Robert (Bobby) Martin Morgan was laid to rest just three days after his End Of Watch. His young son, Bobby, Jr. was laid to rest beside him in the Haven For All Souls Cemetery. It was a private ceremony and only Nedward, Foy, Earl and Rachael were among the mourners.
A perceptive eye would have noticed an almost seething rage rising in Nedward as the words of Senior Chaplain Phillips hovered over the caskets like a fine mist.
Holly Redmond Morgan did not attend nor was she laid to rest beside them.
Nedward had been right when he thought he heard a faint moan as they lifted her body onto the stretcher. Initial assessments by the paramedics were grim. They warned Nedward that most likely, she would not survive the trip to the hospital but Holly seemed to be clinging to life with her last ounce of strength.
The paramedics had experienced patients before who fought death with uncommon valor, waiting for a loved one to arrive. Sometimes, it seemed that death granted a reprieve. Other times, it didn’t.
Holly’s loved ones were gone, including her unborn child. She had been kicked with such force, the fetus was prematurely expelled, ending another life before it ever began.
At the hospital, Holly was put into a medically induced coma. Otherwise, she would never have been able to withstand the pain. Almost every inch of her body was invaded by tubes, drips, braces and wraps. She was on a ventilator which rose and fell with an eerie cadence, imitating imaginary breathing.
She was Dr. Boone’s patient, who did his obligatory rounds every morning and every afternoon, checking resps, blood-pressure and heart rhythm. His orders were always the same. “Call me if there is any change.”
Nedward visited as much as his time and the hospital would allow. Dr. Boone had cautioned Nedward that the prognosis did not look promising. “Most likely” he said, “she will pass in her sleep.”
Nedward was not one to accept defeat. He argued “but there is a chance, right?” Dr. Boone put his hand on his shoulder and said “there’s always a chance but in her case, I would say there is less than a 1% chance. You have to understand that the torture this woman…” Edward interrupted him and said “Holly. Her name is Holly.”
Dr. Boone continued. “You have to understand that the torture Holly endured would by all rights, kill even the strongest man. Almost every bone in her body has been broken. Almost every internal organ has been severely damaged. Every bone in her face has been fractured as well as her skull. She suffered a massive head bleed, which required a craniotomy…shall I continue?”
Nedward shook his head and asked if he thought Holly could hear him if he talked to her. Dr. Boone said “that’s something we don’t know. I would say talk to her the same way you always did. Read to her. Tell her about your day. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have other patients to see.”
When Dr. Boone got to the door, he turned and said “you have to be prepared.”
“For what?” asked Nedward.
Dr. Boone looked regretful as he said “if she should live but stays in her vegetative state, she will ultimately be taken downstairs.”
“Downstairs?” Nedward asked.
“To the body farm, as we call it,” Dr. Boone said. It’s where we send the ones who are gone but their bodies, for whatever reasons, are not yet ready to surrender.”
Nedward looked at Dr. Boone and said, “Holly’s not a quitter.”
Dr. Boone said “Of course,” turned and walked out of the room.
To be continued________________