The homecoming Joy and sorrow final Chapter 2013
By hippie girl
Jerry trembled all over as he hung up the phone with his mother's husband. Whose reassuring Oklahoma drawl held the key to one of his greatest hopes - to see Mom again. After years of searching, Jerry's wife, Holly and eldest daughter found his mother through Facebook of all places. The whole business felt like an extremely weird ,albeit pleasant dream. Complete with ' Wild Horses ' playing in the background. Although,
' Mother and Child Reunion' might have been more fitting. Alternatively, maybe 'Glad All Over by' The Dave Clark Five.
At 75, Soledad, his Mom had dodged some narrow escapes with her health. Recently, she'd been recovering in the hospital from a troubling case of bronchitis. Soledad could not utter a word, thanks to her last stroke. She could still pen a beautiful letter, commanding him to bring the three grandchildren to see her A.S.A.P. She was fighting back death by a few strong threads, as Doyle, her husband put it.
A feeling of dread crept into his skull. Jerry's mother kept nagging him in her letters to talk about 'the lost years'. He had shared some of it with her, but not all.From his letters he had received from mom, it became abundantly clear that she was clueless to the monstrous crimes his 'father' had committed against the two of them.
Soledad still thought she'd made her ex-husband Ted, gay and worried herself sick wondering if Jerry was dead or alive. The stories his father told him as to why they had to move and change their names, never made sense, even when he was 12.
Ted kept changing his stories, as to what happened to Soledad. Sometimes, he told Jerry, his mother abandoned them. Other times, he said she died in a car wreck. Five years ago, shortly before Ted died, Jerry called him out on his lies.
"Bottom line, I felt so trapped," Ted said. I just wanted to be free of that woman completely. She thought I cherished her, that we were very much in love. Secretly, I seethed inside at the sight of her. The nasally way she laughed, chewed her food, made me see red. There was no such thing as a pre-nup in those days. She would have gotten everything, plus custody of you. I couldn't let that happen," his father said, with no feeling in his voice.
" Why not tell her you were so unhappy ?," Jerry snapped, clearly disgusted.
"I didn't feel like doing that," it just seemed easier to flee with no repercussions, his father said, sounding weary. Holly and Jerry had their marital problems, but they tried to be honest with each other. Maybe their marriage was stronger than originally thought. Or maybe, they were really lucky.
He had known at age 5, Mom was the boss at their house. Sometimes she threatened to wash his mouth with soap when he got super pissy with her. She was a stickler with checking his homework, before he went out to play. But there was plenty of good memories to trump the bad ones. Jerry remembered Soledad baking brownies from scratch with peanut butter frosting.
Mom wore hot pants, that his father and grandpa both screamed she was too old to get away with. She smelled like incense and Chanel No. 5. Soledad had to use a step stool to reach the counter, which was somewhat humorous to watch. Sometimes, Mom came to Jerry's big games. The only reason she had missed the one where he had disappeared is because she'd suffered a bout with food poisoning and couldn't stray far from a toilet.
Jerry wondered if the food poisoning was a strange coincidence or his dad had planned that, too. He pondered and wondered, then stopped. It was all too heavy and plenty stupid. The past was important but in this case, not as much as the present was.
( Mom's house, a week later)
When he first saw his mother, Soledad was sitting out on her deck in a wheelchair, propped up by fat throw pillows. An enormous floppy hat shielded her face from the sun. She was wearing a paisley bathrobe and fuzzy bunny slippers. Mom seemed to have shrunk even more, and age spots covered what he could see of her skin. It was surreal seeing your mother as an old woman. Then he had changed as well. His curly hair was turning grey at the temples and deep crow's feet had set in. A nurse assisted in removing the sunglasses his mother always wore to shield people from seeing all the pain in her eyes from losing him.
A mixture of joy and sorrow for all the time they were cheated out of showed in her good eye. As Jerry got closer, all the questions he meant to answer, the explanations he'd planned to make, turned to cotton in his throat. He simply knelt and kissed her papery cheek. They gave each other a lopsided hug and sobbed, drunk on the happiness of being reunited.