“What are you doing here?” She sneered as she flung open the door.
Good question. Honestly, I wasn’t really sure what to say. My older sister, Livia, was standing there staring at me without a hint of warmth in her eyes. It was making it all the harder to come up with an answer. She held the door firmly in her grip, threatening to slam it shut at any second.I looked down and then around searching for a good answer.I noticed the place hadn’t changed in years. The house was older, needed some work, but still the same.I was stalling, and still didn’t have an answer.
I looked up at her again, her expression hadn’t changed. I couldn’t blame her exactly, I destroyed the sham she had built, the pretend she tried to live. I thought it was for the best, it was but I was wrong in how I did things. I had heard from other family members, the ones still speaking to me, my soap box confession of truth, was anything but helpful.
“Stasia…I asked you, What are you doing here?” She repeated annoyed and impatient.
“I’m trying to find an answer that won’t get the door slammed in my face.” I answered with a half smile in a poor attempt at humour.
Her blue eyes narrowed. Attempt at humour failed. I cleared my throat and took a deep breath. I didn’t expect this to be easy, I’m not sure what I expected.
“Can we talk? I think I need to come clean on some stuff….finally.”
Livia shook her head and let out something close to a laugh or maybe it was an attempt at a laugh, but it didn’t reach her eyes. She glared at me, her mouth once again tense as she crossed her arms in front of her chest. “What could you possibly have to say that I would want to hear…. I thought you said everything you needed too 5 years ago. Or maybe you don’t remember, it was the night before what should have been the happiest day of my life…” she snapped.
I looked around me, no one was around, but I’m sure people would pop out soon as Livia’s voice was rising. I should have expected this. I should have been more prepared. I put my hands up in surrender and took a step back from the door.
“Can we talk inside? I don’t think the neighbourhood needs the show.” I snapped back at her, my temper suddenly getting the better of me.
“What’s the matter little sister, you liked the spot light before. It was ok to destroy my life that night but now suddenly you don’t want everyone to hear what you have to say?” She shouted for anyone passing by to hear.
I glared at her and pushed my way passed her into the old family home. This was not going well, not at all. They say time heals all wounds….they lied. I heard the door slam behind me as I headed to the living room. Her angry footsteps followed quickly.
“Who the hell do you think you are, you can’t just come barging in here. This is my home.”
“Mom left it to both of us.” I snapped back, turning to face her.
She stopped dead. Her eyes blazing. If looks could kill, this would have been the 5th time she would have killed me. I could hear her breathing, she was trying very hard to control her temper now. She could do that, she had a way of bringing in her emotions that I never could. She could pretend a lot better then I could, it was very true that what I felt was always written all over my face and usually came out my mouth.
“I received the letter from the lawyer after the funeral. I was there, I just made sure you didn’t see me. It wasn’t the time to rehash old hurts. It wasn’t the time to…”
“It wasn’t the time to be a family. It wasn’t the time to put our feelings aside and support each other…” she hissed.
I shook my head. This was going nowhere but down the road I didn’t want to go.
“We both know Livia that we couldn’t put aside anything, not even for her funeral. It was better the way it was handled. Besides you had things under control and everything went the way you wanted it. You looked beautiful and tragic, the perfect weeping daughter. Everything was beautifully put together, you did a fantastic job I knew you would. Asher looked handsome standing tall beside you, I’m glad you stopped pretending and actually allowed him into your life. Rebecca was beautiful too, the perfect two year old, you made a lovely looking family. She has Asher’s features, she will be a heartbreaker when she’s older.”
Livia looked at her sister and suddenly grew very tired. She didn’t know Stasia had been there. She didn’t know where her sister had been, she hadn’t really cared after that night to be honest. Livia sank into the near by arm chair and began to rub her temples. She was tired. Tired of the anger she carried. Tired of being perfect. Just tired.
The room was quiet as I watched my sister sitting in her chair. I knew this conversation should have happened along time ago. It was my fault. It was all my fault. It was now time to fix it. I had missed so much, and hidden so much.
I sat on the beat up couch next to her chair. I looked at her, all the anger gone from my body. Now was the time.
“I’m sorry for what I’ve done. Sorry is not enough, not nearly enough for the damage I caused. I made the decision that I never should have made, it wasn’t up to me that night. I told Finn you didn’t love him and the child you were carrying was not his. I maybe should have trusted you, and your reasoning. But I didn’t see how you could have pretended to love him for the rest of your life just for his money and what he could give you in stuff. You loved Asher. Anyone who wasn’t blind could see you loved him, but he didn’t have the money to show you off and take you to all the hot spots and spoil you in what you thought you wanted in life. You didn’t love him, you loved his money. Asher made you laugh, he made you smile and he didn’t expect you to be perfect all the time. He just wanted you to be happy, and he was willing to let you marry that pompous jerk and let him raise his child if that made you happy….Well it wouldn’t have. That life would have made you happy for a year or two maybe…but not forever and well Asher would have been long gone. So I needed to act.”
Livia stared at me, saying nothing. The anger had melted. She slowly nodded, but continued to remain silent.
“Finn was not happy, but he knew what I was saying was true. He still wanted to marry you, not because he loved you but because this was the event of the year and you two were the most glamorous couple of city. I thought if he knew the truth he would just call it all off. But he thanked me and said he would still marry you, he would just alter some things in the paperwork. Make it a business deal. I should have told you that before I stood up in front of everyone and spoke I guess. But I knew that if I caused a scene and created some drama it would put an end to things. Ok my plan was not put together very well but I did it because…..well I think true love should win. And I really didn’t like that guy.”
Livia couldn’t help but smirk a little. Stasia could not be faulted for her honesty. She hadn’t liked Finn from the beginning. All flash and no substance was how she referred to him often while they were together. She had to admit, Stasia had tried to talk to her many times about their relationship. She was blinded by what Finn could give her. She liked him, but honestly he didn’t spark her attention like Asher did. Finn promised her the world, and had the money to back it up. All she had to do was look amazing and be the perfect hostess. She thought she could live with that.
“I was wrong Livia. I handled it all wrong that night. I never should have stood up and told everyone at the table that you didn’t love him and that this was going to be nothing more then a business deal… and that you were already pregnant. I had no idea this dinner included the media and how much this would blow up both the families. I honestly thought this was a big family dinner, I didn’t know the media followed him everywhere like some sort of royalty. I am so so sorry Livia.” I whispered softly. Livia nodded slowly, the softness in her eyes had returned, a sight she hadn’t seen in years. I continued, reaching for my sisters hand and holding it.
“The days that followed, the shame in the news, how badly you were trashed, how he spun it. I wanted to stay and fight beside you, knock the crap out of that jerk…but mom asked me to leave. That I had done enough damage. The way you looked at me that night, I knew you were angry and hated me at that moment. I did try to make it up to you. I didn’t know what to do, but I did what I could. When the media moved on to the next big story, I thought I could try and mend things. It went unanswered. I was even at the hospital when you gave birth, she was beautiful by the way. I snuck a peek when she was in the nursery but mom spotted me and quickly hid me. She knew what I had intended to speak to you and that I was sorry, but you had been through enough and we both agreed you needed space.She sent me pictures of you both, kept me up to date on how things were with you and Asher. And I knew when Mom got sick…”
Livia withdrew her hand and stood up suddenly. Her eyes flashed with renewed anger, “You should have come back and helped with mom. I hated you even more for leaving all of that too me. You were irresponsible and always running off…. Did you not know how hard it was to have to be the one to deal with everything? If it hadn’t been for some help from other family members…and Asher of course..”
“I did help!”I snapped back, then took a deep breath to beat back my temper. “I paid for a lot of her care. I couldn’t be there, it would have just been more for us to fight about. But I took care of the home care bills and the hospital and the funeral. You were there by her side, and yes that would have been a lot harder emotionally….but I was working my ass off to pay for everything..”
“What do you mean you paid for her care?….Asher said he got help from other family members, he never said it was you. When I checked on the bills, it never said who paid for it, just that they were paid…” she stated in disbelief.
Again suddenly exhausted she sank back into her chair, held her head in her hands. This was all too much, all the anger she held, the belief she had about her sister was slowly coming into focus.
“I asked Asher to leave my name out of everything, and to just give me the names and details of who to pay. It was the least I could do after everything I had done to you. I just wanted to do what I could to help, without causing you anymore pain. I was wrong. I was wrong in so many ways. I’m so sorry Livia, please forgive me…”I whispered, tears running down my cheeks. “Asher wanted to tell you, but I begged him not too. I told him I would come one last time to patch things up. You can tell me to go and not come back, I hope you won’t. I hope we can try and rebuild. I want to be apart of your life again. I want to know my niece and rejoin the family…please forgive me…please”
Livia looked at me intently, her eyes glassy, her skin pale and body tired. So much hurt wrote all over her face. We sat in silence for a few minutes, although it felt like years. It was all up to her, I said what I needed to say and now I have to learn my consequences.
Livia slowly got up from her chair and took a deep breath looking at the time on her phone. I straightened my body up, preparing myself for her words. Looking at her phone and then at me she sighed, “Rebecca will be home soon with Asher, you need to go.”
My heart sank but I nodded and slowly got up from the couch. I knew this could be the outcome. I had prayed it would go better, I searched for something else to say as I made my way to the front door. Livia followed behind me silently. Tears stung my eyes as I tried desperately to keep them from spilling over. I reached for the door handle and stopped. This couldn’t be it, I needed to say something else, anything else.
Livia didn’t give me a chance to speak, tears running down her cheeks she touched my shoulder. “Come for lunch on Saturday, you can meet Rebecca officially then. I can’t promise you anything Stasia, but I can try.” She whispered.
The flood of tears broke free. I turned towards her and flung my arms around her, hugging her tight. She slowly wrapped her arms around me and then too held tight, both of us crying like babies. Tears of healing, tears of exhaustion and then just tears.
There is a lot of advice out there….and here is mine, take it with a grain of salt as you wish:
1. Be kind… don’t burn bridges or people, you may not know now what you could be needing later.
2. Be Humble …. realized you are early in life with much to learn,
3. Go on the Adventure and be ok with making mistakes, they are mistakes and you can bounce back.
4. Choose A job or career you love… and work your butt off, support yourself, no one owes you anything!
5. Have fun, enjoy life….but remember You are responsible for YOU. Actions have consequences.
Most of all I would share, don’t take yourself or life too seriously. Laugh as much as you can, be quick to forgive and slow to anger, and treat people you love and care about as the gifts they are.
Happy Birthday and good luck on this new adventure in life.
When the leaves turn colour and the air gets a little more crisp my heart skips a beat. Brisk and cool, it’s freshness is welcome and I breathe it in happily. The crisp air fills my lungs with pure joy, knowing cooler weather is becoming more consistent. I love the colour changes, as Mother Nature puts on her own fashion show. Speaking of fashion, one of my favourite things about Fall is all the new sweaters that come out to keep us warm on our adventures.
I love the crunchy leaves as I walk down paths or across the yard, and the gift of morning frost. Fall is definitely one of my favourite season.
The Church I Left
It’s been a few years since I left them. I loved my Church, I had many friends and really grew in my walk with God. They taught me so much and for that I will be forever grateful. They taught me about family, and working together for the greater good, how to help others in a way of understanding and healing. Accepting we aren’t perfect, even those who are in leadership and those we look up too. They taught me to use my gifts of patience, mercy, praying for others and healing through understanding. I also learned I was not great with young kids, and assisting in Sunday School. So why would I leave and why would I need to let them go??
The longer I was there, the more I began to feel like a worker bee and not really involved as a person who belongs. They spoke a lot about being a family and being apart of the core group. However I felt more pushed to the side as being older, even being only two years older then the pastor. My bible study group was older then me, and while it seemed petty I was not included in some of the social activities with my age group usually due to my daughter being an adult, most of them had younger kids still and that I was single. I want to believe that wasn’t the case….and it was just shrugged off as we didn’t think you would be interested.
I spent a lot of time trying to prove to myself it didn’t matter and I made excuses for it. Then I moved into justifying why I left and why it was ok to be angry about it….both accounts I do realize didn’t make me very Christian minded. I then moved into the phase of just simply trying to replace them in my heart, which never worked. Finally I tried to make them the villain in my own mind, that they were not very good Christians….
I laugh now because the problem was my own hurt feelings, I could have handled it better and most of all just see I didn’t fit in in that way. Holding on to the anger doesn’t serve me, and it doesn’t hurt them. Moving on and remembering the good is what I needed to keep, and to remember we are all human. Christian or not, we are human and sometimes we just don’t fit even when we try and convince ourselves different. Letting it go, and just sitting with the hurt was tougher then I had expected. But it was needed to move on and be able to try again.
My Heart of Mercy
As I look back on my life, the people I have known, some still dear friends and others lessons in life, someone told me once I always lead with a heart of mercy. I sat back and pondered that statement. I forgive quickly, not always forget. I look to understand more then to blame. I look at what is going on around the person in conflict, and why. I look at each person, that we all have bad days. If you ask for forgiveness from me, I will grant it and move forward from there. I listen, and many use to come to me and just share what was going on… even those not considered friends to me. I would help them and yet still know once the help was given, our worlds returned to what they were…people who simply knew each other’s names.
A Year On the Water
I love water, I love listening to it, I love the crazy storms and the dance they perform when the waters are in a rage. I would love to live on the water for a year. Just a nice houseboat, on the open water. By the time I really though of diving in... I became a mom. Then this crazy fear grew. It's not just my life anymore. Never had the thought of what would happen if something went wrong before I had her. I have a close family but yet it still didn't cross my mind of what it would do to them, it only mattered once she was born. I was a single parent until she was 23 years old. So living out that dream was not going to happen. And now, well my spouse is not interested in living on the water, and I'm still a parent who wouldn't want to miss out on the adventure she still brings to my life.
Maybe instead of a year, maybe 6 months will do. Maybe not the open ocean, maybe in the Bay somewhere. My life isn't over yet, so there is time. Maybe the fear will move on and I will still dive right in. I've achieved other dreams I never thought I would.
Over The Mountains in January
The actual act of moving has never been fun for me. The planning, the new location, the new adventure is always fun, but the actual move is not so much. I grew up in small town Alberta Canada. I loved it, but it was time for change. My daughter was an adult and living her life, in the next town. I was single and really nothing was keeping me there. My mom had moved three hours away, my brother and his family an hour away.
I had always loved the mountains, in fact it was completely my GO TO place, so why not live there… sort of. My father had always said we should move to British Columbia, we loved it. So it wasn’t a big leap, he had passed away a few years earlier so why not. My destination was Vancouver Island, and the fact I knew nothing about the Island or really what to expect didn’t really phase me. I moved from the home I had been in for over 10 years, sold pretty much everything and donated what was left that wouldn’t fit into my Ford Focus.
Change is good. I must have said that over and over in my head as I began the journey. My daughter came with me, more to make sure I arrived alive, and too see where I would now be living. Now a move like this is fairly easy in the summer, or even late spring or early fall….. but I like a challenge… actually no, I just didn’t plan well. Heading over the Rockie Mountains in January was definitely a challenge, snow storms, wrong turns and getting lost was all apart of the adventure.
The weather changed drastically from one side of the mountains to the other…. More then a few times I thought we are not going to make it, but there really was no going back at that point for me. I had no home, no job and I had jumped into this with both feet, I had to keep moving on.
As we drove, I had a lot of time to think. Change was good, right? I was putting a mountain between me and my family… something I would never have done before, and frankly I was second guessing. We are a close family, always living near each other and here I was moving 10 to 12 hours away by car or 2 hours by plane. When you look at that change was ok. There would be phone calls, FaceTime, and visits to me and there again.
I knew this change was real as I said good bye to my daughter when it was time for her to fly back to Calgary. I didn’t bother holding back tears, couldn’t have even if I wanted too. I was on the Island, my family was not. This was change I wasn’t completely ready for, but it was still good I thought. Three moves in 14 months, three job changes, seeing things I never saw before that I can’t un-see, and never feeling so broken as I did.
My time on the Island was full of changes, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I learned a lot about myself and who I was as a person, as a mom of an adult child, as really being on my own, as failing and surviving when things didn’t go according to the loose plan I had.
I did return to live in Alberta 14 months later. I came back different then I left, for the better in some ways and the stronger In most. I look at my BC adventure as a trial by fire, I believe you should step out of your comfort zone and grow. The only constant in life is change, I’m glad I took the leap.
Writing to Understand and Mend
Writing can do a lot for The Writer. It can help them to sort things out, it can make them money, it can improve your skills and most of all it has personal benefit. My greatest benefit that comes from writing is how to communicate with people. My writing has helped me turn out my feelings, and realize that saying certain things would actually cost me some relationships. I have a temper and in earlier years a sharp tongue, turning to writing has allowed me to calm down, think it through and see that hurting people is not the way. It also benefit me in helping me to see their point of view and too listen...The greatest benefit has been saving my relationships.
The Writer And The Coffee Shop
The coffee shop was bustling, a little bit busier then I usually like. However it was part of my routine, I needed to get out and I had made myself a promise. I promised myself that I would write in different places and not become a hermit, so every Tuesday here I sit and write. I’m beginning to think I should not have made such a promise, it’s distracting and with all of this noise I might not get what I want done.
However, I sighed and reminded myself, the coffee is amazing. Also the back ground music is not too loud, and to be honest most of the time I can think and create in my head and not be bothered with things going on around me.
A frown crept across my face as I remembered my immediate disappointment when I walked in today, my corner table was being used, so I had to find another one. It was not as I like it, people could walk behind me and move around me and it was more of a distraction. Then reminding myself sharply, if I wanted everything to be perfect I would have stayed at home. I was nit picking and stalling and I knew it. It was a break in my routine, and I didn’t always accept disruptions well, especially in my writing routines.
I take a deep breath, relax my shoulders and let the breathe out slowly and smile to myself. Even I’m sounding a little more cranky then usual in my head. This was a gift and I needed to remember that. Not many can afford to just take time away and be a writer, this is a blessing and a gift! So snap out of it and let your mind focus on the project at hand.
I pulled out my laptop and the notes that I had scribbled down last night. A new middle section had come to me as I was about to drift off to sleep, it solved my bump in the road that had stalled my progress for days. My character had run into a problem and I didn’t know how to solve it, hmmmm note to self , I probably should do some further planning a head.
I had only been typing a few minutes when I heard a voice out of nowhere. “Hmmmmm, I don’t know about that. Are you sure that makes sense?” I stopped and took a deep breath. Perhaps if I say nothing the voice will realize I’m working and I don’t wish to be disturbed. I straightened my back and continued to type.
It didn’t last long and I paused, something nagged at me. I stopped, barely keeping the grumble inside my head and reread what I wrote.
Ok, I see what I did wrong there, I had the words in my head and my fingers were not fast enough to get them all down. Common mistake, however the help was not needed, I’m sure I would have caught it when I looked over it later. No need to say anything, I don’t wish to encourage a break in my work right now. Not to mention I have a lot more writing to do. I sighed again, however it would be rude to not at least acknowledge the help, even if it was not required. I am here to not become a hermit after all....
I looked up, expecting the unwelcome conversation. Nothing. No one was there.
I looked around, but no one seemed to be waiting for a conversation. Each person wrapped up in their own worlds. Feeling the slight heat in my cheeks, and then a strange feeling of disappointment. At least that’s what I think it was. I turned back to my laptop and shrugged. Probably just a nosy person looking over my shoulder, offering some passing advice, I muttered under my breath. I hate to admit it, I was trying to comfort myself.
I ran my fingers through my short chocolate brown hair and tucked it behind my ears. Adjusted my butt on the chair and wiggled around. Back straight, deep inhale and ready to focus again. No more distractions!
My fingers began dancing over the key board again. My eyes glued to the screen as the words unfolded. This was my happy place, everything pouring out, no stumbling, so easy.....
“That’s not right. It won’t make sense....” whispered another voice.
I stopped and looked up impatiently. My lips pursed together. My back straight and I slowly turned to look behind me.
The ladies at the table behind me were engrossed in their conversation. I stared at them intently and they stopped for a second and met my eyes. They looked confused and a little startled, as I stared at them. “Did you say something to me?” I asked slightly annoyed and ready to defend my work.
They looked at each other slightly confused and then back at me. They both slowly shook their heads, clearing their throats uncomfortably. “Ummm no....” muttered one lady. My expression immediately softened, mostly because I was embarrassed. And because I was not entirely sure where the voice had come from. Clearly it was not from them. And my temper had unfortunately gotten the better of me. I tried to reason with myself, This is why I like my usual table, no one can go behind me.
I attempted a softer smile to apologize. The ladies nodded slowly and returned to their conversation. I took another deep breath and looked around the cafe. Coffee, maybe grab some coffee. Maybe my mind was playing tricks on me and I really had not heard anyone say anything to me.
I continued to look around the busy cafe and shook my head slightly, sighing and smiling. The place is really full, there are dozens of conversations going on and leave it to me to think anyone is paying any attention to me or my work. I really can be a Diva. I looked at my phone, I had been here longer then I thought and a break would be good.
As I made my way back to my table with a fresh coffee and a chocolate chip cookie, I looked around the cafe again. Still just as full, but the people are changing. As quickly as someone leaves, someone else scoops up the empty seats and settle in, some for a chat, a few with books and even some sitting together but each on their phones. The place is a buzz of activity.
I looked at what I wrote and soon my fingers began gliding across the keys, my energy renewed and the voices that surround me are drifting away. The words on the screen are flying, the story developing not only in front of me but it my mind. I see what my character is doing, how she is acting, it’s all so clear and flowing.
“You must really love that you can spend your days just hanging out like this....” broke in a sharp high voice.
I stopped writing. But caught myself this time. That person isn’t talking to you, keep writing. “Ignore, don’t look around” I told myself. My fingers returned to the keys.
“Must be something very important you are working on.” said the voice again, this time a little louder. Then the extra chair at my table moved out and an older woman sat herself down at my table. “I see you here each week and you are so busy on that computer of yours. I thought to myself if I saw you this time I was going to come over and see what you are doing.” She paused, waiting for my response. “So what are you doing?” she insisted as I still sat staring at her.
“Mom!” hissed a voice. And another woman rushed up to my table. She looked at me apologizing with her eyes. “I’m sorry to bother you. My mom....”
I smiled finally gathering my thoughts. I was impressed with this older woman’s boldness. “It’s alright.”
She was a tiny woman, but a fire cracker. Her hair was white, perfectly curled and her blue eyes sparkled but were razor sharp. She was very polished, beautifully dressed, flawless make-up and pearl glossed painted fingernails. Her daughter was very well styled, taller then her mother but you could see the day was taking it’s toll. Her golden blond hair was trying to escape its restrictive clip and her blue eyes looked more tense then sharp.
Her mother looked up at her daughter, smiling that ‘I told you so’ smile and then her sharp blue eyes looked at me. “So, what are you writing on that computer every week?” She looked me up and down. “You don’t look like a student, and you don’t look like a business woman either.” Her eyes staring intently into mine.
I blinked and looked away, then looked down. Note to self, perhaps a style update is in order.
Her daughter stood in shock, raised a hand to her forehead head and groaned, “Mom, you can’t say that! You don’t know if she is a student. And it’s not your business anyway.” Turning to me, “I’m so sorry, she has an opinion.....
“And I have a mouth of my own. I’m not a child, Becca! “ she snapped.
I sat looking at the two ladies, and could not help but smile. I thought this is mother’s and daughters at every stage in life. Becca looking at her mom and her mom looking up at her, the power struggle and yet the love between them was clear.
I cleared my throat and the ladies looked at me. “I’m a writer.”
“See Becca, I told you.” She smiled brightly. “Are you famous?”
I laughed. “Not yet. But someday I will be.”
She leaned forward, looking around as she did, “Do you write any of that trashy romance stuff??” she eyed me suspiciously.
Her daughter groaned again and glared at her.
She looked up at her, shrugging her shoulders, “It’s just a question.”
I worked at containing my laughter. I liked this woman, she was a force to be reckoned with and straight forward. It was a nice change to see in a world where so many people are afraid to say anything. I felt for her daughter though, I can imagine what it was like growing up in that house hold if her mom has always been this direct with people.
“No, that’s not what I write about.”
“Ladies your coffee’s are ready.” called out the barista behind the counter. Becca looked at the counter, and looked back at her mother, not sure if she should go and leave her mother unattended. However a second later her mother began to rise out of the chair indicating our conversation was over.
“Next week perhaps you could tell me more about what you are writing. I love to read. And it’s not good to spend all of your time staring at that screen, it will hurt your eyes. You should come here to talk to people as well. I’m Victoria, not Vicky or anything shorter. It’s Victoria. That is my daughter Becca. And you are?” she said extending her hand towering over me.
I quickly stood up and reached out to shake her hand and smiled, “Madison. And it’s not Maddy either.” I smiled trying to match her seriousness. She had a strong grip, although not really a surprise.
The older woman smiled as she let go of my hand, and turned towards the window. Victoria scanned the area for an empty table and found her target. She moved towards the empty table, almost defying anyone else to snatch it up. She moved slowly, but with a confidence you would not expect just looking at her. Becca had joined me and we watched her reach the table and get settled before Becca turned to me and said, “I’m sorry” she whispered.
I let a giggle slip and smiled at Becca. “Don’t be, she is great. We all need a dose of Victoria in our lives.”
Becca relaxed and let out a slight giggle too. “Some more then others!”
“Becca our coffee will be getting cold.” called out Victoria in a no nonsense tone.
Becca sighed, smiled and turned towards the counter, “I guess we will see you next week?”
I heard her giggle a bit as she walked away and I returned to my seat and stared at the computer screen. I had to admit it, that was a welcome break, abrupt, somewhat intrusive, but fun and a reality check. And Victoria is right, I promised to come here to not be a hermit, and that includes interacting with people.That was the part I had not really put into practice. She was the perfect reminder, at the perfect time.
I looked over at the table in front of the window. Becca had made it to the table with the coffee’s and now she and her mother were in an animated conversation and smiling at each other. It’s funny Victoria had said she had seen me week after week here, and yet I had never noticed them before. I looked around at the busy shop with a whole new set of eyes, I wonder what else in this coffee shop I missed? I picked up my coffee and sank back into my chair.
As I watched the activity around me it was astounding what I saw. The interactions between people, or again the lack of interactions as people sat together but focused on their phones, showing each other what they were looking at between sips of coffee and then returning to their phones. Then the animated conversations that began softly and erupted and then lowered again as they noticed they suddenly had an audience. In another corner a group of young mom’s sat with their babies, sharing stories and laughing enjoying the break in the day. Behind the counter the two workers were working quickly to restock the goodies and make fresh coffee, smiling and chatting with each other while they waited for the next customer or the next rush. The land of interaction meets the person who just came in to satisfy a simple promise to not be a hermit.
I looked back at my laptop and tried to review where I had left off, changing a few things and again trying to become engrossed in my work. The buzz of the conversations around me were not fading as they had before. My attention had become more of a struggle and not because I couldn’t stay focused, but because I realized the coffee shop wasn’t just another place to write so I could check off a simple promise.
I closed my laptop and grabbed my bag from beside me. “That’s enough for today I think,” I mumbled to no one in particular. I drained my last drop of coffee and put everything inside my bag. Picking everything up I placed my mug in the dirty dishes bin and headed towards the door.
“See you next week Madison.” called out Victoria who was close behind me. It startled me, as I was unaware she was there. I stopped and turned to face her.
I smiled and nodded,“Yes, see you next week Victoria. You too Becca.”
“You won’t see Becca next week, it’s my sons turn. They take turns. They can only handle so much time with me.” she smiled, a little mischief in her eyes.
Becca blushed and stammered, “Mom!”
Victoria openly laughed. I shook my head and couldn’t help but laugh too. Becca stared at both of us and started laughing, relief washing over her face.
“I have a feeling Victoria, you keep your family on their toes.”
“She definitely does that.” Becca smiled and rolled her eyes.
Victoria just smiled at her daughter and moved towards the door.
All three of us exited the coffee shop. As Victoria and Becca headed towards their car I watched them for a minute. Victoria was unpredictable, and strong, however she loved her daughter even if she did take some delight in catching her off guard. I like Victoria, and Becca was right, we all need a little Victoria in our lives, some more then others.
The Day She Arrived
I was not prepared to be a single parent, I need to rephrase that. I had all the stuff, and my finances were ok, it was the emotional part... the I have no idea how I’m going to do this part. I was sick from day one to the two weeks over due day she was born. Labour was horrible, soooo you can guess my confidence of the whole situation was pretty much nothing. It’s very overused, but that first look at her, told me nothing else mattered.
I had loved and lost before In relationships. And many times since I didn’t really believe love existed. Except for her, I’ve never know a deeper love then being her mom. There is honestly very few people in this world I would die for, she is one. We don’t always like each other, again single mom right up until she was 23, we had some battles. But I never ever closed the door on her. That love, even at its ugliest confrontation, still washed over my heart and kept us talking. If she was ever in trouble, I would be there in a heartbeat. And when she needed to learn some hard lessons, she had no idea how hard it was to let her fall so she could grow as a person.
When we lived far apart, different province, and not really on good terms, it was really mourning the closeness we had. When she returned, she may have looked at me funny...mom it was only a two hour flight away, seriously..I was in tears as my heart actually felt in one piece again. That kind of love is such a special love.