Writers Write- writing a little something on a cold day... hot cocoa in hand
With one week until Thanksgiving, I tried to focus on my “to do” list and not the pregnancy test that I had taken this morning. Once again there had just been just one line. I began to doubt I would ever have a test show two lines indicating I was pregnant. It seemed like a faraway dream. Very much like the dream I continued to have of the brown eyed blond baby boy.
All I truly wanted to was to curl up in a ball and sleep the sadness away, but thankfully I had too much to do for that. Paul was home putting up the Christmas light on Grams’ house. Dad had called that morning with very detailed instructions as to how it should be done.
I hurried into the marked as light feathery flakes continued to drop from the sky. It was going to be an early winter this year. I depended on the sunshine to get me out of bed every day.
My spirits lifted a little as I entered the store. Christmas songs echoed through the aisles of the market as I grabbed the necessities Paul and I needed and the ham and turkey for Thanksgiving. I wanted to make sure I got to pick early. We couldn’t have Thanksgiving without the turkey. I also picked up a poinsettia for Grams- something to brighten her room.
Stonehenge was bustling with activity as I walked through the main entrance. Patrick grabbed my arm first thing before I could head down the hall to Grams.
“Angela,” he said while handing me a guaze mask. “It’s you grandmother. She is having a hard time breathing and she seems a little delirious. She keeps asking for someone named Jennie.”
I couldn’t believe it. I had just been here two days ago. She was tired and had a slight cough, but that was it.
I pushed past Patrick with my mask on and made my way to Grams’ room. Aunt Katherine was there with her mask perfectly placed on her mouth. I placed the poinsettia in the corner, hugged Aunt Katherine and then kissed Grams on the feathers.
Grams was clasping her Remembrances folio. It was turned to a page with several yellowed news clippings. One which was entitled, “The flu epidemic of 1918 killed more people than died in World War I”
I quickly read through the article and key phrases popped out at me, “high fevers, body aches, nausea… epidemic strikes so fast… so viciously… some victims died within hours…lungs filled with fluid and victims suffocated to death.
Below the article were several more clippings with titles and pictures. One picture showed a mail carrier wearing a mask in New York, another showed one of policemen, but it was the final one that I found riveting… a photo of a baggage man not wearing a mask. Behind was a rail car full of passengers with no masks on either. Underneath was a short caption, “Train conductor neglects to have passengers wear masks.” I noticed Grams had scribbled a name in the lower corner. It simply read, “Edwin?”
“Did Grams blame her father Edwin for her mother Jennie’s death?” It was a question which haunted me.