(Michelle D. Smith) It took me a couple of years before I could work up the courage to go back home for a visit. I wouldn’t go alone and took my girlfriend, Ann, and her daughter, with me. My mom was very warm and welcoming, even loving toward all three of us. I thought perhaps things had changed in the nearly seven years I’d been gone.

She pulled me aside and said, “Michelle, I love you, and you are all welcome to stay here tonight, but you’ll have to sleep in separate rooms.” I was mad, but I understood and appreciated the forewarning. We went to a hotel. Mom continued to love on us by sending cards and money on birthdays and holidays. I joked it wasn’t fair Ann got the same amount of money on her birthday as I did from my parents. READ MORE