produced/written by G. Matthew Smith

EPISODE #155 (March 21, 2012) click here for a printable version of this episode
A Few Days Later
July 1936 – Late Morning


Jillian Stokes CallisonAlbanyville General Hospital“What’s taking so long?” Jillian Callison asked as she fidgeted around in her bed.  “Why won’t they let me go home yet?  I keep telling everyone that I feel fine!”

“Be that as it may, neither Dr. Campbell nor Dr. Hughes is going to let you out of here until they’re both absolutely certain that there’s nothing to be worried about.”  Her husband, Reginald Callison, squeezed her hand tightly and smiled.  “You know we’re only thinking about what’s best for both you and our baby.”

“You should really listen to your husband, dear,” her mother, Leticia Rutherford, smiled and then brushed a lock of hair off of Jillian’s forehead with her hand.  “He really is quite smart.”

“Yes, I know,” she smiled up at Reginald before motioning around the room at the multitude of ‘get well’ bouquets, “but if I’m here for very much longer, I’m going to have so many flowers that I’ll be able to open my own botanical garden.”

“Good morning,” Dr. Talbot Campbell said as he pushed open the door and entered the room.

All conversation ground to standstill and everyone’s attention was immediately focused on him as they waited for him to deliver long awaited news.  After watching him examine Jillian’s file for several long minutes, it quickly became obvious to everyone that something was wrong.

“Dr. Campbell, what… is it?” Reginald finally spoke up as he held his wife’s hand tightly.  “You don’t look like you have good news.”

Talbot took a deep breath and then exhaled slowly.  No, he didn’t have good news – not good at all.

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276 Spruce Lane“Eliza!  What in the world is taking you so long?” Maggie Callison called out as she stood at the foot of the stairs.  “The boys are probably already there and waiting for us.” 

“I had to make sure I had everything.”  Eliza Campbell came bouncing down the stairs with a large tote bag slung over her shoulder and a neatly folded blanket in her arms.  “And I never thought I was going to find my good swimming cap.  I looked everywhere for it!”

“We were out at the lake just the other day,” Maggie reminded her as she followed her into the living room.  “Honestly, I don’t know why you have such a hard time keeping track of stuff.  Did you find it?”

“Yes,” Eliza nodded.  “Somehow it ended up underneath my bed and….”

“Well, well!  Where are you girls headed off to today?” Maggie’s mother, Corinne Campbell, spoke up as she strolled into the room with the morning edition of the Daily Post tucked under her arm.  She paused and eyed both girls up and down, examining the large tote bags and blankets they had and the play clothes they were wearing.  “If I were to venture a guess, I’d say you girls were headed out to the lake.”

“Yes, Mother,” Eliza nodded.  “That is if… it’s all right with you.” 

“Of course, it’s all right,” Corinne laughed.  “After all, with all of this blessed heat, I’m surprised you two aren’t down at the lake every single day trying to stay cool.”

Maggie Callison“But we’re never going to make it unless you get moving,” Maggie pointed out, turning to Eliza.  “I want to go to the lake, but I don’t want to be there all day.  Jillian’s supposed to get out of the hospital today and I want to make sure I have time to stop by and see her this afternoon once she gets settled in at home.”

“Surely you two girls aren’t going out to the lake by yourselves, are you?”  Corinne sat down in the armchair by the large front windows of the living room, opened the newspaper, and began to casually scan the society page.  “I’m sure I don’t have to tell you all the different kinds of riff raff that frequent certain parts of the lake – especially on a day like today.”

“It’s fine, Mrs. Campbell.  We’re meeting Stanley and Randy and….”

“Randy?”  Corinne dropped the newspaper into her lap, sat up straight, and eyed her daughter as Eliza glared at Maggie.  “Eliza, dear, I thought we’d discussed this.  You know how I feel about that young man.”

“And you know how I feel about him.”  Eliza folded her arms across her chest and glared at her mother.  “You can’t keep me from seeing him!”

Corinne Campbell“Oh, I very much beg to differ, young lady.”  Corinne rose from her chair, walked across the room to where her daughter was standing, and motioned towards the blankets and bags.  “Now you take these things back upstairs; you won’t be needing them.  You won’t be going to the lake today – especially if that boy is going to be there.”

Eliza felt her face grow flush and hot as her blood pressure began to rise while she watched her mother walk out of the room.  As soon as Corinne had disappeared out of sight, Eliza spun around as if on a dime and exploded on Maggie.

“How could you?” she snapped angrily.  “I bet you just couldn’t wait to tell my mother all about meeting Randy at the lake!  You did that on purpose!”

“I did not!” Maggie cried.  “Besides, how am I supposed to know that your mother doesn’t like Randy and doesn’t want you two seeing one another?  You never seem to tell me anything anymore about Randy!”

Eliza Campbell“Well I wonder why that is!” Eliza glared.  “It’s pretty obvious that I had the right idea by not telling you anything!”

Before Maggie could say another word, Eliza grabbed her bag, slung it over her shoulder, scooped up the pile of blankets from the chair, and pushed past her as she headed for the front door.

“Are you coming or not?”  Eliza paused in the doorway and looked back over her shoulder.  “I thought you said you were in a hurry?”

“But… but…. What about your mother?  She told you that you couldn’t go!”

Eliza’s eyes narrowed as she shot Maggie a look of determination.  “If you think I’m going to let anything or anyone keep my away from Randy, you’ve got another thing coming – and that includes my mother!”


Albanyville General Hospital“Dr. Campbell, what’s wrong?” Jillian spoke up from her hospital bed.  “I thought I was going to get to go home today?  You are going to let me….”

“Yes, Jillian, I’m still going to release you to go home,” Talbot smiled as he walked over to the bed, “but I’m afraid I do have some… difficult news for you.”

“Difficult?”  Reginald squeezed his wife’s hand even more tightly.  “That doesn’t sound very good.  What does that mean?”

“I don’t mean to sound so cryptic, Reginald.  Dr. Hughes should actually be here to tell you this, but he was called away for an emergency.  Anyway….  This morning he received the results of a few tests he performed and, after reviewing them several times, we both came to the same conclusion…." 

Leticia Stokes Rutherford“Dr. Campbell, what is it?”  Leticia grabbed her daughter’s other hand and held it tightly.

“I’m afraid that… well… there’s a strong chance that Jillian won’t be able to carry this child to term.”

“I… I’m going to lose my baby?” she gasped in response as her eyes began to fill with tears.  “Oh… oh, Reginald!  Mother!”

Reginald wrapped his arms around his sobbing and emotional wife and drew her into his arms before turning to look at the doctor.

“You said that there was a ‘chance’ that Jillian might not be able to carry the baby.  Wouldn’t that also mean that there’s a chance that she could?  If there’s just a chance, then this could mean absolutely nothing and both Jillian and the baby are going to be just fine.”

Dr. Talbot Campbell“You’re exactly right,” Talbot nodded, “but it’s not going to be easy.”

“Anything, Dr. Campbell,” Jillian spoke up, her eyes full of desperate pleading, “I’ll do anything to have this baby.  You just said that there was still a chance that we can have this baby without anything going wrong.  Surely you can tell us something that we can do to help ensure that that happens.”

“Well there are certain things you can do that would go a long way to help ensure the good health and successful birth of this child.”  Talbot’s eyes moved from Jillian to her mother and then to Reginald.  “But it’s going to take a lot of work, effort, and determination – not just on your part, Jillian, but on everyone who’s around you.”

Reginald CallisonReginald gave Jillian’s hand another gentle squeeze.  “We’ll do anything, Dr. Campbell.”

“All right, well….  First of all, there’ll be no more of this traipsing up and down the stairs lugging overstuffed laundry baskets around.  From what I understand, you’ve been going out of your way to overly exert yourself around the house.”

“I’m just trying to live up to my responsibilities as a new wife,” Jillian attempted to explain.  “It takes a lot of work to get a home in order and….”

“And the number one responsibility you have from this moment on is to do everything you can to ensure that you have a healthy, happy baby.  That means that you can’t be overly exerting yourself – no stress….  I mean it, young lady.  I want you taking care of yourself.”  Talbot paused and turned towards Reginald.  “And your number one responsibility is to make sure that this headstrong, stubborn girl actually follows instructions.” 

Jillian Stokes Callison“Oh, don’t you worry, Dr. Campbell,” Reginald smiled and nodded with a sense of confidence as he looked directly at Jillian, “I’ll make sure my wife follows doctor’s orders even if I have to tie her down to the bed myself.”

“That might not be far off from the truth,” Talbot sighed.  “If Jillian doesn’t take it easy and if I begin to see that her condition is deteriorating to a critical level, I’ll be left with no choice but to confine her to strict bed rest until the baby is born.  Am I making myself clear?”

“Absolutely,” Jillian nodded.  “Absolutely.”