Timeline: This takes place after Amanda and Lee had been married for over fifty years.
Summary: Lee and Amanda end their long life together.
Disclaimer: The main characters belong to Shoot the Moon and Warner Brothers Productions. The story idea is mine.
“Morning, my love.” He said from his seat in the corner. “I missed you. I’ve been waiting for you.”
“Lee, I missed you too.”
“Are you ready?” He asked.
“Ready for what?” She asked.
“To come with me. I’ve come back for you. I need you; I’ve always needed you but you already knew that. You knew that the first time we met. You remember, don’t you?”
“Yes.” Amanda smiled. She remembered how beautiful his eyes were.
“They’re nothing in comparison to yours.” He answered.
“You read my mind.” She said.
“It’s easy here.” Lee said.
“Here? Where’s here?” She asked. Lee didn’t answer; was she dreaming?
The door opened and a nurse walked into the room and the machines began to hum again.
The nurse checked Amanda’s machines and wrote notes on her chart. The door opened and a doctor walked in.
“Morning, Dr. King.”
“Morning, Maggie. How’s my mom today.” He asked.
“I’m sorry but there’s no change.” She said and picked up the chart and left.
“Mom,” He said as he picked up her hand. “My grandson took his first steps today. He looks so much like dad. Mom, I wish you could tell me what to do. I know we’re not going to agree.”
“Jamie, any changes?” Jennifer asked as she walked into the room with her other brothers Philip and Matthew.
Jamie shook his head. “No.”
“I wish we knew what she wanted?” Matthew said.
“I know what she wants. She wants to be with dad.” Jennifer stated.
“I agree, Jen, but I’m not sure I could pull the plug.”
“Philip, I don’t think that mom would want to be kept alive with machines. There isn’t much else that we can do.” Jamie was still holding his mother’s hand.
“What if she wakes up?” Matthew hoped.
“Matthew, there isn’t much chance of that happening.”
Jamie felt helpless. He was one of the best doctors at the hospital but he couldn’t help his mother.
“Guess what?” Jennifer said. “Elizabeth is getting married. Her boyfriend is in law school.”
“That’s wonderful, sis.” Matthew hugged his sister.
“I wish her father could be here to give her away.” Jennifer wiped a tear from her eye. He husband, Gregg, had passed away when Elizabeth was about thirteen and William was sixteen.
Philip put his arm around his sister, “Remind her that she has three uncles here if any services are needed.”
“Just remember,” Matt said, “I’m the purebred uncle.” They all laughed.
“Matthew, when does Robert get out of the air force?”
“He’s taking about making a career out of it. He loves to fly. I guess the air force is in our blood.” Matthew smiled. “Lee has been accepted in the FBI.”
Philip shook his head, “Little Lee?”
“Little Lee is twenty five. Philip, your son Joe is going to be a grandfather.”
“Don’t remind me. I wish Amanda had waited another year or two until her husband finished grad school. Raising a family is hard enough without having to work and go to school. Kids can’t tell them anything.” Philip shook his head. “How about you, Jamie? The twins always seemed to have everything together.”
“Well, Francine is doing very well in the corporate world. Her and her husband just bought a new condo but as far as a family, I don’t think they are in a hurry. Dorothy on the other hand.”
Matthew laughed, “How many does she have now?”
Jamie smiled, “She said they’re not having any more. They have three boys and two girls. The youngest just started to walk. Francine always said she would borrow her sister’s kids and send them home when she had enough.”
“Excuse me.” Maggie said from the doorway. “The doctor is ready to see you.” They followed her out of the room.
The room became dark again. Verdi started to play softly.
“We have quite a family there.” Lee said.
“Yes, they are wonderful.” Amanda smiled.
“Do you know why the doctor wants to see them?” Lee asked.
“They are trying to decide if they should unplug your machines.”
“What machines?” She turned to see that she was hooked up to several machines that were now quiet.
“They are keeping you alive.” He answered.
“Lee, come and sit with me.”
“I can’t. Not until you are ready.”
“I need to hold you.” She said not understanding why he stayed so far away.
“I need to hold you and kiss you but you have to be ready.”
She shook her head but said nothing. It didn’t matter Lee read her mind.
“You need to be willing to let go on your own or they will unplug the machines and you will come with me anyway.”
Amanda tried to move but her left side was frozen.
“You had a stroke that left you paralyzed on you left side and in a coma.”
Lee stood but he didn’t walk to her.
She looked back at all the machines.
“They’re keeping you alive.” Lee answered. “The doctors want to stop them and the kids don’t know what to do. They don’t want to let go of you but they don’t want you to suffer. Amanda, decide for them. Come with me.”
“I can’t.” Amanda said.
“You must.” Lee answered.
She looked at the picture of her family. “I don’t want to leave them.”
“You must; we had a full life and now our time is over. I came here to help you. Please, come with me, my love.”
“What about the children?” She looked back at the picture.
“Amanda, they’re not children anymore. They have families and their families are having families.”
“Amanda, I only have you. I love you.”
The door opened, Philip, Jamie, Matthew and Jennifer came into the room. Jennifer was crying.
“Mom, I’m sorry. I hope this is what you want.”
“Amanda, save her the pain. She’ll never forgive herself. None of them will.” Lee spoke but only Amanda heard him. Amanda looked around at her children.
“I’m ready, Lee.” She said.
“Good.” He walked over to her out of the darkness. Lee was dressed in his black tux. He was about thirty-five again. He smiled his special smile that was for Amanda only.
He took her hands and helped her out bed. Lee held her in his arms and she notice that she no longer had on a hospital robe but the black evening gown that she had made herself. The one that had taken Lee’s breath away the first time he saw her wear it. Lee leaned down and kissed her.
“I love you, Mrs. Stetson.” He said.
“I love you, Mr. Stetson.” She answered.
The doctor came into the room.
“Are you sure that you want to stay here while I turn off the machines?”
They all agreed that they would stay.
Lee took Amanda’s arm. “Let’s go.”
She looked back at her children, “Could I say goodbye?”
“Yes.” He said.
Suddenly an alarm went off on one of the machines.
Amanda’s heart had stopped beating.
“Mom made the decision for us.” Jennifer smiled.
The doctor and Jamie checked Amanda.
Then the doctor said, “Time of death 9:15 am. I’m sorry.” He left the room.
Everyone just stood there. They held each other and said silent prayer.
“Say hi to Lee for me, mom.” Jamie said and then he covered her and followed his brothers and sister out of the room.
“Good bye.” Amanda said.
Lee put his arm around her waist. “It’s time.”
They walked toward the window and disappeared into smoke.