That's Okay

By E Walk

(Copyrighted by the Author)

Edited by Radio Rancher

Chapter 22 - Darrin Plays Cupid

Darrin looked at Mrs. Archer, "Grandma Archer, I didn't mean to upset you. I woke up and no one was here. I finally found Dad asleep in his office. I
almost felt as if I was back in the hospital except no one was talking to me. What are you fixing for dinner? Can I help you?"

Mom Archer hugged Darrin, "I fixed two large meat loaves for us and two small meat loaves thinking we could take one to Grandma Hattie and the other to Kent and his Mother, since Mrs. Dillon had to work today. I thought we could fix some au gratin potatoes and some fresh green beans since those things are all on you diet. I even fixed a frozen salad that you should be able to eat."

Darrin looked at her, "Grandma, I have a better idea. Why don't we have the Dillons and Grandma Hattie come here for dinner, so I can thank them for spending time with me and talking to me while I was asleep in the hospital?"

Darrin looked at Mrs. Archer and me and we both nodded yes.

Darrin didn't waste any time. He walked across the street and told Grandma Hattie that someone would come to get her at 5:00. When he returned, he called the Dillon residence, "Hey Kent, we want you and your mother to come over for dinner. We will be eating at 6:00. We'll see you after your mother gets home from work. Bye."

I looked at Darrin, "Darrin, don't you think it would have been better if you had asked Kent if he and his Mother would like to come for dinner?"

Darrin shook his head no, "Dad, Kent would have started to make excuses as to why they couldn't come if I had done that."

Darrin turned to his brothers, "Let's set the table for 14 just in case someone else pops in. We can always take the things away faster than we can set them up."

The guys had everything set, and dinner was smelling really good. Bill arrived at 5:15. Mr. Witmer and Dr. Anderson were with him. I
thought that was odd, but it turned out that they had all pulled up to the house at the same time.

Dr. Anderson started, "I came to check on the brat. Is there some place where I can check to make sure that his red marks are still there and check to see if he is still alive?"

Darrin looked at Doctor Anderson, "I'm sorry, the brat ain't here right now, but he will be, after you and Granddad stay for dinner. We knew you were coming so we set the table to make sure that there were enough places. Now go visit with my Dads while I go get Grandma Hattie. Kent and his Mother will be here shortly."

Bill looked at me and whispered, "What is Darrin plotting now?"

"How should I know. He's the only one of us who has seen an angel."

Darrin came in with Grandma Hattie and Doctor Jacobs. They were followed by Kent and his Mother. Darrin made the introductions, "Dads, make sure everyone has what they need to drink. Grandmother, we'll watch dinner."

We could hear the five guys in the kitchen laughing. Bill and I went to check on them and Darrin was pulling up his pants, "See I told you I wasn't lying. Hi Dads, why don't you take the meat loaves out of the oven so they can set up while we get everything else ready. You might have Grandmother Archer come to make sure we are doing everything right."

It was 6:00 o'clock when David announced, "Dinner is now being served in the dining room. The stewards are waiting to show you to your seats."

We walked into the dining room and Darrin was standing there. He helped Grandma Hattie to her seat. "Kent, you sit next to Grandma Hattie and make sure she behaves herself. Dr. Anderson, you sit next to Kent so you can keep an eye on him. Mrs. Dillon, you sit next to the Doctor and make sure he eats properly. Grandma Archer and Doctor Jacobs, you sit at the end of the table so you can cuddle and giggle. Granddad, you sit in the center seat on the other side so we can keep our eye on you and make sure you don't steal any of the table service. Dads, you sit at the head. Everyone please sit down so Daddy Bill can bless the food."

The food was served family style and I watched Darrin to make sure he didn't try to overdo it. He controlled the amount of food that he took. As we were eating, Darrin was rather leading the conversation. He started on Shay Dillon, "Mrs. Dillon, how's work going? Is it too hard to do after your boating accident?"

Shay smiled, "Darrin, it isn't that difficult. I just don't like the fact that I will be working on the weekends for the time being. I will miss being with Kent when he is home from school all day."

Darrin didn't skip a beat, "Don't worry Aunt Shay, we'll make sure he behaves himself while you're working."

He turned his attention to Doctor Anderson, "How did your round of golf go, Doctor Anderson?"

Doctor Anderson looked at Darrin, "I'm guessing even you could have beaten me. When I went over 100 shots, I stopped keeping score. The foursomes who were following us almost all played through. I had a great time even though it is the first time I played since the accident."

Darrin diverted everyone's attention, "Granddad, I want to thank you for making sure that I had the very best medical attention after my accident."

Mr. Witmer put his arm around Darrin, "Darrin, that's the least I could do. That's why I came here. While it's not good dinner conversation, Mrs. Witmer is being held on the charge of attempted homicide. The judge has mandated that she receive psychiatric help. They are sending her to a rehabilitation home for people who have problems with substance abuse and who need psychiatric counseling."

Darrin looked at Mr. Witmer, "This is all happening because of me, isn't it?"

Mr. Witmer shook his head, "Darrin, you had nothing to do with it. I should have seen it coming but I was too busy doing my own thing. Boys, none of this is your fault. Just keep being the loving young men that you are."

I looked around the table and the adults all had tears in their eyes. David decided to break the tension. Come on guys, we'll take care of the dishes while Dr. Anderson checks Darrin. Daddy Bill, you make sure everyone has what they need while Darrin takes Dr. Anderson and Dad to our bedroom."

Dr. Anderson picked up his bag and followed Darrin up the stairs. I watched as Roy made Darrin strip so that he was naked. The Doctor examined all parts of Darrin's body and couldn't find any marks. He took all of Darrin's vitals. Darrin cooperated the entire time. Doctor Anderson looked at Darrin, "I think that angel was right. It wasn't your time. You'll probably outlive all of us. I want you to stay home until Tuesday and I still want to see you next Friday. Is that understood, Mister?"

Darrin grabbed Dr. Anderson's face and held it even though Darrin was still naked, "I understand, Dr. Anderson." Darrin reached up and kissed Roy and that was almost more that Roy could handle.

"Dr. Roy, I want to thank you for everything. I would like permission to talk about something other than me, but let me put some clothes on first."

Darrin quickly got dressed, "Dr. Roy, I know what happened to your family. But living in a cocoon by yourself is not going to bring them back. You are still a very handsome man. I think you should find another family to share your love with. I think that is what your wife and sons would have wanted. Perhaps you could be Kent's new Daddy. He needs one badly."

Dr. Anderson put Darrin on his lap and was openly crying. "Darrin .."

"That's Okay, Dr. Roy, get the tears out of your system. Think to yourself. `It's time to move forward and make some people happy including yourself.'"

Darrin reached up and kissed Dr. Anderson again. He winked at me as he gave me a kiss and announced, "I need to go check on everybody else. You two can come down when you are presentable."

Roy looked at me. "Les, I think I have just been mesmerized by Darrin. I can not believe that an eight year old could be so mature. He must indeed be special. How did he know everything that had happened to my family?"

I shrugged my shoulders, "Maybe the angel told him."

When we got downstairs Mr. Witmer was playing Parcheesi with the other boys and everyone was sitting and watching while they visited.

Darrin looked at Dr. Anderson, "Doc, I don't suppose it would be okay for me to have some of the brownies that are sitting in the kitchen would it?"

Roy looked at him, "I suppose half of one won't hurt you as long as you have some ice cream and or milk with it."

Darrin didn't skip a beat. "I'll make sure I get the biggest half and you can have the other half. We wouldn't want you to get fat would we? Everyone please go to the table; the coffee and hot tea are ready."

I watched and everyone resumed their original seats as Darrin, Kent and David served everyonr their desserts and drinks. This time Darrin didn't try to guide the conversation. He just let everyone talk on their own. I was pleased that Mr. Witmer talked to all four of my/our sons. I had the strangest feeling that we might be seeing more of him than we had for some time.

As we finished, Darrin looked at the guys, "Come on guys, we need to clear the table and start the dishwasher. Dad, please help Grandma Hattie home to make sure she doesn't fall. Doctor Anderson, why don't you give Mrs. Dillon and Kent a ride home, since it's already dark? Grandmother Archer and Grandpa Jake, don't stay out too late. Granddad Witmer, please be careful driving home."

The guys hugged everyone as they left. Bill was in the kitchen helping the guys when I returned from taking Grandma Hattie home. David looked at Bill, "Dad Bill, do you want us to go to both services or what?"

Bill looked at me, "Guys, why don't you come to the second service, since most of your friends will be at that service. Your Dad can tell you what happened at the first service since he is expected to be there to keep me awake."

Danny spoke up, "We'll be at the second service and we better go somewhere good for lunch. We need to make sure that Darrin will be able to eat the food."

Darrin laughed, "Don't worry about me. I can always have bread and water."

Darrin started up the steps, "Come on guys, it's been a long day. Good night Dads."

Bill looked at me, "Well I guess we're back to normal, or as normal as it will ever be. Darrin, just amazed me with the way he manipulated everyone tonight. He's going to make a good politician. He can be so subtle sometimes, and at other times he is so direct that there is no question as to what he is thinking."

Bill hugged me, "Let's go check on the guys. I need to go to bed since I need to be at the church early tomorrow. Mother can lock up when she comes in."

We checked on the guys and the twins were already asleep. David and Darrin were talking about something when we knocked. We hugged them and kissed them and went to our room. I was just coming out of the shower when there was a knock on the door. I wrapped the towel around me and Darrin was standing there. It almost looked like he was crying.

"Dads, may I please talk to you."

I opened the door for Darrin to come in. He sat down on the bed beside Bill and I went to put on some clean shorts. When I sat down beside Darrin, he started, "Dads, David said that I was almost obnoxious tonight. He said that I backed people into a corner so they had to do what I said. Please, I don't want to be that way, and I don't want people to not like me because I'm so bossy."

Bill pulled Darrin down beside him. "Son, you did come on a little strong tonight, especially with Dr. Anderson and the Dillons. I think it was probably the only way that they might even consider getting together. Love can't be controlled. Love is a feeling that has to develop along with respect and trust. You can't force it. While I have a problem with what you did, I think it may have been what was needed in this case. You opened the door and now we need to step back and see what develops and not interfere. Dr. Anderson and Mrs. Dillon may not even like each other."

Bill continued, "We just need to be here to support Kent if and when he needs help. Darrin, I want to remind you of one important thing. You need to think of yourself and your family as well as others."

Darrin looked confused, "Dad, are you saying we should stop worrying about the homeless and the hungry?"

"Darrin, that's not what I said at all. What I said is that you also need to worry about yourself, family, friends and then others. You are a very lucky young man. God must have great plans for you or you could not have lived through the experience as you did. Now give us a kiss and get your red butt back to bed."

After Darrin kissed us and stood there with his hands on his hips, "Father Archer, I'm going to report you to Father Roberts for referring to my backside as a butt." Darrin stuck out his tongue and left.

Bill fell against me, "Les, I just can't win no matter what I do."

I held Bill, "Look, just go to sleep, you can get even after church tomorrow. Now go to sleep."

I was awakened by a knock on the door. I looked at the alarm clock and it said 6:00. I looked at the window and it was just getting light. I looked over and Bill was still asleep. I felt panicky. What was wrong? I climbed out of bed and went to the door and Darrin was standing there with two steaming cups of coffee.

Bill sat up, "Darrin what's wrong?"

Darrin looked confused, "Nothing's wrong. I heard your alarm go off and went to start the coffee. I was concerned as to why you hadn't come downstairs. It's a good thing I was awake or you would be late for church. Now get your butts out of bed. I'll go fix you something to hold you over until lunch."

Bill climbed out of bed, "Thanks for taking care of us, Darrin, but shouldn't you be sleeping?"

"Daddy Bill, I have done nothing but sleep for a week. I just couldn't sleep anymore. Now get a move on while fix you some juice and toast and sweet roll."

Darrin decided to go to the early service with me and let everyone else sleep. We went to our usual seats in the front and I watched as Darrin took out a Prayer Request form and started to write. He seemed to be writing for a long time but then he's only eight so it probably wouldn't be legible.

He handed it to the ushers when they collected the offering, after he put his $5.00 in. Bill gave the message which Darrin thought was very good because it was about caring. He looked up at me and nodded.

Father Roberts came forward to read the prayer requests from the congregation and those who could not be in attendance. He started to read the cards and he looked at one and put it aside without reading it to the congregation. He said a prayer for the people and as he concluded, he announced, "There was one prayer request that I could not read because it was too personal. I would like to ask that Darrin Phillips please come forward and read his prayer request."

Darrin looked up at me and I nodded yes. Darrin started to go forward and Bill got a chair so Darrin could talk into the microphone on the altar.

Darrin started to read

I would like to say a prayer of thanks for all of you who prayed for me this past week. I especially want to thank all of you who came and talked to me while I was in my coma. I knew you were there, but my brain was shut down and I couldn't respond. I want to thank my family and friends for being there for me. I want to thank the doctors and hospital staff who did everything they could to help me get better. I also want to thank Father Roberts and Father Archer for be being there to pray for not only me, but my family and friends as well. If I may, I would like to say a short prayer.

Our heavenly father, I would ask that you bless the members of the congregation and this community for their support and caring for the members and people who need our help. Please guide us so that we can be as caring as your son. In Jesus name. Amen

As Bill approached the altar, there were tears glistening in his eyes. Darrin came back and sat down beside me and whispered, "Daddy, why are you crying?"

Author's Note: If you would like to read more of this story and other interesting stories, you might want to visit

Editor's Notes: To answer your question, Darrin, I think your daddy is very proud of you and he really loves you. You have made him very happy and very emotional. Sometimes we adults just can't help but shed tears. Maybe our tear ducts leak a bit from being used for so long. I think I used half a box of tissues when I read this chapter. I think it is just about time for me to go read the next one. Thank you E Walk for sending me the next one so quickly. The rest of you might have to wait just a little longer.

I certainly hope that each and every one of you took the time and opportunity to go to the polls and vote on this very important election day.

I believe that as citizens of this wonderful country we live in, we have a responsibility to take part in the election process. I also believe that if we don't vote, we shouldn't mouth off about the politicians and the things they do. I have certain views about the various people who were running for office, but It is important for all of us to take responsibility. We need to show the people in power that we think elections are important. I have probably said quite enough, especially since by the time you read this, it will all be finished, and there will be nothing we can do till the next election.

Darryl AKA The Radio Rancher