MARIAN'S WORST FEARS:
It started out as a very special thing. It was only a walk to the store, to the Walgreens up on the corner but Amanda Grace was going on an unchaperoned adventure. She and her 'bestie' Susie Ormand, were going to walk together. Her Mom, Marian and Susie's Mom, Gail both agreed to the plan and decided to wait until the girls got back, nervously talking over a cup of coffee. But it seemed like such an important thing for the two girls.
Amanda Grace Winston was a lovely 7 year old with a head of beautiful red hair, that she'd inherited from her Mom, Marian.
As a matter of fact, the red hair that Marian sported, even in private places, was one of the many complaints that Marian's husband, Jason, before he left with his latest boyfriend.
It had been, at the time, a relief, at least for Marian, who could never understand how Jason could so almost completely ignore their lovely daughter, Amanda Grace. But Jason Winston was a strange young man, and then he was gone.
The divorce, for abandonment, was easy to get and set Marian and Amanda free. Jason, of course, proved slow on support and Marian got tired of the slowness of the legal process to make that right, especially after Jason simply fell off the grid somehow.
After their abandonment, Marian and Amanda Grace went on together, getting closer all the time. Things were difficult for Marian, especially since there was no help from Jason at all. They did, however, manage.
That morning she'd declared that she had to make a trip to the Walgreens on the corner. It was then that Susie and Amanda, with their heads together, hatched the plot to walk to the Walgreens themselves.
Marian was skeptical but she knew that she'd been instructing Amanda Grace, and through her, Susie too, on how to cross the street and be safe, for a while. She, in the end, realized that she needed to trust Amanda's good sense and let her go.
Amanda and Susie were also given enough money for candy for themselves as a treat, when they came back from the store.
Gail and Marian settled down to their late morning cups of coffee and talked about weekend plans that either of them might have. It was a tense kind of waiting situation for both of them.
Amanda and Susie were elated and got across the street safely, on the way to the Walgreens. They got what Marian had wanted and then got their treats, a chocolate bar for Susie and M & M's for Amanda.
They held hands tightly as they approached the crossing point. At that time, Susie dropped her chocolate bar on the ground and bent to pick it up. Amanda had already looked, saw nothing coming and stepped off the curb.
The car had come around the corner at a fairly fast rate and hit little Amanda Grace, propelling her back onto the curb, unconscious.
Up the street, still living in his parents home, Dr. Wilson MacGruder, had been mowing the lawn. He saw the incident and ran across the street to where Amanda Grace was lying. He only saw that the car was an older Oldsmobile with a N Y license on it.
He checked Amanda's vitals immediately and then phoned 911 for an ambulance. Then he quickly checked and called Marian Winston.
"Hello?" Marian said.
"Marian," Wilson said softly, "This is Wilson MacGruder. I'm at the curb across the street; Amanda's been hit by a car. I've called 911 and will see her to the hospital."
Marian simply screamed and dropped the phone. She and Gail were there in an instant with Marian crying, being held by Gail, as Wilson continued to check on Amanda.
Marian knelt then and, looking earnestly at Wilson, said: "Thank you, Doctor, for taking care of her."
"It's Wilson," he said, "She's my pal. We'll get her through this."
By then they heard the siren of the ambulance. When the ambulance arrived, Wilson identified himself; he was chief of surgery at the University Med Center. He got into the back of the ambulance with Marian and the attendant and oversaw Amanda Grace's situation, as she was taken to the hospital.
During the ride to the hospital, with Marian sobbing all the way, Wilson took time now and then to turn to her. At first he simply held her hand but at about half way to the hospital, when Marian seemed to be about to lose control, he simply put his arms around her.
"Marian," he said softly, "I promise you, promise you that she's going to be fine. I will be with her every minute and will see to it."
"Thank you so much, Wilson," Marian said, and the attendant from the ambulance gave Wilson a big smile and said: "Thank you, doctor."
IN WILSON'S CARE:
When they got to the hospital, Wilson took over. He was, of course, well known throughout the hospital and saw to all the details. He even told the admitting gal that she should talk to him, after the emergency was taken care of, about the hospital and ambulance bill.
(Wilson was a friend of Marian and certainly of Amanda's and knew the kind of struggle that Marian was having with her finances, since the decamping of Jason with one of his boyfriends. He intended to see to the bill quietly, so as not to embarrass Marian. She did, of course, find this out!)
Wilson made sure that Marian was comfortable in a waiting room and then went to direct the care for Amanda Grace. Shortly after that, Gail was there to sit with Marian and wait.
After about forty five minutes, Wilson went to the waiting room. He was wearing his green hospital sweats. As soon as he entered the room, Marian was on her feet and rushing to him. She simply threw herself at him, into his arms, waiting to hear what she thought would be the worst.
"Marian," he said, "We can't find any permanent damage at all. There's a mild concussion but she'll be fine from that. I'm going to keep her for the night and maybe one more day to observe."
Marian's response was to simply cry, and hold on to Wilson MacGruder. When Wilson left, to continue to look after Amanda Grace's care, Gail sat with her for a while, as they waited for further word from Wilson. When he came back, he told them that he had Amanda Grace now in a private room and Marian could see her at that point.
They went anxiously to the room.
(After only a short visit, Gail did excuse herself, getting a hug and cheek kiss from Marian and she went home.)
As they entered the room, Amanda Grace looked up and smiled, when she saw her Momma. She began to cry then, as Marian put her arms around her.
"Momma," Manda Grace said, "I tried to be careful! I looked! I did!"
"I know that, honey, Dr Wilson was there and saw it; it was the driver's fault."
"Who was he?" Amanda Grace asked, with Marian wiping her tears away.
"He didn't stop," Marian said, "It was a man that's all we know."
"Momma, that's wicked!" Amanda Grace said, and Marian answered: "Yes, honey, that is wicked; he's a wicked man, a wicked person."
It was just then that Wilson came into the room; he stood and smiled down at Amanda Grace.
"Hi, Doctor Wilson!" Amanda Grace said.
"So, having run ins with moving cars, eh?" he asked her, and Marian smiled, as Amanda Grace giggled.
He went over to her bed side, on the opposite side that Marian was and Amanda Grace put her arms up to put them around his neck.
"Momma," Amanda Grace said, "Dr Wilson is my hero!"
"He's my hero too, sweet love," Marian said.
"Then you need to give him a hug too," Amanda Grace said next, "To say a 'thank you!"
Marian went to where Wilson was standing and turning just a bit red. She fairly launched herself at him and had her arms around him and her head on his shoulder, and she simply began to sob.
"I'm sorry," she said, "I was so worried!"
"Hey, no 'sorries' for us," Wilson said, "Our sweet pea is going to be fine; I just want to run some few tests and keep her over night."
"Yes," was all that Marian managed.
"Tests?" Amanda Grace asked.
"Yep," Wilson said, "Gonna screw the top of your head off and look inside with my trusty flashlight."
(It was the kind of kidding that Wilson and Amanda Grace often engaged in.)
Amanda Grace giggled then and said: "My Momma won't let you do that!"
"She's gonna look inside with me!" Wilson said with a big grin.
At that point, Amanda Grace simply said, with the fervor and innocence of youth: "I love you, Dr Wilson!"
He bent over her then, with a grateful and smiling Marian looking on and said: "I love you too, honey, and we're going to give you the best care. We'll keep you here tonight and either your Momma or I or both of us will be here all the time. We won't leave you alone at all."
"Thank you, Dr Wilson!" Amanda Grace said, and kissed his cheek.
"Good for me!" he proclaimed, "A decoration!"
He turned to Marian then and said: "There are some tests that need to be done now; the technician will be here soon. Can I buy you lunch, Marian?"
She gave him a grateful look and said: "I'd like that, Wilson."
She turned to Amanda Grace and said: "We'll be right here, honey, when you get back."
"It'll take a little while, I'm afraid," Wilson said. "They'll keep me informed though."
It was just then that the technician came to fetch Amanda for the further tests that they wanted to do. When she was gone, Marian began to sob again and got yet another hug from Wilson.
"You'll be okay?" he asked.
"Yes," she said softly, "As long as she's going to be fine."
"She is!" he said, "Hard head!" he quipped and she smiled.
"Maybe like her Momma!" Marian said and they both laughed.
Wilson said then, however, "Beautiful, like her Momma."
.... There is more of this story ...