PT1 // PT 2 // PT 3 // PT 4 // PT 5 // PT 6 // PT 7 // PT 8 // PT 9 // PT 10 // PT 11 // PT 12 // PT 13 // PT 14 // PT 15 // PT 16 // PT 17 // PT 18 // PT 19 // PT 20 // PT 21 // PT 22 // PT 23 // PT 24 // PT 25 // PT 26 // PT 27 // PT 28 // PT 29 // PT 30 // PT 31 // PT 32 // PT 33 // PT 34 // PT 35 // PT 36 // PT 37 // PT 38 // PT 39 // PT 40 // PT 41 // PT 42 // PT 43 // PT 44 // PT 45 // PT 46 // PT 47 // PT 48 // PT 49 // PT 50 // PT 51 // PT 52 // PT 53 // PT 54 // PT 55 // PT 56 // PT 57 // PT 58 // PT 59 // PT 60 // PT 61 // PT 62 // PT 63 // PT 64 // PT 65 // PT 66 // PT 67 // PT 68 // PT 69 // PT 70 // PT 71 //

“No thanks.” She grimaced as she repositioned herself on the bed. “How’d it go?”

Paul looked away. “I think the doctor should explain it.”

“So it’s not good news.” She gave him a smile that didn’t do a very good job of hiding her fear. 

Paul shook his head. “They told me they couldn’t pull it out because of where it was.”

She nodded, reaching out and gripping his hand. Her hand felt oddly fragile to him. When had they become so small in comparison to his own?

He stood, intending to go find someone to get the doctor, but she only gripped his hand tighter. He looked down at his hand and then over to her before sitting back down. He used his free hand to press the call button before offering her a smile. “OK,” he said. “I won’t leave you.”

She bowed her head, and her lips moved as she offered a quiet prayer. Paul had to fight a surge of anger. It wasn’t directed at his mother. It was just hard watching her continue to reach out to a god that would let anything like this happen. 

As soon as the thought crossed his mind, his mother opened her eyes, which turned at him. 

“Because whatever he’s taken from me, he gave me two things.” Paul wasn’t sure how she knew what he was thinking. She probably read his face. “If you don’t understand the value of forgiveness, I don’t think I can explain it to you, but the second should make a little sense.”

“What could any god possibly give you that would make you this loyal even now?” Paul’s words came out in a chocked whisper. He was too angry, too tired, too devastated to stoke emotions into a shout.

“You,” she said smiling. “I can endure anything if I have Christ, and to top that off, I have you, and I love you so very much.” 

Her lip quivered, and a tear rolled down her cheek. Paul wrapped his arms around her. They held each other even as a nurse walked in. Paul heard her walk in and say something about notifying the doctor.

Paul and his mother just continued to hold each other and cry. The silence only broke each time his mother said she was so grateful for him. The words seemed to cut at him. What had he ever done? He hardly visited. He was a terrible kid to her. He was too wrapped up in his own sorrow to comfort her after Bill’s death. He just gripped her as tightly as he dared until the doctor showed up.

Feniker shambled in on spindly legs, so Paul turned toward him. His mother gripped his hand more tightly, but she needed worry; he didn’t have any intention of letting her go. 

“Obviously things didn’t go how we’d hoped,” he said. 

He went on about where the tumor was located and how it was too dangerous to pull the tumor out. Then he laid out a chemotherapy plan.

“What will that do?” Paul asked.

“We’re hoping it shrinks the tumor down so we can get at it more easily,” Feniker said. “It would be wonderful if it killed the tumor, but I don’t want you to have that false hope. The goal here is just to shrink it down.”

… to be continued …

9 thoughts on “Visits From A Man Named Nobody 72

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