Two questions. What does it take to be a mother? And what do you get when you're the product of an emotionally abusive mother, an unwed pregnant teenager and hereditarily predisposed alcoholic? Well for Pamela Jo Wilson this was a recipe for disaster. Even though her high school love Nick Shepard, the father of his baby, had married her, the role of wife and mother was something she was not ready for - not at eighteen. In face she was pretty sure she would be an absolute failure at it thanks to her mother Mae. Mae always blamed Pam for ruining her life and as children are sponges, failure became almost a mantra for Pam. Her greatest fear was hurting anyone who might stupidly depend on her. So flight was her answer. She ran away from the love or her life and baby that she couldn't seem to embrace and followed a teenage dream of making it as a country singer. Dreams just seem to blur as reality sets in and as Pam floundered dreamless and alone she followed the path which seemed her destiny - alcoholism. Now thirteen years later and sober for a year Pam is taking a giant leap of faith returning to her home town of Mimosa to face Mae and finally move on with her life. What she wasn't prepared for was discovering that Nick and his daughter Faith had moved back home after his second marriage ended. She had no way to gauge how angry Nick was going to be seeing her after she had abandoned him and Faith. But observing Nick and Faith their relationship cemented her resolve that she had made the right decision. Nick was an excellent father and Faith had flourished. Pam would just have to ignore any regrets and accept how different it would have been for them all had she stayed and certainly ruined their lives, which leads me back to question one. Mothers are not necessarily born but developed over time. At eighteen it is an enormous responsibility most feel unprepared for but now in her thirties the question is whether Pam is finally able to see herself in that role. Only time will tell.
This was a truthful and often harsh study of how lack of self-confidence and worth can lead us to make unfortunate, rash, often irreversible decisions. The only choice is to move forward and Michael's book is a testament to hope and love.
Welcome Home, Stranger
For Pamela Jo Wilson, returning to her sleepy Mississippi hometown means coming face–to–face with her past. At seventeen, overwhelmed by the responsibilities of a new marriage and family, she fled Mimosa. But Nick Shepard wasn't the only one Pam left behind. Now, thirteen years later, she just hopes she can make things right with her ex–husband and the child she barely knows.
Nick's first instinct is to protect his daughter, but his little girl is hell–bent on meeting the woman who left her behind. With his own feelings for Pam being as powerful and all–consuming as ever, how can Nick know what he's feeling is real? And how can he trust Pam again? First she has to convince him she's through running. That she's come home—this time for good.