I was surprised when I saw her come into my room 2321, where I seemed to fight and lose the battle every night with the "covers" and extra pillows on my bed.
"Never Mind" she said. "Good to see you." She sat down on the foot of my messy bed. I hadn’t seen Marlene since she was employed at BancorpSouth Bank, and living in Greenwood. I remember when she retired, when she married Dr. James Brown and moved to Fort Smith.
I was glad to see her!
We didn’t talk very long. The Physical Therapist came in to pick me up in my wheel chair for a scheduled round of therapy.
Marlene said she only had a few minutes to spare. She told me she was there to admit Dr. Brown for therapy. " How’s he doing?" I asked. Our short conversation soon answered my question, but not completely and when I saw him at my next session of therapy, I still recognized him.
You see… I was pretty well acquainted with Dr. Brown.
December 1973, I was in an automobile accident out of state in Pontiac, Ill., hospitalized for a month in St. James Hospital, with Jim, my nephew and Mick, my brother. Another brother, Sam was killed in the wreck.
Mick and I were flown home where he spent more time in the hospital in Oklahoma and Fort Smith.
Marlene and I continued to chat. "Dr. Brown was my Doctor for some time," I told Marlene. "Did he do a good Job?" She asked.
"I suppose," I replied. "I’m still here breaking bones." We laughed. You see, that was the reason I was in Sparks. On Feb. 13, I fell at home fractured my back again, and broke my arm.
Forty years ago, I continued to see Dr. Brown, appointment after appointment as he continued to work hard to help me heal from the broken and fractured bones I had acquired in the wreck. I never forgot. We had a good patient doctor relationship. Marlene seemed proud I told her this.
"Mary" she asked, "Will you sit at the same table in the dining hall today with him since this is his first day? "Sure," I replied. And I did. Did he remember me? Maybe, maybe not.
It didn’t’ matter. Neither of us ate the steamed zucchini or chicken soup, but sipped our coffee and held a right pleasant conversation.
Dr. Brown’s face lit up every time Marlene’s name was mentioned. "Do you know Marlene?" He asked several times. "Yes," I replied. "She’s a dear friend"
We continued to talk on the subject of.." back when."
I sat at the same table with Dr. Brown at supper time before being dismissed the next day. "Take care," I said. "You too," he replied. I didn’t see Marlene again. Today I write about our meeting in my journal, and so glad to be home.
Our meeting again. Mine…Marlene…and Dr. Brown, under quite different circumstances, as I wish him and her good health and happiness, but I picked up the newspaper and turned to the obituary. Dr. James Brown, 82, died Saturday, March 1, 2014, arrangements pending. He was a neurosurgeon for both Sparks and Mercy Hospitals, it read.
Did Dr. Brown Remember me?
Maybe, Maybe Not.
It didn’t matter. I just hope it pleased him and Marlene that I honored her request and sat with him at the same table in the dinning hall, and complimenting her throughout our pleasant conversation.