[From time to time, I will illustrate my story characters with: Richard Armitage as Sam Wakeforest, Marcia Gay Harden as Sam’s older sister Tessa Wakeforest Shoop Delaney, and Emily Deschanel as Tessa’s sister-in-law Olivia Delaney Wakeforest, Viola Davis as Pauletta Perkins, Cicely Tyson as Nellie Newton, Anna Sophia Robb as Alice Trent, Kevin Spacey as Roger Delaney, Sam Heughan as Todd Wakeforest, Idris Elba as Dominic Perkins and others as noted.]
Authors Content Note: “Love in the Great Pine Woods” is a mature love story with dramatic themes of love and relationships. It will mostly be at the PG and PG-13 movie levels. Specific chapters or passages may have a further rating of: L for language, D for dramatic emotions, and S for sensual themes. And I will rate the chapters accordingly. If you are unable or unwilling to attend a movie with the ratings that I provide for a chapter, then please do not read that chapter. This is my disclaimer. And as is my habit, I will summarize the previous chapter’s events at the beginning of the next chapter.
Authors Recap from the Previous Chapter: With Olivia’s leg injury sustained in the avalanche on Saturday, January 2, 1956–and her gaping and severely bleeding wound–time is of the essence to get her off of Wakeforest Mountain and to the Wakeforest County Hospital some five miles away.
“Love in the Great Pine Woods”, Ch. 19 (PG-13, D): My Beloved Wife Olivia
Rotar blades from the descending hospital helicopter whip through the air and stir up the drifted snow at the Little Summit plateau ridge on Wakeforest Mountain about fifteen minutes after Sam Wakeforest’s brothers and friends reached his cabin on the Mountain. The sound is a mixture of a chopping noise mixed with whooshing snow cutting into the serenity of nature’s pristine beauty.
Sam and his brothers and their friends Dominic and Hank heard the helicopter nearing and rode in the snow plows to the clearing. Olivia Delaney Wakeforest is being air lifted to the hospital for much needed transfusions and tending of her injured leg and its attendant severe blood loss which is very worrisome for Sam. He is afraid that she will die–and it will be all his fault, for bringing her here to his mountain for their honeymoon.
The fifteen minute wait for the helicopter to show up had seemed interminable–and Sam could hardly bear it. But if his Olivia could bear it, then he would bear it also. Though, she is still in a faint and unconscious in his arms. And now Sam carries his still unconscious wife to the helicopter as the medical nurse jumps out to tend to his patient.
Nurse Ron: “Mr. Wakeforest, Sir, we’ll take her from here for you.” Nurse Ron says respectfully. The Wakeforest family are not only early settlers to these parts, and founded their town, but they are well respected for their philanthropy–which extends to the Wakeforest County Hospital. So when the call had come in to the Wakeforest County Hospital that one of the Wakeforest’s was hurt up on the mountain, the medical staff were put on alert and were ready to lend their aid. Even a surgeon specialist visiting the area for the holidays was called in to help out.
Sam: “No! Olivia is my wife!” Sam objects forcefully–he is suspicious of a male nurse, as Sam’s scowl does not conceal [(2) right]. “I will not leave her side.”
Nurse Ron: “Then we must at least get her laid onto the stretcher and strapped in. Then I can start an IV before we lift off.” Nurse Ron motions to Sam and he brings Olivia over and gently lays her down on the stretcher.
Sam: “Why does she need an IV? It’s more blood that she needs to replace what she lost.” Sam argues testily.
Nurse Ron: “Not only has she lost blood, but she has lost blood volume–the fluid that the blood moves in.” He explains. “And the IV solution will help replenish that fluid until we can transfuse her.” Then getting bossy, Nurse Ron, appraises the tall Sam Wakeforest with a critical eye. “And if you want your wife to live, I suggest you stop talking and delaying our way back to the hospital. You can sit up front with the pilot. I’ll be in back with your wife.” Nurse Ron’s focus is always on patient care and survival.
Sam nods in acquiescence. Then quietly, tenderly, Sam gazes at his beloved wife as Nurse Ron finds a vein in the still unconscious Olivia’s arm and proceeds to star an IV.
Sam: “Olivia. My wife’s name is Olivia.” Sam nods woodenly in compliance. Then he looks over at this brothers Kevin and William, and also at friends Hank and Dominic and waves at them half heartedly as he jumps into the helicopter.
Sam had flown in a few helicopters when he was in WWII, but he didn’t much care for it, then or now. Planes were his expertise as a pilot. Once they were airborne, Sam forces himself to look down as they pull away from the mountain and their snow plow rescue party begins their descent via the mountain road. And William will collect the body of the deceased vacationer from the cliff fall, Aiden Carter, to take into town to the hospital morgue and then inform his family. Whilst Kevin picks up Tessa at their Tree Farm at the base of the mountain and heads to the Wakeforest County Hospital with Dominic Perkins. If Olivia needs blood, they will have to see who among them can help in that regard.
Though it seems like an age, the helicopter ride take only fifteen minutes–landing on the fifth story roof of the turn of the century’s Wakeforest County Hospital’s modern annex wing–a wing that the Wakeforest family’s donations made possible five years ago. And Sam cannot focus on anything but Olivia right now.
However, breaking into Sam’s reverie as the rotor blades stop spinning and come to a rest, Nurse Ron issues a respectful command to Sam.
Nurse Ron: “Mr. Wakeforest, Please help me get your wife’s stretcher out of the chopper.”
Sam complies, then follows closely behind as Olivia is wheeled into the building and down a freight elevator to the surgical wing in the new annex. Her leg injury is in an odd place–to the side and a bit to the back of her lower leftt leg. The surgical floor nursing staff check Olivia’s leg wound and the bleeding has stopped, but she will still need one or more pints of blood transfusions. And Olivia is still unconscious.
And then a brash young doctor surgeon strides into the examination room to attend to his patient, Olivia Delaney Wakeforest. And this doctor is the last man that Sam Wakeforest envisioned running into.
Dr. Matt Carter: “Mr. Wakeforest. We meet again.” The doctor states sardonically.
Sam: “You’re not Dr. Hills.” Sam scowls. The last thing Sam wants is someone with a grudge against him tending to his wife Olivia. And this doctor is the old growth trees cutter Idiot # 1 standing before him in a long white doctor’s coat. The fact that Idiot # 1 was the more remorseful of the two idiots does not comfort Sam. And unfortunately, Idiot # 2 lies crushed to death under his snow vehicle at the base of the cliff of Little Summit Ridge on Wakeforest Mountain. But that sad fact escapes Sam’s memory at the moment.
Dr. Matt Carter: “No. Dr. Hills is not an orthopedic nor a vascular surgeon. But I am.” Then shooing Sam Wakeforest away to the side, the doctor examines his patient Olivia Wakeforest, slipping on surgical gloves as a precaution against infection, then he carefully examines Olivia’s leg wound. Your wife’s leg wound is deep–with some muscle and possible tendon damage in addition to the blood vessels severed. But I think I can repair the damage so that she will be able to walk fairly normally.”
Sam: “But what about my wife’s blood loss? Will she live? Take my blood. When we were preparing to be married, we found out that we have the same blood type.” Sam squeezes Olivia’s hand, him still feeling worried about her condition.
Dr. Matt Carter: “We will have the lab type both of your blood again to be sure.” The in house hospital lab was another modern innovation for the Wakeforest County Hospital–in addition to the two state of the art surgical suites–that the Wakeforest Family donations paid for in the new hospital annex. “And if you have any family who are at the hospital, we can also check their suitability for donating blood to her.” With the Town of Wakeforest being rather isolated, they do not have a large stockpile of blood to draw upon. So blood donors must come forward as needed.
As Olivia is quickly prepped for surgery, Sam gives the necessary consent as her husband and her next of kin. Then Sam donates his blood. And when Tessa, Kevin and Dominic arrive at Wakeforest County Hospital, Sam is relieved to have them with him. Sam is also told that Roger and Alice and baby Bobby are also at the hospital–visiting their former housekeeper Nellie Newton who had collapsed at Delaney Manor earlier today. However, Kevin Wakeforest is unaware of who Olivia’s doctor/surgeon is, so he does not convey the sad news of Dr. Carter’s brother’s death on Wakeforest Mountain this morning.
With being Olivia’s older brother, it does turn out that Roger Delaney is able to give his sister Olivia his blood [(3)]. But coupled with Olivia’s husband Sam’s blood donation, that is only two pints of blood. And with Olivia going into surgery, Dr. Carter would like her to have at least one more pint transfused. Olivia lost a lot of blood, but Dr. Carter thinks that she will recover–but nothing is guaranteed. So until Sam sees his wife out of surgery and she opens her eyes and talks to him, he is holding his breath.
As it turns out, Dominic Perkins also carries Olivia’s blood type. And Dominic gladly offers to donate his blood as well. However, this generous gift does not go smoothly since the Wakeforest County Hospital’s resident phlebotomist was born in a Southern state and holds prejudicial views about Negroes like Mr. Dominic Perkins–even though Mr. Perkins is a decorated WWII veteran, and Vice President of the Wakeforest Community Bank that Bank President Roger Delaney owns. So there are some angry words exchanged between Sam Wakeforest and the hospital’s phlebotomist.
Unfortunately, Dominic learns of the phlebotomist’s prejudice as he is donating blood–the other man’s disdain is unmistakable. When Dominic Perkins thinks that he has finally achieved a level of recognition and of respect as a Negro man, it seems that there is always someone who attempts to belittle or to marginalize him–even in 1956, two years after the landmark Brown vs Board of Education Supreme Court Decision [(4)] that struck down the separate but equal education laws as being unconstitutional in denying Negro American citizens their rights, their society is not yet inclusive for all.
Sam is incredulous about the hospital staffer’s bigoted viewpoint and he vehemently voices his displeasure. Sam’s wife Olivia needs blood and his friend Dominic is willing to provide it. End of story for Sam. So Sam begrudgingly signs what he feels is an unnecessary waiver of blood source liability insisted upon by the hospital phlebotomist. And Sam will have choice words for the hospital administrator at a future date–after they get through Olivia’s health crisis.
Olivia Delaney Wakeforest’s surgery by Dr. Matt Carter to repair her injured leg takes about an hour and a half. During that time, her husband Sam paces back and forth with worry in the surgical waiting room. Even when Sam is allowed back to see the still unconscious Olivia in the Recovery Room, Sam’s worry does not abate as he sits by her side, holding her hand, and softly talking to her. Olivia’s lower left leg is bandaged and propped up by a pillow underneath it. She still has an IV drip of saline solution and periodic pain meds.
Sam: “Olivia, My Love, You’re surgery went well to repair your leg injury. Though, the doctor said that you’ll need to be off of your leg for six to eight or weeks.” Sam gazes at his wife earnestly and lovingly. She looks less pale. But still, she does not wake up. “Olivia My Love, Please wake up.” He pleads heartbreakingly.
Recovery Nurse: The middle aged Recovery Room nurse smiles kindly at Sam Wakeforest. “It’s the anesthesia that she had that is keeping her asleep, Mr. Wakeforest. She might be asleep for another fifteen minutes or so.” Then she checks on Olivia’s vital signs once more before going to tend to another patient.
Fingering Olivia’s wedding and engagement rings that are temporarily on his pinkie finger–since her hands might have swollen and necessitated the rings being cut off–Sam negotiates with his sleeping wife.
Sam: “I have your rings to return to you when you wake up. I never realized how small your fingers and hands were.” Sam takes his hand and places it against her hand, as if to measure it. Then he brings her hand to his lips and kisses it. “Olivia, I love you, My Darling. Please wake up.” He pleads.
Olivia: “Hmmm.” Olivia moans groggily as she begins to wake up.
Sam startles and motions to the Recovery nurse to come back.
Sam: “My wife seemed to stir a bit just now.” Sam intones seriously.
Recovery Nurse: Leaning forward toward Olivia, she asks as she gently jostles Olivia’s shoulder. “Mrs. Wakeforest? You’re in recovery after leg surgery to repair your injury. Please don’t try to move your leg, nor try to touch it.” She sees Olivia’s eyes begin to open. “Would you like some ice chips to moisten your lips and throat, Mrs. Wakeforest?”
Olivia: “Hmmm. Please.” Olivia licks her lips. She fully opens her eyes and then immediately shuts them from the glare of the overhead light. “Too bright.”
Sam: “We’ll turn it off, My Love.” He nods and the nurse turns off the overhead light for Olivia’s small cubicle surrounded by a fabric curtain for privacy in the open floor plan Recovery Room. Sam stands and leans over Olivia and he kisses her gently upon her lips. It is a lingering kiss of aching tenderness. Olivia’s kisses respond a little to him, but even that small token of her affection gladdens his heart. “Would that I could join you in your bed and cuddle you close, Olivia My Love. But I fear that your injured leg might get jostled and give you more pain.”
Olivia: “Affectionate, aren’t you?” Olivia smiles faintly, with her eye lids drooping tiredly–but which has the effect to Sam of her looking seductive, despite the IV sticking in her left arm and a bandage on her left leg [(5) right]. For the mostly taciturn Sam Wakeforest to become her ardently loving and caringly attentive husband is a stretch even greater than Olivia’s transformation from shy wall flower to confident natural beauty with his love. Yet it is a welcome transformation for each of them.
Sam: Grinning broadly, Sam whispers huskily. “Always where you are concerned, Olivia My Love.” Then Sam slips Olivia’s wedding and engagement rings back onto her left finger. “There, that’s where they belong.” And Sam kisses Olivia again.
In another thirty minutes, Olivia Delaney Wakeforest is transferred to a private room in the post surgical floor in the new annex at Wakeforest County Hospital. It is austere with no luxury amenities–but it is quite comfortable with a full bathroom, a couch and chair for visitors, and Olivia not having to share the room with another patient–such that her family may stay with her during the day and overnight and not disturb another patient. She is in quite a bit of pain from the surgery now that the anesthesia’s numbing effects have worn off.
And owing to Olivia’s post-surgical condition, only her brother Roger and his wife Tessa are allowed to see her in addition to her husband Sam. But that was only briefly to see that she was settled since the hospital wants Olivia to rest. So Kevin and William sent their regards–and some supplies that Kevin had brought with them such as Olivia’s purse from the cabin and a change of clothes and underwear for each of them stuffed into Sam’s duffel that Kevin had found quickly. Being a husband, himself, Kevin understands that wives need their purses and such.
And Olivia’s surgeon stops by to check on her two hours later–after Olivia has had a light lunch of chicken soup and saltine crackers. Sam wasn’t going to eat anything, but Tessa reminded him before she and her family left for home that Sam needs to keep up his strength to be of aid to his wife Olivia.
But this time Sam sees the doctor, the surgeon’s face is somber and he has a muted demeanor. And Sam realizes that Dr. Carter must have been told about his brother’s accident and death on the mountain. And Sam as the eldest of three brothers–with a sister as well–feels very sympathetic toward the man. The loss of one of Sam’s own siblings–let alone his beloved wife Olivia–is incomprehensible to him.
Dr. Matt Carter: Picking up the clip board containing Olivia Wakeforest’s vital signs recorded on it at the end of her bed, he says professionally. “Good afternoon, Mrs. Wakeforest. I am Dr. Matt Carter. I performed your surgery earlier today.”
Olivia: “Oh, hello Dr. Carter.” Olivia smiles weakly, but she is in a lot of pain. “Thank you.”
Sam: “Thank you again, Dr. Carter.” Sam nods respectfully.
Dr. Matt Carter: “You’re welcome. I had to suture together some muscle, a vein, and a tendon. So you have had quite an extensive surgery, Mrs. Wakeforest. And your recovery will take about six to eight weeks. I will be returning home before then. And your regular hospital surgeon will do your followup surgical visits and your stitches removal in ten days.” Olivia has a row of ten small stitches on her four inch wound.
Olivia: Sensing the doctor’s unease, she asks. “ Am I alright? Will I be able to walk again?” She grimaces in pain.
Dr. Matt Carter: “Yes, you are doing fine. We’ll keep you in the hospital for a few days and then release you to your husband and family for the remainder of your convalescent care. You’ll be on bed rest for the first few weeks. Then in about a month, I suggest that you begin physical therapy while trying to get around on crutches in a limited way.”
Sam: “We will see to my wife’s needs.” Sam straightens up.
Dr. Matt Carter: “Of course.” The doctor also straightens up. “Mrs. Wakeforest, I will ask the nurse to give you some more medicine to help ease your pain now that the anesthesia effects have worn off. The best of luck to you.” Olivia nods gratefully. “Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a personal family matter to attend to.”
Sam: “Yes, Olivia My Love.” Sam sighs relievedly with a lazy smile [(6) right] . “I was so worried.” Sam takes her hand in his and brings it to his lips for a lingering kiss.
Olivia: “But why was the doctor so serious?”
Sam: Treading delicately, Sam explains. “Olivia, Though we survived the avalanche on the mountain, Dr. Carter’s brother did not. His brother was the man on the snow vehicle.”
Olivia: “Oh! How awful for him!” Olivia tears up and begins to cry. She is crying for herself as much as for the dead man and his family. Olivia has experienced both joy and sorrow on the mountain–the latter holding her emotions in sway at the moment. “I … I don’t want to go back there.”
Sam: “There?” Sam asks quizzically.
Olivia: “To the cabin on The Mountain. It scares me.” Olivia recoils a bit–not from Sam, per se, but from his mountain.
Realizing that Olivia is upset due to her injury and the man’s death, Sam nods patiently.
Sam: “Of course, Olivia. Right now, you’re naturally upset. But in time …”
Olivia: “No! I don’t want to go there ever again! Please don’t make me, Sam!” Olivia is becoming quite agitated and her breathing quickens, but is very shallow. She is having a panic attack and tears fall down her cheeks in streaks.
Sam instantly goes into comforting mode as he stands up and leans over Olivia’s hospital bed and gently embraces her again.
Sam: “Shhh! Shhh! Don’t worry about it. You don’t have to go there. Just get well, Olivia My Love. And we’ll all be here to help you along the way–especially me.” Sam continues to tenderly and chastely kiss and embrace his wife until she calms down and relaxes.
Olivia is so very fragile right now. And Sam wishes that he could be more of a comfort to her. And he realizes that he will have to be very patient and understanding with her as she convalesces. Though when they wed a few days ago, Sam and Olivia didn’t realize that their vows to love each other in sickness and in health would have such an immediate test of their fidelity. But Sam loves his wife Olivia more with every pulse beat of his heart. And her needing him in a care giving way due to her injury is something that he will gladly and lovingly attend to. His husbandly role as her lover will have to be set aside for now–until she is well again.
And Olivia will need even more nurturing and understanding in the coming days and weeks, because while Olivia had been in surgery today, her beloved grandmotherly figure Old Nellie passed away while being tended to at the hospital on another floor. Roger and Tessa Delaney had been at Nellie Newton’s side as she passed–them having been called away from their vigil for Olivia’s surgery with Sam. And Sam doesn’t know how to break the sorrowful news of Nellie’s death to Olivia–nor how she will cope with it, given her own serious health issues. But Sam vows to do everything in his power to be of comfort to his beloved wife, Olivia.
To be continued with Chapter 20
References for Ch. 19 by Gratiana Lovelace, January 23, 2016 (Post #864)
1) The “Love in the Great Pine Woods” story cover is a composite of two images manipped by Grati:
a) the Richard Armitage portrait is from the 2011 Project Magazine photo shoot and article interview, that was found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/Richard/Promos/ProjectMagJuly2011/album/slides/ProjectMag-05.html;
b) the snowy Pine forest vertical image was found on Pinterest at https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/62/fa/ff/62faff1253d55f571eb3659cc7661e73.jpg
2) Sam Wakeforest image is Richard Armitage in 2011 Project Magazine-BlkJkt664917000Oct0111RARU-pix-sized-brt
3) For information about blood and blood typing, please visit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blood_type
4) For information about the landmark 1954 Supreme Court Case Brown vs Board of Education, please visit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brown_v._Board_of_Education
5) Olivia Delaney Wakeforest smiling wanly is Emily Deschanel found at http://images4.fanpop.com/image/photos/16400000/Emily-Deschanel-bones-16441324-500-404.jpg
6) Sam Wakeforest is Richard Armitage smiling, is likely a 2014 The Crucible Stage Door appearance via a May2515chiara tweet
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