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She Ran Away From Home After Her Mother Refused To Stop Getting Drunk, But She Met The Unexpected



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Tracy returned from the parent meeting, her emotions in turmoil. It was a chilly autumn evening, the drizzle adding to the cold discomfort she felt, though the chill inside her was even more pronounced. The issue wasn’t just her 13-year-old daughter, Celeste, struggling with math; that was a concern, but one she believed could be resolved. What bothered her more was when Celeste’s teacher, Mrs. Bell, suggested organizing an event for Grandmother’s Day. Tracy’s heart sank at the thought.

All the parents eagerly embraced the idea of celebrating their grandmothers; some had one grandmother, others two. Tracy, however, remained silent. She had no one to invite. Her husband’s parents had passed away years ago, and as for her own parents, well, her father had never been a part of her life. Her mother was a more complex matter; she was alive, yet she might as well not exist for Tracy. She had given birth to her, but in Tracy’s eyes, it might have been better if she hadn’t, considering the hell she had endured since birth.

As Tracy walked along the dimly lit street that evening, her thoughts drifted back to her painful childhood. She remembered being five years old, growing up in a small village, longing for a doll in a vibrant dress with curly hair. Her friend had one just like that, and Tracy had mustered the courage to mention it to her mother. But her mother had responded callously, telling her she deserved no such thing. “Draw a doll on paper and cut it out,” her mother had said, her tone harsh. “You’re shameless. I feed, clothe, and shelter you, and you’re still not satisfied.”

Tracy’s mother had yelled often back then, hurling insults at Tracy. The young girl didn’t fully grasp their meaning, but she understood they were unkind words. “Hey, brat, why did you mop the floor so poorly?” her mother would scold her when she returned from the farm at eight years old. Tracy had tried to clean the house after school to please her mother, but instead of gratitude, she received reprimands. “Hey, brat, what’s with that face?” she had heard at 13, spoken by her drunken mother.

Tracy had never argued with her mother, never talked back, knowing that a disagreement could escalate into violence. She couldn’t fathom why her mother treated her this way. At 14, unable to bear it any longer, she had asked her mother why she didn’t love her. “Why should I love you?” Nina had shouted angrily. “You’ve ruined my whole life.” Tracy couldn’t fathom what she had done wrong. She had only known life with her mother; she didn’t even know her father. Could it really be her fault?

Neighbor Mrs. Shane, a kind old woman whom Tracy could confide in, once shared a story about her mother. Nina had been married to a quiet, hardworking man named Sam, and they lived modestly, both working on a farm. But Nina couldn’t conceive, and Sam desperately wanted a child. So, Nina had decided to have an affair, believing it wasn’t her problem. There were workers renovating a nearby farm, and she became involved with one of them. She thought it would remain a secret, just a few rendezvous at a hotel near the farm canteen while Sam was out in the fields.

However, the affair became public knowledge, and soon, nearly the entire village knew of it. Sam discovered the truth. He didn’t attempt to reconcile with Nina; he simply packed his things and left the village. No one knew where he went or why. Later, there were rumors that he had relocated up north and died in a tragic accident involving a tractor.

Nina had been lost at first, even crying about her husband’s departure. But soon, her lover moved away as winter arrived. He returned to his family in a distant city, leaving Nina to deal with the consequences. She did become pregnant, but she wondered if she even wanted the child anymore.

She went to the hospital, but it was too late for anything but giving birth. So, she returned to the village with Tracy from the hospital. But maternal love never blossomed, and with each passing year, Nina grew to despise her own daughter more. She blamed Tracy for her failed marriage, for Sam’s death, and for the fact that no decent man would marry Nina anymore. Eventually, she turned to alcohol, and her anger toward her daughter only intensified.

“You must be patient, my dear,” Mrs. Shane had advised Tracy after recounting her story. “You can’t choose your mother. Soon, you’ll graduate and head to the city. You’ll find a room to rent and a job, even if it’s just cleaning floors at a café or hospital. Your mother won’t bother you then. For now, endure.” Tracy had listened and nodded, understanding why Mrs. Shane had suggested a smaller town instead of a big city. Life would be easier there without her mother’s constant presence. But it was still painful. Nina had made a mess of things, but she blamed her daughter for everything.

Perhaps Tracy would have followed Mrs. Shane’s advice, but one incident altered her course entirely. One summer evening, Nina brought a new boyfriend home, someone she drank with. They had been drinking and having a good time in the kitchen when the man suddenly started berating Nina, calling her ugly and old, and proclaiming that Tracy was the real beauty. Tracy had just turned 17, and she was sitting in the next room, cowering in a corner, overhearing these words. Nina had become furious, throwing the man out and then attacking her daughter with her fists.

Tracy had endured her mother’s abuse before, but this time, Nina was completely unhinged. She struck Tracy with all her might. Somehow, Tracy managed to escape and run to Mrs. Shane’s house. The elderly woman had comforted her, and they had cried together that night. Tracy had decided to flee the village; she couldn’t return to the nearest town, as Mrs. Shane had advised, fearing her mother would find her there. Tracy aimed for the city, especially after reading in the local newspaper about a student recruitment program with dormitory accommodations.

She had sneaked back into her house that night, relieved to hear her mother snoring, ensuring she wouldn’t awaken until morning. Quietly, she gathered her belongings, documents, and went to Mrs. Shane to share her plans. “Oh, dear,” Mrs. Shane had sighed, “how will you get to the city, and how will you survive there? You have no money.” “No,” Tracy admitted, “but I’ll try to sneak onto a train; people do it that way, don’t they?” Mrs. Shane had snorted skeptically. “Yes, they do,” she acknowledged, “and then the police catch them.

Well, maybe you’ll make it to the city, but do you have anything to live on until your first paycheck?” Tracy replied, “I’ll work, yes, but what will you live on until your first paycheck?” Mrs. Shane had thought for a moment, sighed, and went to her bedroom. She rummaged in her wardrobe for a while and then took out some bills for Tracy, enough to cover her for a month. “Oh, Mrs. Shane, you shouldn’t

do this,” Tracy blushed. “I should, and I want to,” Mrs. Shane said firmly. “Leave this place, my dear. Perhaps you can change your own destiny.” “Thank you,” Tracy whispered emotionally. “I’ll pay you back when I earn it; I promise.” Mrs. Shane smiled gently and shook her head.

Early the next morning, Tracy boarded the scheduled bus to the district town, then continued by train to the city. Everything unfolded as planned; she secured a spot in school, found lodging in the dormitory, and even secured a job cleaning communal areas in apartment buildings. There was one promise she couldn’t keep: she never managed to repay Mrs.

Shane, who tragically passed away later that year. Tracy learned of this when her mother visited her for the first and last time. It turned out that Mrs. Shane had disclosed Tracy’s whereabouts to Nina, not out of concern for her daughter but because she wanted Tracy to return home and provide free labor to clean the house, tend to the chickens, work in the garden, and perform other chores. Fortunately, the school administration didn’t heed Nina’s demands to return her daughter, seeing through her ulterior motives. Tracy had firmly decided she would never return to her mother, having had enough of her.

Now she was alone and independent. It hadn’t been easy initially in the big city, but Tracy had persevered. She studied and worked, securing a factory job after school and renting a small apartment with a friend. Then she met Brian, a good-hearted mechanic from the factory.

They got married and started building a life together. For the first time, Tracy felt she wasn’t alone and that she had support and security in the form of a loving partner. Tracy and Brian eventually moved in with Brian’s parents when the factory closed, and they welcomed the couple warmly. They were good people and provided valuable support to Tracy.

When their daughter Celeste was born, Brian’s parents embraced their roles as grandparents wholeheartedly. They became like parents to Tracy, so she was devastated when they were tragically killed in a terrible accident. A truck crashed into a bus stop, and both of them lost their lives. A considerable amount of time had passed since then, and Celeste had grown up.

Brian had found stable employment on a construction site, and Tracy worked as a salesperson in a grocery store. They led a simple life, devoid of luxuries, but they were content and happy. Love and respect were the cornerstones of their family. Tracy never anticipated becoming a loving wife and mother given her upbringing, but life had taken an unexpected turn.

Tracy made an effort not to dwell on her mother; all she knew was that Nina continued to live in the same village, drinking and showing no interest in her daughter. If anyone inquired about Tracy, Nina would respond with harsh language, labeling her ungrateful and accusing her of abandoning her mother. Tracy had learned about this through her former classmate Helen, who still resided in the village and was Nina’s neighbor.

Helen’s husband was a farmer who had built a house nearby. As Tracy returned home from school, she reflected on all of this. She mused about having a mother, yet not having one at all. Celeste had never met her grandmother; what kind of grandmother was she?

Yes, it was a shame that Celeste would have minimal involvement in the upcoming class event. Other children would sing songs or recite poems to their grandmothers, while Celeste had no one to invite. She would undoubtedly be disheartened; she was a highly emotional child.

Brian encountered Tracy in the hallway as they arrived home, and a delightful aroma wafted from the kitchen. “We’re making meatballs with Celeste,” her husband declared joyfully, planting a kiss on her cheek. “Why the long face? Did something happen at the meeting? Did Celeste misbehave?” “Everything’s fine,” Tracy replied with a sigh. “We just need to address Celeste’s math struggles.”

She decided to confide in her husband about the impending event. As they later sat down for dinner and Celeste retreated to her room, Tracy finally shared her concerns with her spouse. “Oh, come on,” Brian shrugged. “Celeste isn’t the only child growing up without a grandmother. Mrs. Bell is a wise teacher; she’ll find a suitable role for her.” “You’re right,” Tracy nodded. “I might be overreacting.” “You’re just revisiting your past,” Brian said, hugging his wife and stroking her hair as if she were a child. “My love, forget it all. I’m here, Celeste is here, and we love you immensely.” “And I love you,” Tracy whispered in response.

It turned out Tracy had worried needlessly about Celeste. She was assigned the role of host, and the event proceeded smoothly. However, there was a moment when Tracy saw sadness flicker in her daughter’s eyes. Celeste knew nothing about Nina or Tracy’s childhood; Tracy had chosen to shield her from the painful truth, simply stating that she hadn’t spoken to her mother in a long time.

But everything changed on a November Saturday evening. After a bath, Tracy decided to relax with her phone and peruse social media. There, she found a message from Helen, her former classmate. “Hello, Tracy,” Helen wrote, “your mother had a stroke yesterday and was hospitalized.

I thought you should know. I found her on the street and called an ambulance. The doctors say she’ll survive, but you know recovery takes time.” “Well, let her recover,” Tracy murmured. “What are you mumbling about?” Brian asked, entering the room. “Are you reciting some kind of mantra?” “If only,” Tracy explained the situation. “We need to visit her.”

Brian reacted unexpectedly and resolutely, as if awakening from a trance. “Tracy, she’s your mother, the one who despised you and treated you like a stray dog.” Tracy bitterly agreed, “I can’t forget, and I can’t forgive her.” “I understand it’s difficult,” Brian nodded, “but what can we do? Helen said her life isn’t in danger; she’ll recover and probably start drinking again.”

“I’m angry,” Tracy admitted, “what will happen to her if she doesn’t recover?” Brian inquired cautiously, “Tracy, what if she doesn’t recover? What do you think we should do then?” Tracy replied, “I won’t even think about it.” Her husband accepted her response and turned away, leaving Tracy to her thoughts. She contemplated her childhood grievances and insults; could they ever be forgiven?

In the ensuing days and weeks, Tracy made a conscious effort to avoid the topic. But thoughts of her mother and her well-being kept intruding. Helen regularly provided updates, but Tracy offered excuses, claiming her mother was still in the hospital. Then Helen informed her that her mother had been discharged. “Tracy, I know you have a complicated relationship with your mother, and you have every reason not to love her, but she’s still your mother,” Helen wrote. “You should see her now; she can barely walk, she struggles to speak, and it’s winter. We, the neighbors, are trying to help as best as we can, but we have our own responsibilities. Understand, if there was a social worker, it wouldn’t be a problem, but there’s none in our village. Perhaps you could hire someone to take care of your mother.”

Upon reading the final sentence, Tracy audibly protested, “Hire someone for her mother? We’re struggling ourselves, and I don’t have spare money.” Tracy reminisced about the money the late Mrs. Shane had given her to start anew in the city. It wasn’t her mother who had offered help, but a neighbor. She also remembered how she had worked night shifts cleaning floors to earn her daily bread, subsisting on the cheapest, sometimes stale, bread and water. Her mother had been indifferent to her struggles. “She won’t receive a penny from me,” Tracy hissed.

Brian overheard her and raised an eyebrow, inquiring about the source of her frustration. Tracy shared the message from her classmate. “But she’s right,” he nodded, “we need to find someone to help your mother so she doesn’t relapse into drinking.” Tracy grew irate. “That won’t happen, Brian,” she retorted. “I understand she’s had a stroke; she probably won’t be able to manage the alcohol.” Brian cast doubt, saying, “Tracy, I know how hurt you’ve been, but she’s still your mother.” Tracy responded curtly, “She’s alive, but if she were a real mother, she wouldn’t have lived the way she did.” “Don’t compare,” Tracy cut him off sharply. “Your mother was wonderful; she was like a mother to me, while my biological mother called me a brat and worse. You can’t imagine how painful it was.”

“I can’t forgive her, and I won’t. I’d rather call the district Social Services office tomorrow and inquire about nursing homes. Let her live there.” Tracy and Brian remained oblivious to Celeste’s presence at the door. However, the girl had overheard everything her parents were saying. “Mom,” Celeste suddenly spoke up, “so you want to send your own mother, my grandmother, to a nursing home? Is that even possible?” “You never talked about your mother for years, and now you want to abandon her?” Tracy abruptly turned to her daughter’s voice, blushing. She hadn’t intended for her daughter to learn everything, but now she had no choice.

“Sweetheart,” Tracy said earnestly, “you’re still young, and there are many things I can’t tell you. But believe me, this is the best course of action.” “Best for whom?” Celeste exclaimed. “For you? Have you ever thought that you might end up in a nursing home one day too?” “What are you saying?” Tracy protested. “Celeste, you can’t judge me right now. This woman gave birth to me, and then she tormented me. I left when I was 17 because she beat me, and her drunken suitors harassed me.” Tracy regretted sharing so much, realizing it might have been a mistake. Celeste, who had grown up in a loving environment, found it difficult to fathom her own mother’s past actions. “But that was a long time ago; perhaps she has remorse,” Celeste suddenly suggested.

“Remorse?” Tracy couldn’t quite bring herself to believe it, but her daughter’s words planted a seed of doubt. For the rest of the evening, she couldn’t shake the thoughts of her mother. Regardless of everything, she was still her own flesh and blood. “Let’s go to the village tomorrow,” Brian proposed as they prepared for bed. “We won’t make any decisions just yet; we’ll visit and see how your mother is doing, okay?” To Tracy’s surprise, she agreed. The next day, Brian took a day off from work, Tracy rearranged her shift, and they set off in their old car. Tracy was lost in thought the entire journey, contemplating her return to the village, a place she hadn’t visited in many years. Most importantly, she pondered the upcoming reunion with her mother. If her mother dared to insult her in any way, she’d have no qualms about sending her to a nursing home without hesitation.

The village had become smaller and more dilapidated, with many houses sitting empty. Only Helen’s house stood prominently, with the old hut nearby. Tracy’s heart constricted; her childhood home, despite the difficulties she had endured, still held a special place in her heart. Snow covered the yard, and a faint trail hinted at occasional human presence. The heavy wooden door creaked as Tracy pushed it open, giving her pause before she entered the dimly lit hallway. Neglect was evident everywhere, and dust coated everything; clearly, nobody had cleaned for years. Tracy was taken aback; her mother had allowed everything to deteriorate; it had been years since they’d bothered to clean. Tracy felt a pang of shock as she touched the cold radiator. She peered into the bedroom and struggled to recognize her mother beneath a pile of rags on the bed.

Finally, the pile shifted, and Nina emerged. Her mother had aged considerably, appearing frail and haggard. Tracy couldn’t help but feel sympathy for her, though she tried to suppress it. “How, Tracy,” Nina whispered. Tracy settled onto a stool, brushing away the dust, and gazed into her mother’s faded eyes. Nina shrugged and lowered her head. “You’re right, my daughter; I’m to blame for everything,” she mumbled, then sobbed, tears streaming down her wrinkled face. “Tracy, forgive me,” she pleaded, wiping her tears away with a trembling hand. “I’m so sorry for how I treated you. I’ve only recently realized how wrong I was; I took out all my frustrations on you and drowned my sorrows in alcohol. I’ve destroyed my own life.”

Tracy listened to her mother’s words in silence; surprisingly, there was no bitterness, only pity for this pitiful old woman. “Alright, Mom, that’s enough tears; let’s prepare.” “Prepare for what?” “To go to the nursing home. Helen told me it’s the only option.” Nina lowered her eyes and fell silent. “No,” Brian interjected suddenly, “we’re going home, and we’re going to have a conversation. You’ll have to promise not to drink, and we’ll find a nurse to look after you.” “Thank you,” Nina nodded. “Thank you for saving me, my daughter.” It was a long and awkward journey back to the city. Nina seemed lost and frail. She barely recognized the city. “We’ll take you home now, Mom, and then we’ll talk,” Tracy said upon their arrival.

“You’ll be living with us from now on; there’s no other option.” “I agree,” Nina replied. “I have nothing left to lose.” From that moment on, Nina underwent a remarkable transformation. It turned out that Celeste was a wonderful granddaughter. Nina spent a lot of time with her, teaching her to knit and even helping her with math. Tracy and her mother still had many issues to work through, but they were on the path to healing and reconciliation. As Tracy looked at her family – her husband, daughter, and even her mother – she realized that love had the power to heal even the deepest wounds.

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