Sunday, September 30, 2012
SUNDAY AT TALLIE'S
Tallie is the glue that holds the O'Shea family together. Even before Bernie died, Tallie qualified for Mother of the Year every day. Though her eight adopted children are adults, they still return to the traditional Sunday dinner at Tallie's whenever they can. To reconnect with each other, to share events in their lives, and to enjoy Tallie's home cooking.
Coming November 2012, Tallie will have her own story in CHALLENGING THE LEGACY. Be prepared for some surprises as secrets from her past are revealed.
Welcome to Tallie O'Shea's!
**Layla couldn't catch a full breath as she watched Grady walk with Tallie toward the door of the study. After a short conversation, Grady went into the room and Tallie turned back toward the kitchen.
When the woman claiming to be Grady's biological mother arrived, Layla had been at the house helping prepare for Beth's wedding to Collin O'Shea. Norah's arrival had been a shock to Tallie, though her innate sense of hospitality covered it well. Of course, Tallie's children had all gathered in support of her.
Layla had to admire the woman for persevering in the face of the O'Sheas. From personal experience, she knew they could be intimidating one on one. Banded together to protect one of their own was like facing eight angry momma bears.
Curious, Layla followed Tallie. "Are you okay?"
Tallie looked up from chopping vegetables. "If this is good for Grady, I'm okay."
"Can it be that simple?"
"I think this falls under the heading of simple but not easy." Tallie's gaze captured Layla's as she set the knife aside. She considered Layla for a moment, then seemed to come to a decision. "When my kids were growing up, I didn't have time to think much about how being without their bio parents might affect them. Except when Ruby showed up every year on Marly's birthday. Then my only thought was how desperately I wanted to keep my babies. All of them. I didn't think that perhaps my children needed to make peace with their bio parents. Selfishly, I only thought about what I wanted."
"You're one of the most unselfish people I've ever met," Layla said.
"That's kind of you to say. But now I see my grown children struggling with issues related to their birth parents. If I had been more open to dealing with that when they were young, maybe they wouldn't be going through this pain now."
"And maybe they are better equipped to deal with those issues now."
"Perhaps. Anyway, I can't undo the past. I can only move forward and not make the same mistakes. The same as you, the same as anyone." Tallie smiled and began to chop vegetables again. "I hope you'll stay for dinner."
She knew. Tallie O'Shea knew of Layla's secret shame and still invited her to dinner. Layla didn't meet Tallie's gaze. "Thanks, but I'd better get home to Pop."
With her gaze cast downward, Layla hurried out of the kitchen. The back door beckoned. She could slip out without facing Beth or anyone else to say good-bye.
Not make the same mistakes...
Tallie's voice echoed in Layla's brain. The woman was a totally class act. Layla would trade her favorite pair of Bruno Magli's to be as gracious as Tallie O'Shea. One small step would be to gather the courage to let Beth know she was leaving.
And offer a prayer her son had been adopted by a woman with half the integrity of Tallie O'Shea. Then she would know her decision to give him up for adoption was the right one.
**Excerpt from CHASING THE LEGACY, copyright Genene Valleau, writing as Genie Gabriel.