Honor Thy Mother: The Confrontation
Honor Thy Mother: The Confrontation
I see that I had several messages on my phone. Everyone had been calling me about something or other, but I had no desire to talk to anyone right now. I will call Briah, Jazz, and Taina back, but it would have to wait. Daddy called up Kennedey and I to say he needed to talk to us about an important matter.
My stress levels were through the roof; I could almost feel my blood pressure going up over the last few days. I’m not sleeping, barely eating; I’m a hot mess right now. Jay’s been such a tremendous help; he’s really stepped up with the baby and taking care of me. Right now my daughter and husband were the only real source of comfort I had in the house. I know Jaylen has tried to treat the situation as delicately as possible. He’s waiting on me to talk to him, but it’s so hard for me. I will open up to him, but it has to be at the right time.
Kennedey and I were anxious of what Daddy had to say. He sounded pretty serious over the phone when he called. Every instinct told me this was about Mom; what else could it be? “So, I called y’all because I needed to talk to you about something,” began Dad. Kennedey and I glanced at each other. “Your mother called me up yesterday, asking me to meet her at her hotel, and I did.”
“You went to see Mom?” I asked, shocked. Daddy nodded. “Yes. After you girls told me what happened on Sunday, I figured I would hear from your mother pretty soon. I didn’t want to say anything to you at first because I didn’t want you to worry,” he replied.
“What did she want? What did she say?” asked Kennedey, stunned. “Well, first, I knew Apollonia would reach out to me because she wants to connect with you. She knows how close we are. I didn’t know if I was going to go at first, but after some thinking, I thought it would be the right thing to do. Let me say, Reagan and Kennedey, you are my top priority. As a father, I needed to know what your mother’s intentions were; why she came back. We had a long discussion; at times we argued…” said Daddy, before I cut him off. “Why would you go and see her without discussing it with us first?” I asked. “Look, Reagan, I did what I thought was best. Like I said, I wanted to know of her true intentions,” answered Daddy.
“And you believed whatever she had to say?” I said, bitterly. Daddy shook his head. “Reagan, let me finish. Regardless of what your mother said, I would know the truth just by looking at her. We talked about our marriage and we talked about you. It wasn’t an easy conversation to have. She knows she has put all of us through hell, especially you girls. Your mom told me a lot of things about herself I was never aware of. She went through an awful experience, we all have. I’ve told you before, I don’t think your mom is a bad person inside. I truly believe she got out there and saw her life wasn’t much without her family. She tried running away from her responsibilities and toward her dreams, but she went about it all wrong. I can tell you this much, you two were never the cause of your mother’s unhappiness,” said Daddy.
“Do you think Mom loves us? Did she say that?” asked Kennedey, her eyes hopeful. “Yes, I do. And yes, she told me she loved you,” replied Daddy. We were silent, letting Daddy’s words sink in. Mom told him she loved us? That seemed so weird and foreign to me, but I don’t know if I can really believe it and I wasn’t ready to let her off the hook. “So what exactly is going on here, Daddy? You’re playing cheerleader for Mom now? The same woman that left you?” I said. “I’m not playing a cheerleader. I’m simply stating what I feel in my heart,” he answered. My father told us some of the things Mom said about her life with us in Miami and some of the things that happened when she ran away to New York. I was shocked to think that on numerous occasions my mother and I were in the same city.
Neither Kennedey or myself expected to hear that Mom suffered from depression. I admit, I’m a bit skeptical at this point. Mom wasn’t exactly what I considered most “depressed” people act like. Sure, she was in a bad mood a lot, but she was too damn turned up to be so-called “depressed”. I’m still not convinced she didn’t some angle.
“Does she want us to feel bad for her or something? Oh, poor little Apollonia had “depression” and that’s why she sucked as a mother and wife, boo-hoo. Now she wants to be in our lives and we’re expected to bow down and accept her with open arms? I really hope you’re not falling for that island magic she put on you years ago Daddy. I’ve heard about those ruthless stories about Mom back in the day, but you seemed so blind to it all. Now you’re acting that way again,” I accused my father. “Reagan, stop attacking Daddy. You’re not making anything easier right now,” argued Kennedey.
“Reagan, you may have heard things about her mother before you were alive, but you have no clue how things were really like back then. Your mother isn’t pulling the wool over my eyes. I don’t even think she’s trying to. She knows she screwed up and she’ll have to jump over mountains to repair the damage that she caused. Apollonia is not a very happy person and she’s unhappy with herself. That’s not an excuse for what she did. I can’t give you all the answers right now. All we can do is take things one day at a time,” said Daddy.
I really hoped in all honesty that my father isn’t falling for my mother’s old tricks again. I can’t believe her; I don’t trust what she said to Daddy. Everything she said about our childhood and why she acted the way she did seemed so far-fetched to me. Why didn’t she ever try counseling or get help? If she was truly depressed about her life, why continue to be that way? So she was mad because she couldn’t dance. She didn’t know how to communicate with us or show us love. Who’s responsible, Mom? Certainly not me or Kennedey. Mom is the one who chose to lay down with my father. She chose to have us and that made her mad that she ended up like that? The only person she can blame is herself.
“Does Mom want our forgiveness, Daddy?” asked Kennedey. Daddy slowly nodded his head. “I believe so. She didn’t ask me to talk to you girls. I can’t tell you how to feel, especially when I’m unsure how I feel. Its one thing at a time. If either one of you want to see your mother, you have that right; she’s not going anywhere,” he answered. “That’s what’s scares me, Daddy. I’m afraid if I see her and talk to her, I’m getting my hopes up. I don’t want to stay mad forever, but what if she does the same thing again? I don’t think I can take my heart breaking all over again,” confessed Kennedey.
I’m not even remotely ready to see or talk to Mom again. I knew Kennedey would soften eventually. She prayed for Mom to come back for years. A part of her wants to forget everything that’s happened and have the perfect cookie cutter mom she’s always wanted. Well, it isn’t as easy as that for me. I can’t just turn it off and allow her back in. I’m still not over the shock of her returning. I love her, I won’t deny that, but I’m afraid. Now that I’m a mother, I can’t imagine not being in my child’s life. In a way it makes what Mom did even more appalling. How does one get over that? I didn’t know the answer and I’m not going to move until I can figure out what I need to do next.
Two days after our conversation with Daddy, I hadn’t made a decision about seeing my mother. I didn’t know what to do. It occurred to me that Nani and Nana had no idea their oldest daughter had reappeared after ten years. No one in the family knows that Mom is here. I’d seen missing calls and text messages from Briah, asking why I haven’t answered my phone. She’s currently in Miami with Apollo. To be truthful, I’m thankful I didn’t have to deal with her or anyone else right now. Bri is my best friend and I’ve confided in her about my mother on different occasions over the years. I decided I’d tell Briah what’s going on, but I needed to talk to my grandparents first. They had a right to know Mom came back.
I dialed up Nani Manique in Trinidad and asked her to put me on speaker with Nana Michael. Nani could tell that I was upset by the tone of my voice. “Is everything okay, Flower? Have you been crying?” she asked. I nodded at the other end, as if she could see me. “Nani, Nana, I have something to tell you. I know this may come as a shock, but the other night we were all here at the house. The doorbell rang… my mama’s back and I thought you should know,” I tearfully blurted out. There was a long silence on the other end, followed by a loud cry. Nani Manique began sobbing and repeating “my baby” over and over. “Reagan, you are telling me your Mama is there? Where is she now? Did you speak with her?” asked Nana Michael, alarmed.
“Yes, Nana, I talked to her. Kennedey was here too,” I replied. “What did my baby say? Did your mama look alright?” asked Nani Manique through her cries. I told my grandparents about the fateful night my mother returned. I left out much of the yelling I did, but I didn’t hide the fact that I was angry. I told them as much as I could about what she had to say.
I informed them that Daddy had gone to see her the other night and Mom wanted to see Kennedey and I. Nani wanted to come to IP right away, but Nana said it probably wasn’t the best time for that. Nani was upset that Nana seemed to be denying her to see her own child, but he explained that Mom had to deal with her children first before them. I stayed on the phone with my grandparents for over an hour. Nani was very emotional and yearning to talk to Apollonia. I didn’t know how Mom would feel about me telling her parents about her return, but it was only right that they knew.
After I got off the phone with Nani and Nana, I decided to call Briah back and tell her everything. To say she was shocked would be an understatement. I knew Bri wouldn’t tell anyone about Mom, but I made her promise me anyway to not say anything. Sure, this is something the family should know, but in due time. It isn’t about them right now, but about my father, sister, and me.
I didn’t like having Marseille out of my sight even more than usual over the last several days. I’ve always covered her with hugs and kisses, but I felt the urge, more than ever now. I explained to her what all the yelling was about the other night and that her other grandma came back to see us.
“You remember Mommy telling you about my Mommy, Marseille? It would seem that I’d be happy, but it’s complicated, boo. I don’t know how to think or feel right now. She wants to meet you, you know. I can’t blame her for wanting to see you, you’re the best baby in the world; the greatest person in my life. You’ll never have to worry about me leaving, Marsy; Mommy will always be here for you,” I whispered to Marseille. I turned around when I heard Jaylen step into the room.
“Is everything okay, Ma?” he asked. I told Jaylen about my conversation with my grandparents and Briah. I know he’s trying hard to be here for me. Jay has other responsibilities outside of the house. His employees depended on him. I told him not to feel guilty this morning about going in to Tomo. There’s a lot more he’s overseeing these days, especially with Amarre out of town so much. Jaylen understood why Nana Michael said it’d be best to wait to contact Apollonia. My grandfather didn’t want to reach out too soon and possibly scare Mom off.
“I feel so bad, Jay. Nani and Nana essentially lost their child for ten years. We lost our mother, but they also suffered all these years. Considering the kind of relationship they had back then, I’m not even sure if Mom will want to see her parents,” I said.Jaylen looked thoughtful. “Maybe since she had a change of heart and sought you all out, maybe she does want to see her parents one day,” he said. “Yeah, maybe,” I replied. “Reagan, I want to talk to you. I know it’s been hard for you these last few days, but I want to know what’s going on in your head right now. C’mon, let’s go talk,” said Jaylen. I kissed Marseille on the forehead and laid her back down in her crib.
I followed Jaylen downstairs into the den. He motioned for me to sit on the sofa. “Look, baby, I’m not going to pretend like I know what you’re going through. This is hard for you, your sister, and Ray. As your husband and best friend, I need to know that you’re doing alright. Just talk to me, baby,” said Jaylen. I looked down at my hands. I know I haven’t really talked to Jaylen about my mother since this whole thing happened. He’s been like a rock and he’s done everything I’ve asked him without question.
“I know, I haven’t said too much, Jay. I’m sorry about that. This isn’t something I’m handling easily. I guess I always knew deep down that I would see her again, but I never knew it would feel like this. I wasn’t prepared for the response I had. It was like my life changed within a matter of seconds; the same way it did when she left. I’m so angry at her and at myself, because I’m letting her win,” I said.
“How are you letting her win, Reagan?” wondered Jaylen. I studied my nails, trying to think of the best way to express what I meant. “It’s like she has this power over me still. You would think for all the mess she’s done, that I wouldn’t love her, but I do and I’m not sure that I want to love her. How can I after what she’s done? I keep asking myself if loving her makes me weak,” I admitted. “No, that doesn’t make you weak; it makes you human. Despite what she did, its natural that you still love your own mother. You’re not the one who left. You’ve always loved her, why should that stop?” asked Jaylen.
I shook my head. “I mean, I know I can’t turn off some switch and not feel for my mom; it just hurts so much. Why does love have to hurt this bad?” I questioned. “Love doesn’t hurt, Reagan. The people we love can hurt us the most. I know you’ve come a long way, since before I even met you. You let me in and allowed me to love you although you were scared. You love the person you are inside. Apollonia doesn’t have as much power over you as you think, baby. I know there’s a part of you that needs to heal, but it’s hard,” said Jaylen. I looked at him, feeling impressed. I hadn’t expected Jaylen to have as much insight into how I really felt.
“I suppose you’re right. Sometimes I want to hate her, but I can’t go on like that. How can I be on opposite ends of the emotional spectrum? I don’t know if her coming here is good or bad. This is something that’s been in the making for ten years now; actually, my entire life. I’ve wanted to say so much to her. I wanted to ask her why she never acted like a real mother to us and why she never told me she loved me. Why was she always so mad and angry and what made her want to see us now? All these questions keep swimming around in my head and I can barely sleep because I keep imagining having a conversation with her.”
“Do you think you’ll want to see her?” asked Jaylen. I shrugged. “I don’t know. Even through all the yelling the other night, I didn’t get my questions answered. It wasn’t a true confrontation. I was so angry, I didn’t want to hear anything she had to say,” I replied. My husband is being such a good friend to me and so supportive. He told me that anytime I needed him to listen, he’ll always be here right by my side. After I finished talking to Jaylen, I’m still on the fence about facing my mother. I knew I couldn’t fully move on until I had my turn to say all the things I’ve long to say since I could talk. The more I thought about things, the more I came to realize that I couldn’t go on like this. Something has got to give. What that something is, I can’t say for sure.
My entire world changed just days ago; the night my mother came back. I’ve had so many mixed emotions about it since that night. Reagan and I are dealing with everything differently. She’s so angry at Mom and claims she doesn’t want to see her; but I do. I don’t know what I will say or even what to expect her to say to me. All I know is that there are a million questions I have, and Mama is the only one that can answer them for me.
Daddy pretty much said that Mom is waiting to make contact again. I suppose she wants the initial shock to sink in and to give us a chance to process all of this. She’s staying over at the Marriott on the West Island. I had every inclination to go out there and try to see her. I can’t move on unless I talk to her. I haven’t been to my gallery all week because it’s impossible for me to concentrate on anything except Mom’s return. No one at the gallery knew exactly what’s going on. All anyone knew is that I’m dealing with a family emergency.
I can’t stay stuck like this forever, I needed to see her, but I know Reagan wouldn’t approve. She’s so bitter right now and she doesn’t think Mom deserves to see us yet. I know she’s hurting and she loves Mom too, but I’m not built like Reagan. I wanted my mom, I wanted to forgive her if she’s truly sorry. I wish I could make this all go away and we could sail off into the sunset together. I feel like such a weak punk for not having more of a backbone. I didn’t want Mom to think what she did is okay or that it will be so easy for me to forgive her.
There’s this little girl inside of me that has longed for her mother to tell her that she loved and wanted her. The only thing I ever wanted was for my mom to act like my mom. I wanted to feel the warm fuzziness of curling up on the sofa with a cup of hot chocolate and laying my head against her chest. I wanted to feel her fingers massage my scalp when she braided my hair or hear her do funny voices when she read us a story. I wished Mama and I were like those moms and daughters on television. I may be a grown woman now, but I still want all those things to this day.
I decided I wouldn’t tell Reagan of my plan to visit Mom right away. She would only try to discourage me from going. I didn’t tell Daddy, I was going either and Mom certainly didn’t know either. I wanted to look at her and not feel so afraid like I did this past Sunday. I could barely look her in the face. Her showing up scared me. I felt like if I saw her before I talked to her, I can accept the fact that she is really here and that she is the same mother I grew up with. Right now she’s sort of a stranger and I needed to make sure she’s “real” if that makes sense.
I parked my Prius in the parking lot and entered the hotel. Before I could seek information on what room she’s staying in, that’s when I saw her walking across the lobby toward the pool. My stomach tensed up as I watched her. I didn’t really look at her on Sunday, but now that she’s unaware of my presence, I was able to get a good glimpse of her. She’s so beautiful, just like I remembered in my dreams. I felt myself tearing up; keep it together, Kennedey.
Mom sashayed her way toward the doors that lead out to the pool. I waited a few moments before following her. I had to be careful that she didn’t see me. I couldn’t tell if her eyes were closed because of the shades she had on.
Mom made herself comfortable on a lounger and began rubbing sun block on her arms and legs. I really hadn’t thought of what I would do once I got here, so I stood there, completely paralyzed. Do I try to go up to her and start a conversation out of the blue? What do I say? Will she be happy that I came?
Dammit! Here I go again, chickening out. I really am useless in situations like this, just as Reagan said. Here my mother is just yards away from me and I don’t have the guts to just go up to her and say something. Why am I so afraid? This is the same woman that gave birth to me and bathe me growing up. She combed my hair and cooked my meals, why can’t I talk to her? I tried willing my brain to make my feet move, but they seemed to have a mind of their own and refused to budge. I sighed in frustration. I can’t do it. I know I need to confront her to get answers, but I can’t for the life of me go up to her and strike up a conversation. There weren’t too many people around; it’s not like anyone would really hear us. I just can’t do it.
What if Mom leaves because she doesn’t think we love her? What if she heeds Reagan command to never come back? Then again, would she even still be here if she didn’t want to see us again? Maybe Mom is waiting for one of us to make a move. I know Reagan certainly isn’t and I’m too chicken to even make a peep. I’m so disappointed in myself right now. I keep thinking how easy it would be for Reagan to go up to her if she were here. Why can’t I be bold like my sister? Why do I have to be this sensitive neurotic mess?
I hung my head and turned back around. I may never get this chance again. I can only hope that Mom doesn’t disappear again because she thinks we don’t love her anymore. Daddy said she’s been in New York all these years. She must have a job or something she needs to go back to, right? What if she has to leave in a couple of days and this is my last chance to talk to her before she goes back to New York? All of these questions pointed me to the most logical answer; to simply talk to my mother.
The paralyzing fear of rejection prevented me from doing so. Yes, I have this fear that Mom will look at me up close and realize why she left in the first place. I’m afraid she’ll remember that she didn’t want to be a mother in the first place and she’ll go back to living whatever life she has in New York. The thought that my mother may not want me even though she came back scared me more than anything and I’m unsure if I want to risk the possibility of finding out.
This is not an easy road I have chosen to travel, but it’s one I must go down. I didn’t know what my next move would be after I spoke with Raymond the other day. Our conversation and argument was very uncomfortable. I didn’t want to face my husband, but I knew I had to. The look of disappointment on Raymond’s made me feel worse than I already did. I tried my best to become over-emotional when I saw him, but I failed at times. I didn’t realize I loved my husband until several years after I left. Raymond is a good man and treated me better than anyone else I knew. How could I not love him? I didn’t want to hurt him like that, but at the time I was so angry with him; I saw him as the reason for my unhappiness.
Just as I told Raymond, not everything that went wrong in our marriage is my fault. He has to take some of the blame. I feel very much justified in letting him know that he was wrong to constantly dismiss everything I wanted. I didn’t have many skills and I never finished my degree, so my job options were limited. Raymond wanted me to be some Betty Crocker type, staying at home, barefoot and pregnant. It did make him feel like a big man because he was the breadwinner. He’ll tell you that women and men are equal, but he enjoyed the security that having a little wife and children brought him. Raymond’s own life was less than ideal. His father left his mother to raise him and his sisters alone and he’s never gotten over that. I suppose in some ways it made him want to be a better father to his own children, but he didn’t have to deny my dreams in order to keep our family intact. Raymond believed he could keep me close, but all he did was push me away.
I didn’t know what to do next, so I’ve done nothing the last day or so since seeing Raymond. I wanted to give Reagan and Kennedey more time to come to terms that I’ve come back and want a relationship with them. Raymond pretty much accused me of being arrogant; thinking I had the right to demand a relationship with my children now. I don’t think that’s arrogance at all. I’m their mother, they should have the opportunity to get to really know me. I wasn’t my true self when they were growing up and now I have the chance to show them the real me. Not the bitter and hateful Apollonia; but the Apollonia that loves to dance and create poetry on stage. The island girl who wants to teach her children about their true West Indian culture. The woman who wants to be a force in their lives and embrace them as a mother. I am so much more than what’s on the surface and I’m finding out each day who that person is. I want to get to know my children like I never did when they were growing up. I’d like to hear about all their hope, dreams, and fears; what makes them happy? What are their regrets? What do they want for their future? Do they see me in it?
Waiting around was making me crazy. I wanted to talk to both my daughters so badly. I didn’t get the chance to fully explain myself on Sunday night. Reagan was so angry; rightfully so, but I wanted them to hear me out. I got in my rental car and drove around, wondering if I should just go back to Reagan’s house or go see Kennedey. Reagan wouldn’t be pleased to see me, but I had the feeling that Kennedey would at least let me talk before shutting me out.
After circling the islands for nearly three hours one evening, I drove past both my girls’ homes. I could see from the driveway, that Reagan was at home and when I drove past Kennedey’s house, I saw the lights on in her house. As much as I wanted to get out the car and ring their doorbells, I couldn’t. I kept telling myself it’s because they needed more time, but the truth is I’m afraid. I’m afraid of the same verbal bashing Reagan gave me the other night and I’m afraid to face Kennedey’s drowning tears. I hated seeing the hurt and pain I’ve caused them, but it’s something I must contend with.
I called up Raymond asking him if he’s spoken to our children. He said he told them that we talked. I was anxious to know what they said. Raymond expressed to me that he didn’t want to play go-between me and our daughters. He mentioned that as of right now Reagan is still very much on the fence about speaking to me and he’s unsure of what Kennedey will do.
“Apollonia, my only interest here is to protect Reagan and Kennedey. The situation is tense and I’m not entirely comfortable with you calling and asking about the girls at this point. I heard everything you said to me the other night and I’m sensitive to what happened to you, but that doesn’t make what you did okay. It doesn’t erase the fact that our girls are hurting right now,” said Raymond. Basically, he told me that he won’t encourage or discourage Reagan or Kennedey about reaching out to me right now.
“That’s fine, Raymond. I don’t need your help. If you don’t want to speak with me, that’s okay, but don’t think it’s okay for you to dictate to me when or how I approach our children. You are not the boss of them and you are no longer the boss of me. I will see my daughters whenever and however I choose. You will not stop them from seeing me nor can you stop me from going to them. I know that you hate that this is out of your control, Raymond, but it is. I’m their mother and I won’t ever stop until I get my children back,” I replied. Raymond hung up from me soon after that, only saying to do what I had to do, but not ever think of ruining our daughters again. I don’t really care about his threats. I’m not here to ruin Reagan or Kennedey; I’m here to heal them. My girls needed me as much as I needed them.
I took a leave of absence from my job in order to come to Isla Paradiso. I didn’t want to have to worry about work while I’m seeking to put my family back together. I have savings and my credit cards to rely on in The meantime. No matter what, I will no return to New York until I get to sit down and speak to my daughters one on one. My work here isn’t finished yet. I wouldn’t be able to perform my job if I wanted to.
Things were so tense in my life right now. My conversation I had with Raymond highly disturbed me and Reagan’s reaction broke my heart. Neither encounter was unexpected; I knew things wouldn’t go over so smoothly. I sit up in the hotel bed at night trying to figure out how I should go about things from here on out. For the first time in a long time, I decided to pray and ask God what I needed to do. Until I had my answer, I decided the best thing to do for now is wait it out.
I was on my way to the pool out back to sit around and relax in the sun. As I made my way across the lobby floor, I sensed someone watching me. I casually looked into a mirror on the wall and saw the person’s reflection; it was Kennedey. My heart leapt the sight of her. Kennedey’s eyes were glued to me as she watched me make my way out the back door. She looked nervous and it’s obvious she had no idea I’d seen her. That Sunday night, Kennedey was obviously frightened at my showing up. She was completely hysterical and could barely look at me. It broke my heart seeing my youngest daughter in so much pain.
Kennedey is not like her sister and I didn’t expect the same kind of reaction from her as Reagan. I kept walking to the pool, all the more aware that she’s following me. I’m unsure if she’ll try to speak to me or not. Kennedey’s never been one to jump head first into anything. She wanted to see me again on her own terms before she felt comfortable enough to talk to me, I suppose. She was pretty much the same way as a child. If there was something she wanted and she was unsure of how I’d react, she’d stand in the shadows or ask Reagan to gauge what my mood was before she approached me with her request. Now that I look back on it, it made me sad that Kennedey seemed scared of me even as a little girl and even more so now.
After waiting several minutes, Kennedey didn’t approach me. I took this as a sign that she wanted to talk to me. Maybe if I go to her, it would be easier. If I met her on her own home turf, Kennedey may feel a bit more comfortable that way. I loved my daughters so much and wanted them to have the chance to ask me whatever was on their minds. I wanted to look into Kennedey’s eyes and let her know there is no reason to be afraid of me.
Just like that, I decided to back to Kennedey’s house. This time I wouldn’t turn around and drive off. This time I would look at Kennedey and tell her how much I’ve changed and that I’ve loved her all these years. She isn’t the only one that’s afraid, but I can’t hide any longer. It’s been too long and now its time for me to step up and be the mother my daughters needed.
I was doing some work on my latest sculpture, trying to get my mind off everything that’s happened over the last several days. Usually, I felt a sense of release when I was working, but nothing seemed to calm my nerves.
I heard the doorbell ring. Maybe that’s what I needed, a distraction. My heart dropped; it honestly felt like it stopped beating. Mom is here at my door and I didn’t know how to take it. I’ve been on edge for days wondering if she would show up and now she has. I’ve gone over and over in my head what I would do, but I was paralyzed. Tears immediately stung my eyes. “Kennedey? Its me, are you okay?” asked Mom. I shook my head, trying to wake up; this had to be a dream. No, not again Kennedey, get it together. Its your time to say to her all the things you’ve wanted for all these years. I opened my mouth and forced the words out. “Mama? What are you doing here?” I asked cautiously.
Mom looked me over with great concern in her eyes. She had an almost delicate or gentle look on her face; one I had not recognized before. “I, wanted to see how you were doing, Kennedey. I’m sorry for showing up like this. I’ve been thinking about you so much. I wanted to call, but I was afraid you would tell me not to come,” said Mom. She had my number? How did she find all this information on us? The power of the internet, I suppose. I nervously pulled at my braids and looked away. As much as I prayed for this moment, my mind still couldn’t accept that my mother is actually here right now.
“Kennedey, before you say anything, please I don’t want this to end up like the other night at your sister’s house. The last thing I ever wanted to do was hurt you or Reagan. I know you’re going through a lot right now. I wanted to talk to you so badly, but I didn’t get the chance. I wanted to tell you that I’m sorry. May I come inside?” asked Mom.
I didn’t say anything and stood back as she stepped inside. I walked around her into the living room and turned to face her. I lifted my head and for the first time, made steady eye contact. I can’t be scared anymore. Now is not the time to cower. There is something so strange about Mom being here in my home. The same mom that walked out on me ten years ago. The mom I longed to love and hold me as a little girl. What could she possibly say to me after all these years?
“Like I was saying, I don’t want this to end up like the other night. I didn’t get the chance to even speak with you,” said Mom. I stood there, silently listening. Mom’s eyes gazed over me, like she was taking in everything she saw.
“My God, you’re beautiful. You were always such a beautiful girl and now you’re a woman, Kennedey. You don’t know how badly I wanted to see your face all these years. Oh, Kennedey, baby I’m so sorry for what I did; I’m sorry for everything. I know that may not mean much right now, but it’s the truth,” said Mom. “What are you doing here?” I repeated myself. “I had to see you. I came to Isla Paradiso to see you and your sister. My life hasn’t gone right since the day I left you. I wanted you to know that I hate myself for what I did. I wasn’t sure if you wanted to see me right now, but I saw you at the hotel yesterday,” admitted Mom. That alarmed me, how could she have seen me? Why didn’t she say anything then?
“You saw me?” I asked. “Yes. I didn’t know how you felt after I left your sister’s on Sunday. When I saw you at the hotel, I became hopeful that you wanted to see me. I didn’t say anything because I figured you would come to me when you were ready.; I didn’t want to scare you off. I stayed up all last night wondering if I should come here. I didn’t want you to think that I’d given up hope. I haven’t reached out to you or Reagan since this all happened because I know you needed time to process this. I didn’t know how to approach you again,” answered Mom.
“I never understood you when I was growing up and I don’t understand why you’re here now. You say you wanted to see me and my sister, but why now after all these years? What’s changed? How can you just show up out of the blue like that?” I asked, tearfully. “There’s no easy way to answer that. I’ve thought about my family every day for ten years. I had to see you again,” replied Mom. As much as I wanted to believe her, I’m afraid to trust her words.
“You thought about us every day, but it took you ten years to come back? Why? Why did you leave in the first place, Mom? What was so bad about us? I thought you hated us; I thought that was the reason you left,” I said. Mom furiously shook her head. “No, I could never hate you and your sister, Kennedey! I loved you then and I love you now, you must believe me,” pleaded Mom. Love? Did my mother just say she loved us? “You’ve never said that to me before. You love me?” I asked for clarification. “Yes, Kennedey, I do. I always have. I know that I wasn’t the ideal mother to you and it shouldn’t have taken all these years for me to say those words to you, but I love you, Kennedey. You don’t know how sorry I am or how bad my life has been without you and Reagan. My children are everything to me. You girls are the only thing that matters. I only wanted to see you again and meet my little grandbaby. I wanted to somehow be apart of your life again. I know that’s a huge request, but I had to be with you again,” proclaimed Mom.
This is almost too much. “You love me, yet you left? I don’t know about you, but that seems very twisted. What parent loves their child but leaves without notice or one single word in over ten years, Mom? Where do they do that at? You want to be part of our lives again and now we’re supposed to just forgive and forget? What about the first fourteen years of my life when I really needed a mother? Where were you to hold me when I was scared or to tell me there was nothing wrong with me when other kids teased me for being so smart? Why did I have to run to Reagan to fight off bullies? Why was Auntie Christie the one I went to when I had questions about my period? How come you never sat down and helped me with my homework? Just because I was a brain didn’t mean I didn’t need guidance. You weren’t there to see me as valedictorian of my senior class or witness me graduating from college with honors. All the important moments of my life happened without you? Am I supposed to forget?” I asked.
By now the tears run running down my cheeks. “I’m not asking you to forget anything, Kennedey. I don’t deserve any kind of forgiveness from you or your sister. I need you to know how deeply I regret every choice I made back then. I’ve come to the conclusion that the only right choices I’ve ever made in my life is giving birth to my children,” answered Mom.
“I know you want my forgiveness, but I don’t know if I can. I’m not able to just turn off twenty-four years of heartbreak. That can’t be easily forgotten. I love you, Mama. I don’t how to let you be my mother again. It’s something I prayed for my entire life and yet I don’t know if I can do it. If you can tell me how to forget about everything and just be okay with this, please do so. You broke my heart, Mama. Now you want me, but I’m so afraid you’ll leave again and break it all over again. I can’t fully trust what you’re saying to me now because you might disappear again. Are you, Mama? Are you going to disappear again?” I asked, through tears.
A look of pain spread across my mother’s face; like she could feel the sadness surging through my body. “No, Kennedey, I’m not going to disappear. I never want to live with you, Reagan and the baby. I only want my family back. I love you girls more than my own self. That’s saying a lot because I spent years not even liking myself let alone loving myself. I don’t want to be without you, its why I’m here. Please give me a chance; please let me prove myself. I’ve never had to humble myself like this before; but I want you to know that I’m sincere.”
Its as if twenty-four years of hurt came spilling out. I love my mom, I do, but I’m speaking as the seven to seventeen year old me. “Where were you when I needed you mom? Where were you when I didn’t think I was pretty or good enough? When I constantly felt shut out and ignored? I wasn’t as loud or flamboyant as Reagan and I wasn’t the constant target like Daddy, so most of the time you all ignored me. My father worked all the time; Reagan was running around with boys and Briah. All I had was my easel and the numerous after school projects I poured myself into, trying to forget about our home-life. I felt important online in those political and social forums, arranging protests at school, or running for student council president. You never knew that though, because you weren’t interested. Those were the only times I felt important and that someone paid attention to me. Goodness knows you never did!”
“Kennedey I barely knew how to live with my own existence back in those days. Its not like I didn’t notice the things that you were involved in; I didn’t know how to communicate with you. Its something I’ve always struggled with. There were parts of me that wanted to get closer to you and your sister, but I resisted. I never had a close relationship with my own my mother. I didn’t grow up in an open family, we didn’t share our feelings. I know this does little to bring you much comfort, but I wanted to let you know where I’m coming from,” said Mom. “So because of that, Reagan and I had to suffer all these years? Did you ever notice that your behavior wasn’t normal for a mother? Why you didn’t try harder? That is no excuse, Mom! At the moment you knew you were going to be a mother, why didn’t you start making changes? My sister and I didn’t ask to be brought into this world and I think its a lousy excuse for you to say you didn’t have a close relationship with Nani,” I argued.
As much as I wanted to believe my mom and forgive her, I couldn’t let it go so easily. She’s our mother and she had an obligation to Reagan and I. All I’ve ever wanted was to have a good relationship with my mom and feel like a daughter to her. That may be what she is offering right now, but I can’t accept it to easily.
“Please, Kennedey, just know that leaving you and Reagan wasn’t easy for me. The guilt I felt over that ate at me for ten years. If I could, I would go back and be the kind of mother you and Reagan deserve. I can only go forward from here on out. I don’t expect your forgiveness so easily; I know I must work for your forgiveness. Humbling myself before you, Reagan, and your father isn’t very easy for me, but I want nothing more then to have my girls back and start a relationship with Marseille,” replied Mom.
I hear my mom saying she wants a relationship with Reagan, the baby, and myself a lot, but she hasn’t said anything about wanting to work things out with Daddy. “What about my father? Do you see yourself working things out with Daddy? Is he part of the reason you’re here?” I asked. Mom became very quiet for a moment. “Kennedey, understand that things in my marriage to your father were very complicated. To be perfectly honest with you, no he is not the reason I am here, but I do love him. I don’t where our marriage will end up, but right now you and Reagan are the most important people in my life and my top priority,” answered Apollonia. At least Mom was being honest. I’m uncertain how I would feel if my parents did decide to work things out. I’m not sure if I would be okay with Daddy accepting Mom back after the way she treated him.
“Regardless if you’re here for us, Mom, I don’t want you breaking my father’s heart again. It took him so long to finally start to get over you, but yet you ruined a happy relationship he was in. My father means the world to me and I only want to protect him, even if that means from you. Don’t hurt him again, Mom,” I said.
“That’s very noble of you, Kennedey, but I’m not here to hurt your father and I don’t want to hurt you again. I mean what I say when I tell you that I love you. I know I never said those words to you when you were growing up, but I’m saying them now. I looked at you last Sunday, so hurt and upset and all I wanted to was take you in my arms and comfort you. I’m not the same person I used to be. I want to hold you so badly, Kennedey. You are my baby, Kennedey. Will you please let me hold you like I never had the chance to in the past?” asked Mom, with outstretched arms. I was half-tempted to accept her embrace, but I pushed her away suddenly. I’m not yet ready to allow her back in. I can’t trust my feelings and I can’t fully trust her.
“No, Mom, don’t. I want to believe you, but I can’t, at least not yet. This is a lot for me. I have a lot of work I need to finish up, Mom and I can’t do it with you here. Please, if you want to be kind, just let me be, at least for a while. I can’t do this with you right now. Just give me some space,” I said, turning my back to her. Before she left Mom said she was leaving, but not going away. She said if I wanted to talk to her, I can come to her hotel at any time.
I wanted nothing more in the world to be my mother’s little baby again, but I’m not ready to risk my heart just yet.
Other than my father and sister, I hadn’t spoken that much to any other family members in the last couple of days. Yuri and Kevin were back in New York already. I somewhat felt bad for not mentioning my mom to Yuri when she called the other day. I didn’t have the strength to talk to her about the emotional whirlwind I’m on. Instead, Jaylen asked me if it was okay for him to tell his parents that Mom is here. They’re not my blood relatives, but they are Marseille’s other grandparents and I supposed they had a right to know what’s going on. Briah, knew I wasn’t up to talking about Mom. I know she only wants to help, but she had enough family drama going onherself. Nani and Nana have called a couple of times, asking me if I had spoken to my mother again; which I told them no. Speaking of that, I didn’t know if I would see Mom at this point. I hadn’t decided yet because I’m still too angry.
I had the feeling that Kennedey wanted to see her and it’s very possibly she will do just that. Kennedey wouldn’t want to tell me if she did at first because she’ll think I’m judging her. And she would be right. I don’t think she should give into Mom so easily; we weren’t obligated to let her back in. Kennedey is a lot more sensitive than I am, but it doesn’t mean that I’m not torn up inside. Matter of fact, I know this anger toward Mom will only eat away at me if I let it fester. Maybe I’m afraid to talk to her; maybe I’m afraid to find out that she left because I was undesirable. Mom kept emphasizing her desire to meet Marseille. What if that’s all she hoped for and my sister and I were merely an afterthought?
I’ve had several conversations with Marsy, assuring her that I’m nothing like her grandmother. What would she even call Mom? Nani Apollonia? Grandma? Would my mom bond with her like she never bonded with me? I didn’t want to think about the pain Mom may cause Marseille if they were to ever meet. The fact that I’m even thinking about this, does it mean I’m contemplating Apollonia coming back into my life? I don’t understand how I could flip flop so many times since Mom came to IP. I yelled at her that she would never meet my child, yet I’m imagining what Marseille would call her grandma.
Daddy hasn’t said whether or not he thinks I should talk to Mom. He wanted to make sure Kennedey and I were strong enough emotionally to deal with her. Jaylen is very concerned for me too; he treats me as if I’m going to break. Yes, this is one of the hardest things I’ve ever gone through, but I don’t have a sign on my forehead marked fragile.
It’s hard for me to sleep at night. I keep having dreams of Mom promising me she would never leave, but when I go to look for her, she is nowhere to be found. Tonight is particularly hard for me; I keep tossing and turning and actually woke up crying. I looked over at Jaylen, whose sound asleep; good because I’d rather he stay asleep. I pulled the covers back and tiptoed into the bathroom. I suddenly had the urge to throw up. I quickly covered my mouth, but nothing came out when I stood in front of the toilet. All I did is gag.
I heard Jay knock on the door and enter the bathroom. “Baby, what’s the matter? Are you okay?” he asked. “Yes. I can’t sleep.” “No you’re not, Reagan. You’ve been crying,” sighed Jaylen. I threw my hands up. “I said I’m okay. Just go back to bed,” I said. “Stop pushing me away like this, Reagan. I know you haven’t been sleeping and I know it’s because of your mom. It’s obviously bothering you that you haven’t talked to her. Going around all upset and pissed off isn’t going to help. If you want answers, then go to her. She’s not some scary stranger, she’s your mother. I don’t care how much you want to forget that Apollonia is back in your life, but she is; you can’t will that away,” said Jaylen. He was starting to irritate me and I didn’t appreciate him acting like he’s some expert on my family and what I’m going through.
“Jaylen, just stop right there. Don’t act like you know what’s best for me. This is something you know nothing about. The woman who carried me for nine months, then abandoned me fifteen years later wants to be in my life. I haven’t heard from her in ten years, don’t you get that? My mom isn’t Yuri and our family isn’t like yours, okay?” I said in frustration.
“Don’t play that same tired card with me, Reagan. I never said I understood what you’re going through and I know your mother and mine are not the same. I’m your family now and you need to stop blocking me out. If you don’t want to see Apollonia, then fine, that’s up to you. Just stop going around here pissed off at me, your father, and your sister. One minute you want to talk to me about all of this and the next you’re blowing me off like I’m some sucka off the street,” protested Jaylen.
“Look, when and if I see Apollonia, it will be my decision and not because you said so. I decided what’s best for me in this situation. If you really want to help, just be there for me. I opened up to you because I wanted to, not because you forced me into it. You don’t know what life was like with Apollonia. Kevin and Yuri got you and Amarre everything you wanted. You didn’t have to worry about a thing growing up. You didn’t wonder day and day out if your mom loved you or not. Did you ever ask yourself if today would be the day Yuri left? No! I have to do things my way and when I get ready. It’s not as easy to simply go and see her. I didn’t grow up normal; none of this is normal! Just be my husband and friend and let me be!” I cried and stormed out of the bathroom.
I couldn’t stop thinking that I didn’t get to truly confront my mother. I didn’t have the chance to ask the questions or know the answers of why she left. I wanted to know everything and forget everything at the same time. What Jay said about not willing my mother away now that she’s back stuck in my head from last night. The more I tried to convince myself otherwise; I’m not going to have any peace until I had answers. Since I couldn’t sleep anyway, I called upstairs to tell Jaylen I was going out to pick up some wipes for the baby and I would be back in a little while.
Initially going to the store was my intention, but I found myself over on the West Island after about twenty minutes. I turned on the radio to calm the nerves that had built up in my stomach. Tina Turner’s voice soon filled the quietness of the air around me. What’s Love Got To Do With It; how fitting of a song for the way I thought about this situation. Not in the romantic sense, but over and over I sang with Tina, who needs a heart when a heart can be broken? This is one of Mom’s favorite songs from the eighties and I think of her every time I hear it. If I didn’t have my husband and daughter in my life I would have given up my heart a long time ago. Is the kind of love a mother is supposed to have for her daughter worth getting your heart broken over? Can I take it if she does this all over again?
I don’t know when I decided that tonight would be the night I confronted Apollonia, but somehow the Marriott is where I ended up. It’s the middle of the night. I don’t care if I wake her up; if I can’t sleep then neither can she.
After finding out the room number from the front desk, I ran back outside into the pouring rain and up the stairs to room 202. My heart thumped loudly in my chest as I stared at the door, contemplating if I should knock. I could hear the faint sound of the television on. I can’t go on like this. I needed answers; I can’t waste another sleepless night.
I held my fist up to the door and knocked loudly several times. I heard the television go off and footsteps walking toward me. The door swiftly swung open and there she was. Now it’s me on the outside looking in and Mom looking surprised to see me. “Reagan?” said Mom.
“I need to talk to you,” I said, not waiting for an invitation and walking right inside the hotel room. Mom closed the door and turned around to face me. She stared into my eyes. “I was hoping I’d get to speak with you sooner rather than later,” she said. I held my hand up. “This isn’t what I would call a social visit. I have hardly slept since the day you decided to show at my door. I have about a million questions I need answers to. I don’t care if this is uncomfortable for you; how you feel about this doesn’t matter to me right now. Why did you go? And why are you here now, Mom?” I asked.
“I know this is hard for you, Reagan. I only hope you can find it in your heart to hear me out. Your sister came to me the other day and I visited her in her home. I know you are not the same and have your own way of dealing with things. I only want a chance to make up for what I did. I wanted to talk with you and your sister so badly last Sunday. I thought about what I would say to you for months. I was unhappy for many years. I merely chased after a dream I had since I was a little girl. Leaving was a very selfish thing for me to do,” replied Mom.
“Yes, it was and now you want to be in our lives and meet my daughter. You want to connect with Marseille so badly, but why couldn’t you connect with me that way, Mom? What was wrong with me?” I asked, “Nothing; you were perfect. You and her sister both. It was always me and only me, Reagan,” replied Mom. Mom speaks the words, but I don’t know if I can trust what she says. “I know for me, when I look at my baby, I could never imagine not loving her, it’s not even possible. That little girl is everything to me. I truly believe she’s the reason I’m here.
“It wasn’t an easy thing for me to up and leave like that, Reagan. You girls have always been closer to your father than me. We fought all the time the older you got. I failed to communicate with you and Kennedey. I hated my life and I didn’t love myself. I didn’t believe anyone else could love me either. A part of me thought I was doing the best thing. I hadn’t been the best mother. I didn’t think you needed me any longer,” admitted Mom. As far off as she sounded, I believed her when Mom said she didn’t love herself. “Yes, we loved, you Mom. You didn’t try to communicate with us! We still needed a mother no matter how old we were. Because things were rough, that made it okay for you to leave? There wasn’t much you had to do, but simply love us. What made the easiest thing for you to do so difficult? What made loving your own children so hard? Tell me because I really want to understand,” I said.
Mom rubbed at her temple as if massaging an oncoming headache. “I didn’t know how to show affection. I didn’t come from a lovey-dovey household and by the time I had my babies, I was so far gone in my misery, I couldn’t see any good in my life. I found no joy in being a mother, a wife, I didn’t even find joy in dancing all the time. It’s not that I didn’t love you and Kennedey, I was literally incapable of being the mother you deserved. Things were bad between your father and me; he didn’t listen to anything I said. I wanted to have a chance to find out if I could make it if he was no longer controlling my life.”
“Don’t blame my father for your failures, I won’t let you! Unless I don’t know something, you were more than a willing participant when you thought screwing the football star would benefit you. Did it, Mom? No, in less than two years you wound up stuck with two screaming hungry babies. You were mad that you weren’t lighting up the stage in New York or Paris. Instead, you were trapped in Miami bearing the unforgiving Florida sun with a husband you didn’t love and two children you were obligated to take care of. You blamed us for the way your life turned out, but no one told you to go and get pregnant! Daddy was good to you; he treated you like a queen. You treated him like crap, Mom; you treated everyone like crap!”
“That’s where you’re wrong, Reagan. I did love your father, I just didn’t realize it until years after I already left. No one ever treated me as well as he did. I had it good, but I couldn’t see that at the time,” said Mom. “And do you want a prize? Is that when you supposedly found out you loved Kennedey and me? We begged you to be a mother to us; to show us a little mercy. You rarely could do that! What, some ballet moves here and there and all of a sudden that makes you a parent? Seems like we had to beg you for everything. I didn’t want toys or clothes. What I wanted didn’t cost any money; I wanted your love Mom. Why couldn’t you give that to us? Were we unlovable?” I asked. Tears were coming down my mothers face. I still couldn’t believe this is only the second time I’ve witness her cry in my entire twenty-five years on this earth.
“You and your sister are lovable. I love you; I’m the one that hated herself. I didn’t know how to love you. I want to be there for you now; to be apart of your lives,” replied Mom.
“You want to be there for me now, but where were you during the most important moments of my life? You weren’t there to plan my wedding or pick out my dress. What girl does that without her own mother? You didn’t see me get married. You weren’t there for the birth of your grandchild, nothing!” I exclaimed. Mom looked down for a moment. “I’m sorry I wasn’t there for you, but I was right there when you got married,” confessed Mom. This shocked me to my core. “What? What do you mean you were right there when I got married?” I asked, incredulous.
Mom wiped a tear away from her eye. “I read about you getting engaged. I kept up with the details on the wedding that the blogs were reporting. I knew you were getting married in Miami and it didn’t surprise me that you got married on South Beach. That is where your father always took you and your sister when you were little. I saw you repeat your vows to Jaylen and I saw your father’s old friend pronounce you and Jaylen, husband and wife. You were so beautiful, all in white; you absolutely glowed. My parents were there to see you get married and others in the family too. You and Kennedey were as beautiful as I had remembered,” recalled Mom.
I walked over to the balcony and stared out into the dark rain pouring over the islands. I could barely believe my ears. How is it possible Mom witnessed me getting married? I know the ceremony was on the beach, but how did she gain access to the venue? How did anyone not see her?
“How come you didn’t say anything, Mom? You flew all the way from New York to Florida and you didn’t think to tell me? How could you just show at my wedding like that was okay?” I demanded, turning around. “I wanted to tell you I was there so badly, but I didn’t want to ruin your day. You’re my oldest daughter. I told myself, I had to see Reagan getting married. I couldn’t miss that,” answered Mom.
This is unbelievable, I can’t get my mind wrapped around the fact that Mom was at my wedding. “So, because I’m a celebrity, you think you can stalk me online? Or show up at my wedding? What else do you know?” I asked, angrily. “A lot. I know it seems like cowardice, but it was the only way I could see what you and your sister were up to all these years. I didn’t feel worthy enough to come to you. I saw you on a couple of different occasions when you were in New York. I had to see you, but I didn’t want you to know I was there. One winter day, I watched you playing in the snow in Central Park with Jaylen.”
I thought back to that day, I remembered it so clearly. Jaylen and I were having a good time, then all of a sudden the strangest feeling came over me; an eerie feeling. The same feeling I had the night Mom back, right before I opened my front door. I can’t believe she actually spied on me; like she had the right to track me down.
“I heard about what that bastard, Ra$hin did to you. I wanted to hurt that boy so bad. I went through a similar experience with the man I lived with. I didn’t love that man and we weren’t in a relationship. Maurice was someone I met during a very low point in my life. Well, he thought he could put his hands on me and I would let him get away with it. I fought him back, but I never should have been in that situation in the first place. I’m glad you were able to get out of that and I’m glad you’re safe,” said Mom. Why would she tell me this? Why would she even mention that person to me?
“Are you telling me this because you want to have some domestic violence bonding moment with me? Is that supposed to make us equals? I got hit; I left and never looked back. That part of my life was in the past and I don’t think of it. You got with a no good bastard that laid his hands on you, but you left my father? Now you want me to have sympathy for you. I feel for any woman that goes through that experience, but don’t think for one second this will make me forget all pain you caused me my entire life.”
“I don’t expect for it to erase anything. I’m only telling you this because I know what you went through. When I heard about that, it did something to me. No mother ever wants to hear about her child in pain. I know that’s a lot coming from me, but I never allowed anyone to talk mess about my children. Not my brothers, sisters, cousins, no one. I wanted to kill that asshole. I’m proud that you left,” answered Mom.
My brain is still trying to process all of this information Mom had just laid on me. From watching me in New York, to hiding in the shadows at my wedding. To most people that would be weird and creepy, but my mother has always been a little different than most. Regardless if she were there and she sought me out online and in person, it didn’t make up for the fact that she wasn’t there for me emotionally and physically. What had I really accomplish by coming here?
“I didn’t need you to be proud of me; I needed a mother. And where I’m standing, I’m unsure if you can be that to me. I’m so messed up in the head when it comes to you. I can’t reverse twenty-five years of neglect and sorrow and claim you as the mom I’ve always wanted. Give me one good reason why I should forgive you and allow you back into my life.” Mom was silent for a moment. “I probably can’t name you any reason other than I love you, Reagan. As hard as it was for me to say that to you long ago, I’m saying it now because its the truth. We’re family; we need each other. I need you and my little grandbaby more than you know.”
Mom stepped closer to me, appearing as if she wanted to comfort me. I quickly put up my hands, alarmed. “Don’t come any closer, Mom. You don’t get to have me so easily. You’re not going to win this time,” I said. Mom lowered her head. “It’s not about winning or losing, Reagan. I came to heal, that’s all I want,” she replied.
“You are not the second coming! Please, just stop it! All my life I stood in fear of you not; afraid to go to my mother for the smallest things. You were so miserable, but would it have killed you to at least try to act like wanted to be with us? If not for my father, at least for Kennedey and me? Now, after ten years you expect us to accept you with open arms. I’m not that easy. If there is one thing I’ve learned since I met my husband, is how to love. Now that I have Marseille, she’s the greatest love of all. She is probably the very single reason I can’t understand you leaving,” I said.
“I don’t expect you to understand. I can’t change the past, I can only do the right thing from here,” said Mom. “And yet, I still don’t know if I can trust your words. You know, I went around the last several days believing I hated you, but I only feel sorry for you. I can’t hate, I don’t have room in my heart for it. You’ll always be a part of my heart, Mom, but it doesn’t mean we can have a relationship. It doesn’t mean you can erase the past. You broke my heart the day you left and I’m not ready to give it back to you! Don’t come for me, Mom. I’m unsure I’ll ever figure this out!,” I exclaimed, pushing past Mom and running out of the hotel room.
Mom called to me, begging me not to leave as I rushed out. I didn’t want to hear the words; I wanted to be set free. I ran outside into the pouring rain. I stood at the bottom of the stairs and wrapped my arms around myself. I let the rain drench me from head to toe, not noticing how freezing it is right now. I didn’t care, I wanted to be numb. I wanted to forget that Sunday morning I discovered my mother left me and I wanted to forget she came back. Even still, no matter how much I tried, I couldn’t easily get over this. Yes, I loved my mom and I wanted her, but how do I heal myself? Where do we all go from here?