t die?

It was when I asked you what would happen if you gave it to your granddaughter that you left.

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You hugged me goodbye but said you wouldn’t stay and listen to me anymore when you’d already told me you didn’t want to talk about it.

For all that we’ve shared, everything we’ve been through together, this I will never understand. The Father/Mother God I know doesn’t want us doing things to hurt children, or not doing things to keep them safe if we have the power to do so.

Do we have different Gods? Or just different earthly preachers, influenced by politicians who somehow think they’ll gain or keep power by convincing people not to take care of their health by getting vaccinated in a worldwide pandemic.

It’s not too late. Please reconsider.

Ask some other ministers, other than the one at your megachurch. Talk with ones from actual denominations with degrees from actual seminaries.

I grieve the loss of your friendship. I deeply hope I won’t have to grieve the loss of your life. Or that of any of the children to whom you mean so much and who count on you to keep them safe.

Loving you from afar in spite of your chosen heretic path,

Carol

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Carol Lennox is a psychotherapist and hypnotherapist. She specializes in writing humor, injustice, health, and sexuality.

This article was originally published at Medium. Reprinted with permission from the author.