Friday, May 31, 2013

A Look Back at Mommy by Calisa Rhose

Join me in welcoming Calisa Rhose to the Roses of Prose today.

Hi ladies! Thank you for having me on Roses of Prose! I’m in awe of the wonderful talent surrounding me, but thrilled to be a one-dayer.

I’ve been thinking a lot about my parents lately. Partly because it is the season to celebrate mothers and fathers, but also because it’s the season of both their passing. We lost Mommy on April 29, 1984, unexpectedly, from an unknown heart issue at the young age of 46, just eleven days before her birthday. To say we miss her is an understatement. We lost Daddy four years later, on May 26, 1988, at 62 to a multitude of illnesses from a hard life. I love and miss him terribly too.

But I’m happy to say I am who I am because of those two wonderful people. I think back about Mommy and I know she wasn’t the perfect mother. She wasn’t always there when I needed her. She liked to go out and party on weekends with or without my Daddy. There were times one of the kids were sick and she’d check on us and then leave for the night. I had hard feelings about her for years, but when I married Mitch that seemed to just go away. We spent eight months together before she died and I have some very fond memories of those months.

I remember praying one day as a young teen that God keep mom alive until I came to my senses and forgive her for not being perfect. Did I blame myself for how she was? Not at all. I did recognize my part in our distanced relationship, however. I was bitter and resentful when she divorced my dad and left us kids with him without, or so I thought, a second look. We talked years later and she tried to explain her actions. I still don’t understand how a mother could leave her children like she did, as she said I would once I had kids of my own, but I do think I understand her a little more. She was a mother, unwed, at 16 and life was not always kind to her. By the time she left us I think she just needed to be her for a while. She married my dad a month before she had her first baby- not his- and never had a wild child time to sow oats and she was one of those people who apparently needed that to become a whole person.

Then again, maybe I’m looking for a silver lining where there isn’t one. I choose to see it anyway.

What I do know for certain was Mommy was ecstatic when I became pregnant with her first grandbaby. She was proud to be able to be a part of my life during the early months of that journey. That was the times I cherish most in my life with her. When my mom became my friend.

Sadly, God granted my prayer and as we became closer and forgiveness was a given for both of us she became sick and no one knew it--or she just didn’t tell anyone. With a new peace in our relationship He took her three months before I gave birth and Mom never saw her first grandbaby. But He also let her live until I came to my senses…as I’d asked so many years before.

Was my prayer a premonition? I’ll never know. Sometimes I feel selfish and wish I’d stayed mad at her longer if it would have kept her here with us so mine and my sister’s babies and grandbabies could have met her. I’m just glad I asked him to give us that chance to heal before He took her. It just goes to show me- God hears prayers and forgiveness is golden.

It’s late--but Happy Mother’s Day, Mommy. I love and miss you.

I’m thankful I had a better relationship than my heroine in Risk Factors did with her parents. If you don’t mind I’d like to share a little of this March release with your readers now.

RISK FACTORS- available March 4, 2013

Love, like life, is not without risk.
BLURB- Veterinarian Vivian Dane has purchased her uncle’s practice in the tiny town of Wales,
Missouri, where most residents still doubt her ability to treat their pets. But Viv is used to being
considered less-worthy than her predecessors. After all, her parents are world-renowned wildlife
vets, and most everyone is unimpressed she’s chosen to not follow directly in their footsteps.
Now Connor, a patient’s owner, is hot for Viv, but clearly doesn’t think she’s dating material
because he has a daughter…who he believes no woman is good enough for.
Being a perfect dad is EMT paramedic Connor’s life focus. He can’t seem to stay away
from sexy Doctor Viv, but attraction is as far as he’ll ever let it go. His mother abandoned him,
leaving him to be raised in the foster system, and then his wife abandoned both him and their
daughter. He absolutely will not risk bringing another woman into his little girl’s life and having
her feel the hurt of being left…again.
Forfeiting is easier than attempting and failing. So why does Viv feel compelled to prove
she’s a sure bet for Connor and his daughter? Can Connor trust Viv--and himself--enough to play
the possibilities?
It was close to five o’clock and Viv wanted to go home. Winter hadn’t reached the Midwest yet, but from September through October the temperatures often dipped and dove sporadically, before diving for the long winter ahead. There’d been a slight chill in the air that morning and she hoped for a few more weeks of warmth before harsh weather moved in.
She looked forward to a hot soak in the bathtub, but Skittles was due for pick-up first. Connor had assured her he’d pick her up, or have his father get her before five. She glanced at her watch again. Four-fifty-six. She didn’t mind staying late if she needed to; it would be a shame to leave the nervous animal alone another night.
She opened the small closet to put the dust mop away.
With a start, she spun and her hand caught the broom handle on her way around. Gasping, she grabbed uselessly, horrified as the cleaning tool flew sideways from the closet. In slow motion she saw it shoot out against Connor’s shoulder and fall with a sharp snap onto the tile floor.
“Oh! I’m so--so sorry! Are you hurt?” Instant heat rushed up her neck and she bent to reclaim the errant broom to shove into the closet. She slammed the door and leaned against it on a sharp breath.
“I’m fine. You worried your killer broom might attack again? You might consider putting a lock on the door,” he said with a crooked smile.
Puzzled, Viv looked around and realized with total humiliation how it appeared she’d trapped the broom inside the closet--when in actuality, she wanted to climb through the door beside the instrument and hide.
“Of course not. That would be silly. I didn’t expect you right now.”
“It’s two minutes of five. I told you I’d be here for Skittles. Is it too late?”
Right. The skunk. “No. I’m sure she’s more than ready to go home. Do you have the pet carrier to put her in?” She probably didn’t need to ask when Connor stood empty-handed before her.
He lowered his head and she knew he’d forgotten it, fought back a smile at his forgetfulness. “Sorry. I drove straight from work and didn’t think about it.”
“No worry. I have one you can borrow.” Which meant he’d have to see her again. She’d definitely need to see him again.
“Thank you. I’ll bring it back tomorrow.”
“Oh, there’s no rush. I keep a few on hand for emergencies.” She led him back to the cage where the skunk still huddled, and got a carrier while he opened the cage to retrieve his daughter’s pet. As he lifted the black fur ball out, Viv set a pink case next to him.
He hissed under his breath and almost let the animal loose. Viv opened the cage and held it upright for him to lower the skunk down inside and shut the door. Once he stood with the pet taxi, she detected a smear of red on one finger.
“She bit you?” Skunk bite, rabies, germs…
“It’s fine. When she’s scared she tends to nip a warning like a cat.” Connor’s lack of care concerned Viv, however.
“I should clean it with antiseptic before you go.”
“I’ll tend it when I get home.”
“But, it may have germs…get infected.”
“It’s not the first time, and her rabies vaccination is current. Thank you, but it’s not necessary.”
Viv stopped by a cabinet on the way to the front reception area to grab ointment and a Band-Aid.


Also, Risk Factors is on Authorgraph! Get your copy signed.

Author Bio:
Calisa Rhose is an Okie, born and bred, through and through, and proud of it. While growing up, when she wasn’t on the back of a horse, she could be found with pen and paper in hand. Her writing career began with poetry in her younger days. Then she discovered Rock-n-Roll and cute musicians. Poetry turned into stories of romance and dreams. These days she lives with the same man who convinced her to take a romantic journey with him almost 30 years ago. After raising three strong daughters she spends her days loving their granddaughters, hoping for a boy someday, and writing. When she’s not writing, you can find Calisa putting on her editor hat and working to help other published and aspiring writers.
She is working on more projects with her favored contemporary cowboys, first responders  and firemen, as well as, the occasional ‘other’ heroes- and their sexy female counterparts, those sassy, stubborn heroines.

Find Calisa at her website/blog

Thanks again for letting me come by today.


Margo Hoornstra said...


Welcome. Thanks for sharing such a heartfelt post. Risk Factors sounds like one of those books to definitely put on a tbr list. Hope I can get to it soon.

Barbara Edwards said...

Hi Calisa,
Thanks for sharing your memories of your mother. It brought back the conflicted feelings I had for my mother and my thanks that I did have a chance to tell her I loved her before she died of an aneurysm at 52. I still have questions about why she was the way she was.

Jannine Gallant said...

Your post made me tear up. Thanks for sharing. As for your hero, gotta love a guy who let's his daughter have a pet skunk!

Calisa Rhose said...

Hi everyone! I would have been in sooner, but FIL had his gall bladder removed this morning and at 71 and after a severe stroke two years ago, even a routine procedure is high risk, so I've been otherwise occupied all day.

Thanks for your kind and candid responses to my post. It makes me cry to read it but it was good to purge. :)

We have storms threatening in a couple hours so if I disappear, I'll be in a cellar or my stairwell closet. :( Prayers today would be welcome if you are so inclined.

Gemma Brocato said...

Calisa, thanks for sharing you're memories of your Mom. When strained relations are healed the bond is felt so strongly. I'm glad you and your Mom had the opportunity to be friends. I read Risk Factors last week and adored it. Viv is such a complex heroine but still easy to feel close to. Well done.

Anonymous said...

What a touching post, Calisa, and a wonderful tribute to your mother. Flaws and all, it's obvious you loved her very much. I'm glad God heard your prayer and gave you the chance to make peace, and for her to become a friend as well as a mother. I'm sure she's smiling down on you and her grandchildren with love!

Calisa Rhose said...

I agree, Gemma. We were closer during those few months than in my entire life, I think. Thanks for the kind words about RF! I'm glad you enjoyed it. :) After the day we've had here, I need that! LOL Thanks for stopping by.

Calisa Rhose said...

I think she is, Mae. We made up for a lot during the time I stayed with her after getting married. :) Thanks for visiting.

Sandy L. Rowland said...

Beautiful tribute to your mommy. Parents aren't perfect, but as kids we think they are or should be.
I'm glad that you had the opportunity to heal.
And that you've survived all the tornadoes!
Best success on the latest release. Looks good!

Mona Risk said...

Hi Calisa, what a poignant post about your Mom. I have the feeling you shed a couple of tears while typing. I'm sure she must be smiling upon you. Cute excerpt. I'll be looking at Risk Factors.

Cd Brennan said...

I love the honesty in this post, Calisa, and I have to admit feel a twang in my heart both as a mum myself and for my mom, finally reunited after 15 years. And that is the best kind of writer - one who evokes emotion that still remains long after the reading. xo

Harley Brooks said...

Thanks for sharing, Calisa. It's nice to know you're not alone when it comes to suffering painful memories. Despite your parents, you turned out great. Helps to find a good "forever guy" to grow old with, too. Loved "Risk Factors!"

Calisa Rhose said...

Thanks, Sandy and we did survive! Thanks for the luck wishes. :)

Calisa Rhose said...

You guessed right, Mona. During and every time since I wrote it I tear up. Thanks for stopping by.

Calisa Rhose said...

I'm glad you enjoyed the post CD. Thanks for your kind words. :)

Calisa Rhose said...

Thanks, Harley. I am glad I have friends like you and a wonderful husband! Glad you loved RF. :)

Sandy said...

I think we finally become adults when we realize our parents are not perfect and love them anyway.

Calisa Rhose said...

I absolutely agree, Sandy. Being an adult can sometimes be tough. :)