Story: A Love From Above….Episode 6 (By Joy Curry)
A Love From Above….
Denise had just arrived home from school, and found a note from Mom saying she had a dentist appointment, she would be home soon, and that Todd was to spend the night with Tim, since it was Friday night. Denise went to the refrigerator, poured a glass of milk, grabbed a banana, turned on the television, and sat back to relax with her snack.
The phone rang. She was sure it was Jon. They spent nearly as much time on the phone as they did together, nowadays. But, it wasn’t Jon. It was Tom’s secretary, and with much excitement, (or was it fear?), in her voice, she asked to speak to Doris.
“Mom’s gone out of town for a dentist appointment, she should be back pretty soon, though. Do you want me to have her ca11 you?” Denise asked, fee1ing curious. Mom se1dom had anything to do with the business, that was Dad’s territory. It was strange that she would be getting a call from his secretary.
Reluctantly, the secretary finally explained her call. “Denise, listen to me. Your dad has been taken to the hospital. Now, don’t panic- let’s wait and see what the Doctor says, OK? I just need to let your mother know what’s going on. Get word to her as soon as you can,OK?”
“But, what’s wrong with him? He’s never sick, you know that! Why is he in the hospital? Was there an accident?” Denise asked, fear rising up in her rapidly.
“No, there was no accident, he’s just sick. Your mom will tell you more about it, I’m sure, when she can get more information. Are you alone. Denise? Would you like me to come over and stay until she gets home?”
“No, thanks. I’ve got to get down to the hospital and find out what’s going on. Thanks for calling.” Denise replied, her mind made up.
“I don’t know if that’s a good idea, you know, you probably won’t be able to see your dad for a while, anyway. Why don’t you wait until your mom gets home.”
“Well, I’ll see, but. thanks for calling. Bye.” Denise repondonded with finality.
Denise looked up the phone number of their regular dentist, dialed the number, and asked for Doris. She was informed that Doris had just left. Now what? Denise thought, almost hysterical, by now. What could be wrong with Dad? He had never been sick, except with a cold, or something minor. She resented that the secretary had not told her all the details, so she would know what was going on. But, she probably was afraid she couldn’t handle it, Denise thought, wondering if, in fact, she could!
Denise called next door to Jon’s house. “Jon, I just got a call that Dad’s been taken to the hospital, and I can’t get word to Mom, because she’s out of town, and I don’t know what to do! I don’t even know what’s wrong with him. His secretary just said he was ‘sick’! Can you drive me to the hospital? I’ve got to see him, and find out what’s going on. Please?”
“Sure, Sweetheart, I”ll be right over. Don’t worry. I’m sure it’ll be OK, and I’ll be right with you!”
“Jon, don’t bother coming over here. I’ll meet you at your car. That’ll save time! Please hurry!” Grabbing her purse, Denise started for the door, then remembered the television was on. She turned it off, and ran for Jon’s car, leaving the milk and banana where they were. She thought about Todd. Should she go by Tim’s and get him? No she would let Mom decide about him. What would she have done without Jon?
The trip to the hospital was short, but it seemed to take forever, Denise thought. Once there, Jon took over, asking where Tom Whitaker had been taken, and receiving directions to the Intensive Care Unit, led Denise to the third floor of the hospital, around the corner, and to the ICU’s nurse’s station.
Tom had been found unconscious in his office, the nurse on duty explained, and had been brought to the hospital by ambu1ance. The examination and tests revealed that he had suffered a heart attack. He had regained consciousness, but still was in serious condition. He would be allowed to have only brief visits, immediate family only, every two hours until his condition stabilized, she told them.
Denise, by this time, was crying uncontrollably, and Jon was doing his best to try to comfort her. It would be another hour before any of the family could even see Tom, so Jon suggested they try to catch Doris at home.
They called Denise’s house, but no one answered. Jon then obtained the phone number from Denise for Grandpa and Grandma Whitaker. He called, informing them of their son’s condition, giving the facts as well as he could. They promised to be right over.
“Oh, why did this have to happen? Dad’s always been so healthy! He’s got to get well, he’s just got to!” Denise cried.
Jon held her close, repeatedly telling her not to worry, it would be all right.
Denise leaned on him, drawing reassurance from his calmness. She wanted so much to believe him. She couldn’t imagine life without Dad. She remembered the things she had learned in Health class at school, and she had casually known some who’d had heart attacks. Some made it, some didn’t, she recalled painfully. And it had been such an ordinary day, until this happened!
They kept trying to get Doris on the phone, and after nearly an hour, she answered, then rushed straight to the hospital.
Denise’s grandparents were already there by the time Doris arrived, and were in the waiting room with Denise and Jon. Noting that it was the time the nurse had said Tom could have a brief visit, they started to the nurse’s station just as Doris rounded the corner. The nurse suggested that Doris go in to see Tom first.
Doris was in the room only a short time, and returned with tears flowing freely down her cheeks. He was sleeping, she said fearfully. After regaining her composure, she suggested that Denise not go in to see her dad. Not like this! Let Grandma and Grandpa go in, if they wanted, but she was afraid for Denise to see her dad this way. Doris pleaded, but Denise insisted. And Denise wanted to go in alone.
When Denise stepped into the little cubicle, she caught her breath. Her dad was lying there, motionless, apparently sleeping, in the hospital bed, with the lifeless look her mother had tried to describe. Oxygen tubing was strapped to his white face, wires connected to his chest ran overhead to a machine that had a continuous “beep-beep’. Bags of clear liquid were hanging above his left side, with tubing running to his left hand, which was covered with tape.
Her senses were assaulted by the strong, antiseptic odor, and suddenly, Denise felt very faint. She had to get out of here! She made it to the door, opened it, and collapsed!
She awakened in Jon’s arms, with her Mom and Grandparents hovering over her. Then she remembered all that had happened, and began crying hysterically.