A New Goal in Life
Roxie had driven Candy to the hospital at break neck speed following the ambulance with Jimmy and her mother. They arrived within minutes of the ambulance and watched them take Jimmy right away. Roxie saw her mother crying in one of the waiting rooms by herself. She rushed to her side followed closely by Candy.
"Ma!" Cried Roxie as she was embraced immediately by her mother.
"Shh, I'm here baby. I'm here."
Mother and daughter were hugging tightly so Candy gave them their space. She was about to sit down when Roxie asked, "Where's my Candy?"
"I'm right here love," said the gentle voice beside them.
"Come here please, we need you very much," Said Roxie gesturing with her hand.
"Um, I'm not sure "
Kate looked over Roxie's shoulder and understood how the small woman felt. "Come here please Candy, your Jimmy's sister now. We do need you too."
Roxie nodded anxiously and held out her arm for her love. Candy rushed to them embracing them both and kissing each woman's cheek gently. They all held onto each other tightly as Roxie tearfully asked, "Ma what happened in the ambulance?"
"He was unconscious and unresponsive. That's really all I could understand."
"Unresponsive?" Roxie asked her voice showing her fears clearly.
"Yes Sweetheart, I'm afraid they put him on life support as soon as we got here."
"Shit! Then where is the damn doctor?" Asked the tall woman angrily looking around for someone in a white coat. She pulled out of her family's arms and was about to go on search and destroy mission when Candy came up behind her and grabbed her arm. "Roxie Roxie wait, please!"
Roxie turned and saw the anxious green eyes looking up at her. "Sweetheart I have to find a "
"Shh, come back into the waiting room. The doctors are all trying to help Jimmy. They'll come when they can."
"I don't want to wait for their damn time tables! He's our family and I want to know right now!" Her face was a mask of anger and pain.
"I know you do. So does your mother and I but please come back Rox, your mother needs you right now."
Roxie looked over Candy's shoulder at her Mother who was watching her through the doorway with worried blue eyes. Roxie suddenly felt this great heavy weight in her heart and burst into her tears nodding. She was embraced by Candy and held close. Candy whispered, "Shh, I'll stick by you. I love you."
"I love you too. I'm sorry I "
"Shh, its ok. You're upset about your younger brother but I think we should go back and comfort your Mother, don't you?"
Roxie nodded and allowed the smaller woman to lead her back to her mother.
*** *** *** ***
An hour later, the three women were huddled together sipping coffee and eating hostess cupcakes that Candy had gotten from the machines. A tall woman in a doctor's smock came up to them and with a compassionate expression on her face asking quietly, "Are you James Plummer's family?"
Roxie popped up immediately and said, "Yes, can we please see him now ."
"You will be able to in a bit but first I need a word with you. Are you all his family "
"Yes we are," growled Roxie protectively close to Candy daring the doctor to try and separate them.
The doctor's eyes widened and she swallowed. "Ok. Um, if you would all follow me then," she led them down a corridor to a room marked Doctor's Lounge. Once inside the three women pushed their chairs very close. The tall dangerous woman was in the middle with a comforting arm around each member of her family. The doctor could see how close they were to each other and she was very glad of that. The man down the hall was going to need all the love he could get.
"I'm Dr. Ferguson, the Chief Surgeon here at the hospital. We had a full team working on Mr. Plummer for quite some time. I am afraid there is no easy way to tell you this, Mr. Plummer is in a coma."
"A coma!" cried Roxie stunned. "How could he " Roxie was struggling to control her anger. She had no idea why she was so enraged just that it was boiling inside her.
"Shh, let the doctor finish," said Candy quietly.
Roxie nodded and said gently to Chief Surgeon, "I'm sorry doctor but he's my baby brother and I "
"Its' all right Miss Plummer I completely understand. Unfortunately his Cancer weakened his body so much that he has had a minor stroke. He should be able to recover if we can revive him out of this coma as quickly as possible. This is going to be very difficult for you but "
"Wait I don't understand. My brother is not even 30 years old yet how could he have a stroke? He was setting the table with some plates not lifting something heavy "
Her mother pulled her close and said into her ear, "Please love be still. Let the doctor explain. I think she was about to tell us what we need to do." The kind blue eyes of the older women met the doctor's compassionately.
The doctor smiled slightly and nodded, "Yes, I was. He is very young but his Cancer is very aggressive. It has weakened his body tremendously. This could have happened at anytime. While watching TV even while he was asleep. He is in what is commonly known as a Twilight Coma. He knows what is going on but simply can't get his body to respond. He needs to be stimulated. Jolted by memories and loved ones voices. It could take a day, a week, a month or years for him to recover. It's really up to him. What I need from you is to be there to reach his mind and make his body react to what he is trying react to. Loved ones talking to a victim in shifts have achieved that. He might not recover but if he does it will be up to you really. If we can penetrate his coma I can help him heal from the stroke and then we would go from there."
Three tear-filled sets of eyes met the doctor's. She could see they were determined to do anything for the man lying helpless down the hall. She was very hopeful that it would work and the young man would recover.
*** *** *** ***
Roxie and Candy were sitting with Jimmy. Roxie had Candy in her lap as she told about the time she and Jimmy decided to steal a chick from a farm down the block from them.
"Remember Kiddo, you thought we'd get shot. We some how managed to get into the hen house unnoticed. There were all these baby chicks in these hutches and um they were so cute "Tears were pouring down Roxie's cheeks as she started to lose control.
Candy hugged her tightly and asked sweetly, "Did you take one?"
Roxie kissed Candy tenderly and then said, "Not exactly. We really wanted to play with them cause they were so adorable. So we let them all go. We were sitting on the floor surrounded by them when Mr. Perkins, the owner came in anxiously with his shotgun. I was about 8 years old and Jimmy was barely 6 years old and there we were with all these baby chicks all over us. They were even on our heads. We were having a wonderful time cooing at them and the chicks were cooing at us. Mr. Perkins just burst into laughter at how silly we looked. He shook his head and said we should put them all back in their hutches .it was so " Roxie now completely broke down and burst into tears against her loves warm shoulder.
Candy hugged her close and kissed the crown of her head lovingly. She looked over at Jimmy's monitor and saw that it was a bit more active then it was before. Oh Jimmy my friend I hope you did hear that cute little story. She thought with a tiny glimmer of hope.
*** *** *** ***
"Sweetheart I bought this at the store last night. I remembered it was the first novel you ever read all the way through by yourself. I remember how you came running into me all excited saying "Ma, I read it all by myself. It was really easy!!" Then you sheepishly bowed your head and admitted that Rosalie helped you with some of the big words. You were so adorable." Said Kate with tears pouring down her cheeks a slight smile formed on her lips.
Roxie stood behind her leaning on the doorpost with a cup of hot coffee for her mother. She had a tiny smile of memory as well. She remembered how proud he was of his first accomplishment and she was so proud of herself for helping him with out any urgings from their doting parent. She walked over handed her Mother the cup of coffee and said; "I didn't help that much."
"Thank you darling. Where's Candy?"
Roxie smirked and said, "She's out bargain hunting for some clothes for us."
"She's incredible. She has been such a rock for us."
Roxie nodded and smiled proudly saying quietly as she sat in the other chair, "Yes she has. I am so lucky."
"Sweetheart you both are. Jimmy told me he thought she was the best thing that ever happened to you. I must say I completely agree with his judgment."
Roxie kissed her Mother on the cheek and said, "Thanks Ma. I love her so I'm glad you both feel the same way. Jimmy told me that too. I made a promise to him and I'm going to keep it."
"That I would hold on to her and never, ever let her go."
Kate smiled and nodded, "Yes I agree with him on that too." She paused as they both studied the young man they both loved so much. Then she looked at her daughter and asked quietly, "Would you like to help me read this to him?"
"Sure." Chirped Roxie her voice rough from the pain of the pending loss.
The two women began reading the story of the beautiful black horse that changed the lives of all the humans it came in contact with.
*** *** *** ***
Roxie was alone with Jimmy. Candy and her Mother had finally gone to the motel for a little sleep. Candy had tried to talk Roxie into letting her stay but the girl hadn't slept in 48 hours she was so busy running errands for Roxie and her mother that Roxie was afraid she'd get sick. So Roxie insisted by saying that her Mother would need her help in the morning. Roxie intended to stay all night with Jimmy then her Mother and Candy could take over in the morning.
"Jimmy, Until Candy came along you were the only one I ever told everything to. I never even told Ma some of the things I tell you. The only time we ever fought was when we were teens and those were silly. I mean bathroom time for God's sake!" She exclaimed with a smile. "I trust you and love you so much. I simply can't imagine my life with out you. Please don't leave us yet um Candy's just getting to know you. I want you to know and love each other as much as I love you two. Please stay .please "
Roxie lowered her eyes for a minute to wipe them on a Kleenex that she now always had in her pocket. She lifted her eyes and they widened in shock. "Jimmy?" She saw something she thought she'd never see again. Smiling slightly through her tears she said, "Keep it up Kiddo, I'll get the Doc!"
She got up and excitedly ran through the halls in search of the tall doctor who had slowly started to become their friend. When Roxie saw her at a nurse's station she barreled over to her and said breathlessly. "Doc come quick!"
"What is it?" Asked Dr. Ferguson her face reflecting her concern.
"He moved his hand! Several times I'm sure it was deliberate!!!!"
To Be Continued
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