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Archive for the ‘plans’ Category

The Unlived Life of Russell Stone, Part 8

In choices, divorce, fiction, judging, lessons, marriage, office, plans, relationships, stress on October 3, 2011 at 9:58 pm

A Novelette

by Cheryl Courtney Semick

Rachel walks to the elevator with Mrs. Stone’s journal in her hand. It is 8:45 AM.

I don’t remember walking to the elevator. In fact, I don’t remember anything from the moment Mrs. Stone handed me her journal until I opened it and began reading.

“Read this before you go to court,” she had said.

You must know that I am a very private person. In fact, the only reason I’m writing all of this down is because—well, you’ll figure that out soon enough. What I’m saying is, only my assistant knew of my court date. On my watch, gossip is grounds for immediate termination, so I’m quite sure Kevin wouldn’t risk losing his cushy paycheck just to indulge in a few morsels of that nonsense. So how did Mrs. Stone know I was due in court by nine?

I always maintain a professional distance from our patients and their families—most especially with the Russell’s. Her connections to our Board, her national renown as a poet and Mr. Russell’s condition all combined into a big red flag. When Mr. Stone was admitted, I held a mandatory powwow to explain that his time with us would require extreme discretion, not only with the patient’s personal information, but with the staff sharing their personal information in idle chit chat to him. Be kind, compassionate, attend to his needs and that’s all, were my instructions.

Until Angie got her panties in a bunch over Mr. Stone, all was well. Somewhere along the line she took it upon herself to play judge and jury over him and if I hadn’t addressed that when I did, we would now be facing repercussions of a most unpleasant sort. I hope she’s grateful I spared her a pink slip. Regardless, I’m confident she didn’t let spill any info on me to the Stone’s either—even if she does know about my divorce.

I put that aside and focused on the journal. I had 15 minutes to get to the courthouse so I knew I couldn’t possibly read it all before then. I gathered some work and stuffed it into my briefcase then thought I could take the journal with me.

I picked it up and turned it in my hands. It was made of leather, smooth on the outside, though worn from years of use. Inside was the rough hide, unfinished, with thick sections of ivory pages folded and sewn into the spine by some kind of heavy-duty thread. Its construction was definitely crafted by an artist and felt priceless, like it had been given to a mortal by a Greek god or goddess and held magic powers … to preserve for my eyes only, centuries later. Okay, so I watch a bit too much sci-fi.

The cover page was all blank with only Mrs. Stone’s handwriting: “This book belongs to Margaret Lynette Stone,” it read. Below her name was what looked like a proverb, but I couldn’t place it: By your patience possess your souls.

I couldn’t help myself, I had to peek. It was 8:50 AM, just one page …

To be continued….

________________

Read from the beginning…

Plan B

In God, moving, plans, prayer, stress on August 28, 2009 at 11:38 am

There is no Plan B.

1966 Plymouth Fury VIP - #4(3)

It was 4:15 p.m. and the cables had been hooked to the ’66 for an hour to no avail.  My heart sank.  The old girl just wouldn’t stay running.

I assessed all the possibilities of not getting involved, but the marching clock was a cruel dictator and we were just about out of time.

I left my packing frenzy in the office and started down the stairs.  At the landing, I looked out at my husband, Pete, sitting in his 1966 Plymouth Fury VIP which he named after his Mother, Morine. I could tell by the expression on his face that he too was disappointed. His buddy was bent over the engine searching in earnest for the solution.

The Fury hadn’t run in a year. It’s an asset, by way of its age, a classic car, a sweet ride, but since we couldn’t drive her to our new home, we had to haul her up on a trailer. The dilemma at 4:15 was how do we get her on the trailer?

At 3200 lbs., Morine wasn’t going to get there by our brute strength. She had to stay running.

I walked down our gravel drive and said what no one wanted to say. It’s time for Plan B.  What the plan was no one knew but Plan A didn’t work.  The guys looked at me as if I had delivered a eulogy. I left them to mourn and headed back to my mess.

I had no sooner sat down in the chair to finish packing the box I had abandoned when I heard Morine – running!

I ran to the window and looked down at the driveway.  There she was on the trailer! I ran down the stairs, out the back door, down the driveway screaming and jumping like a crazed sports fan whose team had just won the pennant, praising God at the top of my lungs – Plan A WORKED!

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Within two hours of that blessed, victorious, divine moment, we were packed up and ready to drive away from our precious little House of Grace in Peoria, Illinois. I snapped this picture on my cell phone as a constant reminder to me that God is with us and has great things waiting for us in our new home.

But, Plan A was only half over. Would Morine start and run long enough to drive her off the trailer at the condo?  Of course, that wasn’t the only question. Would there be a ‘VISITOR’ parking space for her?  If she wouldn’t run, who will help us push her?  Certainly I couldn’t push her!

I started formulating another Plan B.

The three-and-a-half hour drive went off without a hitch and we arrived at midnight. My hubby parked the truck with Morine in tow on the street and we crashed hard.

The next day we drug our aching bodies out the door and discussed how the parking of Morine was going down. Thankfully, there was a ‘VISITOR’ space in perfect alignment with the path he planned to get her off the trailer. So far so good.

When Pete turned the key she roared like a lion, commanding the applause of a half-dozen bored kids from several balconies. He was in heaven. So he revved her again, well, a couple more times, just for the kids.

He put her in reverse and she obediently rolled off the trailer, then died.  Plan B was now in force.  But there was no Plan B.  We were stuck.  I had zero strength to push her, though the path to the parking space was downhill.  I guess Plan A was for me to push!

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Nope.  Plan A was walking up to us!  A man from around the corner who came out to throw out his trash, got distracted by the purring lion and when she died he said, ‘I can help you!’ and pushed her right snug into her little cage.  Isn’t she pretty sittin’ there?

I stood there with my mouth hanging open.  There was no Plan B!  God had a perfect Plan A the whole time.  We asked for His help and he gave it – all the way to the very last minute.  Yes, our hope was that she would run and stay running, but he gave us what we needed.  She ran up onto the trailer in Peoria – that’s what we needed.  She ran off the trailer at the condo – that’s what we needed.

End of Plan A.  No Plan B.  God wins. I learn.