By E Walk
(Copyrighted by the Author)
Edited by Radio Rancher
Chapter 23 - It Must Be Contagious
As the service was ending, Darrin and I started toward the exit. Bill and Father Roberts were standing at the back of the sanctuary greeting the people as they left. Darrin looked at Bill, "Nice message, Father Archer."
Father Roberts motioned for us to come talk to him. "Darrin, would you be willing to come to the next service and read your Prayer Request Card again. You can't even imagine how many members have commented on the effect your prayer had on them."
Darrin looked at me, "Son, it is your decision."
Darrin hugged Father Roberts, "I'll do my best, Father Roberts."
Father Roberts hugged Darrin, "Good, then I'll take you and your family to lunch at Wheatfield's. That way, we can eat whatever we want."
As Darrin and I were riding back to the house, Darrin looked at me. "Do I need to say anything different at the second service?"
"Son, just be yourself. What you read and said touched a lot of people, including me and the two Fathers. Just be yourself and everything will be okay. Now let's go make sure your brothers are up."
When we walked into the house, the other three boys and Mrs. Archer were eating breakfast. Mrs. Archer looked up, "Good morning men; would you like me to fix you something?"
Darrin started to laugh, "Grandma, you mean man and boy don't you? I'm just going to have another sweet roll since Father Roberts is going to be taking us to the Wheatfield's Restaurant for lunch. He says we can have whatever we want. Dad, may I call Kent and ask him if he would like to go to church with us since his mother is working?"
"I don't see why not, Son."
Darrin went to the phone and dialed, "Hey Kent, this is Darrin. Do want to go to church at 11:00 with us? We'll pick you up if you want to go." ... Darrin made a yes signal with his fist. "That's great, Kent, we'll save you and Doctor Anderson a seat. See you at the church."
Darrin came back to the table. "Kent already has a ride. He going to meet us at the church."
Darrin looked at the other three guys and Mrs. Archer, "Why don't you go get dressed while Dad and I take care of the clean up. We can't be late or Daddy Bill will go to the bathroom in his pants."
I thought to myself, "Who knows what Darrin is going to say next? I
The other three boys started to giggle. Denny could hardly talk, "I .. hope .. he just .. pee's .. his pants. I sure .. don't want to have to clean .. anything else up."
That caused everyone else to laugh. I thought to myself, `Whatever it is, it must be contagious.'
When we got to the church, I stopped to talk to Bill and told him about him going to the bathroom in his pants. He started to laugh, "I probably won't be able to get through my message without laughing."
When we were ushered to our seats, Darrin sat at the end of the pew because he knew what was going to happen. He hadn't told the other boys anything about what had happened at the first service. David was seated next to me. He filled out a Prayer Request Card and put it in his pocket. The Madsens came in with Hank and Pete. They sat in the row behind us and Pete was talking to the twins.
I heard Danny say, "We'll ask our Dad after the service. I'm sure there won't be a problem. It sounds like fun."
Just before the service started, "Kent and Dr. Anderson came down the outside aisle and sat on the outside of our pew next to Mother A. and Dr. Jacobs. Kent leaned over and waved to the guys."
Bill did an even better job with the message the second time. Father Roberts went through the prayer request cards from both services and I noticed that he laid two more cards aside before he finished and said his prayer.
When he finished the prayer, he added, "There was a very personal prayer request at the first service, and I asked the young man who made the request to come forward and read it. It was so touching that I asked if he would be willing to return to share it at this service. He agreed to do so. Mr. Darrin Phillips, please come forward and share your Prayer Request."
Darrin had stopped to talk to Father Roberts as we entered the church. I hadn't heard what he was talking about so I just figured he was getting everything straight in his mind. Little did I know.
David looked at me and whispered, "Why didn't Father Roberts read my Prayer Request.?"
I shrugged me shoulders and I noticed Kent whispering to Roy.
Darrin stood on the stool that was there. He basically said the same thing that he had said at the first service until Father Roberts handed him two more Prayer Request Cards. Darrin looked at them and paused. He took a deep breath. There are two more Prayer Requests that I would like to read. The first comes from my brothers, David, Danny and Denny.
"We praise God that our brother Darrin has been returned to us in good health."
Darrin read the second card, "This is from my friend, Kent Dillon."
Please offer a prayer of thanks for allowing Darrin Phillips to be returned to us unharmed."
Darrin had tears in his eyes, "Will everyone please stand and hold the hand of the person next to them and behind them if you are at the end of the pew while I say a short prayer of thanks."
Everyone did as Darrin requested and his prayer was even better the second time. Bill came forward, "Darrin has requested that we sing "Angels We Have Heard On High" as the benediction, even though it is a tradition Christmas carol. It has a special significance to Darrin. Darrin, Father Roberts and I will sing the first verse and then he requests that you join him as Father Roberts and I recess to greet you. The hymn is found on page 126 of the hymnal."
The organist started and I think everyone was overwhelmed by the clarity of Darrin's voice. Father Roberts and Bill stopped singing and it was just Darrin singing the refrain.
In excelsis de-o
In excelsis de-o"
I was sure that the clarity and resonance of Darrin's voice had an effect on the entire congregation who had never heard him sing before. The two Fathers recessed as the congregation sang the second and third verses and Darrin sang the final verse by himself. I watched to see what would happen and he just climbed down from the stool and disappeared.
I began to get concerned as did Doctor Anderson. We went to look for him and he was coming out of the bathroom. He looked at us, "I really had to go to the bathroom bad. I forgot to go before we left home."
We walked back to where the other boys were standing. Danny and Denny attacked me. I was having a difficult time trying to keep track of who was saying what. "Dad, the Madsens asked us to go to lunch with Peter and them. They are going to take Hank to get him a bicycle after lunch. Please, may we go?"
Bill had heard what they asked and answered, "You may go, if you remember to not go to the bathroom in your pants."
The twins went to Bill, "Daddy Bill, that wasn't nice."
Bill reminded them, "That was payback for what you said about me earlier. Here's $20.00. Make sure you behave for the Madsens.
David came up to me, "John's parents asked me to go to a ballgame with them. May I go, please?"
I pulled out my wallet and handed him $20.00. "You'd better not cause them any problems."
David's face let me know that he was embarrassed by my last comment. He came over to me and whispered, "Dad, you just implied to John's parents that I could be a problem. That hurts."
I hugged David, "Son, I never meant to convey that thought. I was just trying to be funny."
David had tears in his eyes, "Dad, I know that, but someone who doesn't know us very well might get the wrong idea,"
David left with John and his parents and Bill turned to me and whispered, "Les, we're batting .000 per cent today. We need to rethink what's happening. Let's go check on Darrin and the Mother."
Doctor Jacobs announced, "I was able to obtain tickets for the matinee of Madame Butterfly. We'll see you later this afternoon."
Darrin yelled after them, "Don't get wrecked on the USS Pinafore or whatever. We'll expect a full written report when you get home tonight, Grandma."
Father Roberts looked around, "So, that leaves me and Tom to take you to lunch. Will you be joining us, Doctor Anderson and Kent?"
Darrin and Kent were looking at Roy, "I guess we could, if it wouldn't be too much of an imposition. That way I can make sure that Mr. Darrin with the red butt doesn't eat too much."
Darrin reacted immediately. "Wait a minute. I object to everyone referring to my posterior as my butt. Come on, let's get moving, I'm starved. Kent, you and the Doctor can ride with us. I'm sure that Father Roberts and Uncle Tom will probably be exhausted after lunch and need to go home and rest."
We arrived at the restaurant and at just the right time. Most of the earlier crowd was leaving so were seated immediately.
The young woman who was waiting on us handed out the menus and the sheet with the specials. "What can I bring you to drink?"
She took our drink orders and then I watched to see what Darrin would order. He looked at the young woman. I'd like a cup of the vegetable soup with a piece of sourdough bread and a piece of apple pie with ice cream. That's okay isn't Doctor Anderson?"
Roy looked at the young lady, "I think the young man also needs one of the mini hamburgers with a few French fries."
Kent looked at the young lady, "I'll have what Darrin's having."
The rest of us ordered our meals and the young woman brought seven small cups of warm stewed apples and raisins. I watched as the two eight/nine year olds devoured the apples and their soup.
When our main courses arrived, Doctor Anderson admonished Darrin, "Darrin, I suggest that you should only eat a few of the French fries, Why don't you give the rest to Kent, so we can get some fat on his body."
Kent reacted immediately, "Wait a minute Doc, why are you trying to make me get fat?"
Roy looked at Kent, "Son, I'm not trying to make you get fat. It just appears to me that you need to get some more meat on your skeleton. You look a little skinny to me."
Darrin started to laugh, "Kent, the Doctor just wants to get a look at your naked body. Believe me he won't do anything. He has seen me naked a bunch of times."
As we finished eating, Father Roberts looked at us, "Why don't you all go ahead and leave. I see some parishioners that I want to talk to while Tom pays the bill."
Both boys hugged Father Roberts and Tom and thanked them for lunch as did Bill, Roy and I.
When we got to the van, Roy suggested, "Why don't we go to my house and drop the boys off and then go to the church so we can get the other vehicles.
We went back to Roy's, Doctor Anderson's, house and he took us into the kitchen. He looked at us. "I'm afraid I'm not the best house keeper. The only rooms I have used since the accident are the kitchen, the guest bedroom and bathroom. I have been unable to go into the other parts of the house because they might remind me of my family."
Darrin took charge again, "Uncle Roy, I think you need to tell us what happened, if you can, so Kent can understand what's happening. My Dads and I know what happened, but I think it might be good if you told us in your own words what happened to your sons and wife, to make you crawl so deeply into a shell."
Darrin wasn't finished, "Why don't we go into the living room where we would be more comfortable?"
Roy looked a little ashamed, "Darrin, I haven't been in there since my wife and sons died. It is really dusty."
Darrin was not to be deterred, "Dad, take Doctor Anderson and Daddy Bill to get their cars while Ken and I clean the living room. Where are the cleaning supplies, Doc?"
Roy showed the guys where the supplies were. As we were leaving, Darrin yelled, "Take your time. You might want to stop by our house and leave a note, telling people where we will be, just in case they get home before we do."
As we were driving to the our house to do as we were told, Roy was confused, "Guys, why are two eight/nine year olds torturing me like this?"
Bill looked at Roy, "Roy, they just want you to get on with your life. You can't dwell in the past. If you loved your wife and sons so much, shouldn't you be sharing that love with other people now that they are in God's hands. Roy, I don't know what your religious beliefs are, but maybe you could come and talk to me or Father Archer and we may be able to help you understand that you can't live in the past. Darrin said it very well. You are a handsome man. There are many women out there who would eagerly attach themselves to you. Just make sure that you allow only the right person to do it."
After I left a note and put it on the bulletin board, we stopped by the church to get the other two cars. When we got to Doctor Anderson's house, we walked in and it smelled clean instead of musty. Darrin was running the vacuum cleaner and Kent was polishing the furniture. They had finished the living room and were working on the dining room.
When Darrin saw us, he immediately lit into Roy, "Doctor Anderson, you need to get some vacuum cleaner bags before we can do much more. I'm surprised that you could even breath in here. Now sit your butt down and explain why you pulled you head and limbs into a shell like a turtle."
Darrin and Kent plopped down on the sofa and Roy sat down between them. Roy explained about the boating accident. "Trevor would be ten if he were still alive and Trent would be about the same age as you guys."
Darrin giggled, "Doctor Anderson, there must have been a reason for Granddad to ask for your help. Don't you understand; Trevor and Trent are still looking after you. Don't you understand why you met Kent. Kent rhymes with Trent and that rhymes with forever."
Bill looked at Darrin, "What you said, doesn't make sense."
Darrin looked at Bill, "Dad, neither does sitting on your butt living in memories make sense. All I'm saying is that Doctor Anderson needs to get on with the rest of his life. He should keep his previous family in his heart but there's also room for another family. Now would someone take me home, please. I'm getting tired. I did have to wake you old men up so you would to get you to the church on time."
Bill offered, "Dar, I'll take you home and tie you to your bed for a while."
Darrin challenged, "On second thought I'll walk home. I'll be home in two days, Dad."
Bill and Darin left and I offered, "Roy, would you like me to take Kent home to save you a trip?"
Roy put his arm around Kent, "No, I think I'll take this snot nosed kid and his Mummy to dinner."
Kent immediately reacted. He pulled away from Roy, "Excuse me sir, but I'm not a goat and my nose isn't running. Furthermore, my mother is still alive and had on a purple skirt and a purple blouse when she went to work this morning. She wouldn't waste the toilet tissue to look like a mummy."
Roy could hardly contain himself, "Les, what I meant to say was, I will take this fine looking specimen of a man and his lovely Mother to dinner if they would we be willing to do so.
Kent leaned against Roy, "That's better, Mister."
I left the Anderson house thinking, 'Darrin has struck again.'
Author's Note: If you would like to read more of this story and other interesting stories, you might want to visitwww.storylover.us.
Editor's Notes: Well bless my soul, I do think that the possibility of Doctor Anderson and Kent's mother getting together is getting stronger and stronger. Stay tuned to this same place for further developments. I hope they will be showing up rather soon. As soon as I put this chapter in the mail, I am going to head for our polling place and do my civic duty. As citizens of this wonderful country, we owe it to ourselves to take an active part in the electoral process. I think I might have said that in the last chapter, but hey we learn from repetition that's repetition, yes I said repetition. I will try not to say repetition any more for a while, I'm afraid that too much repetition could be annoying, that's annoying. My mom used to call me a smarty-pants. She would never say I was a smart ass, even though I was.
Well it is time for me to go, so have a good time, and always be careful.
Darryl AKA The Radio Rancher