The quieter you become the more you can hear ~ Ram Dass

Friday, September 7, 2012

Mary #25

This is a continuing story.  If you want to read from the beginning, please go to my side bar to the labels and click on story-Mary or click here.


Mary and Elizabeth walked down the street and ordered hamburgers, french fries and chocolate shakes.  "Reminds me of when we were kids and used to go to Riley's.”

"Yes, it does.  They even have a jukebox" said Mary. 

"So, what are you doing here Mary?  I didn't know you were in town.” 

"Well, to be honest I came right before you all left on vacation.  We're probably going to be selling the farm and I came to start boxing things up.”

"How come you didn't call me?” 

"It was a spur of the moment thing, I just drove down.  No one knew.  Then I was going to call but found out you were going on vacation and I thought I'd wait until you came back.  I told Jimmy not to say anything because I didn't want to ruin the vacation.”  She hoped Elizabeth couldn’t tell my by her voice that she wasn’t being truthful.  

"Oh, okay.  How long are you planning to stay?”

"I took a leave of absence which I can go back earlier or stay later.” 

"How's the job going?” 

"Pretty good but I hear they are laying people off because there's not much tourism now because of the economy.  These burgers are really good.” 

"They are.”

 “What do you say; I put some money in the jukebox.” 

"Okay, sounds fun.”   

They both got up and looked at the play list and put in their money.  When they got back to their table, they laughed at the old songs they chose.  Mary decided they would just talk about old times for now to try to get Elizabeth's mind off her troubles.

"You'll never guess where I went since I've been back?” 

"I give.” 

"I went to the woods the other day.  I even took my shoes off and went in the old creek and sat on the rock.  I even found a place where I carved my initials in an old tree.  Talk about nostalgia.” 

Elizabeth looked wistful and said, "Those were the days Mary.  Sometimes I wish I could go back and be that girl.  How wonderful it would be to have no worries.  Don't you think?” 

Mary thought this isn't working like I had thought and said “Yes, sometimes but remember Elizabeth it wasn't always great when we were kids.  But I guess compared to grown up problems now, it would be wonderful to go back.” 

"Did you find my initials on my tree?” 

"No, I forgot to look which one was it again.” 

"It was that big weeping willow tree.  Remember the one we used to climb high in and we would spy on your brothers and Mitch?”

Mary laughed, "Oh yeah, how could I forget the weeping willow.  We spent hours in that tree.” 

"Even though Mitch was older than us, even as a kid he was nice to me.  I know you and he always had your differences because he used to tease you incessantly.” 

Mary felt a little uncomfortable and said, "I was always surprised you and he married.” 

"When you went away at college, he kept coming around more and more and we fell in love.  He really grew up a lot and since we've been married he's been devoted to me.  When we found out we couldn't have children because of me, he didn't care and loved me anyhow.  Since the breast cancer, he's been so stressed.  He's gone to all my doctor's appointments.  He's constantly been on the Internet looking for a cure.  The sad thing is there is no cure but I couldn't convince him of that.” 

"Is that what the doctor's say?”

"There's no cure, Mary.  I can hope that I go into remission for a time.  Some women live with Stage 4 cancer for years.” 

"So then there's hope that you’re going to be around a long time.” 

"I suppose, I was going to start chemo when we came back from vacation.  That's why I wanted to talk to Donna about how she reacted when she had chemo and then this happened with Mitch.  I don't know what I'll do now.” 

"What do you mean?” 

"If Mitch doesn't make it, I might just forgo chemo.” 

"You can't do that Elizabeth.” 

"If Mitch dies, I really don't have much. I only have my sister left.  I don't know if I want to live if Mitch isn't here.” 

"That's crazy.  I bet Mitch would want you to do it.” 

"I suppose" and then she said "we better get back to the hospital just in case something happens.”  They picked up their things and went back to the hospital to the waiting room.

They sat their silently waiting, staring at the ICU when they saw nurses and doctors running into Mitch's room.  Elizabeth got up and ran to the room, followed closely by Mary.  When they got in, they saw them working on Mitch frantically.  A nurse came up to them and said "Mrs. Connell, we'll have to ask you to leave.” 

"I can't.  What's wrong with my husband?” 

"I'm sorry but you'll have to leave.  We'll come out and talk to you once we get him stabilized.”  

Mary put an arm around Elizabeth and ushered her back to the waiting room as Elizabeth cried.  Mary didn't know what to say so she hugged her and let her cry. 

About an hour later a grim looking doctor came out. 

 "Mrs. Connell, I'm sorry to tell you this but I think it's time to make the decision if you want to take Mr. Connell off the ventilator. We've done everything we could for him but he's not going to recover.  You can take some time to decide but in Mr. Connell's living will he didn't want to be kept alive on machines.” 

"I know what my husband wanted" Elizabeth shouted.  "Mary, call Jimmy.  I need to talk to Jimmy.”

Mary called Jimmy and told him what was going on.  He said he would come and would be bringing Donna with him.   

"Jimmy's coming, Elizabeth, is there anyone else you'd like me to call?”

"Could you call Jody?  I never even called her to tell her what happened.”  Elizabeth handed Mary her cell phone with Jody's number.

"Hello".  "Jody, I don't know if you remember me but this is Mary Jenkins, Elizabeth's friend from a long time ago.” 

"Sure, I remember you.  How are you doing?” 

"I've got some bad news.  Mitch got into an accident when they were away and Elizabeth's here at the hospital in town and she wanted me to call you.” 

"Is he going to be all right?  How's Elizabeth?” 

"No, Mitch isn't going to be all right.  Elizabeth is hanging in there but she needs you.”

"Okay, I'll throw on some clothes, get my husband to watch our kids and be right there.  Thanks for calling Mary" and she hung up abruptly. 

She went to Elizabeth who was just staring at the room from her chair.  

 "Jody's on her way.  She should be here soon.” 

"Thanks, what do you think I should do Mary?” 

"Geez, I don't know.”  

They sat in silence just waiting lost in their own thoughts.  


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