This next week (8th & 9th), will start an ad campaign on Amazon.com for Return to New Parish ebook and a couple of give away days for Brigham Tea Magazine and New Parish. I hope you all get in on the free stuff and the advertising special!
In Return to New Parish Hannah not only makes new friends but falls in love with a little boy who’s a larger than life character. Liam is her boy, she had no hope of ever recovering from the love she had for him…
Excerpt from Return to New Parish:
Chapter 10 – Processing
“The next morning Hannah’s phone chimed as she was getting out of the shower. She saw it was from Cilla and touched the screen to see what it was about.
“Taking Liam to the hospital!”
“Crap,” Hannah groaned, wondering what had happened. She texted back, “What’s wrong?”
Cilla returned, “High temp and crying with his head hurting.”
Hannah quickly found out which hospital and told Cilla she’d be there soon.
Hannah dressed in record speed and ran into the kitchen to find Sarah.
“Cilla texted me that she’s taking Liam to the hospital, I’m going,” she hurriedly told Sarah.
“Wait,” Sarah said, grabbing Hannah by the arm to slow her exit. “I’ll come with you.”
“I’ll come too,” Max said getting up from the table. “That little Smith boy, Liam plays with is already in the hospital.”
“Why? What’s wrong with him? Is it Wade?” Hannah asked in rapid fire succession.
“Meningitis,” Max’s voice had an ominous tone. “Yeah, it’s Wade.”
The room fell silent. Max, Sarah, and Hannah walked quickly to the front door.
Hannah received texts from Cilla updating her all the way to the hospital, “The doctors admitted him straight away.” Next was, “Doing tests,” then a worrying, “He won’t wake up.”
The fear engulfing Hannah seemed to have super powers, it was growing exponentially with each text.
As Max parked the jeep, Hannah sent a text to Cilla, “We’re here. Where are you?”
Cilla text back the room number and they rushed there. They found Cilla, Hope, and Patty all teary eyed, but Liam wasn’t in the room.
“He’s out for some more tests,” Cilla told them as they entered.
“Okay,” Hannah sighed, wishing she could see him and ease the pain that was hurting her inside.
After hugs all around they heard someone sobbing loudly outside in the hallway. Sarah gave Hannah an “oh no” look and peeked out to see what was happening.
“Oh, it’s Gwen!” Sarah told the others.
Hannah watched as everyone went out to where the woman was openly crying. She followed feeling a bit surreal as the scene played out before her.
“What’s happened?” Patty asked urgently, hugging the woman closely.
An older man joined them, “It’s Wade,” he said with tears streaming down his face. “He’s gone. It just happened,” his voice sounded strained. “The doctors said there was nothing they could do. It was too fast.”
This wasn’t computing in Hannah’s mind, “Wade, Liam’s friend was dead. No,” she thought. “That can’t be right.” She watched Wade’s parents crying over their loss and the others trying to comfort them. “He’s really dead,” her thoughts turned to Liam and terror ripped through her soul, “No, no, no,” kept repeating in her mind.
Hannah listened as Cilla was telling Wade’s parents what was happening with Liam.
“That’s exactly what happened to Wade,” Gwen said, through difficult sobs.
A nurse approached the group, “I’m sorry,” she spoke to Wade’s parents, “but, we need to make some arrangements for your son now. If that’s okay?”
Hannah watched as Wade’s parents walked away. Cilla grabbed her wrist and said, “There they come. They’re bringing him back.”
Hannah could see the worry in Cilla’s expression, she could also feel it building more intensely in herself.
Seeing Liam lying in that bed was a moment in time Hannah wanted to escape. His body was lifeless, on a bed that was much too big for the smallness of her little cowboy. This was more than she could stand. She wanted so much for him to open his eyes, smile at her, and say “Hey, Miss Hannah.” She needed that more than she’d ever needed anything in her life.
The nurses parked his bed in its place and checked the monitors and IVs. After everything was sorted, one of the nurses said, “The doctor will be in to talk to you in a little while.”
“Thank you,” Cilla nodded, stroking Liam’s hair.
Hannah’s mind was coming to a standstill, “This is wrong,” she thought. “Just very wrong,” she reached down to touch his hand, it felt very warm. Her eyes followed the IV tube up to where it connected to the bags that were hanging. There were three bags, one large and two small, all plugged into the tube that was inserted into Liam. Again she thought, “This is wrong.”
Max’s voice broke the silence that had settled in the room, “How long till Uncle Alex gets here?”
“He took off from Durango when I left for the hospital, so that’s been about two hours,” Cilla responded.
“Okay,” Max nodded.
“So, how long is that? Till he gets here?” Hannah asked urgently, feeling that if Alex were here things would be better. She didn’t even try to push those feelings aside. They gave her a sliver of hope, that she needed to cling to.
Max shrugged, “Any time, really.”
The vice grip of fear that had gripped her eased a bit with that information. Hannah looked at the monitors and thought of the monitors she’d watched just a few days ago that showed Annie’s progress toward birth. “This is the opposite, the opposite of excitement, the opposite of happiness… This is wrong,” she thought again.
The heart rate monitor seemed to be working overtime, she watched as Liam’s heart beat raced across the small screen. She watched Liam’s breathing which seemed to be trying to keep up with the heart rate on the monitor. All she could do was watch helplessly as this horror played out.
As she continued to watch, things almost magically began to slow, “Maybe the medicine is starting to work,” she thought feeling for any relief she could find.
“Oh, dear,” Cilla said and pressed the nurse call button.
Hannah could see why as she followed Cilla’s gaze. Liam’s arm, where the IV was inserted had begun to swell.
The nurse came in and removed the IV and after looking at Liam’s veins, said she’d send in someone to replace it. In just a few minutes a man wearing green scrubs came in and looked very closely at Liam’s veins, both his arms and legs. The man sighed and said, “I’ll check with the doctor. He’ll be in to talk to you soon.”
Cilla nodded, looking as though she were hearing, but not understanding, as the man left the room.
Hannah moved back to her position next to Liam after the flurry of nurse and technician. She squeezed his warm little hand in hers and went back to watching the monitors. Liam’s heart rate had slowed way down now and so had his breathing, “That can’t be good,” she thought. An extra surge of fear went through her.
The door to the room opened and a short man with short black hair, wearing faded blue scrubs and a white lab jacket walked in. He didn’t smile, he had a serious, somber expression.
Cilla asked him with obvious concern in her voice, “Doctor, what have you found?”
The doctor cleared his throat and began, “The blood work showed a high wbc, white blood cell count, so as you know we went on with the spinal tap. The sample from the tap looked cloudy under the microscope so I asked the pathologist to read it right away,” he took a breath as if he were preparing to step into deep water. Then he continued, “Your son has bacterial meningitis, it has progressed very rapidly. I’m sorry, there’s nothing we can do to help him. He’s not stable enough to do the surgery we’d need to do to replace the IV, so we’re not going to attempt it. His heart rate will slowly decrease, and then, he’ll be gone. I’m very sorry,” the doctor repeated. “I’m sorry.” He bowed his head and turned to leave the room, but stopped mid step.
There was a tall cowboy standing in the doorway of the room. Wearing a black cowboy hat with the brim pulled low so that you could just barely see his eyes. The doctor stood there and seemed in shock.
“I’m the boy’s father,” Alex James drawled slowly.
“I’m sorry, sir, there’s nothing we can do for your son,” the doctor began.
Alex cut him off abruptly, “Maybe there is nothing you can do,” he said firmly. “Get out of my way. There’s something I can do.”
The doctor stammered something inaudible and Alex repeated in a low growl, “Get out.”
“Yes, sir,” he mumbled and hastily left the room.
“Max, clear the room, take care of your mothers,” Alex ordered.
Hannah hadn’t moved or even barely breathed since the doctor had entered the room. When Sarah put her arm around her shoulders and began guiding her out of the room it brought everything from a blurred unprocessed state to a full on focused reality. Everything the doctor had said crashed in on her. The pain of it all gushed out of her in torrents of tears.
She looked back into the room, and before Max closed the door, she saw Alex take off his hat, grasp Liam’s hand and kneel down beside the bed.
Seconds turned into decades, as she stood in the hallway fighting her heart’s longing to go back into the room and be near her little cowboy. She looked at Patty, Hope, and Cilla, there were tears, but there was a strength in their eyes that Hannah couldn’t understand. She was falling apart, and they were holding onto something she couldn’t fathom.
To not run back into Liam’s room, was taking all her efforts. Her thoughts turned to what she’d seen as Sarah led her out of his room, “Why couldn’t we stay in there? He’s just praying.” She pondered that for a moment to distract herself, then the need to run back into Liam’s room returned to torture her once again. The doctor’s voice began to haunt her thoughts, “Nothing we can do… his heart will slow… he’ll be gone… No!” she shut down the haunt.
A nurse approached the door to Liam’s room, where Max was standing sentinel and said, “Excuse me, I need to check on him.”
“Can you wait a few minutes?” Max asked her politely. “His father’s just gotten here and asked for some time alone with the boy.”
“Sure,” the nurse nodded. “I’ll be back in a bit.”
Hannah watched Max, “He looks like he’s standing guard,” she thought. Then she thought she must be losing it all together because she thought she heard Liam laughing. She looked at Sarah questioningly and asked, “Did you hear that? It sounded like it was coming from Liam’s room.”
Sarah shrugged and smiled at her.
She looked back at Max, he was smiling too, she thought she saw a tear roll down his cheek.
The door behind Max opened, he turned and moved aside. Alex walked out of the room carrying Liam, who had both arms and legs wrapped around him, giggling. Everyone rushed to them, everyone except Hannah. She was so shocked she couldn’t believe what she was seeing.
“You’re hugging me to death!” Liam giggled as Cilla, Hope, and Patty were all busy squeezing him with tears freely streaming down their faces.
That moment would be indelibly imprinted in Hannah’s memory for the rest of her life. How it had happened, she didn’t know, but she was more grateful than she’d ever been.
Hannah finally snapped out of it and took her turn at hugging the little cowboy.
“Miss Hannah,” Liam drawled, “I ain’t wore a diaper in years. I hope you don’t think I’m a baby or something.”
Hannah smiled, “No way, Dude, you’re the coolest kid I know.” She hugged him again full of joy to have him back.”
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