My cross was mailed to me as a gift, after sharing with a lifelong friend the news I had received via email from my oldest son, (the day after)that he had eloped in his first year of college, at age 18. My anger and sadness that he had not only cut his parents and siblings out of being able to attend his “follow-up” ceremony for friends and family, as it will take place November 25th and we are overseas, but also that he didn’t respect or love us enough to care how we felt or want us to be with him for his wedding. I felt that he and I had been very close while he was growing up, so this extreme cutting of the ties with us was a very harsh experience. I haven’t even been able to speak or email him since his announcement, although his dad has sent him emails. We had been planning to bring he and his girlfrined to Italy for the summer and expected them to become engaged while spending the summer traveling in Europe with us. I hoped they would have a long engagement so they would not get married until they were through with college. Now, how each member of the family will go forward from here and have some kind of mutual relationship with he and his new wife, is the difficult question. As a mother I feel a similar grief to if I had lost someone because I am so hurt by his not respecting or caring about us after all the years of love and care we provided him, and the relationship I felt we had where we actually enjoyed each other’s company.