“Great and marvelous are thy works, o Lord of hosts, almighty God…,” were the words flowing from Clarabelle as she sat beside Herbie’s hospital bed, he smiled and held her hand, listening to her angelic voice, much like the clink of the crystals hanging from the doorway, gentle, yet powerful.
“He’s going to be just fine, ma’am, he just had a little stress, but his heart checked out fine,” the doctor patted Herbie on the shoulder, “now, you do need to stop that smoking, it’s only fair of me to mention, as it is slowing you down,” Herbie nodded and looked over at Clarabelle and winked.
The doctor left the room, Clarabelle looked in her husband’s eyes and held his hand, “you know, honey, it’s important to listen to what the doctor said, I, uh,” tears rolled down her cheeks and Herbie’s eyes watered.
Squeezing his wife’s hand, Herbie spoke, through choked back tears, “Clair, we are going to do this together, I know what I need to do and as hard as it is gonna be, it’s gotta be done,” to which Clarabelle nodded and arose from her seat.
“Many are called for great things, love, and you were called to be with me and while I am not a great thing, I need to tell you, I need you in my life, Herbie, and there’s no two ways about it, I marvel at God’s gift to us, and sure don’t want to take it for granted.”
Often, Herbie thought his wife should start preaching, because her words would stick with him better than any person at the pulpit, reaching for her hand, he gave it a squeeze, “honey, we have this covered, no matter what, and that is that, you are the greatest thing to ever happen to me.”
Herbie pulled up in the old grey Dodge, “Bird” as named by his best friend, George; Turning the handle on the garage, he pulled up the door and went inside, scuffing into his workshop, and placed his worn tool bag on the bench, all the while thinking about what might be going on with him, coughing so much and feeling such a hard time with breathing; lighting up another one of his unfiltered he took a draw and slowly blow a stream of smoke before another hack came on, “these damn things are getting the best of me, maybe I oughta give them up,” he snuffed the butt since there was some more left for later and closing the garage door, he went inside the house.
Scents of cinnamon and apples greeted Herbie before he could enter the house and he smiled, knowing his dear wife, Clarabelle, had made his favorite dessert of apple pie; opening the door, he saw her standing at the stove, unaware he entered; easing up behind her, but being ever so careful she was not in danger of getting burned he reached around her waist and gave her a squeeze and a peck on her warm, red cheek, to which she giggled and said, “hi, honey, how was your day?”
“It was pretty good, we got old man Fletcher’s barn door fixed and I don’t think he’ll have any escaped cows anymore, ‘course that’ll mean no more cream for us when we rescue another stray, but that’s okay.”
“Well, we will be okay without so much free cream; my hips are getting too wide as it is.”
“Clair, my love, you know I love your hips and everything they’re attached to, so don’t you go talking that silliness, as long as we stay healthy, we have no worries,” patting her hips, letting out another hack, Herbie excused himself and went to the bathroom to wash up for supper; it looked like chicken and dumplings, and that was a good enough reason to scrub extra hard.
Tending to the chicken and dumplings, Clarabelle thought to herself, I hope he will be open to going to the doctor for that cough, there is not enough whiskey honey to solve that problem, and she felt her eyes water and felt she was being watched, just then she turned around and there he was, on the floor, passed out from lack of breath; she quickly called an ambulance and stayed by his side, and when they arrived, they could get him to breathing, but took him in to the hospital, assuring Clarabelle, that they would do all they could to help him and she grabbed her purse and took off right behind them, with prayers that her faith, unfiltered, would carry him through, and she believed it did.
And there you have it! This is my Six Sentence Story for this week! Would you like to join us? Go to this LINK and check it out!
They admitted Clarabelle to the hospital and Shandy waited for her results at the River Walk, since the pandemic would make it difficult to sit in the waiting room and maintain social distancing; they gave her a pager, and she left her number just in case it did not reach; knowing it could be a short time or long time, depending on the freeze test of the lump, if benign it would be a sew up and send home, but if malignant, a mastectomy would be the result; praying for the time to be short, Shandy watch the wildlife doing their morning dance for breakfast, offering some of her own treats from the feed box provided by the wildlife management.
Clarabelle had to have another mammogram to pinpoint the location of the lump; and perspiring from the lack of food, she struggled through it, praying for relief from the pressure of the mammogram machine, realizing that this was just part of the whole routine, she did her best to get through it, thinking of her late husband and imagining his comforting hands holding hers and she found mental peace.
As they wheeled Clarabelle to the surgical unit, she sighed and hoped for the best, wondering if she would go home that day and thinking about how good breakfast would taste, just thinking of anything but what would happen next, until the surgeon came in and talked to her; explaining the procedure, she told Clarabelle that she would keep her on the IV and she should not feel any pain, they would isolate the area so that would be where she was numb, they would then remove the lump and take it for a freeze test to see if it was benign depending on the results, they would either sew her up or they would anesthetize her and do a mastectomy; assuring her she would keep Shandy informed, Clarabelle tried to relax and wait while the procedure began and she did not feel a thing while they did their procedure.
“Hello, Shandy, your mother did just fine and will be in recovery just a short while, and you can take her home, all went well, the good news is that the lump was benign and the worse thing is that she will have to continue with annual mammograms, so it was a good day for her and for you.” Shandy breathed a sigh of relief and then she realized they referred her to be Clarabelle’s daughter; Smiling, she decided it was not such a hard title to accept.
When it was time to take Clarabelle home, Shandy called a taxi and smiling, she told Clarabelle about being called her daughter, to which Clarabelle smiled and responded, “Yes, I knew they wouldn’t have any issue if we were related, so I told them that, and, well, you are like the beautiful daughter I never had, and I am grateful to know you,” to which Shandy took Clarabelle’s hand and just like that Clarabelle knew her beloved Herbie was still around, looking after her, always ready in a zip.
There you have it! This is my response to the prompt word ZIP from Denise’s Six Sentence Story Blog Hop. You can go HERE to join in and read the other stories.
Clarabelle and Shandy sat in the waiting room of the breast health center, Clarabelle missed Herbie, knowing he would have been there for her, but Shandy was a great comfort, just being there, nothing needed to be said, “I am grateful for you coming with me today,” Clarabelle said to Shandy before Shandy then reached her arm around Clarabelle’s shoulder and gave a gentle squeeze, causing Clarabelle to calm within and consider how fortunate she was to have met Shandy; After all, who knew this would happen like this, Clarabelle felt warm in her tummy as she thought about how Herbie must have sent this angel her way.
“Clair,” Shandy said, leaving Clarabelle with a knowing smile, as that is what Herbie called her, “would you want me to go back with you or are you more comfortable seeing the doctor alone,” Shandy asked, already suspecting that the answer would have her go with Clarabelle, and she was correct, to which Shandy smiled and offered some thoughts, “you know, I had to go back to my breast doctor too once and it turned out that I just had a negative blip in my mammogram, which they looked a little closer with an ultrasound, and it was all okay.”
Pretty soon, it was time for Clarabelle to go back to the examination room and Shandy followed, when they went in the room there was an ultrasound set up for her, for which it was explained that they needed to do an ultrasound to inspect the supposed lump or mass, and Clarabelle was instructed to sit at the table and they would examine her shortly; the technician came in and performed the ultrasound, followed by the doctor who looked at the report and did another look at the results, “Mrs. Jameson, it looks like you have a lump which we need to look at closer; this will require admission to the hospital where we will need to remove and test the lump; If it is benign, you will go home that same day after stitches, and if it is malignant, we would need to do a possible mastectomy.”
Clarabelle broke out into cold sweats and after wiping her brow with the tissues Shandy handed her, she looked at the doctor and said that she would have to think about it, after all, she was not getting any younger and did not know if she would need such a surgery only to turn around and die, and wouldn’t the insurance not cover it all, and so many other concerns, such as how she would manage all this and then she just sat and stared at her hands, turning her wedding band around and round on her finger and the doctor told her that the nurse would go over all the risk factors and how as much as he recommended the surgery, it was her choice what to do, and the doctor left, and the nurse took over, explaining how it would be either way, while Shandy focused on each thing the nurse said so she could help her new friend with her understanding, clearly noticing that Clarabelle had an overwhelmed look in her eyes, at times putting her hands over her mouth in disbelief.
“Can Clair and I have some time alone to talk things over,” Shandy asked the nurse, to which the nurse nodded and stepped out of the exam room; Shandy sat down so she could look Clarabelle in the eye and talked with her about the pros and cons of all that was just discussed with the doctor and nurse; taking Clarabelle’s hands in hers, she asked her what she needed, as this was her own decision.
“Shandy, it is so kind of you to come with me here today, and now I feel real bad that I have put you through so much with someone you only met today; if Herbie were here, and I think he is here, in spirit, I think he would tell me I need to do what I think is best for me, but to be honest, I don’t know what is best, so what I am going to do is get this over with, it may be something or it may not, but I may ask, well, hope for the best; After all, I have a new friend I would like to get to know,” to which Shandy grinned from ear to ear, and reached forward to give Clarabelle a big hug, assuring her she would be there no matter what, to which Clarabelle responded, “you are a good woman to go the distance with me, my friend.”
There you have it, this is this weeks installment to the continuing story of Clarabella and Shandy and perhaps a little of the late Herbie for the Six Sentence Story this week.
This weeks word provided by Denise is DISTANCE. Perhaps you would like to join us this week with your story using this prompt word. All you have to do is go HERE to link up.
“My dear girl, you are young and it’s good to check out new horizons, especially when where you’ve been has not brought you enough joy,” Clarabelle responded to Shandy, her new friend to be, “I also sought new horizons when I was younger; I suppose it was a different time back then, maybe more simple, but I knew I had to find something other than the sadness…umm, well, you know, life sometimes needs change, don’t you think?”
Shandy patted Clarabelle on the back of her hand and smiled, the two just looked at each other for a brief moment when the bell rang for orders to be picked up, “please stick around, and I will be back, that is, unless you have some things you need to go do, I don’t want to keep you, but, well, you are so nice and, well, it’s something I don’t see enough of, especially when people come in and don’t look at me, and, well, uh, you see me,” and Shandy went off to pick up her orders.
Clarabelle sat and sipped her tea and contemplated her next stop, not desiring to go there and having a little time, she was glad to wait for her new friend to come back for a visit; Shandy came with a piece of apple pie ala mode, “this is on the house; and I am done working for this day, thank goodness, and I thought I would join you for desert,” each with their dessert plates and drinks, the two ladies chatted up to get to know each other.
Shandy shared that she was an only child and that her life was just a simple one, but with both parents deceased, she had nothing to hold her in North Carolina, and she decided to give the Midwest a try; it was colder weather, but she didn’t mind having a change of scenery and truly enjoyed the sunsets and the Mississippi River, and it also helped that her Aunt Rebecca opened up her home and let Shandy stay there; Clarabelle listened with great focus, except when the nagging thoughts about her appointment interrupted her demeanor; Shandy picked up on this and asked, “what seems to be troubling you, Clarabelle?”
Picking at the remains of her pie, Clarabelle looked up at Shandy and confessed, “I have an appointment in about an hour and I am not looking forward to it, it’s for a follow up from my mammogram, and, well, it makes me nervous to think that something could be wrong.”
Shandy placed her hand on Clarabelle’s shoulder and gave her a gentle squeeze, “well, you don’t have to do through this alone, now, do you, as I have time to go with you, that is if you want me to go,” to which Clarabelle sighed a relieved sigh and nodded her head, yes.
There you have it! This my response to this weeks Six Sentence Story prompt HORIZON