November 17, 2008
By Alison VanOrman, Sand Lake, MI

It was Mother's Day weekend, and I was ecstatic. It reminded me of a child's first Christmas. I was sixteen, and, for the first time in my life, I was able to spend it with my mom. It was only supposed to be my mom and me, but I had talked my sister, Brittany, into coming with me.

As we drove two and a half hours across Michigan to get there, we talked about how much fun we would have and how excited we were to see our mom and our little brother, Lyric, and, Ireland, our little sister. We both knew that this was the first time in our lives we were going to be able to spend Mother's Day together. We were in for a rude awakening.

We arrived to her house at around five o'clock p.m. As I pulled into the drive way it seemed as if the sky had darkened and the atmosphere changed. I watched as the front door opened and Lyric and Ireland quickly run out with cheerful smiles on their faces. My mom looked out the door, and I noticed that she looked very disappointed. I ignored this until we got inside.

While my sister Brittany was saying her hellos to our siblings, I walked in the kitchen where my mom was standing, smoking a cigarette by the window. The smoke looked like it was coming out of a train, and it was very hard to breath. I asked her why she had such a disappointed look on her face, and she looked at me and sighed, "Because you brought your sister with you."

I squawked, "She's your daughter too."

She stated, "I know, but I didn't want her over here because she doesn't need to know my business."

My mom and my sister were on the outs at this time and my mom didn't want anything to do with her, because she thinks that my sister spreads our moms buisness. That is why I was the one that talked to my mom every night because she didn't have anyone else to talk to.

My sisters then walked in and gave my mom a hug and kiss and told her happy Mother's Day. As she handed her Mother's Day card, my mom looked at her with an angry expression and threw the card on the counter. My sister looked at her with an expression as if a bull was raging inside her and asked why she wasn't going to open it. My mom and I had these guilty looks on our faces, kind of like the ones that kids get when they have just stolen a cookie out of the cookie jar after their parents had told them not to.

My mom then asked us both if it would be ok if the three of us went out to dinner. We smiled and said that would be a good idea. My sister and I both knew that maybe dinner would break the tension between her and my mom. So we agreed happily. I called my old friends. April and Tiff, to come over to watch Lyric and Ireland while we went out to eat. They told me they would be ready to be picked up around four-thirty.

We ended up leaving around five o'clock p.m. that night. I didn't know my way around my mom's town, and, seeing as I was driving, my mom was giving me the directions to follow. We pulled into the parking lot, I noticed there weren't many cars, and I wondered why. Knowing it was Mother's Day, I thought to myself, "Doesn't everyone go out to eat on Mother's Day?" As we were walking up, I read a sign above the door “NO PERSONS UNDER THE AGE OF 21 WILL BE ALLOWED IN AFTER 9 P.M.” That's when it hit me. We were at a bar, and I knew the night wasn’t going to end on a good note.

My mom led my sister and me to the back of the bar where it seemed as if we were isolated from everyone else. I knew in the back of my mind that my sister and I weren’t supposed to be there, but I didn't mention this to our mom. I knew if I did, she would have gone off the edge. I didn't want to upset her any because, after all, it was Mother's Day, and we were getting along so well at that point. I didn’t want to ruin the mood.

As my mom sat there smoking a cigarette, a waitress named Sara walked up and asked what we wanted to drink. My mom ordered a large Long Island Iced Tea. My sister and I just stopped and stared at her with amazement. We both knew, including my mom, that she couldn't drink liquor. The drink she had ordered consisted of a mixture of seven different liquors. She gets very violent and belligerent when she drinks liquor, and from experience we all knew this was very true.

Mom asked, "Why don't you guys want anything to eat? Brittany, especially you, it seems like you would be hungry since you haven’t eaten your McDonalds today."

Brittany shouted, "What do you mean I haven't eaten McDonalds?"

Mom blurted, "Because, look how much weight you've gained. It has to be because of all that food you have been eating. You've said it yourself; you eat McDonald's every day."

Brittany mumbled, "Why don't you order another drink? You haven't had one in a long time."

By this time my mom had been done with her first drink for about ten minutes. I watched the waitress come back over to ask what all waitresses ask, "Do you want a refill." Which she did, and, of course, my mom proudly replied, "Yes, I would. Another large please."

My sister and I both knew this really wasn't going to be a fun night. As time passed on, my sister and me sat there disgusted while my mom spilled out her heart to this guy she had just met. She was talking about how my sister and I were the only ones that loved her and cared about her. She was slurring every word at this point, and my sister and I couldn't do anything else but chuckle about it inside. It was all a joke for awhile until my mom started getting affectionate with this guy. I didn't exactly know what to do at this point except look away and pretend I didn't see anything. Me and my sister got up and walked to the bathroom together and both decided this wasn't fun anymore. It was time to leave.

It took us about ten minutes longer than it should've to get her out of the bar. We were so embarrassed, and all my mom could do was sit there and talk about how sweet the guy she was talking to was and how much money he had. My mom and I started arguing about what she had just done in front of my sister and I and the whole rest of the town. She then asked me if I could stop at the store, so she could get some beer. I knew I shouldn't, but then again I knew it would be a mistake if I didn't. I listened and brought her to the store.

We returned to her house around midnight that night. The kids were in bed asleep, and April and Tiff were up drinking beer that they had brought over. They sat at the table to join my mom. My sister and I just sat on the other side of the table as we play cards. My mom started to tell April how I got very jealous. I was jealous because April was able to see my mom and little brother and sister almost everyday. I couldn't, of course, because of the fact that we lived so far away from each other. She then went on to talk about how April and she hung out all the time. She is like her second mom now. This upset me because I didn't want to hear about how my mom was pretty much replacing me. She went on to talk about how my sister Brittany and I were never there for her and how much she cherishes April being around.
I looked at her as if I was a balloon about to pop. Angrily I said in a very serious voice, "Who is the one who talks to you every night? Who is the one who drives two and a half hours to come visit you every weekend? Who is the one that helped you through moving from Grand Rapids to Flint when no one else would help you? Who was the one that was on your side the whole time when everyone else was against you? NOT APRIL! No it was me. Every time you needed someone. I was there.”
She just looked at me with an expression a teacher gives a student when they say something sarcastic and they think it's funny and said in a sarcastic but snotty way, "Not you! I have April now, so I don't need you anymore. I found a new daughter."
At this point, I just lost it. I didn't know what to say, so I just looked at her with a look that showed I just got my heart torn out of my chest and thrown in the trash.
This was just her drunk-self talking. She knew it was two o'clock in the morning. She also knew perfectly well that I couldn't just go somewhere. I had to drive home. So she decided to kick me and my sister out.

Never knowing what my mom would do next, Brittany and I grabbed our stuff, and on the way out we heard a loud slam behind us. We both turned around quickly but didn't think twice and ran to my car. Brittany turned around to go back into the house because she forgot something. As she went to open the door up, she turned the knob very gently, and quietly, as to not disturb my mom. She wanted to see if she was saying anything about us. The knob wouldn’t budge. She came back to my car and told me that our mom had locked us out.
I was on the phone with my dad at the time and was telling him about everything that had happened. He just told me to come on home. I didn’t need her anyways. He then said at the bottom of his breath, "I had a feeling something bad was going to happen."
As we drove back, it was as if everything had a sad and gloomy feeling around us. We noticed that it seemed as if everything was just not right. We both knew that I was going to have to be extra careful on the way home because of deer and the tears that were streaming down my face. It was as if my eyes were a spring in a river that had been just waiting to burst for years. It was finally time that I actually found out how my mom really was. I found out that everything my dad had told me about her when I was young was all coming true. I saw the real her that night, and I wasn't about to think twice about forgiving her. I hated her. I hated everything she ever said. And I especially hated the fact that everyone else was right. I guess I was just too stubborn to notice on my own. I had to figure it out for myself, and, if I would have just listened to what people had told me would happen sooner or later, I would have never gotten hurt. I could have saved the despair for some other time. I guess I just didn't want to believe it because she was my mom and I didn't want to think negative about her. I believed in my heart that she loved me, and I hoped that one day she would show me and tell me, but instead I got this in return. She meant so much to me, and I tried telling her and showing her, but I guess the message just never got through.

I dropped my sister off that night, and she turned to me and said, "I tried telling you, she's not as sweet and innocent as you thought."
My sister knew this from living with her whole life up until the year before. All I knew was I was never going to speak to her again. I never wanted to see or even look at her again. When I got home the first step I took, I tore up every picture I had of her and threw them into the garbage. I then lay in my bed and cried until I fell asleep.
Five years have passed, and we haven't spoken since that day. Lyric called me last night with some bad news. I was afraid something was wrong with Ireland; he knows not to call me to talk about mom. He then started crying and saying that he didn't know what to do but somehow got out the words, "Mom died in a drunk driving accident last night."
I then knew I was never going to get the chance to ever tell her how I felt, and I knew I wasn't going to be able to hear the words "I love you" from her again. I knew that in my heart I loved her, and I wanted to talk to her the day after everything happened. I knew I would never be able to make sure that she knew I really did forgive her, and I really did still love her. It was too late for that now, and I knew I had no more chances. I made a promise to myself. When I went to her funeral, I would forgive her and let her know that I loved her. I guess I had always forgiven her, even after everything happened, I just wanted an apology or something to let me know it was okay.
As I was thinking about things, I heard a soft whisper run past my ear,- and I heard someone say, "I love you too, and I'm sorry."I looked all around me and no one was there.

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