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End of the Road

Caroline recaps the finale, reflects on this season's joyous occasions, and comes to terms with Danielle's true colors.

By Caroline Manzo

Here we are, at the end of the road. It’s been quite a ride, wouldn’t you agree? I hope we’ve shown you over the past sixteen weeks that we are a group of women who dare to be ourselves. In that process we have exhibited both good behavior as well as bad. You’ve witnessed all the peaks and valleys of our lives, and we’ve shown you a range of emotions from laughter to tears, frustration to jubilation, anger to forgiveness, embarrassment to arrogance, etc, etc, etc. I’m hoping one thing resonates, the simple fact that we’re human. Not one of us can claim to be the perfect representation of what a wife, mother, or friend should be. I can only speak for myself when I say that I’m proud of who I am, the man I married, and the children we’ve raised. Faults and all.

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OK, we have some ground to cover, let’s get started. First I need to address a comment that was made in the last episode of the Italy trip. When I mentioned that I was uncomfortable with the use of the Italian language it was not derogatory towards Teresa and her family. It simply meant that I was frustrated that I couldn’t understand them. I wish I did. I clearly said that I was disappointed that my parents and grandparents didn’t pass the language down to us. Whether I speak the language or not, the most important aspect of the Italian heritage has been passed down to us. We were taught the importance of hard work, loyalty, and tradition. We were raised to value each other, protect each other, and love each other. Al and I continue to instill those values in our own children to this very day. So, I guess I’m not gonna sweat the small stuff, right? I’ll worry about learning the language if I ever find myself relocating to Italy, until then, I’m proud to say I’m an American of Italian decent. God bless the USA!

Time to talk about this week’s episode. You have to understand where I’m coming from. It was clear to me that the situation with Danielle was like a merry-go-round that never was going to stop. I felt that I was the only one that could go and speak to her because I was the only one that wasn’t emotionally involved. I was never her friend, and true, I never wanted to be. I never gave her the chance to be. That’s a decision I made solely based on instinct two years ago. Although there are those of you who think I was unfair to her, I think I made the right decision. You may not agree with my method, but what can I say, I am what I am. Another thing I need to clear up. THE BOOK. Ugh, I’m sick of talking about it. We were told about the book from numerous people in Danielle’s town. I showed the book to TWO people. That does not constitute exposing her. Danielle chose to bring the book out to the entire country, not me. Two people verses the entire country - think about it. I have always represented myself as someone who tells the truth and owns up her mistakes no matter how embarrassing they may be. I’m not about to tell a lie now. That’s it ... subject matter addressed...THE BOOK IS CLOSED.

My intention for the meeting with Danielle was to put an end to all the nonsense (nonsense being the operative word). I was so sick of hearing her name, so sick of dealing with the fallout of the rumors and encounters regarding her, and so ashamed and embarrassed by how we behaved and what we allowed ourselves to become in our quest to "win." Like I said to Danielle, there are no winners in a losing game. Somewhere in the back of my mind I knew how it would end. I knew there would be no reasoning or understanding, but I had nothing to lose. I’m not proud of the names I called her; my remarks were cruel and childish. But, that's my truth. Makes absolutely no sense but, it is what it is. I said what I said out of frustration and anger. I was speaking to someone who was looking me dead in the eye and lying to me. Not only that, there was absolutely no accountability on her part at all. I have one regret ... I wish I knew then what I know now. I learned the true depth of Danielle’s character along with all of you as I watched each episode over the past sixteen weeks. I had no idea of the remarks and accusations that were being made towards my children, the others, and me. I had no idea that there were bodyguards with GUNS outside the restaurant when we had our meeting. When I made the comment about the bodyguards I was referring to the event at The Brownstone, her meeting with Dina, and the country club debacle. Maybe it’s best that I didn’t, who knows. I’m annoyed with myself for losing my cool, but looking back, I truly believe that there was no way any agreement would have been made that evening. In any event, when I returned to The Brownstone I meant what I said. I’m not going back to that place. If any of the others choose to go there, then that’s their decision and I don’t want to hear a word about it. I’m done.

I know the show has focused on the drama surrounding our relationship with Danielle over the past two years. I have a favor to ask of you. Remember the other things we’ve shared with you. Remember Jacqueline and her struggles to carry a child to term and the miracle of Nicholas. Think about little Audriana blessing Joe and Teresa with a fourth daughter. Smile when you see all of our parents joining us on a whirlwind trip to Italy. Cry, and be inspired as you watch Albie’s struggles with his learning disability and how he deals with it. Laugh along with Christopher and his beautiful smile and his outlook on life. Be encouraged by Lauren following her dreams and finding the “love of her life” in Vito. Look at the relationship between Jacqueline and Ashley and see a mother and child who have issues, but also have the determination to make things right between them. I can go on and on. What I’m trying to say is that we have opened our lives to you. We’ve shown you the good, the bad, and the ugly. I’m pretty confident when I say that each and every one of you have related to us in some way, shape, or form. Love us or hate us, we are who we are, no frills attached.

Thank you so much for watching. I can never say that enough.

PS. The reunion ... WOW...

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