Now the truth was obvious, Grandma Hatcher wanted Alice to have the life she thought her daughter should have had. That’s why she filled her head with stories, and questions, and dreams bigger than the sky, and why she had such a strained relationship with Gwen Ann. Grandma Hatcher was the one that encouraged Alice to apply for veterinary school and even paid for most of her tuition. She and Alice had a way with animals. Gwen Ann must have hated that her mom not only bonded with Alice in a way she never had, but also paid for Alice’s education when she had refused to pay for her own daughter’s wedding all those years ago.
Alice stood in front of her mom slack jawed with the instant realization that both of these women had been living vicariously through her for her entire life. It explained why her mom was desperately disappointed in Alice’s single status and why she was so obsessed with recreating this event in her life. Forty years later, Gwen Ann was ready to unhitch the double-wide trailer she drug behind her, full of guilt and disappointment.
Alice wasn’t sure if she should feel sorry for her mom and Grandma, or angry she had been manipulated for so long. She felt an unsettling awareness that every major decision she had made up until this point, was a direct result of their influence, and she found herself wondering if she would have been the one trying on dresses if she had chosen a path they had not paved for her.
She had so many questions and wanted to stay livid, but as Gwen Ann twirled like a giddy new bride, Alice saw her eccentric mom in a whole new light.
Check back tomorrow for the exciting conclusion to "Just Alice".