This is for a certain Cold Case 1 forum member who posted once that she wanted more focus on Scotty's family. I wrote this since the show might not rush to make her wish come true. Thanks for the inspiration, swanheart! (Obviously, I don't own Cold Case.)

A Mother

My name is Angela Valens. I am fifty-six, and have loved and raised five children that I adore more than life. Well, I would be a rotten mother if I didn't! All my babies, for they are still that to me, no matter how old they get and think they know, have both a bit of the angel and devil in them. Between them, my husband, and all my brothers, I have earned every grey hair I pay good money to keep away. This is as it should be.

I was eighteen when I came from Puerto Rico, because my cousin, Maria, had a job lined up for me. My heart did not want to leave my home, but my head knew better, so I did. Even though I was no genuis, my English was good, and I was a hard worker. That was enough. I got a job as a housekeeper for a rich woman's mansion. The lady was not so nice, talking to me like I was dumb, and making jokes about my accent and my skin. But she ignored me most of the time, and I didn't mind the work, the pay was good, and it was honest. I was content, wanting nothing more, and I certainly wanted nothing to do with men. They complicate things, and as much as I loved my papi and hermanos, they were very spoiled. I had waited on them most of my life, and wanted something different. I was in America, no? I just wanted my quiet life all to myself.

Marc Valens decided it would be different. Or should I say, fate would put Marc Valens in my path to make it all different. He used to shop at the same store I went to when I shopped for myself. It was not the food the grand Senora ate, oh no. I was not allowed to touch what was in the Senora's kitchen, you see. I heard her tell one of her friends once that I would contimante it. Hah! I was probably cleaner than her, with all the hours my hands were in the dish water. But that is another story, and much less important. What is important was meeting Marc Valens.

He was so handsome he was beautiful, his eyes dancing with good humor and charm. He was a proud man, his head held high for all to see. He was proud of being Cuban, and even when he got his citizenship, he refused to forget who he was. To pay the debt this country had given him, he taught ESL at the local high school, so patient was he with all his students. I saw him once, and lost my heart. Not that I could tell him. All the ladies fell over him, and he was used to this. He needed a challenge, and I was going to give him one. I let him chase me, until he was good and hooked.

What times those were. I was so young, we were so in love, and the world was suddenly so full of hope. The day we married was the second happiest day of my life. That was over thirty-seven years ago. They say love fades, passion too. He still makes my heart beat faster, and I him, and I won't let him forget. So, what does saying know? Nada!

The happiest day of my life came five times, when I gave birth to my babies. Marcus Junior was born first, then I was blessed with twins, Linda, and Scotty, then came Anita, and Nicholas. What beautiful babies I made, treasures to me and their father, every one of them. Not one of them was under eight pounds, and they all took their time coming into the world, letting me scream until I was hoarse. Ay, I was tired, but very happy when they finally decided to be born.

Time goes by so fast, especially when there is as much happiness as I have had. The house my husband and I bought when we were first married, seems to have a spirit of its own. Too many tears have been shed here, too much laughter has been heard, too many fights have happened, too much music has been played for it ever to be truly quiet here. I like it that way. The worn walls have the most beautiful adornment of all: Pictures of my children and husband. I stare at Marc's picture. Oh, mother Mary, he's still so handsome after all these years. I know the women still chase after him, but he always stays true to me. Smart man. He cannot keep a secret from me, and knows it would not be well for him if he broke his vows! My temper is rare, but its strong.

I look now at the faces of my children, all of them are settled and married now, with lots of babies for me to love, except for Scotty. Out of my children, he has given the most grey hairs. Of all things, he has to be a cop! He always craved an adventure, I should not be surprised. I have nightmares about what could happen, but I'm a mother. It is my job to worry, and I am not selfish enough to make it his problem. He has to follow his dreams, do what makes him happy, and his job has made him happy. It seems sometimes, it is all that makes him happy.

I sigh as I take his picture in my hand, the fingers on my other hand fiddle with the rosary I wear always. He is a good boy, but has so many ghosts in his eyes, and is cocky. He comes by it honestly, I think with an annoyed glance at his father's picture. Maybe this is to hide the ghosts. His job must not help this. I would give much to see them go away, for him to be happy. But I am just a mother, and there comes a time when you cannot kiss their scrapes and make it better. You must let them carry their burdens as they must, and it hurts you far worse than them. All I can do is love him, and keep my door open to my home, so they will always have a place to be safe.

When he was a teenager, I thought Scotty would be the first to marry, and give me grandchildren. While my other children flirted, and probably much more, (not that they ever did such things where I would catch them. My husband is not the only one who can use a belt when its needed!) my Scotty was so in love with Elisa, and never in a disrespectful way. I was glad, she was such a sweet girl. The way they used to look at each, the way they would steal kisses, ones I pretended not to see, because I knew Scotty would not push for more. When the girls are right, all my sons are gentleman. (I worked long enough to make it so.) When Scotty looked at her, and saw all he wanted of the world. I know what it is to see this, and could also see the future, clear and bright.

I don't know when this image of the future became clouded, when I had reason to worry. I was friends with Elisa's mother, saw the strain in her eyes. I saw Elisa was behaving strangely, heard my son grow more quiet, felt the tension all around him. Elisa was ill we would soon realize, schizophrenia her curse, and my son's as well.

For many years, they drifted in and out of the relationship. He would hang on as long as possible, until he was so exhausted by the rollar coaster, he had to get off the ride. Then there would be a glimmer of hope, and he would come back to her, since she held his heart. It was back and forth, until I grew dizzy just watching, and sick with my child's pain.

Perhaps Elisa was dizzy and sick too. She knew that Scotty would never be truly be free of her, of this illness that possessed her life, that held her mind prisoner. So, she broke free in the only way she knew how, leaping into the arms of the death. I cannot agree with her choice, but I undestand it. It is a sin, but I think one God will understand, in His mercy. I pray every night and every mass that Elisa be granted grace, that she is finally at peace.

I can only hope that Scotty will find peace as well. I know for a time, he went through a very dark period. His eyes were often bloodshot, he would not return calls, and when we did speak, talk of Elisa was off limits. He thought he could fool me, that he could joke away my worry, that I would be so stupid I would not notice his pain. Children think they know everything sometimes, and their parents nothing. Hah! Ah, well, if such illusions are so important, let my babies keep them, especially Scotty. Like his father, he's so proud. Perhaps the most proud of all my children. And like his mother, he is strong. He survived Elisa's death, and whatever else the Good Lord sees fit to put in his path. He knows best, I suppose.

I sigh, and put the photo and my thoughts away. I have no time to be daydreaming like some girl. There is a house to be cleaned, and dinner to put on a table. A wife and mother's work is never done. I would have it no other way. I have never wanted to be anything else but what I am. A wife...and a mother. That is career enough!