Lucy's room was a riot of colors... flowers were everywhere. She was sitting up in bed, eating breakfast, with a police woman sitting in the chair beside her. Where had all the flowers come from?
Cookie Jack said, "AnnieBee, look at that! I've never seen so many flowers in one place before except in a garden. Who sent them all? Lucy, you're sittin' up! You're all better!"
Going over to Lucy Mae, I hugged her and the policewoman got up and gave me her chair so I could sit close to Lucy. It was a different policewoman than Patricia that I met the day before. She smiled at me and nodded her head to indicate that she recognized me. Jackie was accepted as a visitor because he came with me.
Lucy looked at me, sadly, acknowledging without speaking that she knew what Marci had done, and had accepted it. My heart was breaking for my friend, but I put on a smile and asked how she was doing.
"I'm doin' all right, AnnaBelle, it's hard ta take, my son bein' married ta such a woman, and him bein' such a weaklin', lettin' her run his life the way she did. I reckon maybe part of it is my doin', I could jist never say no ta anything he wanted when he was growin' up. Me 'n' his dad would try ta get him whatever he asked for, even if it meant scrimpin' and savin' ta do it. We sent him to college and university without him havin' ta get a job, and help hisself through school. We wanted him ta have all the advantages. Now look at him... look at me... it makes me wonder how different things woulda been, if he'd been made ta do more for hisself. He might not 'a' picked out a woman like he did, and I wouldn't a' been out on the streets fendin' for myself."
"I reckon maybe you're right, my friend. I sure don't know what I'd a done, though, without you as my good buddy. I probably never would 'a' met ya if things had been different. I know that things happen fer a reason, maybe we jist never will know, but we do know that God is in control of the universe, and He's takin' care of us. I'm so grateful that you are feelin' better. Don't be so hard on yerself! Hindsight is always better than foresight, don't cha know? Now, I wanta look at all these flowers and see who sent 'em to ya."
I got up and wandered around the room, thinkin' about how Lucy must have found out about Marci. Ah! I'll bet our talkative nurse friend, Flora, had been up to see Lucy. I figure she didn't know that Lucy was supposed to be kept in the dark, figuratively. I was glad to see that she was being kept literally in a dimmed room as well, since her eyes were going to be sensitive to light for several days to come.
Looking at the cards on the flowers, I saw that several were from her son and grandchildren. Also there were flowers from Pastor Joe, and, surprisingly, Jackie's Uncle Hank had sent some as well. There was a bouquet from Lieutenant Shannon and the guys down at the station house. Oh my goodness! A small bouquet from the people down at the Mission was there. They had put their pennies and nickels, and other coins together and bought it for their friend, Lucy. There was another set of flowers from Sherri Gambini, the attorney.
With tears flowing down my cheeks, I went over to Lucy Mae, and asked, "Can you doubt how much you are loved, when you look at this outpourin' of affection evidenced by all these flowers, my friend?" I hugged her, and watched her face change from sadness to one of joy.
"I jist couldn't believe it when I seen all them flow'rs comin' in fer me, AnnieBee! I thought there had ta be a mistake!"
"Oh, it's no mistake, Lucy! Never doubt that you are loved! Now, we gotta get you better and outta this place. I miss havin' my buddy with me n' Clancy, here." Clancy looked up at Lucy and yipped.
Lucy reached down and patted him on the head. "It seems like I been in here forever, ya' know!"
"I miss ya, too, Lucy Mae," spoke up Jackie. "We took up a collection yesterday down at the Mission, 'n' almost everybody gave some money ta' send ya flowers. We wuz really worried about ya, cause we all know how drugs can kill a body, since we seen lotsa people die from 'em. We're jist glad ta see ya gettin' better!"
(To be continued)