Continual Resort Part #8 – Hopes Undone {From the FWF Prompt}

I hope that you all enjoy installment #8 of my story Continual Resort – Hopes Undone. This installment was inspired by Kellie Elmore’s Free Write Friday image prompt…it was freaking PERFECT for what I wanted to convey with this new character!!! You’ve done it again Kellie – thank you much! <3…I hope you all enjoy, here goes!

Continual Resort | Hopes Undone

jackson wedding

Image courtesy of Kellie Elmore

At the sound of the dial tone, Chelsea grinned a satisfactory smile knowing that she had thrown Donald for a loop. He had no idea that she would be calling him after all of these years, but she felt that he was well deserving of any bad vibe that she could send his way. After all, he had given her bad vibes all of her life and couldn’t care less. It simply was not fair for this man to have been allowed to have complete control over her life and not even be present in it, but her own mother was to blame. “Money talks and bullshit walks – you can do whatever you please once you’re grown.” Chelsea would never forget what her mother had told her and she eventually learned to live those words as well.

Her mother now lived in a nursing home after having a stroke four years ago. Chelsea had tried to care for her at home, but simply could not deal with this difficulty along with her mother’s attitude which had become even worse after she became ill. The nursing home served its purpose well enough and Chelsea kept up with regular yet brief visits to make sure that her mother was being cared for properly. It was not that they didn’t care for each other, but her mother’s attitude towards life had caused  their relationship to not be as one would expect a single mother with only one child to be. Things were so different when she was a small girl…back then she was a prized possession…later, a spoiled brat, but all of this changed during her teenage years.

Chelsea grew up with almost everything that she wanted, but the collector’s item dolls gave her no pleasure because she was not allowed to play with them. The dance lessons kept her occupied, but still did not replace the time that could have been spent enjoying a real family. The modeling classes proved that she was indeed the envy of the other girls because of her beauty, and her designer clothes made a nice cover for the unopened book that was her heart.

None of these things that other kids complained about not having fulfilled the emptiness that she felt. She was sure that this emptiness was what drove her to rebellion. Chelsea felt that she’d been nothing more to her mother and father (who she knew of but seldom saw) than a trophy lying dormant on its own personal shelf. Cutting school, drinking, smoking, and ‘being fast’ was her way of receiving the attention that she so needed, and for a while it actually worked – or so she thought.

She had grown tired of the jealousy and angry looks from her peers. Her job had been to be beautiful, look pretty for the camera, and win more awards, but high school had taught her that these things were no so much admired by all. Learning the hard way to either fit in or fight, Chelsea decided that she would go the non-violent route and began to let others influence her actions. Her grades began to fail, and the guidance counselor was constantly setting up conferences with her mother about her behavior.

This was right up Chelsea’s alley, because she relished those nights that her mother would fuss over her; almost pleading with her to straighten up or she would have to call her dad. Little did her mother know that this was exactly what Chelsea wanted.

Donald began to spend some weekends with her, showering her with more gifts on top of what he already provided through her mother. Although her interest in these things had begun to wane, she would still take whatever she could get from her parents and still be as fancy as her untouched dolls. She had become just like her mother. Get all you can while the getting is good was her main goal for attention as well as things, but after a time, when she most needed her parents’ love and understanding, they let her down miserably. Once they thought that she was improving in school and had begun to act better in school, the visits from Donald stopped. The late night talks with her mother ended also, but she went through the motions and acted as she should in school. She had to get her act together now because she had fallen in love.

The quarterback of the football team needed her by his side – especially for homecoming. They were the king and queen of the court. Despite continued jealousy from other girls, most of the school was glad to cast their votes in her behalf. They were the perfect couple and this attention made Chelsea feel as if she were on top of the world. She was the envy of everyone and Gary belonged to her. She realized that at the beginning of their relationship that he simply needed a pretty girl on his arm, but over time they had grown very close. She was glad that she’d had at least some experience with boys, so there was no problem with ‘going all the way’…Chelsea was sure that this was what made Gary stick to her like glue. He had not been like the other boys who were just trying to build their reputations. Gary was different…his family had money and his parents were much like her own in that they were basically interested in his being a winner and not much else. Their phone conversations became longer as they spoke on what they actually wanted out of life which seemed to be each other…they talked about being together forever.

Chelsea had been so afraid to tell Gary about her pregnancy that she waited until Class Day. She would be graduating with honors and could not wait to be seated on the front row to show how she had improved over that couple of years to come out on top despite her past. After the program was over, Gary’s response to her news was shocking to say the least. He had offered to marry her. “You know my folks got money shooting out of their asses, so we’ll be taken care of. You can live with us and I can still play college ball. Believe me, my folks have already let me know that if I ever got myself into a ‘situation’ to not worry. It’s alright, I love you!” Chelsea kissed him passionately outside of the gym in front of several onlookers and decided that she could now tell her mother the great news.

“You little bitch! Do you realize what you’ve done?  Here I am trying to make something decent out of you and you went and screwed up everything, but don’t think for one minute that you’re gonna fuck me outta my money!”

While Chelsea did not quite know how to react to her mother;s seething anger, she thought that she may as well act like the woman that she now was. “What can you actually do about it? I’m a grown woman now and I’m getting married. I won’t have to be under your thumb ever again and there’s nothing you can do about it!” She made this statement to her mother knowing full well that there was plenty that her mother could do about it, but she would make sure that this did not happen. No longer would she be a pawn for her mother’s pockets. She had a way out and she also had real love – there was no way she would let anyone get in her way.

“Oh, really…we’ll see about that.”

That very night, Chelsea’s mother called Donald to tell him that they had an ’emergency’.

*

Realizing that she had lain awake all that time going back over her life, Chelsea made herself comfortable in the king sized bed in her hotel suite. “Get some rest beauty queen…one’s been down for four years, but there’s one more to go…I am going to enjoy this. Let’s see how it feels for you to have all of your hopes undone, dear old Dad.”

Rolling over under the luxurious covers, Chelsea slept.

Aside

The Day Before Mother’s Day

It has been four years since my mother passed away, but somehow it does not seem that long. The years have simply gone by in a flash although the first days after it happened were very difficult. It seemed that time moved rather slowly- painfully slow, and later on time began to fly and the next thing I knew, I had made it through the first year with my sanity somewhat still in tact.  Her birthday was on Dec. 13, my youngest son was born on Jan. 13, and she passed on Feb. 13…strange…I normally am not a ‘numbers’ person, but  the number thirteen has become quite significant to me now.

I thought that I would be sad and depressed when this time of year rolled around but that is not the case. The death of my parents had always been my greatest fear in not knowing whether I would be there to actually witness their last breath…I was not there although I had been with them both the day before.

The mind can be a very strong force in one’s life especially when that person is unwilling to face reality due to their greatest fear. I literally watched my parents dying gradually each day for many months but even up until the last day that I saw my mother in the hospital, and despite the telling dreams that I had which I assume were for the purpose of preparing me for the inevitable, my mind simply ‘put it away’ of course until it happened. An unnatural calm came over me as I casually informed my husband and then seven-year old daughter that momma was dead. That is how I said it – calm voice, “Momma is dead, I need to go to the hospital.” All while I hand pumped enough milk for my 4-week-old during my absence. Despite the reports from nurses that she would be okay, I still knew deep down that she would not leave that hospital as she came in. How does one know and not know at the same time? Well, I did. A couple of days beforehand, I was on the phone with her and my oldest sister. She was talking gibberish, (which was really big hint) that I ignored, and suddenly completely coherent, she told my sister good-bye. Then she went back to the gibberish talk and a chill went down my spine when she called out to her own mother and brother saying, “I’m ready!” My heart sank. And there was total silence on the phone for some time before my sister who was in the room with her took the phone and we hung up – my hands shaking like a leaf.

I am having a really hard time writing this. At first I was not going to write a Mother’s Day post, but something keeps telling me to do it through silent tears and despite this cruel discomfort that I didn’t even know I had. I guess it is to make a point and to help myself understand what has lain dormant in my heart for some time. Maybe it will help someone else too.

Several months before her transition, I had a dream (one of many) that let me know what would happen eventually. Both of my parents were plagued with health problems. My father lay helpless in the VA while my mom struggled but was still somewhat active. She was still walking, talking, etc., still  functioning with the exception of those days when nothing was normal. (another hint) Anyway, the dream went like this…I am holding my moms hand, my oldest sister is holding my father’s hand and we are high up on some type of platform (it was blue) and felt like those inflated moonwalkers and slides that kids play on.

I still don’t know what that meant, but we were surrounded by clouds and blue skies overhead although we seemed to be inside of somewhere. Mom and I seemed to be in a hurry as we were jogging along trying to get to this wooden door, so I looked back to see that my sister and dad had come through the door behind us. All of a sudden as mom and I are right in front of this door, she wriggled her hand out of mine (I was holding very tightly) and she said, “I’m here now, I gotta go!” The door opened, she ran through, I saw clouds and blue skies, and the door quickly closed in my face. I could hear my dad struggling on the unstable platform as he tried to run…my sister was holding his hand and I grabbed the other. Upon reaching that same door that my mom went through, it opened again as my sister and I still holding his hands swung him into the clouds and the door closed. I looked down to see that there was a clear place on the platform and as I looked through it, I could see my other three sisters standing there. I don’t know what they were saying. I woke up. My parents died 4 months apart… I call both of their dying days their ‘new birthdays’.

I can’t help but think that she decided to go first because she simply could not bear to watch my dad die as he did. If he got sick, she did too and vice versa. One could not fall without the other, but after over fifty years who would?

For many weeks afterwards, I continued to have a series of extremely realistic dreams so much that upon awakening, I had to remind myself that my parents were no longer on this earth, (It still happens to this day) but that night at the hospital when my daughter and I went to see my mother’s body (I didn’t know whether to take her or not, but she was not taking no for an answer), I combed her hair for the last time, cried, and my daughter sang a song as the family stood around saying their last words. Once home and in bed, I was freezing and my husband held me in a fierce embrace contemplating the ‘breakdown’. It didn’t happen. I actually began to go back and forth – dozing and waking right back up. I distinctly remember not being completely asleep when the strangest thing happened. Lost in thought about how to go to tell dad (he seemed to already know), I felt my mom’s hand cupped on the side of my face like one does when preparing to whisper a secret. She spoke directly into my ear (not a whisper – I heard clearly) saying, “I wanted to go, now you handle it.” Of course I called out to her, “Momma?!” She sounded as if she was in a hurry. “You heard me…I wanted to go now you handle it from now on!” I immediately awoke my snoring husband to tell him what had just happened…he understood, I thanked God and slept peacefully with no dreams.

I made the arrangements with some help from my siblings…the funeral was beautiful…not much standing room it was so full…I kept checking the side mirror en route to the burial and never did see the end of the line up which practically wrapped around the entire cemetery.

A lot happened in the days that followed. After two weeks, the breakdown came, but I recovered quickly as I heard my little girl awake. I am sure that her songwriting began in order to make her way through her pain, and she has the voice of a songbird. We talk often, because I know that she was unable to grasp the true meaning of what happened. She was the strongest little soldier ever until they closed the casket. I heard my baby say that she didn’t want them to close the box on Dorothy Doll (That was her nickname for her grandma as Baby Doll  the nickname given to her by my mom.) I didn’t hold her when she began to cry…she covered her little face with the program and let her tears flow although she was quiet. I froze – unable to comfort my own child as she leaned on my sister. I felt like such a failure right then and this still bothers me now. Herein lies ‘my help’  the true purpose for this post. I feel as if I abandoned her that day and she has never gotten over it although she has never said anything about it, but I know what I have to do now. We have to cry together because I don’t think that has ever happened. I have tried to be strong for her, but I feel now that this was a mistake. I  realize now that in my attempts to be strong, I am turning to stone…could it be that I am trying to keep my own pain at bay? She was extremely close to my parents but she is able to open up more now that she is a bit older…she dreams now. I thank my mom for that.

My mother had written two poems that she wanted included on her funeral program…I will be sure to post them. She was quite the poet and I thank her for passing that down to me.

I made it through the post. I guess that  my purpose for it was to say that I owe my daughter an apology and that I don’t actually feel that emptiness that people talk about when a loved one dies. Yes, I know that I cannot hug, kiss, or talk on the phone with her daily as we did before, but in a way, I feel closer to her and dad now than I did while they went through all the sickness. Their better days were already behind them and now their days are complete bliss. Of course I still have sad days, basically from what she and dad went through but my mom was also a dreamer. I thank her for passing that down to me also, and I still tell her Happy Mother’s Day…I truly believe that she hears me.

The latest dream that I had (day before yesterday), we spent the whole day together and she looked beautiful. Once again, I had to tell myself that she is not here. Nevertheless, I am a living witness that ‘weeping may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning’.

Aside

May 2, 2013 Blog Dare Prompt – I Will Never Lose…

my faith in God. There have been so many instances and incidents where I could have easily given  up and said screw it all, but why would I do that?  If my mind and heart has been staid all of these years up until now, I figure that there is no reason for me to change unless something so drastic happens that I have no choice. I am here to tell you now that the beginning of my very life was so drastic once I learned about it as well as one other situation during my childhood that I am convinced and that there is not much left that can  change what I believe now…it just wouldn’t make much sense to say that what has occurred over my lifetime was merely a compiled set of incidents that can only be attributed to coincidence.

Let’s begin at my entrance into this world. I know that I was there, but the fact that I was being born at the time should make clear the point that I actually had no idea what was actually going on in a realistically conscious sense. However, spiritually I must say that I very well may have known what was happening at the time, because all things work together for the good – right?

Okay. Long story short, I was not even supposed to be born because as my mother (R.I.P. Momma!) stated years ago that despite being under somewhat heavy sedation due to pre-natal distress, she could hear the doctor saying what a shame it was to have to ‘let the baby go’ in order to save the mother who had four other children to raise and that it was the best decision that he could make given the situation. He had decided that it would make more sense to save the mother of this unborn child who just happened to far exceed the birth weight that mother was able to accommodate (as never having had a baby over five pounds due to some other issue) instead of saving the baby and leaving the father with four children to raise by himself while having to work to take care of them at the same time.

This was not a common deal back in November of 1970, so the doctor stated that the child would have to be aborted immediately as a result of being too large to even attempt the journey through my mother’s severely and insufficiently capacious birth canal. For some reason, there was no time for an emergency C-section which has become the savior of today’s distressed births. I am not sure if there were no epidurals back then or what – I just remember Momma saying that time had run out and there was no other choice but to inevitably abort.

Keeping in mind that I was a rather sneaky kid who did not always follow the golden rule of actually leaving the room when ‘grown folks’ were talking, I could overhear the discussion one night as Momma and whoever company was (probably her sisters who were all in agreement that this was one of the most frightening times of their own lives) reminisced over the situation some odd years later. I will never forget how badly I regretted being a master eavesdropper that night which in turn caused me to obey that golden rule from then on…mostly anyway.

She then began to describe what she was thinking (while under) about how her precious baby would die and how devastated she would be afterwards. The next statements really threw me for a loop as she spoke about how she heard a ‘voice’ telling her to push regardless of the fact that she had already heard her OBGYN say that she would die upon giving birth.  The story went on to describe how my mom felt herself tearing as I came out while the doctor and his crew frantically rushed to prepare themselves for this shocking change in plans while also readying themselves to inform my dad of the deaths that were definitely in store. She said that she knew that I was here when she realized that she had totally ‘come apart’ while the staff took care of a perfectly healthy baby just before performing  a very intricate re-constructive surgery in order to try to get her back to somewhat normal. As a result, the next baby that was born into our family, Mom ended up having a scheduled C-section five years later because a regular birth was completely out of the question.

Anyway, Momma went on to describe an incident where she mentioned ‘hemorrhaging’ which could not have been good due to the fact that she said that she collapsed and was rushed back to the hospital for however long – me at the age of a few days, she had to depend on sisters to take care of the baby and the other kids while Dad worked. Apparently someone stayed at the house with us while Mom was in the hospital – I don’t remember who, but I did have some siblings who were old enough to help out.

Somehow, Momma came back home, healed, and went back to her normal mothering, cooking, taking care of home, and being the best mother that anyone could ever ask for. She attributes us making it through that ordeal strictly to God because of that voice along with the rest of the miraculous events such as her very survival. She told everyone that I was her ‘miracle child’. Though I had no idea of how to live up to that name, I tried my best although I’m sure that I didn’t do so well along the way years after, but that is my first reason for my undying faith.

The next comes from a regular doctor’s visit to my pediatrician at around the age of seven. They found a problem with my heart. Irregular beat, murmur, and after several abnormal EKGs and ultrasounds, I would need open heart surgery to correct the problem. Now, the final decision was made around the age of eleven because I was still going to my original pediatrician for some years before the problem was officially diagnosed. I cannot remember the actual name of the problem, but it was there – found by the new doctor and the specialist that he referred us to. Something about a blocked valve is all that I can really remember.

I find it strange how I can remember some things just a little bit while others as if it were yesterday, but I do remember my mom on the phone with church members and relatives speaking about them all planning to pray at certain times of the day. One day in particular, she was on the phone while ironing everyone’s clothes for the week. We were in hers and Dad’s bedroom, when I suddenly stopped paying attention to what was on TV. I saw a  little lady (that is how I remember it) appear right in front of me, bathed in white and light. Mom was talking about how they were keeping up with their prayers and how she would NOT lose me after all that it took to bring me into this world when the little lady smiled at me. We did not speak, but I knew what she was saying as she and I- apparently (as I know now), communicating telepathically. My mom had no idea of what was going on with me while this was happening and I didn’t mention it until much later.

I can distinctly remember having no fear of dying which I knew would surely happen if I had the surgery. The little lady told me that there was nothing to fear and I told her that I didn’t want to die because it would hurt my whole family and they would be crying. First of all, I could never stand the thought of either of my parents crying, but after all – I was the ‘miracle child’.  All of this was happening with no one talking except my mom and whoever she was on the phone with. The lady bathed in white and light said that great was my faith and love, so all that I needed to do was to pray for my friend. I would live and not die (she shook her head – no), but I would have some sadness in my life although I would get through that also. Little sparks of light went from her and landed on me as I accepted what she said, somehow knowing the ‘friend’ that she implied. It is still funny now how I felt that day, seeing the peace, joy, and unconditional love that I would experience, but choosing to stay put because I pretty much had it already.  The little lady thanked me and disappeared. I felt a calm as my mom hung up the phone.

She had been talking to the Avon lady who had a daughter that had become quite close to me over time. She had been scheduled to go in for the exact same surgery  that I was, but my mom and our church were praying for her too!

I said my prayer for my friend. A couple of years later in our pre-teens Taska (my friend) had gone through the same surgery that I was supposed to have had, but didn’t after the doctors could NOT find the problem that they had seen before, (believe me, they looked for it) but miraculously, it was no longer there. I could now join the marching band with no worries, and the day that Taska and her mother came to visit, I was ecstatic! She showed me her zipper just before we discovered that she also had become a flute player in her high school’s band. (There was no middle school back then) – We watched our mothers cry in relief while praising that same God that had seen fit to bring me into this world, I guess for the very purpose of being living proof that faith in Him does pay off.

I have seen many other miracles happen to others in my life…things that you would probably say are a coincidence or maybe you would even say that it didn’t even happen, but I would not be writing this if it hadn’t. I don’t knock what anyone believes and I don’t accept being knocked either, so what  happened – happened, and I am proud to say that it did. Life was different then, and today as a real-life non-church going yet full-fledged believing Christian, (I have changed my views on some things over time and I do not attribute my outcome to ‘church’ but faith), I can honestly say that… with all of this being said and much more to come…

I will never lose my faith in God.

By the way, my birth weight was 8’11!

Thanks for reading!

Aside

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