December 15, 2017


December 15th is the day our dad always bought our Christmas tree. It was an annual ritual that I will always cherish. On this day in 2017, the patriarch of the family passed away. Lung cancer ravaged his body and his final week on earth was heartbreaking to witness. My blog today is about DAD and what death does to a family.

We knew he would succumb to the disease. We all watched him actively die and it’s one of the toughest things to do. When he was initially admitted to the rehab center this final time, he was talkative and his normal self but a week later, things changed significantly. This wasn’t his first time in the hospital or a rehab facility as he has battled heart issues and a number of slip and falls for the past 4-5 years. But, the cancer ultimately took his life. He constantly asked for his oldest two sons so I knew this had to be important to him. I called my brothers in California and told them that dad wanted to see them they both jumped on a flight the next day to visit for the weekend. They were able to see him alive and we knew that dad was happy. His spirits lifted a bit even though he was weak and tired. My brothers didn’t know he was that bad off and both expressed that they were happy to see him before he passed away. It was a Monday when they had to go back home so we visited him before we would head to the airport. He was very weak and could only manage a very low whisper which was even harder to hear over the oxygen condenser machine. He asked my brothers and I to come closer which we did. In a very low and raspy whisper, he managed to say that he wanted all of the shit between us to stop and named all of his children. He said that he didn’t want any fighting or nonsense at his funeral and he wants us to all get along. This had to be incredibly important to him and heavy on his heart to muster up the energy to make the statements. I was taken aback but so very proud of him for finally putting his foot down. It was now or never for him to speak his mind.

My dad and I weren’t really on speaking terms because of the circumstances with my son. I would pop up to his house every now and then to say hello or bring him some food. I missed him and I missed our conversations. He had said some pretty mean things to me and at one time, he even told me to never come to his house again. I was crushed but I also knew that he was siding with other family members and I also had to recognize that he was hurting. He was absolutely crushed about his grandson being in jail and I totally understood his pain and anger. I wanted him to step up and be the peacemaker. I wanted him to be the leader and insist that we all sit down and talk about it. I wanted him to be the hero and fix everything. None of that happened but he did make his demands on his deathbed. Thank you dad for that. Whether or not we act upon on it is on us. I am open to honoring his words. I’ve always been open to work things out with my family. Dad’s final words just emphasizes it for me.

After my dad saw his two oldest sons, his condition went downhill rapidly. Four days later after they left, we would lose him. We would all gather in his room everyday. We knew that he could hear us laughing and talking. We spent the time reminiscing and thinking back on memorable childhood events. Did you notice that I said “we gathered in his room?” Yes, my dad brought us all together. I hadn’t been in the same room with all of my siblings and parents in a few years. It was a bit awkward because of the elephant in the room but apparently, we all overlooked that and spent the last few days celebrating him. Under the unfortunate circumstance, he managed to make it happen. He managed to get us all together. He was the leader and peacemaker that I was searching for. We are all grieving now. We have stuck together for our mother and for our children who are also grieving. It’s not about us. It’s not about hatred or harsh feelings. It’s about honoring dad.

It’s been two weeks since my dad passed and my heart is heavy. I still can’t believe he’s gone. Christmas was tough because he’s no longer here. There was no gift to buy him. There wasn’t the customary gift card that he gives to his adult children. He did, however, manage to buy a few gifts for the children before he went into the hospital. He was always thinking of his grandchildren. He mentioned in the hospital that he wanted those gifts wrapped in time for Christmas which they were. Christmas will be tough every year going forward.
My son called the day after the funeral. He was able to speak with his papa while he was still alert which was about eight days earlier. When I broke the news to him, he broke down crying. My heart ached for him and I couldn’t comfort him. All I could say was that I was sorry over and over. I wanted to hug him and tell him it would be okay. I felt helpless.

In his final days, my dad laid down the law and time will only tell if what he said will be honored. It’s too soon to say but a blessing behind his passing is that I’m now on speaking terms with one of my sister’s and that I was able to spend the annual Christmas ritual at my parents house. My oldest brother really wants us to all sit down and talk because from speaking with all of us separately, we all have different views, opinions and feelings about the situation with my oldest son. He has volunteered to facilitate such meeting and we’ll see how it goes or if it ever takes place. In the meantime, I will grieve the death of my father, support my son and continue to help raise his daughter.

Even if just temporary, dad was able to bring us all together. Thank you dad for the blessing. Thank you for your sacrifice in the name of your children.

The Accusations

Have you ever been accused of something so horrible that it’s hard to fathom? I hope not because let me tell you that it’s an awful thing. Especially when the accusation is that you hurt your own child. What I’m accused of doing to my oldest son would imply that I hate him or don’t care about it. It also implies that I’m a very selfish and evil person. I’m many things but I’m far from being evil and selfish. I love my son. I love him so much that I felt inclined to speak the truth about him even though it hurt like hell. No mother should ever have to face it. No mother should ever have to make that decision.

My son and granddaughter’s mother asked me to take care of her while things were up in the air. She wasn’t emotionally stable given the circumstance and he was in county jail so they gave me temporary custody of the baby. This was after her mother unexpectedly asked me a couple of months earlier to take care of her while she figures things out. I was caught off guard but didn’t think twice about it. They needed my help and she’s my granddaughter and I needed to do my part to help them out. Plus, I knew that I could provide stability for her during the unsettling times. I had to put my empty nester plans on hold while I helped raise a baby. Diapers, daycare and other baby essentials became the norm for me. I was doing it all over again but it came naturally. It was tough but I made it work. I made financial sacrifices. I could not be selfish because they all needed me. Working an 8-9 hour a day job and then going home to take care of a baby was not how I envisioned my life as my youngest was graduating from high school and headed to college. I look and think back on it now and chuckle because I really did that for nine months. My mom would help me with the baby which was a godsend but our relationship was fragile given the situation with my son. Every now and then she would tell me how she felt and we wouldn’t speak for a few days but we would always eventually put our issues aside for the sake of the baby.

Hate is a harsh thing. To hate someone is to have a passionate dislike for them. Why would people accuse me of making up the allegations against my son so I could have my granddaughter? Is it hate? Am I hated that much that people would say such an awful thing about me? Perhaps it’s evilness. Evilness is one who is morally wrong and wicked. Do they think I’m evil? I wish I knew but I’m not going harp on it or stress myself out over it. I’m not in their heads and I don’t know their thought process. The accusations are absolutely ludicrous and disturbing. I can understand people being upset with me for not keeping my mouth shut about what my son did because there are many mothers and families who don’t say anything about sexual abuse, child molestation, lewd acts with a child, etc. But to accuse me of something so vile is pretty damn extreme. Never would I falsely accuse my adult child of the worse thing he could ever do to a person. Never.

I’m beyond hurt over the accusations. I’m still a little angry about it but life is too short to be angry about something you cannot control. People can believe it if they wan’t but I don’t lose sleep over what others think of me. I know what I have and have not done. I will own something when I’m wrong. I apologize when I mess up. I admit my faults and wrongdoings. God knows my heart. You cannot lie to God. He knows all.

The cover up

Why did I try to cover up what he did? Why did I turn my back on the child. This is why.

My cover-up lasted about five months. When someone would ask about him, I’d say he’s really busy at his new job. When someone would ask why he’s not in pictures with the baby, my response was always along the lines that he’s working or sleeping. When Easter rolled around, my mom wondered why he didn’t call them. He would call me on a regular basis and we wrote each letters. In one of his letters he said that he made a mistake and he will fix things. This is when our communication was amicable and before “they” got into his head.

He was denied bail and was facing fourteen charges.  The charges were ugly and the state where they resided has the toughest sex offender laws.  I couldn’t face the embarrassment or the judgment and I certainly didn’t want to break my parent’s heart. I continued to lie. I continued telling half truths. I wasn’t ready to admit to my family that I validated the girl’s story from that night.  I wasn’t ready to admit that I was interviewed by detectives, CPS, SVU and the DA’s office and told them all the same thing.  I told those officials what I witnessed that unforgettable evening.

When they discovered that he was in jail, I did something stupid and I’m ashamed to admit it. I want to puke as I’m thinking back to that time. I did not tell them the truth.  Instead, my story was that the girl “claimed” that he molested her. As expected, the family was upset. They were even more upset that the story wasn’t true. Remember, I withheld the truth and blamed it all on the step-daughter. So the speculations and opinions began. The girl was very flirtatious. The girl just wants attention. Maybe her mom is behind it. Whatever it was, I went right along with it. The longer I could keep them from the knowing the truth, the better (so I thought.) I was protecting him and in doing so, I put aside what really happened.  I made her come off as a liar when the liar was me.  I just couldn’t bring myself to admit it. By doing so, I think I caused more damage than good.

We discussed his legal options. We discussed an obtaining an attorney. How crazy is that? I did and said everything to go along with them. As I write this, the memories are coming back to me and I’m shaking my head in disbelief. How? Why? What was I thinking? I did research on the Internet trying to find the best defender given his charges. I contacted two law offices and obtained information such as retainer fees and what to expect at trial.  That sounds so ludicrous now because I was so far gone that I was going to get him an attorney even though I knew what he did. I did not retain an attorney for him as I was just sub consciously going through the motions. Shortly thereafter, he was granted bail so I contacted the detention center to get his bail info. I considered bailing him out which meant I would have to put my house up as collateral. But before any of that could happen, they found out the truth and everything changed.


As I reflect on Thanksgiving, 2017, I am thankful for all that I have.  The people who mean the most to me, spent the day at my home. Cooking and hosting my own Thanksgiving dinner is the new norm for me since I’m no longer invited to the family dinner.  It’s been three years since I’ve spent Thanksgiving with my family but I’ve moved on from that and created my own tradition. My youngest son chooses to spend the day with me even though he still gets invited to the family dinner.  We never really talked about it but he will ask what we are doing for the day.  My response to him is that I’m cooking and I tell him who is coming over and we carry on. My three year old granddaughter “helped” me cook.  This will be a new tradition that I will cherish forever.

Thanksgiving is a day of reflection for what we are thankful for. I’m thankful for many things including my health, my career and friends. I am thankful for my faith and patience in restoring my relationship with my son. And let me tell you this, that faith and patience is paying off. He called me last night.  We could not talk for long but he told me that he wished that he had my macaroni and cheese which made me chuckle and smile. He spoke with his brother for a bit and I told him that I loved him. I’m thankful for this tiny step towards the healing process. 89C9DCAA-FD53-4032-854E-2806D718A60E

The beginning of the storm


I couldn’t talk to anyone in my family because that’s just not something we do.  The few times that I did confide in one of my sister’s, she ended up using it against me and spat out ugly judgement during an argument.  My family is close but not close.  We have a great time when we are all together, laughing and joking but when it comes to feelings, emotions and communication, we fail miserably.  Also, I knew if I told them, I’d be judged and made fun of.  I was embarrassed because I felt that I failed as a mother. What mother wants to know or deal with the fact that her son violated a child?  No mother should have to face that.

If not for my circle of friends, I’d be a lost soul. Not Facebook friends or coworkers or mere acquaintances but my real friends.  Some who I have known for 20+ years and some far less but I love them all dearly. I am beyond thankful for them because they don’t judge and they give it to me straight, whether I’m right or wrong. They are incredibly supportive and amazing. I confided in one friend in particular because he has two son’s.  I presented to him the scenario and he told me that there’s no way that can be tolerated. I’m Catholic so I went to confession. I had sleepless nights. I was edgy. I was just sick with grief, worry and guilt. I didn’t know what to do. Then, one day I received a phone call from the girl’s school. It was the school nurse.  She said that she needed to ask me some questions and I told her that I’d call her back. I panicked and freaked out. I left work after that call and sat in my car in the parking lot to contemplate what to do and say. I called another old friend and asked what I should do. She told me that I had to do what was right even though it was going to kill my heart.  I wish I could’ve talked to my family about it.

I confirmed what the girl told the nurse. The nurse kept assuring me that I was doing the right thing and she told me that she would keep the family in her prayers. After the call I felt relieved. Relieved to get that off of my chest but I was also terrified. What was going to happen next?  Will he hate me?  Will the girl get counseling? How will her mom react? That same day, he was arrested and the nightmare gets worse.



I ran away

DECD3E40-089E-46E9-A9BF-2CF4CDE0E2C5What should I have done?  I was disgusted and angry but I didn’t do or say anything about it. I went into the master bedroom with the baby and closed the door. My emotions were all over the place. I was so worried for the girl. I wanted to go back out and “save” her but I was too afraid to look. I paced and contemplated and after what seeme like eternity, I emerged from the master and went into the living room to watch TV.  I sat on the love seat and she sat on the sofa, still playing with the iPhone. I kept looking over at her trying to see if I saw anything in her eyes. I wanted her to say something to me but she was focused on the iPhone.  Shortly thereafter, he comes into the living room with the blanket that was on her bed and sat right next to her so they could both look at the iPhone. I’m wondering to myself, why are you sitting so close to her? He tells me that he’s letting her watch a movie on the iPhone. That was my opportunity to ask why he’s sitting so close to her but I just couldn’t do it. He draped the blanket over both of them and I’m getting more and more uncomfortable but try to focus on the television.  I glanced over a few times and could see his hand moving. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I couldn’t believe that he was doing this right in front of me. I was livid and finally jumped up and all I could muster up to say was “UGH.”  He got up from the sofa and went in to the hall bathroom. She was still on the sofa with the blanket draped over her. I went into the master and slammed the door. What was I going to do?  What was I going to say? Why? Why? Why? I couldn’t be there, in the same house with him so I got online and purchased a one way ticket back home. I didn’t care how much it cost, I wanted out of there. None of us acknowledged or spoke of what happened that night.

The following day was awkward. There was tension between he and I but we didn’t say a word about what transpired. I looked at his wife and wondered to myself, how could she not know? If he did that in front of his own mother, he would certainly do it around her as well. This is why I didn’t say anything to her. I figured she knew but turned the other way so why bother. I wanted to talk to the girl. I wanted to hear what she had to say. While my son and his wife went to Starbucks, I sat down with the girl and asked her if her dad does things to her. She told me that he touches her all of the time but she can’t say anything because it’s their secret. She told me that he buys her candy and let’s her eat pizza so she won’t tell her mom.  I told her that what he’s doing is wrong and she needs to tell an adult at school and she won’t get in trouble.  At the time, I tried to convince myself that I did my due diligence by telling her what she should do.  I was only fooling myself. I owed it to her to confront him.



What I saw


My granddaughter was born on August 30, 2014.  My son had told me they were expecting a few months prior to her birth. I was excited but a little worried because I wasn’t sure he could financially support a baby.  He kept me updated on the pregnancy and I became closer to the his two step-daughers. I treated them as if they were my own grand-daughters since he was in their lives and they called him dad.  He wasn’t working but she held down a full-time job and was the breadwinner. He was pretty much a stay at home dad which worked for their household. I still wished that he would work and be the head of the household but that wasn’t my call.  The day she was born is still etched in my memory. It really didn’t hit me that I was a grandmother until then. He was overjoyed and I was so happy for him. I thought, perhaps the birth of his own daughter would light the fire in him to get a job and be the main provider for the family. I was optimistic that there was hope and his attitude and position in life would change.

I went to visit them twice. Once, a few weeks after she was born and again when she was 5 months old.  I was also able to see her at Christmas when I flew them all out to come to my home to spend time with us and the family here. It was so exciting to have a baby in the family. The youngest child in the extended family was eight years old at the time so a baby was happily welcomed. We all doted on her and I was elated to have a little girl around since I was a boy mom before she came along.  Everyone accepted the two stepdaughters with open arms. Some said it and others thought about it in their heads, that this will make him grow up and be a responsible man.

When they were all at my house during the Christmas break, I witnessed something that made me shutter but I turned the other way and put it in the back of my head. I was walking down the hall and passed the bedroom where they slept and had their belongings. He and the oldest girl who was 9 at the time, were laying down, on their sides in a spooning position. He was laying behind her and when I saw this, I thought to myself that it was inappropriate. I didn’t say anything.

I couldn’t wait to go see my granddaughter again, so I took advantage of the President’s Day three day weekend and flew there to visit. They appeared to be a happy, functioning family. He still didn’t work but she held down a solid job and provided for everyone. He took care of the girls and the baby while she worked. My granddaughter was 5 months old and so adorable. I doted over her. The older girls were so sweet and it was funny that they called me Mimi. I loved the idea of being a grandma because we can dote over them and spend time with them but give them back when we are ready to do so. Everything seemed good.

We shopped at the outlet mall while I was there. We walked around sightseeing and just spent quality time together.  He loves my cooking so I cooked him some of his favorite dishes the first night I was there. She worked evenings so he would pick the girls up from school, help them with homework, feed them and get them ready for bed. And when the baby came along, he really had his hands full. He was Mr. Mom and it worked for their little family unit.

On the second evening I was there, she had to work so we just hung out at the house. Before it got dark, he offered to pick up some dinner at El Pollo Loco. He took the oldest girl with him. When they got back, he prepared a frozen pizza for her and I noticed that she had some candy that he bought for her while they were out. No big deal then but I now know what that was all about.

As it got later in the evening, the girls bathed and settled down. I was taking care of the baby and was going back and forth between the master bedroom and the living room. The other daughter was in her bedroom playing with her toys and the oldest daughter was on her bed, in her own bedroom, playing on an iPhone. I was in the living room for an extended period of time with the baby and decided to get up and walk around.  You had to pass both secondary bedrooms before getting to the master. As I walked down the short hallway, I literally gasped at what I saw in the oldest girl’s room. I was shocked and speechless. They were both laying down on their sides in a spooning position with him behind her. I just stood there as she rolled over onto her back and pulled her panties up. He just laid there and acted like he was playing the the handheld device. No words would come out of my mouth. All I could do was walk away. I ran, like a coward.