Loretta Lynn

Excerpt from my memoir, The Special Chosen One.  Available in paperback and eBook on Amazon.

 

“I rode with Aunt Ann and Uncle Hank to the Detroit airport. People everywhere. Mobs of people dashed  past me. Bumped my elbow. Brushed against my shoulder. A white Samsonite suitcase banged my knee.

What if my mom got here early and we missed her?

I searched faces in the swarming herd of strangers. We waited at the gate.

Waiting. Waiting. Waiting.

“When is her plane gonna land?”

My aunt stretched her arm around my shoulder to comfort me.  “Let’s stand over here so we aren’t so near the door when she gets off the plane. I know my sister. She’s a very nervous person. Give her a chance to let it sink in when she sees you.”

I inspected my surroundings. No TV cameras, that I noticed. Maybe they’re hidden. My aunt might have been sneaky and called the TV station anyway. If I see anything resembling the media, I’ll spin and run. Blend in with the crowd.

My stomach heaved. I can’t let my parents discover what I’ve done.

I examined faces again. If I noticed a familiar face of someone who might know my parents, I’m out of here.

On guard. Be on guard.

“Flight 1706 now arriving from Los Angeles at Gate 36.”

Strange people exited and filed through the doorway.

Oh, my God. What if I don’t know who she is? That would be humiliating if I don’t recognize my own mother.

“Aunt Ann, will you tell me when she gets—”

“There she is, Susan. There’s your mother.”

I stiffened. Fixated upon the woman slumped against the doorway.

“Hank, go help her. She’s about to pass out.”

I should be the one to run to her side. I’m her daughter. She needs help. I can’t let her fall.

She’s going to faint. Oh, my God.

But I’m glued to the floor. I couldn’t do anything but stand and stare.

Loretta Lynn. She looked young and beautiful. She looked like Loretta Lynn, with long black hair pulled up into Grecian curls, which trailed over the shoulders of her light blue silk blouse.

Aunt Ann nudged my back with her hand and walked beside me towards my mother. I looked into the slate-blue eyes of the woman who gave birth to me. This is my mother.

Wendy has her eyes. Now we know.

 We grabbed one another and sobbed. Our grip enmeshed so tight, we couldn’t let go.

Trembling. Her body shivered as if we stood in below-zero weather in a snow blizzard.

 She leaned aside to look at my face. “You look more like him than you do me.”

Uncle Hank guided us to a chair. Every few seconds we’d pull away and look at each other.

Flesh and blood. Yes, we are related.

She hugged me and cried. I sat on her lap and cried. She rocked me. And rocked me. And rocked.

Okay. Now this is getting uncomfortable. I don’t like this. How can I pull away and stop this rocking without hurting her feelings?

Then I remembered Cheryl, the support group leader, when she explained to me what might happen.

“Don’t be surprised if she just wants to hold you. Remember, the last time she saw you was when she cradled you in her arms as a tiny newborn. In her mind, you haven’t grown up because the last image she has of you is a baby. Let her have this time of holding you, if that’s what she wants.”

My tension eased. I relaxed. No TV cameras buzzed. No newspaper reporters aimed and clicked cameras. None of my parents’ friends witnessed this reunion.

Only me and my mom. That’s all who existed at Gate 36 in the Detroit airport.”

Read the rest of the story in my memoir, The Special Chosen One, available at Amazon.com

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