Diana’s heart broke. Warren was such large presence, so full of life. To see him lying there so still and pale, connected to all the machines was almost more than she could stand. Lifting his hand from the cover, she caressed the fingers, hoping for some small sign of movement.
“Warren, I’ve been such a fool—such a silly fool. I’m sorry, my darling. Warren, you must fight to come back to me. Come back and give me a second chance. Please, Warren.”
The nurse poked her head in the door. “I’m sorry, Mrs. Franklin, but you’ll have to leave now. You can have a longer visit later.”
“All right, Ellen.” She laid his hand gently back on the bed. “I’ll be back as soon as I can, Darling.” Bending, she kissed his forehead near the large white bandage before leaving the room.
The family rose and came to her when she entered the lounge. They all started to speak at once and Diana held up a hand to hush them. “There’s nothing to tell. Your father is holding his own. We’ll just have to wait.”
She noticed Robbie lying on the small sofa sound asleep. “Someone needs to take Robbie home. Poor child’s exhausted.”
“I wanted to talk to you about that, Diana.” Russell came and led her to a chair, seating himself beside her. “I spoke with Paul. He’s going to allow each family member to go in one at a time and see Warren for a few minutes today. Robbie won’t be allowed to see him until he’s out of ICU. I knew you wouldn’t leave, so I arranged for you to stay tonight, Lily will stay too. After that, he said two a day can stay. One out here, one with Warren, taking turns.”
Diana interrupted him. “Russell, I appreciate what you’re doing, but…”
“The are no buts, Diana. I know how you feel. We all want to stay until Warren is fully recovered. The hospital won’t allow it. Not to mention, if we all end up as exhausted as Robbie, we’ll be no good to Warren. This schedule is mandated by hospital policy. Paul left it to us to decide who stays when. I’m taking Sarah and Robbie home in a little while. You and Lily will stay. Sarah and I will come back tomorrow and you and Lily will go home for awhile.”
“I’m not leaving, Russell.”
“Yes, Sarah, you are—even if I have to carry you out. This isn’t open for discussion. You have the baby to think of. And then there’s Robbie. He can’t stay here, someone has to be at home with him.”
Diana heaved a sigh. “He’s right, Sarah. We’ll do it this way.”
Copyright ©Elizabeth Melton Parsons