It has now been just over a week since Americans voted. Yesterday was Veterans Day. Voting is a way to express our views and is one of the many freedoms we have. Do not ever take for granted the right to vote. Our veterans defend our freedom and for that we are grateful.

From the moment I woke up on Election Day, I had several thoughts I wanted to share with my children. So I wrote a letter to my daughter and son-in-law, my son, and his fiancée, all of whom live in Atlanta and are registered voters. We don’t agree on our politics, but I am very proud of the fact that our family is very close and that we are able to have discussions about politics. When our family has those discussions, we listen to each other and we are kind. We do not scream and yell at each other.

It is my hope that you will appreciate the letter I sent my children last week. Here is the letter. It was very well received by my family. More about that later.

The letter

As you know, we do not all agree on our politics, and that is OK.

What we do agree on is that we have a phenomenal family and we all love each other very much. I am thankful that we are able to have discussions about things because there are some families where that is not the case, and probably on a large scale.

I never thought America would reach a time when our country would be so divided. The other day I happened to think that the current political climate — the level of divisiveness — is probably very like it was in 19th century America, when the War Between the States was bearing down on them. I truly hope there are not riots and civil unrest in the days to come.

Through the years, when Daddy was happily so involved in Boy Scouts, the primary thing he stressed with his scout troop was citizenship. He often talked about what it means to be a good citizen and how important that is. He stressed that in the classroom as well.

Daddy was right.

An integral part of being a good citizen is to get out and vote. Daddy always stressed that very same lesson of citizenship to Steve and me as well, ever since I can remember. I vote in all elections — local, state and federal. I am sure y’all voted and thank you for that.

I am very proud of each of you for the decisions you have made, and continue to make, about your life and how you are going to lead it. Please know how proud I am of y’all for thinking, having strong opinions, defending those opinions, and voting.

Paul, and Christy, you know I raised you to have an opinion, and to express it. I also raised you to listen to others, even people with whom you do not agree. That is called conversation and not enough people know how to do that these days.

No matter the outcome of this election, what steadfastly continues is how proud I am of each of you and how much I love you all!

Well received

My letter was very well received. Within minutes of receiving the letter, my son-in-law emailed me, “Thank you for putting your thoughts down and sending them to us. I thought your letter was very heartfelt, honest and open. On a different note, if any of you express an opinion that is even slightly different than mine, please assume that we are no longer on speaking terms. I’m kidding.”

See what I mean about my family? I thought that was delightful. My family keeps it light and fun.

My daughter subsequently emailed me, “Yes, thank you mom. I am super grateful that you are so willing to listen and are curious about my views when they differ from yours. That is no small thing to be grateful for.”

I was, as you may imagine, delighted with the response to my letter and I am exceedingly thankful to have such a wonderful family.

An up-side

My daughter is hopeful there is an up-side to the swirling political climate we are in these days. She is hoping this is an opportunity to appreciate the rights we have and the freedom we have to express our views. I completely agree and this is something my sweet family and I can discuss together.

Roman Pam Walker is a paralegal, a writer, an avid cyclist, history enthusiast, and an ardent reader of Southern fiction. She is the author of “People, Places, and Memories of Rome.” Readers may email her at pamterrellwalker@gmail.com.

Recommended for you