Summary: This is for the second round ABC challenge. Lee and Dotty have a discussion. Marriage has been known to all for almost two years. Thanks to Ceeg. Your input and patience are greatly appreciated. Tissue Alert
Lee entered the house to find it empty. He found a note on the counter from Amanda stating that she would be back in about an hour. She had taken the boys to a friend's house and was going to stop at the store.
Lee threw his keys on the counter and went to get something to drink. He opened the refrigerator and took out some juice. He poured it in a glass and went into the living room and sat down in his favorite chair. Picking up the evening newspaper, he noticed a card, addressed to him, sitting on the coffee table. Picking it up, he noticed the handwriting as Dotty's.
'I wonder what this is all about,' he thought to himself. His
birthday wasn't for another week. Standing up with the card in his hand,
he turned around and looked outside. He wasn't alone after all.
Dotty was sitting at the picnic table, enjoying a cup
of coffee and reading a magazine. Lee was taken back a bit by this. When Dotty was quiet, it usually meant that someone was in trouble. He quickly searched his brain, trying desperately to remember if he had said or done something to upset her. There was nothing that he could remember. 'Must be one of the boys,' he thought to himself, glad that it wasn't him… this time.
When she had found out it was he who was crushing her flowers outside
the kitchen window, she gave him a look that almost scared him. Because
of him nothing would grow there, so he secretly put in a Japanese stone
garden. Dotty was so touched by it that she almost cried. He
smiled at the memory of it all. It really dawned on him how much
he had missed not having
a mother around. Shaking his head, trying not to dwell on the past, he opened up the card and began to read it. After a few moments he sat down to compose himself.
He couldn't believe what he was reading. He had no clue that they even made cards like this. He heard the back door shut and looked up to see Dotty standing there with a funny look on her face. He smiled at her, letting her know that he was all right.
Dotty let out a sigh of relief. She wasn't sure she had overstepped her bounds as his mother-in-law. All she knew was she loved him as a son, and wanted him to know it. She slowly walked over to him and sat down on the corner of the couch. Neither one could say anything. The emotion of it all hung in the air.
Lee finally cleared the knot that had formed in his throat.
"Dotty, are you sure about this. I mean…"
"Lee, I have never been so sure about anything when it comes to you, but I think it is high time you started to call me…. Mom. I wasn't sure how to bring this up with you, so I hope you don't mind the card." Dotty was so relieved that he wasn't mad at her.
Lee got up and walked over to the window. He looked at the card and then outside. This was so overwhelming for him. He didn't handle this kind of situation very well. He wanted so much to gather her up and hug her, but he didn't know how. All he could think of was that she wanted him to call her 'mom'. He really liked the sound of it. Just when he thought he was going to be all right, he felt a gentle hand on his shoulder. That was his undoing. He turned quickly and faced her. The tears he tried desperately to hide were flowing freely down his cheeks. He dropped the card, and tried to cover his face with his hands, but Dotty wouldn't let him.
Dotty gently, but firmly, reached up and took his hands from his face. She looked at him with all the love and understanding that only a mother knew.
"Lee, look at me. I knew this would upset you, sweetheart, but hear me out if you can."
Lee nodded. He was in no condition to say anything right now.
"When Amanda told me about your childhood, and the fact that you never had a mother figure in your life, I thought I could help you. I know I'm not your real mother, and by no means is this a way of trying to replace her, I just thought we, you and me, well…" Dotty knew she was rambling on.
"Lee what I'm trying to say is that… I love you. I want you to feel that you can come to me, anytime, about anything. I want you to feel that you are a … part of me. Does any of this make sense to you?"
Lee smiled at her through his tears. He gathered her up in his embrace and hugged her tightly.
"I understand, Dotty, and thank you. Thank you for making me feel… complete. You have know idea how long I have wanted to say that word… Mom." The emotion was too much for him again and he began to cry. After a moment he let her go and looked at her tear stained face.
"I love you… Mom," he choked out.
"I love you too, son." She kissed him on the cheek and bent down
and picked up the card. She handed it to him and walked back into
the kitchen. As she left, she saw Amanda standing in the doorway
that led to the foyer.
"Um Dot…I mean Mom, does Amanda know about this?" He looked at her standing there smiling and then followed her gaze which led to Amanda.
Lee smiled at his wife and pointed an accusing finger at her.
"You knew about this, didn't you?" His voice shook with emotion, his eyes still glistening with tears.
She walked over to him and hugged him. She pulled back slightly to wipe the tears that were still wet on his cheeks.
"Yes, I knew, but I wanted Mother to handle this. I hope you're not mad at me."
"Never." He planted a kiss on her forehead and then turned and opened his arm to invite Dotty into their embrace. She gladly excepted the gesture.
"I'm the luckiest man on the face of the earth. I have the two, most incredible women in my arms right now. One is my wife, and one is my…Mom." He squeezed 'his mom' with the last comment.
"I love you, both."