Baby Steps

Baby Steps

Jacqueline talks about Ashlee's departure, Teresa's apologies, and the poker night fight.

Ashlee's send off wasn't as cold as it seemed. It was hard seeing it play out like that. Although she had only one day to pack before she had to leave, we did have a heart to heart talk before she left, a hug, a kiss, a few tears, and some words of encouragement. I wanted her to learn as much as she could while she was at her Aunt Mary and Uncle Tom's for those two weeks. She still didn't know that her dad was going to surprise her there and take her to Texas for the summer to live with them, work, and go to community college. He wanted to retrain her as much as he could and try to get through to her. Ashlee is lucky to have so many people in her life that love and care about her and truly want to help. We just needed her to want to get motivated and help herself. She could only come back home when she had a concrete plan in place that she was ready to execute.

Ashlee has this crazy fear of flying, so we had arranged for her to talk to someone and get some medication prescribed to her to help get her through the flight. Other than that, she is not on any medication. The morning Ashlee left, she still had not finished packing. She had gone out the night before to say good-bye to her friends, and the next morning was a scramble to get her out the door on time for her flight. I don't drive to the airport, because I'm afraid. I don't understand airport directions. LOL! I also needed to be home to pick CJ up from school, so Albie volunteered to take her. He's a good kid. I also didn't want to take the risk of fighting with her on the way to the airport and have to send her off like that either. We had said our proper good byes, and I needed to stand firm and strong, although it was killing me inside. Tough love.

OK, so she missed her flight, big deal, sh-- happens, so you just deal with it. Now I had to go through the good-byes all over again. I had a get together planned for the night that she was supposed to leave. I hoped it would help me not to think about it. I needed the company. Looking at myself, I can see how drained and sick I looked back then. I was in a bad place. Those times were not easy. I'm thankful for Chris, my parents, my brother and his wife, Mary, during those times for being my rock and helping me to cope with it all. Thanks to Chris, Ashlee finally made it on the plane.

I can't even talk about that last scene with me crying looking at Ashlee's scrapbook or seeing her as a baby without my eyes filling up with tears. When you have children, you only want to give them the best of everything and teach them everything you've learned so their life may be a little easier than your own. You want them to look back on a happy childhood and grow up to be happy adults. Nothing hurts more than when your kids are hurting, and if you can't fix a problem they have or teach them to how to fix it, it feels very defeating and worrisome.

I will admit I didn’t miss the fighting between Ashlee and me when she first left. It was actually a nice break. Of course, after a while, I began to miss her very much. I still do. I still always worry about her, but we are in a much better place now and I am very proud of her. I love her very much. She has come a long way. We both have. Lauren is my stand in daughter while Ashlee is away. LOL! I think Lauren is a beautiful girl with such a fun personality. When I hear her talk about her weight struggle, it breaks my heart. Lauren has never been one to eat a lot. She eats very healthy most of the time. She exercises quite frequently. I know it's frustrating for her when she doesn't lose the weight she wants. I think a lot of us actually feel the same way, so she is not alone on that one. Still, I can't stand to see her hurting over it. I wish there was something I could give her to make her see what I see. I wish you could all see how Lauren looks right now. She has succeeded in losing a lot of the weight that she wanted to lose, and she looks amazing! I'm so proud of her. If you are ever in Franklin Lakes, check out her beauty store, CafFace. It's beautiful.

The father-son moment between Richie and Joseph at the gas station was cute. Joseph looked a little uncomfortable, but he was very polite and respectful hearing his father out. He's a good kid. As far as the inappropriate email he got, it's funny how men are more lenient with their sons than their daughters in similar situations. I wonder if Rich would have been as laid back about an email like that if it had been his daughter at the age of 15 sending her private pictures to some guy on the internet. Somehow, I doubt that. LOL! It's a man's world, isn't it? I loved Kathy's reaction. She's too cute.
Let me tell you something about Melissa and Joe. I love their relationship. They are best friends. I don't care what anybody says, that couple is in love with each other. You can tell by the way they flirt with each other. You can see it in their eyes. I think Teresa is selling her brother short by saying that Melissa is basically a gold digger. Joey has many more amazing qualities to offer his wife than his money, and I'm sure Melissa sees that. I'm sure the money is just a bonus. The song to him was beautiful. It gave me chills. I love it! I downloaded it on iTunes. It touched me when he talked about how he felt about his wife and shed a few tears. I do think it was funny how their intimate romantic dinner started at opposite ends of a 10-foot long table. That was hilarious. OF COURSE it ended up in the bedroom. What did you expect? Anyway, I think they are a cute couple.

After the filming of Season 3 reunion, I had some time to self reflect, and although I was still angry and disappointed at times, I tried reaching out to Teresa to put our differences behind us and resolve things. I tried calling her, but when she didn't pick up or return my calls, I sent it in a text to her. I may have even tweeted something too. We didn't need to be friends, and it was OK for us to agree to disagree, but I just wanted the negative talk between us to stop. We are both guilty of talking about each other. Most people do talk negatively about the person that they are upset with, so I understand where it is coming from. Isn't that the same thing you all do when you are upset with someone? Some of you are very vocal on Twitter and I'm sure in blogs with all of us when you are angry. The funny thing is and that you don't even know us completely or even know the full story, so just imagine how intense it is for us? She and I both know what we feel each other has done to hurt our relationship, and we both have a different perception on the reality of it. We may never agree. One thing I know is that I lost a best friend who I loved and always had the best intentions for. I only wanted to help and I wanted us and our families to be friends forever. I hated watching her self-destruct. There are times when I'm still disappointed in things she did and said about me, and then there are times that I miss her very much. That is all normal.I was happy to have read in Teresa's first blog this season that she claimed to be in a much better place. It sounded like she realized her wrong doings and was trying to correct herself and move forward now. I thought, “Good for her.” That made me feel that somewhere inside of her, she was listening to me and now realizes now that I wasn't steering her wrong. I needed her advice too. I also was going through a hard time myself. I do understand that sometimes when someone is going through a hard time, it is hard to see the pain of someone else. I think she just needed time to get her own things in order. That was her priority, and I understand that now. I was happy to hear that she was on her way and doing well. I was hoping she could finally put away all the meaningless petty stuff that was making her upset and will now be concentrating on more important things. I hope she and her family will be able to reconnect and that this time it will be real and sincere effort. I honestly mean that. I wish it for my own family.

As much as I wanted to express what I was feeling at the time after each episode, after reading her blog, I started to change my mind. I felt like if Teresa really meant what she said in her blog about wanting to move forward, so there was no reason to regurgitate this past season. It would only open old wounds that we both have worked so hard to heal. I was willing to let it go. I realize that we were both right and we were both wrong. I wish her the best, and although I was happy to hear that she was happy, doing well, and appeared to have finally seen the light, a part of me felt sad that I am not apart of her life anymore.

Teresa said in her last blog, "I would love to resolve any of the outstanding issues from last year with my family and friends, because I do love them all, but it just takes time." With that, I waited patiently wait to hear from Teresa when she was ready, in her own time, to finally talk, since she never returned my calls or responded to my reaching out to her in the past. Then came the apology in InTouch. Now let's get to the truth. When I called Teresa, it wasn't as warm and fuzzy as I expected. The bottom line was that we weren’t able to reach a resolution. I don't think that she will ever understand other people's emotions or what a true apology is all about. I don't feel that our friendship will ever be what it was, but hopefully it will at least get to a better place. Baby steps!Speaking of apologies, I was glad when Teresa took my advice to apologize to her family and friends about her cookbook, although she never understood that she did anything wrong or admitted to how it could have hurt anybody. She just said the words with no accountability. Clearly she meant some malice in her book. Remember her conversation with Caroline on my front steps when she had said about Melissa, "Well if the shoe fits…" But apologizing was all new to Teresa, so baby steps, I guess.

After Teresa had apologized in my kitchen to everyone and there was that long period of awkward silence, I did approach Teresa to hug her and I told her I was proud of her for doing that.
Nobody was really talking about Teresa in a negative way before she got there. It was more about Joe not knowing how to handle Teresa, because every time he would try with her, Teresa would bad mouth his wife. It was hard for him, but he was trying to let it go. So was Melissa. I did my best not to say a word about it or get involved in their family drama, but I did suggest that he apologize for calling Teresa "garbage" and that even though I knew it came from a place of hurt, it was inappropriate and hurtful in itself. Once again, I'm always looking at both sides. I see everyone hurting, not just Teresa. If I could have ended their pain, I would have tried anything at that point to help them find resolve. I hate seeing anyone hurting.

The fight between Joe and Richie started out in play. They were busting each other's chops, like they always do, and when Joe grabbed Richie's balls, Richie grabbed Joe and flung him into the couch where Joe's eye hit an iron candle holder on the way down. Richie felt horrible about it, he called several times to apologize, but Joe wouldn't pick up. It was an accident. A candlestick actually gave Joe the black eye. It was all rough play gone bad. Boys will be boys.

Gia has become a little mommy. She's growing up so fast. She helps clean the house and tend to the kids. It's cute to see her in action.

I always give credit where credit is due, despite my feelings toward someone. I am very fair. I will say that I have always admired Teresa's ability to keep her head up with a smile on her face and persevere even during the roughest times in her life. Everything is always "fine" with her. Sometimes I wished that she would lean on her friends a little more than she did. That is what creates a special bond between friends. You allow each other to be there along with you, to help you through the difficult times. I was hurting knowing my friend was hurting, and I didn't know how to help.

XOXO! See you next week!

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