She fought it. He fought back. They worked to stay close anyway. There were years of long talks on the phone: sometimes awkward, sometimes just like before.
He went on a church mission. He went to college. She went on working, coordinating weddings.
Last fall, another blow: He was in love, getting married - in the Mormon temple - and she couldn't come.
It hurt them both, but the mother more deeply than the son.
She knew all of it, already. When her son told her he was converting, Cheri Richardson studied his church. She knew that temples are the Mormon religion's most sacred places and only Mormons who obey the church's teachings are allowed within.