Welcome to Tuesday Tales! This week we’re writing to the prompt ‘hug’.
For this scene in Fat and Sassy, we’re jumping ahead about ten years, but this is the scene where I wanted to use hug. Next week we’ll return to the 1940’s.
Return to TUESDAY TALES for more great story snippets using hug.
The years passed. Mae and Luther got married, proving the sisters and all their teasing right. Mae worked at Monrovia Nursery to pay for the wedding, since the family didn’t have funds to provide for one. Over fifty years later, when Patsy, the first daughter was working at a nursery in Arizona, she would remember her mother’s Monrovia Nursery stories every time they received a shipment from the same nursery.
Bill was stationed in Germany. Helen was getting ready to graduate from high school. Tom and Ida were right behind, still in school but not in need of mothering. Alvin was twelve, technically the ‘baby’ of the house, still Bea’s Bubby-boy, yet he wasn’t a baby any longer either. Life was easier for Bea now, without a house full of little ones. She missed little ones, though. Her arms ached to hold babies. Babies; they were her favorite. She’d get a baby in her arms and she’d start rocking. She didn’t even need a rocking chair. But if she were in one, she the baby and the chair would all be moving, keeping time with the lullaby crooning from her lips.
She couldn’t wait to be a grandmother. Mae was trying her best, now that she and Luther were married. She was trying again for a little one. Two still born babies later, she and the rest of the family were nervous about how this pregnancy would turn out.
Priscilla Elaine Cline, the first grandchild on each side, was still born on Christmas Day, 1955. A little over a year later, on January 30, 1957, Patrick Elvin Cline joined his sister (and their uncle Evan Lee) at Oakdale Cemetery in Glendora.
The two young babies, who never drew a breath, brought back horrid memories of Evan Lee dying at such a young age. Bea remembered the pain of losing a baby. Mae had her own nightmares about Evan Lee that would plague her for years. And now she’d lost two babies. Bea and Mae had something in common. They had something in common that no mother ever wants to share.
Dr. Hightower, who had delivered Patrick and Priscilla, along with Evan Lee fourteen years earlier, and Luther and Gerald Cline years earlier than that, advised Mae not to try to have any more babies for at least five years. “Your body has to rest,” she said.
Mae’s new doctor, Dr. Bostwick, advised the same. “You’ll never have a normal baby,” he said.
Against medical advice from both doctors, one more was on the way. The old adage ‘third times a charm’ often came to mind. But most didn’t want to say it and bring bad luck with its utterance.
The morning of June 20th dawned with Mae in the midst of delivery. The physical pain was nothing compared to the pain of the possibility that she knew from two previous pregnancies. Would the doctors be right? Would this child die too? Was she doomed to the proclamation that she’d never deliver a normal baby? Hours later the doctor’s claims would be shot down. Patricia Faith Cline drew her first breath … and kept on breathing. Faith, her middle name, held Mae and Luther strong through the pregnancy. Faith held them together and the baby would carry the namesake with her for her whole life.
Bea and Casey were quick to arrive at the hospital once Casey got home from work that Friday afternoon. They were grandparents now. They stood and looked through the glass sentry, keeping them away from the fragile newborns camped out in the hospital bassinets. Bea stood, gazing at her granddaughter with pride. “I can’t wait until the baby comes home and I can wrap her up in a great big hug!”