“So, you are my mom’s fiancé”, What is that like?”.
“I love your mom. She is bright, she is funny, she doesn’t
take crap from anyone including me. She makes my life better”
“That sounds like my mom”.
“I am going to guess her, and I don’t stay together though,
because I don’t think I want kids”.
“I’m not going to spoil the future for you”.
“Thanks. Each day is an adventure and I want to continue with it
as just that”.
“So, it is getting late. Should we go back to the HOJO?”.
“Yes. Let’s see what happens”. When we got back to the
hotel, I washed my face. I turned on the old timey TV to an episode of
“I never thought I’d be watching episodes of Maude in a vintage
“Does HOJO die out?”
“The restaurants do”.
“Yeah. It is sad”. I yawned.
“Getting tired?”, Randy asked.
He turned off the overhead light but left the bedside lamp
on. I lay down and could feel my eyes getting heavy.
“Thanks for being a friend, Randy”.
“Same to you, sugar.”
“She is waking up”, A voice said. My eyes fluttered open
and there he was, Randy, but with short curly hair that looked like it was
growing out from a shave, and he had green blue eyes.
“Randy, did I make it?”.
“My name is Charlie. I am the nurse who has been caring for you.
My Dad is named Randy”.
“How are you feeling honey?”, My mom came to my side.
“My rib hurts really bad and I’m not sure where I am.”
“You have a cracked rib, baby. You’re at Nashville General
“We have you on IV pain medication. You passed out from the
pain of the rib. We just want to send you for imaging, make sure there is
no trauma to the brain, and then we can send you on the way to rest and recoup,
but I will be to your Mama’s tomorrow because Dad and I are going to dinner at
I must have had a confused look on my face. “I’m not dating
Randy. He was my fiancé back before I married your dad. He is gay and
lost his husband to cancer. We reconnected at my grief support group and have
been friends since. We go shopping together, we see movies together”.
“Oh. I am so glad you have such a lovely friend, Mom.”
“My Dad is a good guy.”
“He seems it”.
“Since you may be here a little longer, is there anything you
need? Charlie asked.
“Is there a library around here. I could use a book to pass the
time. Am I able to drink fluids?”.
“Yes, and yes. What would you like to drink?”.
“Ginger ale please”.
“Coming up.” When Charlie returned, he not only had a
ginger ale for me, but flowers too, and a book.
“Flowers? Where did they come from?”.
“I got them in the gift shop for ya”.
“Wow. Thank you. “
“You’ve had quite a day”.
“I sure have”. There was a knock on the door. There he
was, Randy. He had aged, but the years had been kind to him. “Come on in,
“Thanks. Sugar”, He said, winking at me. “I brought your mom some
waffles from the Waffle House. They were out of Old Milwaukee, or I would
have brought you one”, He smiled at me.
I laughed but winced in pain. He remembered. “Well thanks”.
I’m not sure how it had happened, but I had been to 1973. I am not sure how he
had recollection of me. I had tests run on me and imaging taken and was
given the approval to leave. I would need some time to heal, and to take
Tylenol and Acetaminophen on a revolving schedule. My car wasn’t totaled, and
my mom had all my belongings. I decided to get a new car while in Nashville and
stay there to heal. I had enough time off to heal and could likely get
FMLA to pay too. When I got home, the couch was set up for me as a bed.
Luckily, there was a first-floor bathroom with a shower and tub for
guests. My sisters, brothers in law, and the kids were there with pictures
they had colored for me. My middle sister Susan gave me a bouquet
of flowers, and my youngest sister Ellen, gave me a balloon.
“We are so glad you are ok”, Susan said.
“We love you so much”, Ellen exclaimed.
“Thanks guys. I love you both so much”.
“I can hug you?” My niece Rachael asked me. She threw her
arms around my legs.
“Awe. Thanks Rache. I love you. My youngest niece, Willa,
too young to talk, smiled at me.
“There is nothing more humbling than your mom having to help you
bather. Mom had bought me a comfy pair of Adidas sweats and a hoodie.
“I am just going to live in these”.
“Go ahead. No one is going to judge you”. I spent the first
night on the couch drifting in and out of sleep, my mom waking me for my
meds. I fell asleep for a solid 8 hours around 1am. When I awoke, I
brushed my teeth. My mom combed my hair and put it in a ponytail and put
on lipstick for me.
“Randy and Charlie will be here around 1. We are going to
just have some appetizers and watch the games on TV. Charlie has been following
your progress and checking in. He seems to have taken a shine to you”.
“He seems sweet.”
“He is. He is good to his dad and those patients at the
“Well good”. At that point my nephew sat at the end of the couch
“I am glad you are ok Auntie. I love you so much. Mom said you
hurt so not to hug you, but I love you.
“Awe bud, I love you too. I love you so much”.
“He Mom, there are gifts from my travels for everyone. The
bagels and Katz’s stuff and one of the mugs is for you”.
“I have it in the fridge. The mugs are on the counter there”.
“Great, will you just hand them out for me. Did you find the
“Thanks Mom”. My Grandma came out of her room.
“Hi, Leanna. How are you feeling?”.
“I am ok. How have you been grams?”.
“I’ve been good. Watching my shows and reading my mysteries”.
“Reading anything good?”.
“I’m reading an Agatha Christie novel”. It was good to know
she was reading, and she didn’t have me confused with anyone else.
“Oh, those are good”.
“I like them”. Mom brought me a cup of coffee.
“Would you like some breakfast?”.
“Do you have oatmeal?”.
“Can I have oatmeal please?”.
“Thanks Mom. I love you.”
“Love you too”.
“I love you, Grams. I’ve missed you”.
“Well, it is sad you are injured but now we can watch my shows
“I’d love that”. I fell asleep again for a bit. When I awoke it
was to the doorbell. In walked Randy and Charlie. Randy had a pie and Charlie
had ginger ale and bottle of wine and a box of something.
“Hi ya’ll”, I said from the couch.
“How’s the patient today?”, Charlie asked.
“Well, the ribs still hurt, and I sleep a lot”.
“That’s to be expected.” He handed Mom the wine and ginger ale.
He walked to the couch where I was. “Mind if I sit at the end of the couch
“Be my guest”.
“I got this for you”.
“Thank you! You shouldn’t have”. I opened the package. It
“Your Mom said you really like fudge.”
“I do. I’d hug you, but it might hurt”. I smiled.
“Your smile is enough”. I blushed.
“Hey Lee, do you think you have it in you to sit at the table
for dinner?”, Mom asked.
“I don’t think so. I will eat on the couch.”
“I’ll keep you company”, Charlie said.
“Thanks”. Everyone was in the living room watching the football
game. I looked around. I could see my past, the present, and the future. I
was glad to be home.
“You know what I was thinking about yesterday”, My mom said to
“That trip we took to Memphis before thanksgiving where we
stayed in a Howard Johnson”.
“Back when Howard Johnsons had restaurants”, Randy said.
“Back when KISS was big”, I said.
“Yes. I had a KISS shirt. I think it is still in the attic.”
“Can I have that shirt?”, I asked.
“Sure. I don’t wear it anymore”.
“Do you have any other cool 70’s clothing?”.
“I have my bandana collection and purses”.
“Can I use them?”
“Sure, you can”.
“So, is everyone hungry?”, My mom asked.
“Starving”, I said. Mom and Randy got the food out and when
it was ready, everyone made plates.
“What do you want to eat?”, Charlie inquired from the counter.
“A bit of everything please. Since you are the medical
professional, can I have wine while taking the Tylenol and Advil?”.
“A glass won’t hurt ya”.
“Can you pour me a glass of wine too please?”.
“Thank you”. I smiled.
Charlie brought me my plate and wine. “Thank you.”
“When we are done eating, we can go on a short walk, just to get
you moving a bit”.
“That sounds great”. Charlie sat at the end of the couch
with me, and my nephew Will pulled a rocking chair next to the couch and we
enjoyed each other’s company. I looked around, taking in my family. I was
glad to be home. I felt like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz thinking there’s
no place like home. After dinner, Charlie helped me gently off the
couch. We took a walk from the front door to the gate of the front yard.
“How do you feel?”.
“The fresh air is great, but it is hard to take a deep breath
“It hurts, hugh?.
“Try to take them from time to time. It keeps pneumonia from
“Good to know”.
“Do you think you will be sticking around for a bit?”.
“I think so. I want to be close to my family. I have a
support system here”.
“You have a personal nurse practitioner too”, He said.
I smiled. “That sweetens the pot. I think I might want to move
back here. I will see how things go. If I can find a job here, and an
apartment here, I will just pack up the place in Hudson and come back home”.
“I can help you with those things”.
“Thanks”. We walked back in and dessert was being
served. I settled back on the couch, feeling content. I had a handsome
potential partner. I really liked that he was a nurse. There is something
attractive about a man who is caring and nurturing, because not all men are.
I did heal. It took a bit. I had to get a long term sub. I was able to pay my bills and my rent. I did find a job as an ENL teacher, but teaching at the elementary level, and true to his word, Charlie made the trek to help me move from Hudson to Tennessee. We recreated my Thanksgiving ride down, and it was nicer to have a hiking partner, and someone to enjoy sunsets with. I had a nice little house to rent, that was not far from my Mom.
I guess you can go home, and good things can happen when you do.