A mother's love can come from our own mother or, as in this excerpt from Desperate Deeds, it can come from someone who may not be our natural mother but who is always there for us.
Olivia felt so helpless. It wasn’t often that she was at a loss for words but this was one of those rare times. She didn’t know what she could say to Ann to help to ease her pain. What could you say to a woman whose child was missing? That was a parent’s worst nightmare! She hoped her being there would be enough to comfort the woman she’d come to think of as her daughter. Ann’s been through so much. Why did this have to happen?
“Ann, would you like a cup of tea? It might help you to relax.” The second the words were out of Olivia’s mouth, she realized how ridiculous they sounded. Relax? There was no way Ann would relax until she held her little boy in her arms again.
Ann looked at her through red-rimmed eyes. “No, Liv. Thank you. I . . . . I can’t right now.”
“Well, tell me if you change your mind or if there’s anything else I can get you.”
Olivia saw that Ann was shivering. She reached behind Ann and pulled the afghan from the back of the sofa. “Here, Ann, put this around your shoulders.”
Ann gave her a weak smile as she wrapped the afghan around herself and pulled it up to her chin. “I love this afghan. Nana gave this to me when I was a little girl. She said it was for my hope chest. I remember I had to ask her what a ‘hope chest’ was.”
“Well, it’s beautiful.” Olivia ran her fingers along the edge of the afghan. “It’s so soft and I love the color. Sage green, isn’t it?”
“It is. Actually, I used this color as the inspiration for decorating the whole room.”
Olivia smiled. “Well, you did a great job. It matches the green in your sofa perfectly. Did your grandmother make it herself?”
“Yes. She could knit, crochet, sew and she taught me how to do all of that.”
“She must have been a great teacher because I’ve seen some of the things you’ve made and they’re incredible. All your own curtains and bedding, the kids’ Halloween costumes. Amazing!”
Ann nodded. “I owe all of that to Nana.”
An idea suddenly occurred to Olivia. What if she could get Ann to keep talking about her grandmother? That might help to take her mind off of the immediate situation. “From what you’ve told me, I gather your grandmother was quite a woman. I mean, besides her sewing skills.”
“Oh, she was! She was a strong and determined woman. I don’t know what would’ve happened to Marnie and me after our parents died if it hadn’t been for Nana. We didn’t have any other family. I guess we would’ve had to go into foster care and we might even have been separated. That would’ve been awful.”
“Sounds like you were lucky to have her.”
“Oh, we were. I don’t know if I ever told you this but, after my mother and father were killed in the car crash, Nana sold her house in Dayton and moved in with us. She gave up her friends, all of her church and social activities, everything, to take care of us. She made a wonderful home for Marnie and me. She always put us first. That’s the kind of person she was.” She cleared her throat. “I still miss her every day.”
Ann began to sob. “Oh, Olivia, I didn’t think it was possible to miss anyone more than I miss Nana. But I miss my little boy more!”
Happy Mother's Day to my Mom, my stepmother, Helen, and my ex mother-in-law, Marion!