The Healing Horse, Ch. 31, Scene 2: Tears and Guilt

photo of coffee percolator

In this scene, the two mothers bond over their love of their children and the tragedies that have shaped their lives. 

(Image by Andreaze, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

Scene 2: Tears and Guilt

Patsy finished arranging the glasses and sat down with Katie. She made eye contact, and then a few tears flowed.

“Katie, I feel like I’m trapped. No matter what I do, something bad happens. When Tammy was born, Dr. Lambert wanted to send her to Sonoma, and my husband agreed. I refused. As soon as he could find himself an apartment, my husband moved out and filed for divorce, citing irreconcilable differences. I got a smart lawyer and decent alimony, but that was the end of my marriage. I couldn’t let them take Tammy away. Just because she’s disabled doesn’t mean she doesn’t deserve a good life. I saved my child, but I lost my husband.”

“Your husband left you. I had no idea.”

“I’m glad he’s gone. I wouldn’t want to be married to someone who abandoned his family. What about yours?”

“Oh, he was a mensch. He was wonderful with Karen, but he got killed in a car wreck.”

“Oh, my god. Does she have sisters?”

“No. She’s an only child.”

“So everything’s on you… On the other hand, there’s no sibling rivalry.”

“I noticed Sandra’s attitude…”

“Hard to miss. I’ve tried to give her the best of everything. She sleeps in the master suite and her father, who is not completely out of the picture, gave her a new Cadillac, but she just wants to get through school and go away to college.”

“Cadillacs and college… Sounds better than it could be.”

“Do you know what she said when I drove her to get the car from her dad?” ‘Mommy, this is the first time we’ve had alone together in years.’ I almost cried.”

They sipped their coffee in peace for a few moments, then the sounds of shouting brought them back into the real world of disabilities and sibling rivalries. Katie watched a deep, exasperated grimace grow on Patsy’s face. Even with alimony and a beautiful home, Patsy was crumpling before her eyes.

Original text ©2022 by Karen Lynn-Chlup. All rights reserved.

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