Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #12
…I keep this picture with me always…
The entire front right pew rises, there to pass in front of the open mahogany casket enveloping the unique blended beauty of Maggie Lou Ferrell Campbell; part Cherokee Indian, part black, part Scot, an Oster mix of unlikely combination. She is dressed in her favorite green satin dress; the very one A.O. has given her to wear on Easter Sunday, 1955.
Upon seeing his beloved, so real, so eternally quiet, he turns to his daughters and pulls out a bent picture from his coat saying, “I keep this picture with me always.” It says on the back:
‘Me and Mrs. Campbell—–Easter Day 1955
The year our tribulations began. At the time,
we had no thought of the gathering storm
that broke loose in August; you see no
apprehension in our faces. Thanks for looking.’
“Mamma’s as beautiful as ever, the way I think of her always,” adds Laura Campbell McLoud lovingly. She has been joined by her husband, a late arriver, who actually did care for his mother-in-law, though he betrays her in the present.
“And where have you been, Franklin McLoud? We waited and waited for you. Alpha and Vaughn brought us here and thank God they did, little Laura was crying for her grandpa.” Children are a good source of guilt.
“What could be so important that you could be so late?” Good question.
As if he could explain. He was supposed to be one of the pallbearers.
“The funeral director had to take your end of the casket. Do you know how embarrassin’ that was?” Laura is usually quiet, slow to anger. Had she known the real reason for his absence, the present anger may have turned violent.
He takes his place beside Laura, silently, dutifully and deceitfully.
Alpha Omega M.D.