Flowers For Mother

By Wanda C.



    Mother’s Day was coming soon, and the crew of Station 51’s A-Shift was ready.  Well, as ready as men get for a holiday.  Most intended to buy their mothers flowers for their special day.  That was the easiest way to give mom something to let her know that you were thinking of her, plus all women loved flowers.  Somehow they made ladies feel special.  Neither Chet nor Marco quite grasped that idea, but they didn’t want to bother the perfection of past years. 


   Mike Stoker was planning to visit his mom, flowers in hand, and enjoy a lunch with his parents.  He would buy all her special favorites.  She loved miniature roses, and Mike would buy an arrangement with all different colors, baby’s breath, and some greenery.  He always shopped at the same florist.  They knew exactly what he wanted and somehow managed to make them seem different each year. 


   Hank Stanley and Roy DeSoto had a different perspective than the other guys.  They loved the idea of pampering their moms, after all, each man’s mom had pampered him, but the thought of giving anything but dead, or black flowers to their mothers-in-law was despicable.



     Lastly, John Gage did not have the mother-in-law problem, and for that he was thankful.  He would buy the usual flowers.  All the guys had the special day for their moms off, so this year was unique.  The younger paramedic wished that each knew just how special the day was, but realized that everyone tends to take things, and people for granted.  Just as he was deep in thought, buttoning his blue shirt, the klaxons brought him back to the station.


   “Station 51, accident involving multiple vehicles.  1127 West Winston, 1 1 2 7 West Winston, cross street Wilmington; time out 8:41.”


   While both Johnny and Mike checked the map, Captain Stanley wrote down the information from the podium.


   “Station 51, 10-4.  KMG365.”


   Handing Roy a slip of paper, which the older paramedic handed off to Johnny, Hank darted to the engine.




   As the sirens blared, and traffic moved to allow the squad and engine to race by, everyone wondered just how bad this call would be.


   If that many people were hurt, they would have dispatched more companies.  Cap contemplated the situation in his head.


   Hank Stanley felt very comfortable in his Captain role, and always thought ahead, hoping for the best, but mentally preparing for the worst.  As they were headed to the accident scene, the dispatch radioed that two ambulances were on route to the scene.  


  Must be worse than I thought.  Oh well, if need be I can call for more manpower.  Captain Stanley had to wonder just how bad this one was going to be. 


   Not only his men, but also all firefighters respected Stanley.  He did his job well; had the respect of his men, along with their friendship. Not very many Captains could make that claim.  Not many men or women in charge of others could for that matter; so to say that Hank Stanley was in the minority was an understatement.


   Coming upon the crash, Johnny could see that three vehicles were involved.  Two of them looked to be totaled, but the third seemed fairly easily accessible.  Roy pulled the squad over, as Chet and Marco brought out one and a half inch lines to water down the gas spills, and Captain Stanley began loosening the battery cables.  Roy and Johnny automatically went to the cars that were most damaged.  Roy to one, Johnny to the other, and when Hank finished with the batteries, he moved to the car that wasn’t too terribly crushed.  Mike left his post at Big Red long enough to get the Jaws of Life.  He was certain at least one of the cars would need the tool, if not both.


   “What ‘cha got, Roy?”


   “I don’t know yet.  I can’t get in.  I think I’ll get a crowbar.  How about you?”


   “Mike’s commin’ with the Jaws, but I can tell these people are bleedin’.  It looks kinda bad from here.”


   Roy began to try and pry each door open with the crowbar.  There were only two passengers in his car, but he heard Johnny tell Mike that he had four passengers.  Maybe I need to tell Cap to call for more ambulances and paramedics.  No, I’ll wait and see the condition of the victims first.  After working with three doors, Roy finally got one open.  Inside the car were a man and an elderly lady.  The lady was not breathing, so Roy attended to her first.  Immediately he knew there was nothing he could do for her, so he moved to the younger male driver.  He was unconscious, with a bump on his head.  Roy began to examine for fractures, checking each leg and each arm, but he found nothing suspicious. 


   “Chet, can you hand me a C-collar, and a blanket?”


   With Roy’s words, all the firemen knew there would be at least one fatality at the scene of this accident.  They looked at one another.  These runs were the worst to handle, especially near a holiday.




   Johnny began using the Jaws to take the top off the car.  It seemed the best route to get to all four of the passengers.  Mike was helping him by covering the passengers as best he could, and lifting the windshield.  The last thing these people needed was a glass fragment to hit them.  They all looked to be injured, and what really scared the handsome paramedic was the terrible silence.  There were two children in the back seat, and even they hadn’t made a sound.  He knew time was key with this group of unfortunate people.  After what seemed like a lifetime, but in actuality was only a few minutes, Johnny was able to get inside the car and see how badly injured this family was.  He could tell it was a family: a man, a woman, a girl (who looked exactly like he imagined the woman would as a girl), and a boy (who was a younger version of the man).  The man had an arterial bleed in his leg that Johnny had to control immediately.  He asked Chet to check on the lady, and Marco on the children.  As he applied a tourniquet to the man’s leg, he kept an eye on his fellow firefighters to make sure they didn’t need his help.


   “Johnny, I can’t get a pulse on this lady and she doesn’t seem to be breathing.”  Chet had a very worried look on his face.


   There was no time for checking the driver’s vitals right then, as John had to get to the other front seat passenger.  He checked for a pulse, but found none.  Looking down and sighing deeply, the dark haired man asked Kelly to bring a blanket.  He then looked toward the back seat, and Marco let him know that both children were breathing and had strong pulses, although they were both unconscious.


 Where’s Roy, I need him.  I can’t juggle three patients.


 Finally, Gage decided to go back to the man and get some vitals on him.  He had lost a lot of blood, and was likely the most critical of the three.




   Roy requested a backboard as he took the young man’s pulse and respiration.  The pulse was a bit fast, and respiration shallow. After the men removed the injured man from the car, Roy took his blood pressure.  It wasn’t good either, 90/50, so Roy began to radio in to Rampart.


   “Rampart, this is Squad 51, how do you read?”


   “Go ahead 51.”  Brackett was waiting on this one as he realized more ambulances had been called to the scene.


   “Rampart, I have a male approximately 30 years old.  He’s a victim of an automobile accident.  He was the driver and is unconscious with a hematoma on his forehead, above the right eye.  Vitals are, respiration 30 and shallow, BP 90/50, pulse 110.  We have him on 02, and he is on a backboard and wearing a C-collar.  Be advised, the front seat passenger is code F.  Request to start an IV.”


   “10-4, 51.  Start an IV with ringers on the male victim, keep the 02 going, and monitor vitals every ten minutes.  Transport as soon as possible.”


   “10-4 Rampart. Ambulance is on the scene.”


   Roy began to quickly establish the IV, easily finding a vein, and then he looked over to the car that Johnny was working.  He could see another body on the ground covered in a yellow blanket, which meant his partner was going to be upset.  They all hated to lose a patient, but no one as much as Johnny.  As the attendants loaded the passenger into the ambulance, he went to check on his partner.


   “How are things goin’ over here, Junior?”


   “Roy, do you have to ride in?  I need your help.  This man is in bad shape and I haven’t even had time to check out the kids.”


   “Yea, this guy isn’t that stable.  Can’t Cap call for another unit?”


   “Roy, he’s tried, but none are available.  Okay, do what ya gotta do, and I’ll make do here…somehow.”


   “I’ll see ya at Rampart.”  Looking back at his partner, the older man said,   “Johnny, don’t let this get ya down.”                                                 


   Gage just rolled his eyes at his partner.  How could he help but let this get him down?  No doubt these children had planned something for Mother’s Day for their mom and now she was dead.  How would they deal with that?  He now felt more pressure than ever to save their dad.  He had to keep this man alive; those children needed someone.  Vince came over to see if he could help out, while Hank was with Roy loading the other victim into the ambulance. 


   “Vince, you might want to help Marco with the kids.  What about the other car?  Are there others that need to be checked out?”


   “No, Johnny, when I got here, it was empty.  No idea whether anyone was hurt, nor why he or she might have left the scene.  The car will be towed to the station and gone over.  Let’s see what we have here, Marco.  What can I do?”


   Marco assigned the little girl to Vince as he watched the little boy.  While they were doing this, Johnny packaged the man.  He knew that he was going to need to ride to the hospital with him, but he still had the children to take care of, so he would see what Rampart suggested.


   “Uh, Rampart, this is Squad 51, how do you read?”


   “Go ahead 51.”


   “Rampart, we have a male approximately 27 years of age who was involved in an automobile accident.  Uh, Rampart, he was the driver.  He has a deep cut on his right thigh, and has lost a considerable amount of blood.  I suspect an arterial bleed.  Vitals are, BP 88/49, pulse 129, and respiration 20.  Be advised that we have applied a tourniquet and the bleeding has stopped.  Patient is on a backboard and there are no other apparent injures, except for a small cut just above the left eye.  Request an IV.”


   “10-4, 51.  Start an IV with ringers and transport as soon as possible.”


   “Uh, Rampart, that could be a while.  There are two other victims in the car, a boy and a girl that I have to check out.  The front seat passenger was killed on impact.”


   “51, can’t another unit help you out?”  Brackett was getting frustrated with the situation.


   “Uhm, negative, Rampart, all other units are busy.  How do you suggest I treat the situation?”


   “Check the kids and get them all in here as soon as possible 51.  Do the best you can with what you have.”


   “10-4, Rampart.”


   With a heavy sigh, and a glance at his coworkers, Johnny Gage began with the little girl.  He asked Chet to keep an eye on the man and make sure he didn’t start bleeding again.  The little girl was still wearing her seat belt.  When Johnny removed it, he could see bruising.  After taking a blood pressure, he thought she could have internal bleeding.  He also requested a backboard for each of the children.  He began to check the boy while waiting for the proper equipment to remove the children.  The boy was slumped in the seat and barely breathing.  He was also belted in, but his seat belt had ridden up a bit, and Johnny suspected broken ribs.  The young man looked at the children and began thinking of Mother’s Day.  Immediately he felt as if he was being smothered.  He exited the car quickly. 


   “John, pal, what’s wrong?”  Captain Stanley knew this wasn’t like his paramedic.


   Johnny bent over and caught his breath.  “Can someone hand me the biophone?”


   When one of his shift mates complied, the paramedic contacted the hospital.


   “Rampart, this is 51.”


   “Go ahead 51.”  Kel was happy to hear from the paramedic so soon.


   “Patient number one is a female approximately 5 years of age.  She is unconscious, and was belted in the car.  She has a large hematoma on her abdomen where the belt was.  Suspected internal bleeding.  Vitals are, BP 100/65, pulse 115, and respiration 28.  Request IV.”


   “10-4, 51.  Start an IV with ringers.”


   “10-4 Rampart.  Second victim is a male approximately 7 years of age.  He also was a back seat passenger and belted in.  He seems to have some broken ribs and is having problems breathing.  Be advised we have administered 02, and are packaging both patients on backboards.  Vitals on the second victim are, BP 110/70, pulse 68, and respiration 18 and shallow.  Request IV.”


   “10-4, 51.  Start an IV with ringers, get victims packaged and here as soon as possible.” 


   “10-4, Rampart.  We are loading them into the ambulance now.”




   As Gage rode to Rampart with his three patients, he couldn’t help but think how tragic this entire rescue had been.  Man, it’s almost Mother’s Day, and two moms are gone, just in this one accident.  Life isn’t fair.  He studied the father’s condition and saw that he was stable.  How’s he gonna tell his kids that their mom is dead?  While he was preoccupied, the little girl became conscious.




   The dark haired, handsome paramedic quickly directed his attention to the young child.  “Hi there, I’m Johnny, and I’m takin’ real good care of ya.  What’s your name?”


   The nameless girl just looked at the man in the blue shirt and called once more for her mommy.


   “Mommy isn’t here, but your dad and brother are right over there.” He pointed to them to make sure she saw them.


   “Where are we going, nice man?”


   Johnny had to grin at the “nice man” comment.  Maybe he was getting through after all.


   “Well, you have a few bumps, and so do they, so we’re takin’ you to the hospital where a nice doctor and nurse will make you feel better.”  Johnny was good with children; he always had been.


   “I’m Sally.  Where’s my mommy?”


   “Well, hi, Sally.  Your mommy had to go to the hospital in a different ambulance.  We usually don’t carry more than a couple of people in the same ambulance, but you are special.”  The paramedic had a gleam in his eye that even the little girl noticed.


   “Why aren’t they talking?”  She pointed to her father and brother.


   “They’re asleep, Sally.  You were too until just a few minutes ago.  Now let me put this on your arm.  It’s gonna feel like it’s sucking your arm up, but don’t worry, I’ll protect ya.”


   She allowed Johnny to take her blood pressure without any fuss.  She was stable, and he was one happy paramedic.  Now he needed to see how her dad and brother were.


   “I’m gonna do the same thing to your dad and brother, Sally, but I’ll be right back, okay?”


   The pretty little girl nodded her head and the paramedic flashed into the reality of the accident and suddenly his heart broke for Sally.  Luckily the father and son were also stable, although still unconscious.


   “Wanna know something, Mr. Johnny?”


   “Sure, Sally.  You can tell me anything.”


   “We bought Mommy a brand new dress and a quasha to go with it.”


   “You bought her what?  I understand the dress, Sally, but what else did you buy?”


   “I can’t say it, but a flower for her dress.”


   The young man giggled and said, “Oh, a corsage!”


   “Yea, that’s it.  Funny way to say flower, huh?” 

   “Sally, I think that we should just say flower.  That works better for me; how about you?”  Inside John Gage was fighting tears, but he couldn’t tell this child that her mom would never wear the dress.  He just couldn’t bear to do it.  That’s why the docs get paid big bucks.  Maybe I should tell her.  It would be easier coming from a friend.  What am I thinking?  I’m not her friend; we haven’t known each other for more than 10 minutes.  Let the docs do it.  Just then Johnny looked into her big, blue eyes and saw all the trust in the world focused on him.  She trusted him now, but how would she feel when she found out he had not told her the truth about her mom?  He noticed that the ambulance was backing into the bay at Rampart. 

   “Okay, Sally, there will be some people asking you questions and it’s real important that you answer them, promise?”


   “Will I get a sticker or something, Mr. Johnny?”


   “I’m sure they will find something for you, kiddo.  If they don’t, then I will.  Deal?”






    As the patients were rolled into Rampart, the look of worry was very apparent on the face of John Gage.  His partner could tell that he was already personally involved in this one.


   “Ready to head back to the station, Junior?”


   “Just a sec, Roy.  I need to make sure Dix gives Sally a sticker or somethin’.”


   Roy had a questionable look on his face, but after being Johnny’s partner for this long, he knew not to ask.  The fair-haired paramedic headed to the squad and let the dispatcher know they were once again available.  He couldn’t help but think how happy he would be when this shift was over.  He just wanted to go home to his wife and children, and it didn’t even matter that much that his unappreciative, unapproving mother-in-law would be there.  Mother’s Day was special no matter what because both his children made something for their mom, and he had a nice reason to give JoAnne flowers.  He couldn’t think of a better lady that any man could have in his life, and he realized that he needed to let her know that much more often.  After runs like the paramedics had just experienced, everyone began to think about the brevity of life, and how blessed they all were.


   “Earth to Roy!”  John came into the squad with a crooked smile for his partner.

Blushing, Roy admitted to Johnny that he was just thinking about how much he loved his wife and that he didn’t tell her nearly often enough.


   “Don’t forget to tell your mom either, partner.  You never know what you have until you lose it.”


   Now Roy knew there was something wrong with the younger man.  He wanted to ask if he could help, but didn’t want to be in Johnny’s business either.  He debated within himself for a while what he should do or say. He could no longer hold his silence.

“Hey, what’s wrong with you today?  You seem kinda sad, angry, or something.  Johnny, talk to me.  I’ve never seen ya like this.”


   “Roy, I just don’t want ya to take anyone in your life for granted.  I don’t want you to have any regrets.”


   “Now you really have me worried, Junior.  That almost made sense.”  Roy shifted his blue eyes to his partner who was unusually solemn.  He knew that the younger man needed to talk to someone about what was bothering him, and since they were so close, Roy couldn’t imagine why Johnny wasn’t opening up to him.


   “So what are ya gonna do tomorrow, Junior?”


   “The same thing I do every Mother’s Day, Roy.  I’m gonna take…uh, give flowers to my mom.”  The dark haired man was obviously fighting back some strong emotions.




   Roy decided to do something that he had never done in his career.  He pulled the squad over on the side of the road and called in to dispatch that the squad was having mechanical difficulties, but that he and Johnny could fix them. 


   “Roy, what are ya doin’?  There’s nothing wrong with this squad!”  John knew that both of them could get into trouble if anyone found out the truth.


   “Well, we can pop the hood.  There’s always somethin’ on this machine that can be fixed.  That’s not why I called in though.  I’m your best friend, right?”


   “Roy, ya know you’re my best friend.”  Today wasn’t a day that Johnny wanted to play guessing games.


   “Talk to me, Johnny.  Somethin’ is eatin’ you up, and I want to know what it is.  I can tell that you need to talk about this.  Please, I don’t want to be worried about ya all weekend.”


   “Roy, there’s nothin’ that anyone can do about my problem, so let’s just keep the hood down and head back to the station.”  Gage used a tone that wasn’t his normal happy-go-lucky tone.


   “Johnny, it’s either here, or at the station.  I know whatever this is; you would rather talk to me alone about it.  You don’t want Chet listening in.”


   “It’s tomorrow, okay, Roy?  I dread tomorrow.  Now you know what my problem is, so please let’s just go back to the station.”


   With that statement, Roy knew that he had pushed his partner to the limit.  He wasn’t giving up by any means, but he wouldn’t press any more.  He loved this man like a brother, and he was going to find out what was bothering him. 




   By the time they got back to the station, B-Shift was arriving.  Some of the guys had already gone from A-Shift to pick up their flowers; others were having them delivered.  Roy took a minute to call JoAnne and let her know that he would be a bit late.  He had to know what was going on with his best friend. 


   They said their good-byes, and left the station, but instead of going home, Roy followed his partner at a distance.  Just as expected, Johnny pulled up to the florist.  Roy was impressed.  This was the best florist in L.A. County, and he had no idea that his partner had such good taste in flowers.  He parked on the opposite side of the road and was shocked when the dark haired man exited the flower shop.  He was carrying a beautiful arrangement of red and white roses, but not in a vase, box, or paper.  These flowers were arranged to go on a grave.  When he could not stand the wonder any more, Roy DeSoto pulled up beside his buddy’s vehicle and got out of his own car.


   After putting the flowers in the back of his Land Rover, Johnny turned around, and was startled to see Roy standing there. 


   “What the….”


   “Johnny, I’m sorry.  I couldn’t just let you go knowing how upset you were.  I worry about you, partner.  Now will you tell me the whole story?”


   “Okay, let’s go to that burger place up the road.  I’m starvin’.”


   Now that sounds more like the John Gage that I know and have come to expect.




    The paramedics went into the restaurant and ordered some food as Johnny began his explanation.  The young man could feel his jaw tightening.  Man, Roy, why did you have to do this?  I don’t want to talk about this…I don’t think I can…I’m not ready…if I lie, Roy’s gonna know…what do I say?


  “Well, I guess you know now that my mom is dead.”  The words flowed from Johnny’s mouth before he even thought about them, but as soon as he heard himself say them, the pain returned.  “Roy, remember last year about this time when I took those personal days?”


   “Yea, you never said where you went or what you needed the days for, so I finally left ya alone.”


   “Well, last year on Mother’s Day, my mom died.”  The younger man swallowed hard, holding back the deep emotion that he felt.  It felt like someone was stabbing him in the heart, and the loss was beyond anything he could have imagined.  Johnny sat, staring into space as Roy just watched, and waited for him to begin talking again.


   “Roy, man, that was the worst day of my life.  I have so many regrets.  I don’t even know if she realized how much I loved her, and that’s gonna haunt me from now on.  I mean, she was my mother, and it had been two years since I had even spoken to her.”  At this point a tiny tear developed in the corner of the proud young man’s right eye and began its journey down his smooth cheek.




    Roy almost immediately regretted his bold move.  He could tell that his partner wasn’t nearly ready to discuss this with anyone, not even his best friend.  Why did I do this to Johnny?  He’s in so much pain, and now I have to figure out a way to help him. 


   Both men sat silently, and even though the day was warm, each could feel an odd chill in the air.  Neither spoke of it, but they both could feel it, and by looking at each other, they both knew what they were feeling was real. 


   “Johnny, I’m so sorry.  I had no idea what was bothering ya, but no wonder you’ve not been yourself for a few days now.  So this will be your first Mother’s Day to put flowers on her grave since she passed…that’s gotta be tough.”


   “Roy, I don’t know if I can do it.  I mean every time I think of her in pain…man, she suffered so much, and they didn’t have the proper meds to give her.  Roy, she was screaming, and everyone else was wonderin’ why, but I knew.  She was screamin’ because she was in so much pain.  If I had the meds….”


   “Hey, there wasn’t anything you could’ve done.  Listen, why don’t you spend Mother’s Day with us, then on Monday I’ll go with ya to put those flowers on your mom’s grave?”


   Roy doesn’t get it.  How could he?  He didn’t witness his mom’s death and he didn’t hear his mom screaming.  This is too hard, I’ve gotta get out of here.


  Suddenly John Gage jumped up from the seat as if a bolt of lightening had hit him and left the restaurant without another word.  He had gone so quickly that Roy didn’t have a chance to follow him.  Roy watched as the Land Rover disappeared in a flash and under his breath wished his partner some peace of mind.




    The trip to the graveyard wasn’t too long, but on the approach, John Gage felt so tired.  He couldn’t remember being this tired since…a year ago.  How could he have allowed his own mother to die in such pain, screaming for hours?  Often the dark haired man would suddenly awaken at night in a cold sweat reliving those screams.  How could she ever forgive him?  How could he ever forgive himself?  It was already dark, so the handsome young man decided to sleep in his Rover that night, near his mother.




    Johnny woke to a beautiful sunrise.  One of the most beautiful he had witnessed.  Then, he realized he had his camera with him.  He took a photo of the magical sunrise.  As he snapped the shot, he felt the cold air again.  He looked all around and not a leaf was moving. 



   Great, now I’m really losing it.  I feel a cold burst of air and imagine it’s my mom coming back to…haunt me…kill me…make me suffer like she suffered?


   “No, son, I want you to forgive yourself.  I’ve already forgiven you.”


   He knew that voice, but how could it be?  Shaking, unsteadily the sad man turned and there she was…his mother!  He thought he was hallucinating and looked up at the sky, shook his head, rubbed his eyes, then looked back at the lovely form again.  Okay, maybe I’m crazy, but it is her!




   “Oh, John, don’t be afraid.  Have I ever harmed you?”


   “Well, no, Mom, but how?”


   “Son, don’t ask, just listen, and abide by my words.  I love you, and I always knew that you loved me.  Our family has been through some terrible times, and I’m afraid that you took the brunt of the pain.  John, my sweet son, you had no choice.  You had to leave when you did.  It was all the plan of The Creator.  You’re doing what you were meant to do…helping people; oh, my dear son, I’m so proud of you.”


   Johnny couldn’t believe what he was seeing, or what he was hearing, but he couldn’t be imagining all this.  Maybe I’m still asleep.  He reached down and pinched his arm…he felt it so he couldn’t be asleep.


   She came closer and as she did, the coolness of the air grew fiercely.  “Listen to my words.  There was nothing you could do for my pain.  None of this was your fault.  You didn’t give me the tumor that overtook my body.  I appreciated that you understood my pain.  John, you were the only one who did.  I have only one thing to ask of you, and I can rest in peace.”


   “What?  Mom, I’ll do anything.”


   “Forgive yourself, my son.  You did nothing wrong, and I want you to know that…to feel it in your soul.  If you do this for me, I will forever rest in peace.”


   “But, Mom, I….”


   “Do it, John.  Do it for me.  I must go now.  My future is in your hands.  As long as you blame yourself, I can have no peace.  Not the perfect peace that I deserve, please, my son, please forgive yourself.”  With those words, the form of the young man’s mother disappeared as quickly as she appeared. 


   She’s right; she does deserve total peace.  There was nothing that I could have given her.  The cancer had taken over her body; I couldn’t save her.  Only God could have done that, and likely He wanted her away from all the pain she endured from my family.  She was the best woman I’ve ever known, and likely ever will know.


   Looking over in the field where the headstones stood, he knew what he had to do next.  Slowly he took the flowers from his rover, and began the walk to his mother’s grave.  As he walked, he felt tears welling up in his eyes.  He hated doing this.  He wanted his mother back, and healthy.  He wanted the precious time that he had lost with her.  As he moved closer, he could feel the hot sun beaming down on his forehead.  What a contrast to the cold air I felt just a few minutes ago.  Slowly, he walked over to the grave.  As he saw her name on the tombstone, he bent down on one knee, and moved his right hand over the letters.  Slowly, he took in the feel of each letter that had been warmed by the morning sun.  Quietly, he moved to his feet and looked at the grave, wondering if he had actually experienced what he thought he had earlier…a visit from his mother.  With his slender fingers, the dark haired man wiped the tears from each cheek.  He suddenly remembered her words and felt a calm that he hadn’t felt in over a year.  He began to walk away from the grave, but turned back.  There was one more thing he had to do before he began his journey back home.


   He stood in front of the headstone and put his fingers to his mouth, kissing them, and then laying them on the stone.  “Happy Mother’s Day, Mom.  I love you.”  With those words, for a brief moment, he once again felt the cold air rush by him.  Smiling gently, he knew that the most important woman in his life could now rest in perfect peace.  John Gage then turned and went to his rover without looking back.  He didn’t know if he would ever tell anyone of this experience, but now he knew with no doubt that it was real.  His mom had given him a gift this Mother’s Day that was more precious than any he could ever receive, and he had given her a gift…peaceful rest.




    Johnny smiled on his way home, and decided to stop by the DeSoto’s before going to his apartment.  As he pulled into the driveway he could see the entire family, playing outdoors.  He could also see the relief on his partner’s face.  The children ran to greet him, and there were plenty of hugs to go around.  From the look in JoAnne’s eyes, he could tell that Roy had informed her about his mom.  She gave Johnny an extra tight hug today, and he appreciated it.


   “So, how are you? Roy asked.  “I was gonna look for you if I hadn’t heard from ya by tonight.”


   “Partner, I appreciate it, but I’m okay.”




   “Yea, this is the best Mother’s Day I’ve ever had.”  With those words the two men felt a sudden gush of cold air, and Johnny smiled.


   “Okay, Junior, I’ll take your word for it, but I don’t understand.”

   “I know, Roy.  Who knows?  Maybe someday I’ll tell ya the whole story.”


   “Okay, I have a feeling this is gonna be a good one.”

“The best!”  Johnny then went over to play with the kids, and under his breath whispered, “Thanks, Mom!”  With that he looked up into the sky and felt a calmness that he hadn’t been able to feel in quite some time.  I’ll sleep good tonight.



 The End



   None of the characters in this story belong to me; they were all given to us with the show “Emergency!”  I want to thank all the mothers out there, and would like to dedicate this story to my mom who is always there for me.  Thanks to Audrey for the beta read, and all the encouragement she has given me.



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Stories by Wanda C.     Mother's Day Stories