Sunday, August 16, 2015
WINNING TALLIE BACK--BUT WHO IS SHE?
EXCERPT from CHALLENGING THE LEGACY
The next day, as Tallie settled gingerly in the contoured leather seat of his rented luxury car, Pierce was once again struck by how uncomfortable she was with him. Their relationship used to be so easy. Oh, she resisted him at times. Challenged him. Refused him just to prove she could. However, there was no doubt in his mind he could win her over to his way of thinking.
Now he wasn't so sure.
Pierce intended to find a gym or salon where he could get his hair trimmed while Tallie visited with the injured doctor. He had accompanied his mother on many of her charitable visits and really didn't want to witness another display of insincere sympathy.
However, from the moment they entered the hospital, Pierce realized Tallie did not engage in his mother's style of superficial visits. She greeted the volunteers at the information desk, pulled chocolate fudge brownies out of her tote bag for the nurses, and entered Shiloh's room armed with information about what she needed to help her heal.
Intrigued, Pierce watched as Tallie moved about the room, chatting to Shiloh as if she was at home resting instead of unconscious from a head injury and recovering from burns to her face and hands. Tallie tidied up the rolling tray that fit over the bed, added water to the plants and flowers on the windowsill, and fluffed the handmade throw pillows--definitely not standard hospital issue--before she sat down with a book and began to read out loud.
Longing tugged at Pierce's heart. His mother never cleaned anything in their house, let alone with the loving touch Tallie showed. Portia always said that was a job for servants. And she never allowed real plants--too messy. As for sewing a pillow, Portia would be horrified at the thought of doing something so mundane.
Yet Pierce ached for those simple, comforting touches. Small but powerful ways of saying, "I care about you." Things he had never received from his mother, and Pierce realized Tallie had elevated being a mom to an art form. Not just to her adopted children, but to anyone who needed a loving hand.
At the end of the chapter in the book, Tallie paused and slipped a bookmark inside. "Sleep well, beautiful Shiloh, and heal. We miss you."
With a gentle touch to the younger woman's hand, Tallie gathered her now-empty tote bag and left the room. She waved good-bye to the nurses and to the gray-haired volunteer at the information desk.
All Pierce could do was follow her, amazed at the sincere caring in this woman. Why had he not seen this side of Tallie so many years ago? Was this something she developed since she left him? Or was he so focused only on what he wanted he didn't see Tallie as a person with wants and needs and talents of her own, but simply something else to add to his already overflowing store of possessions?
(Excerpt from Challenging the Legacy, copyright Genene Valleau, writing as Genie Gabriel)