Regrets? Mabel had a few, more than a few to be honest. She'd made some bad choices back when she was young. She ended up marrying, not the handsome guy who tried so hard to win her attention, but the fast-talking, hard-drinking bad boy who promised her excitement. She got that, for sure, if you could call dodging the blows when he was angry exciting, or trying to make ends meet when he was out of work. When she got pregnant for the second time he left her. Mabel figured it was probably for the best.
With two little mouths to feed and rent to pay, Mabel ended up working two jobs and farmed her kids out to friends and relatives when the babysitter didn't show. By the time she finally got off-shift they were usually fast asleep. How she longed to be the kind of mom who was there to read them bedtime stories and take them on outings to the park. As it was she was doing good just to get their clothes washed and a few groceries in the house.
As soon as they were old enough, Mabel's children became latch-key kids, letting themselves in the back door after school, eating the sandwiches she'd left them for supper, and hanging out with other kids in their rough and tumble neighborhood until dark and sometimes later. Most often they would fall asleep in front of the television waiting for her to come home.
One thing led to another. Mabel's son fell in with the wrong crowd and had some minor run-ins with the law. Then he learned there was money to be made in stolen goods, and it wasn't long before he was reporting weekly to the juvenile authorities. Mabel yelled and screamed, and cried, but he wasn't listening. He told her what did she know about right from wrong, and always having nothing. She knew, Oh Lord, she knew, but he was at that age where parents don't know anything.
Mabel's daughter made up for being lonely, and being made fun of by her classmates for her shabby clothes and unpolished ways, by hooking up with the first guy who paid her a little attention. Mabel nearly went hysterical when she discovered that relationship, but it was too late by then, and a baby was on the way.
Now here it was fifteen years later. Mabel's daughter had dropped out of school when she got pregnant, but eventually she got her GED and then started taking courses at the local college. Mabel heard that she had graduated with honors, but her daughter hadn't told her; she never stopped by to see her and didn't want to talk. Mabel figured that her daughter blamed her for not doing a better job at bringing her up.
Today was really going to be something. Mabel was so nervous that she sat out on her porch and rocked away the morning trying to soothe her jangled nerves. Mabel's son was being released from prison. He'd been writing to her regular. He told her that he'd found Jesus and was cleaning up his ways. Mabel's daughter was going to pick him up today when they released him, and then they were headed her way with Mabel's grandson in tow. She hadn't seen him since he was a baby.
The family reunion she'd been dreaming of and praying for all this time was about to happen. Would they forgive her? Did they know how much she loved them? Mabel wished that she'd done so many things different when they were growing up, but at the time she'd done the best she could. No more time for regrets now, she could see the car kicking up dust as it headed down her road. It was in the past, and she hoped they understood.
This was written for Two Shoes Tuesday
where the theme choices this week are rocker and regret