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S E A R C H . F O R . T O M O R R O W
Jo's Car Crashes
by chrissy n 6.29.00

When Joanne, affectionately called Jo by her loved ones, realized her son-in-law, Len Whiting had impregnated a patient, Grace Bolton, Jo lost control of her vehicle, and was involved in a life-threatening collision.

She was rushed to Henderson Hospital, and her friends stood vigil over her, praying for her recovery. "She looks so pale," Patti, Jo's daughter said to Dr. Bob Rogers.

"We're doing every thing we can," Dr. Rogers said and hugged Patti.

Carrying a bouquet of flowers, Marge Bergman, Jo's best friend and next door neighbor for over twenty years, arrived at the hospital. She went to Jo's room, but stopped when she saw Patti at her mother's bedside.

A forlorn, "poor Patti" expression appeared on Marge's face. As she was going to the waiting area, she was waylaid by Len Whiting. He wore a white coat, and a stethoscope around his neck.

"Marge," Len said.

Marge turned around. "Oh, Len, hi."

"I have no doubt you're here to see Jo," Len said.

"Yes, but Patti's with her. I didn't want to interrupt them...How is Jo?"

"Her condition hasn't changed. She's still in a coma."

Marge looked sad. "She's in my prayers."

"Marge, since Jo was admitted, Patti hasn't left her bedside...She's practically there day and night... before and after visiting hours."

"Jo's her mother. She's worried sick about her."

Len nodded. "I know. The only reason the visiting hours rules aren't being enforced is because Patti's on staff here." He paused. "Marge, I'm concerned about Patti. She hasn't been sleeping or eating properly... I've suggested she go home and get some rest. But she won't listen."

"And you want me to talk to her?" Marge asked.

"I'd appreciate it," Len says. "I couldn't get through to her. Maybe you can."

"Say no more. I'll try."

Later on, Marge suggested Patti go home and take a load off. "I can't do that, Marge. I want to be here in case Mom wakes up."

"Honey, when that happens, Len or someone here will contact you. Patti, you need rest, and food. You're a nurse, you know that." Marge paused. "I have an idea."

"What?"

"You go home, and get a few hours rest. And then come over to the house, and have dinner with Stu, me and Junior. Nothing fancy. Just meatloaf."

"Marge's special meatloaf," Patti said, and offered a little smile.

"And you know how much you like my meatloaf... Sweetie, take my suggestion. Do it for your Aunt Marge."

Patti contemplated Marge's idea. "I am a little tired... I guess I could leave word for the hospital to contact me if something happens. Would it be all right if I left your number with them?"

"Absolutely."

"Okay. I'll do it. Tonight, you're having a dinner guest."

"Good," Marge said. She told Patti what time to come to dinner.

Later that evening, Marge, wearing an apron was in the kitchen, at the stove, stirring a steaming pot with a wooden spoon.

"Hi, honey," Stu said, entering the kitchen.

He gave her a kiss on the cheek. "Do I smell Mrs. Bergman's special meatloaf?"

"You most certainly do." She turned the stove down, and began paring a cucumber.

Looking at the table covered with a lace cloth, Stu said, "Your special table cloth. What's the occasion?"

"No special occasion. We're having a guest tonight for supper."

"Who? Bob Rogers."

"No. Patti."

"Without Len?" Stu asked.

She shook her head. "He's on call tonight." She paused. "I dropped by the hospital to check on Jo."

Stu looked at her expectantly.

"No change," Marge said. "Of course, Patti was with her, and Len is worried about Patti. She's not getting enough sleep or eating properly... I sent her home for a little shut-eye, and she's coming here for dinner."

"It'll do her good," Stu said.

Marge took a deep breath. "Len does care about Patti."

Stu grabbed a cucumber from the salad bowl. "Well, that's an odd thing to say. Of course, he cares about her. They are married."

"But they're having problems... Jo and I discussed it."

"Yeah, to think of it, she said something to me too," Stu added.

"They were even talking about a trial separation...But the concern Len expressed for Patti's well-being showed that he still cares very much for her...And this unfortunate accident of Jo's may bring Len and Patti closer...And then we won't have to hear anymore nonsense about a trial separation."

"Marge... my wonderful wife. The eternal optimist." Stu wrapped his arms around Marge. "I love you, sweet-heart," he said.

"I love you too, Stu Bergman."

   
     

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