Is the completion of a promise made by Grandma Charlie that Casey fulfills... read it and find out some possible answers to our meager existence... how we can make a difference... how what we do, say, even possibly think can affect others... It speaks of today issues insofar as an aspect of child abuse is concerned and gives us an example of what could happen... maybe even what should happen since Man’s law can’t seem to solve the problem of constant abuse of children ...
The child was dreaming. In her dream, the colors were vivid, vibrant, everything clearly defined, even though the surroundings were alien to her reality as she knew it to be in her limited existence.
A room came into focus. Big, its walls painted in soft colors, quite similar to her own bedroom, but this one she was seeing was no ordinary room. The bed was metallic, like a hospital bed with controls at the bottom and on its sides. There were flowers, pretty flowers of all kinds arranged in vases and baskets, and people, there were people looking down at a figure on the bed.
She came closer and saw a woman lying on the bed, an old woman with silver hair like her school principal. She had beautiful blue eyes, full of pain and yet, they looked brightly at a young man who was holding one of her hands in his.
The man was tall... very tall. His head a mass of red-blonde curls. Tears were streaming down his face. His pain touched her deeply and even in the dream, her own eyes began to mist. Strangely, his pain became hers. She could feel his anguish, his sorrow. The love shared by them moved the child for reasons she could not fully comprehend. It was almost visible, palpable. Made her feel that if she extended a hand she’d be able to touch it, to feel it. For a moment, she fought the impulse to do just that; instead she leaned closer, for the young man, his voice husky, was saying something to the woman and she wanted to hear what it was.
“I love you, Grandma Charlie,” she heard him say, his voice full of emotion.
“Love you more, Michael,” the woman replied in a surprisingly strong, but pleasing voice.
“I’ll be right here when you get out of surgery, Grandma,” he said to her.
“I know, my sweet boy, I know,” was her reply. “Is Eli with you?”
“I’m right here, Grandma Charlie,” another voice answered. The voice belonged to another young man, not as tall but a bit older than the first, with dark curly hair and eyes and equally affected by the unknown plight of the woman on the bed.
“Good,” the woman named Charlie said. “Don’t leave him alone, Eli.”
“I promise I won’t Grandma,” Eli said.
“Send them in one at a time, Michael,” she instructed. “I want to say my goodbyes now, while I still can.”
A parade of people began to file in. She could not hold all the names in her head. Aaron, Scott, Marjorie, Heather, Pamela and others. The woman spoke to each individually, her voice so low, so whispery, that the child couldn’t make out what she was saying. All of them kissed her lovingly, their pain evident by their expressions. It was apparent that the woman was very much loved by those present. Finally a young black nurse and two hospital attendants came for the woman on the bed, to wheel her out to surgery. The black nurse also leaned over and kissed the old woman’s forehead. The one named Michael accompanied her gurney as they took her down a long white hallway. He didn’t let go of her hand until they reached the entrance to the operating room. Michael leaned down and kissed the woman on the gurney on the cheek before saying:
“Godspeed, Grandma.” He remained standing before the swinging doors for a while, eyes fixed and bright, as if he could will her return or make her well if he concentrated hard enough. Finally, shoulders sagging, head bent, he went back to the room.
“I’m here, Grandma Charlie... remember your promise... please, Grandma... don’t forget your promise...” He was so sad, so very sad. Casey felt his pain and her own eyes welled with tears. Why did she feel so connected to him? Who was he and, more importantly, who was the woman on the bed? She could also feel her pain, her reluctance to leave him... Her chest began to feel tight, her own right leg to hurt. Even though she knew she was dreaming, she touched her leg and was relieved to discover it still was there, attached to her body, whole. That made her feel guilty.