stood in the doorway to her mother's room paralyzed with nervousness and
apprehension. Her previous visits had been almost like a crap shoot.
At best, her mother would only sit in silence without acknowledging her
presence. At worst, her mother would crumble into a delirious fit that
would frighten Grace.
on," Dr. Maynard urged as he gently placed his hand on her shoulder.
"She needs to see you. She needs to know that her family is
Grace glanced back at the
doctor, still filled with her own doubts.
Davis called out in a weak voice. "Grace, I need you."
Grace stepped slowly into the room, allowing the doctor to close the door behind
her. Alone with her mother, Grace carefully walked over to the chair that
was by her bed and sat down.
Momma," Grace said shakily as she took her mother's hand, "I'm
here. I heard...I heard you calling for me and I came."
always...such a good...girl." Louise rolled her head over to look at
her daughter. "Nurse, where's my daughter? I thought I told you
to bring Grace to see me."
Grace felt a knot form in the
pit of her stomach. As usual, her mother didn't even know who she
was. However, it didn't really matter. Grace was there and she knew
it was exactly where she was meant to be.
"She'll be here in a
little bit," Grace smiled at her as she held onto her hand.
"You just lie there and concentrate on getting better."
"Yes, you will
be." Grace squeezed her mother's hand for strength.
"Everything's going to be fine."
Slowly, Louise opened her eyes
and looked right at Grace. She appeared to be analyzing every curve of her
face and every strand of hair on her head.
muttered with a breathy gasp.
"Don't worry, she'll be
here later." Grace fought to choke back her emotions. It was
difficult for her to deny who she was and their relationship, but she realized
that by doing so it would be much easier for her mother to comprehend and
"N-no," Louise said
in a whisper as she struggled to shake her head. "G-Grace...y-you're
Grace immediately leaned back
into her chair, shocked by what she'd heard. Did her mother recognize
her? Did she really know who she was?
"Grace, it's you...my
baby." Louise's voice was growing thinner and more raspy.
"Oh, Grace. I've wanted to see you for so long."
sobbed as she buried her face into her mother's hand.
"I'm...here. I'm here for you, Momma. I'm always here for
"My baby. My
beautiful little girl." Louise looked up at her as tears began to
streak her cheeks. "You've...grown up into such a beautiful young
woman. You...look like I always...imagined that you would."
"Oh, Momma, I love you so
"I...love you, too,
baby. I'm so...so proud of you."
Suddenly, the tender moment
was broken by cries of pain that tore from Louise's chest. She was clearly
in intense pain and the sight of her mother's agony frightened Grace.
"Dr. Maynard! Dr.
Maynard!" Grace called out as she raced to the door of the room.
"Miss Davis," he
said gently, but urgently as he hurried into the room, "please step
back. Let me see."
He worked for a few minutes
with Louise, but Grace couldn't see what he was doing. Finally, her mother
relaxed and lay very still.
"No, Miss Davis, but it
doesn't look good." Dr. Maynard walked over to her and placed his
hand on her shoulder in a display of comfort and support. "I'm afraid
she doesn't have much time. I just wish that I could get in touch with
your brother. He...he needs to be here."
"I-I'll get him!"
Grace spoke up as she turned to head towards the door. "I'll go home
and get him. I can't...let him not be here."
"Miss Davis, wait!"
he called out as he hurried behind her down the hallway. "You really
shouldn't be on the roads in this weather. Let's just wait and see if the
phones come back up."
"No! There's no
time!" she sobbed. "I have to get Douglas! Please...make
her hold on until we come back. Please?"
"I...I'll do what I
can," he muttered as he hung his head. "I'll do what I
Taking a deep breath of
determination, Grace hurried down the stairs, out of the doors of the hospital,
and out into the snowy night. She just had to get Douglas. If
anything happened to their mother and he wasn't there, she'd never forgive