Adam Chapter Twenty-Three

Kingwell By Kingwell, 3rd Apr 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/1d_t0tg7/
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Fictional Narrative

A letter from home bring some disturbing news and Adam decides to return home for the Christmas break. In the meantime George and Isabella Fox face yet another tragedy and once again Adam is there to help.

More Trouble For The Foxs

Adam kept his promise to the Foxs to visit every week and Mona went along whenever possible. As George and Isabella often took them into their confidence, it was little more than a month after their grandson’s death, that Mona and Adam learned of the couple’s concern over Shane’s parents. It seemed that their daughter-in-law, despite her husband’s and even her parent’s protestations, was determined to continue living as if their son was still with them. Shane’s room was kept as he had left it and his mother continued to change and wash the sheets every week, just as she had always done. She even set a place for him at the dinner table. Ruby also resisted any attempt to get her to see a Psychiatrist, and accused Ralph of wanting to put her in a mental institution.
Adam dropped by one day while Ralph was visiting his parents and was immediately shocked by his haggard appearance. It looked as if he hadn’t slept in days. George later told him that their son would sometimes wake up at night to find his wife missing. Twice he had found her sitting by the living room window, staring out into the street as she’d often done when Shane had been late getting home. At other times she was standing in Shane’s bedroom doorway as if watching their son sleeping. In all cases she had gone quietly back to bed with her husband and never mentioned the incident the next day, when she always appeared bright and cheerful

Unsettling News From Home

Meanwhile Adam received some unsettling news of his own. In her last weekly letter, Mary had confided to their son that his father, who would turn seventy in January, had developed cataracts on both eyes and was slowly going blind. When he told Mona the news that evening, she suggested that he go home for the Christmas break in December. He agreed that it would be a good idea, even though nearly half the time would be spent in traveling. He knew that he had enough money for the trip but that finances would be tight during the second semester. His summer job at Brookfield Ice Cream was assured however, and he was no stranger to having little pocket money. Adam smiled thinking of how his mother’s face would light up when she got the news. His mind was made up, he would be going home for Christmas.
Mona’s letters held better news, her brothers were getting along well with their step-brother and sister, and of course with their step-mom who’s cheerful ways was, Mona knew, the glue that kept the family together. The children were doing well in school too, but couldn’t wait for the summer, when they would see their big sister again. She thought wistfully of being able to go home with Adam at Christmastime, but knew it would not be possible as she’d already promised to help at the hospital over the holidays. She had very little money as well and would rather wait until the summer when there would be more time to spend with her family. She felt sad for Adam’s father and knew that he was often on her boyfriend’s mind as well. They both understood however, that he would receive the best of care from Mary, and that the Old Age Pension that he would begin receiving in February would be sufficient for their simple needs.
When Adam discussed the matter with George and Isabella, they agreed that he was doing the right thing in going home for the holidays. George had a good friend in Dr. Albert Templeton who had successfully performed cataract surgery, however such operations weren’t always favorable. He promised to mention Eli’s case the next time they got together.
Adam was doubtful that his father would consider coming to St. John’s for the surgery in any case, but even if he did, there were no relatives to stay with and a boarding house was out of the question. George and Isabella however, had their own ideas. They insisted that should Dr. Templeton agree to do the surgery, and if Eli could be persuaded to make the trip, than both of his parents would come to St. John’s as their guests. Should Eli be admitted to hospital for a few days, which appeared likely, than George promised to take Mary to the hospital every morning and pick her up at the end of the day.

A premonition

One morning in late November, Adam awoke with the thought that he should call George Fox at once. He had heard of intuition but had thought little about it until now. The feeling however, would not go away and after a hurried breakfast, he went to the payphone just outside the cafeteria and after depositing his dime, called the Fox’s number which he always carried with him. Even before the first ring went in, Adam was beginning to feel silly, he imagined the ribbing that George would give him over this “sudden feeling” of his.
George answered on the second ring, and Adam noticed a tremble in his voice. Recognizing Adam’s voice immediately, George asked if he could come over. They’d received news a few minutes earlier that their son Ralph had gone missing and the police were now searching for him. Saying that he’d come at once. Adam hung up and getting a jacket from his dorm room, hurried to the nearest bus stop. He had a class that morning but felt it wasn’t important, certainly not as important as being there for those he considered his adopted family.
At the Fox home, he found George pacing the floor of the living room, ready to grab the telephone at its first ring. Isabella sat in a large chair looking frailer than Adam had ever seen her. Both seniors looked relieved to see him and seemed to settle down a little. The couple quickly filled him in on what little they knew of the situation. Ralph hadn’t turned up for work that morning, where he’d been expected at an important meeting. When the secretary placed a call to his home and found that Ralph had left for work at his regular time, his supervisor, nowing something about Ralph’s mental state, immediately called the police. Ten minutes later Ralph’s abandoned car was located near the waterfront.
The morning dragged on with no further news and though Adam managed to get George and Isabella to eat a little breakfast and take their medication, he knew that they held out little hope. When the doorbell rang at eleven o’clock, they exchanged glances and George sitting by his wife, motioned for Adam to answer. In the doorway stood a uniformed police officer, accompanied by a clergyman, whom Adam would later learn was the Rev. Edmund Bartlett, a United Church minister and hospital chaplain.

Another Tragedy For The Foxs.

Adam invited the visitors to take a seat, and sitting down the men exchanged glances. Rev. Bartlett cleared his throat. “There’s no easy way to tell you this”, he began, looking at the elderly couple, “ Your son Ralph is dead, he was rushed to St. Clair’s Hospital after being found floating face down, near one of the docks in the harbour, four doctors worked on him for nearly an hour but could not revive him … I’m sorry”.
George and Isabella held each other as tears streamed down their faces. Adam and the others sat quietly by. Minutes passed, the silence was deafening. At last George, looking at the officer, asked when their son’s body had been found. “It was 9:45 when he was sighted, we had him at the hospital by ten” replied the constable. Isabella looked up though her tears, “does his wife know yet? she asked. “Yes she’s been told“, it was the policeman who spoke again, “at the moment she’s with her parents and heavily sedated”.
A few minutes later the officer, after offering his condolences, and asking if there was anything more that he could do, left to return to other duties. Rev. Bartlett remained at the house into the afternoon, offering his services in contacting other family members and strongly recommending having the family doctor come by. George agreed, though it was clear that he was more concerned about his wife’s health than his own.
The doctor arrived at 2pm and prescribed some medication that would help the couple get through the next few days. After he’d left the clergyman enquired as to who would be taking care of final arrangements. George called Ruby’s parents and after some discussion, decided to wait until the following morning, when a doctor would again assess Ruby’s condition. Since an autopsy was being performed today, to determine exact cause of death, little could be done until then anyway. Since all had agreed that burial would be from Wesley United Church, Rev. Bartlett placed a call to the clergyman there before leaving.After being assured that there was nothing more that he could do, the man of the cloth again offered his condolences and a phone number where he could be reached, and left to return to the hospital where he had a private communion at 5pm.
Understanding that they may not yet have realized the full extent of their loss, Adam was nevertheless pleased that George and Isabella were taking it so well. The next few days he knew would be very taxing, and fully intending to stay with the Foxs, he notified his roommate and professors that he would miss the next two days of classes and would advise them later about Monday.
TO BE CONTINUED - See Chapter Twenty-Four
Read From The Beginning See Chapter One

Tags

Cataract Surgery, Christmas Break, Drowning, Hospital Chaplain, Intuition, Mental Institution, Police Officer, Psychiatrist

Meet the author

author avatar Kingwell
I am 75 years old and retired.I like writing short stories, poetry as well other articles of interest.

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Comments

author avatar Fern Mc Costigan
4th Apr 2015 (#)

Intersting piece of writing my dear Kingwell, been busy writing a book about Soccer in America, cheers!

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author avatar Kingwell
4th Apr 2015 (#)

Thanks Fern. I have missed you! Blessings.

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author avatar Retired
4th Apr 2015 (#)

Great chapter. This took a lot of work!

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author avatar Kingwell
4th Apr 2015 (#)

Thank you Jessica. You are a loyal follower. Blessings.

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author avatar Retired
4th Apr 2015 (#)

Great story.

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author avatar Kingwell
4th Apr 2015 (#)

Thank you for following my friend. Blessings.

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author avatar Carol Roach
5th Apr 2015 (#)

oh my so much is happening, what a sad story

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author avatar Kingwell
5th Apr 2015 (#)

Thank you Carol. There are difficult times in life but I think they make us stronger in the end. Of course it isn't bad all the time. Thanks for following. Blessings.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
8th Apr 2015 (#)

Adam is matured much beyond his years and has already seen the realities of life with the emotions they bring. Great story full of love, tragedy, emotions et al, thanks Kingwell - siva

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author avatar Kingwell
8th Apr 2015 (#)

Thank you for your encouragement. Blessings.

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author avatar Nancy Czerwinski
20th May 2015 (#)

Kingwell, excellent writing as always. This family seems so real to me. Adam has so much compassion that I find it amazing. Such sadness but I know it is life. Blessings to you!

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author avatar Kingwell
21st May 2015 (#)

Thank you Nancy. So pleased that you are continuing to follow. Blessings.

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