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  #1  
Old 01-10-2019, 08:10 PM
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Scene 1: Gathering

Scene 1 synopsis
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The Smith family gathers for the Thanksgiving holiday at the old family home in suburban Chicago. They all know that it's going to be Bernice's last one and she has high hopes (if not demands) that the family confront their issues and resolve them so that they can come together as a "real family". The purpose of this scene is to draw a baseline for how the family interacts with each other before any of that work is done, to define their issues, and showcase the dysfunctional nature of their relationships.

Location aspects:
  • Room for everyone!
  • Reminders of the old days, pictures, and memorabilia

Scene aspects:
  • Holiday trappings
  • Snowy outside

NPCs present:
  • Bernice Smith
  • Larissa "Lara" Black, RN
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Last edited by girlplay; 01-10-2019 at 08:11 PM.
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Old 01-12-2019, 02:24 PM
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The HomesteadBeatrice walks into the front door of the Manor Smith without ceremony or advance warning. Her arms are full of canvas bags provided by myriad promotions and organic groceries. They bear scads of tofu and tempeh and beans pressed into various meatlike forms. Seed-infused whole grain baguettes and the curliest most indigestible leafy greens hang out the bag-top as they rest upon few tasteful foreign fruits.

Hidden beneath the lychees and budda's hands are some guilty pleasures: pure Hershey's milk chocolate bars, a store-bought pecan pie (with more high fructose corn syrup per square inch than bears thinking about) and a vat of Cool Whip (the petro-chemicalliest of all dairy-like products!).

"Hello? Happy Thanksgiving!" She bellows as she drops bags and over-clothes and shoes on the ground of the entryway willy-nilly. "Is anybody... Oh, Lara, hello!" she greets Mom's nurse, who comes around the corner. "Happy Thanksgiving!" she shouts again. Dropping a few more things to the ground, Bea goes over to Lara and gives her an awkward hug. Speaking in a low tone, she asks about her mother, "How IS she? Doing well? Spirits up? It's hard, it's hard. Thanks for your help. I should see her right away. Oh, but I should put away some of this food first. Oh, and I've GOT to try that wine! Just give me a few minutes, and then I'll go straight to her. First thing."

Bea bustles over to the kitchen, humming and muttering in a very public display of business. She takes a few of her canvas bags, but leaves a substantial mess in the entryway. Moving around the kitchen, opening the refrigerator, slamming cabinet doors, and popping corks, she dawdles so long that other relatives arrive before she has a chance to say hello to her mother.
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Old 01-12-2019, 05:46 PM
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At Birdy's
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~Rowan's apartment, immediately after the will reading~

As soon as Rowan closed the door to her apartment her knees buckled and she slid down the front door, drained. Her shoulders shook and she buried her face in her palms and sobbed quietly. Oh, she knew well enough a life like Birdy's deserved to be celebrated, rather than lamented. After all death comes for all and it's not so much death itself that we fear, but the parting. Simply thinking of not being able to go to Nana whenever she wanted. To hear her voice. To ask for advice. To see her smile. To be called 'peanut' by her Nana. It was a sadness that would never really go away. It might sting less and less with time, but it would always be there.

Rowan didn't allow herself too much time to wallow in self-pity however. She wanted to see Birdy right away and she needed to prepare for the trip. She took a quick shower to scrub off the grime of travel, blew her hair dry and put her usual riding gear on. Comfortable, yet sturdy, blue jeans, one of her UTA t-shirts and a deep blue jumper on top. Her leather jacket, riding boots and gloves completed the ensemble. She packed a backpack and the bike's saddlebags with enough clothes for the holidays and was ready to ride. Grabbing her helmet on the way out the door Rowan reset the alarm and exited the apartment, locking the door behind her.

She slung the saddlebags over her right shoulder and backpack in hand entered the elevator to the underground parking lot. Her Triumph Bonneville was waiting patiently for her as she approached the vintage chopper. Ro quickly strapped the saddlebags in their place, secured the backpack on her back, put on her helmet and mounted the bike. The chopper roared as she pressed the ignition switch. Bike and rider were on the road not long after.

~Arriving at Nana's~

Rowan deftly maneuvered the bike into the driveway and in front of the garage door. She fished out a remote and pressed a button on it. The door slowly began opening and Ro switched to neutral and dismounted to walk the bike inside the garage. Once there she shut the engine off and with a practiced movement of her heel flicked the bike stand free to lean the bike on it. With her chopper secure inside Rowan exited the garage, the door already closing behind her. She was taking her riding gloves and helmet off when the front door of the house opened and Nana's nurse, Lara, greeted her with a welcoming smile.

Rowan stopped short in her tracks and glanced up at Larissa, looking fresh and prim in her nurse's uniform. "Oh, hi, Lara..." Rowan fumbled her greeting, suddenly flustered. "I guess the bike is too loud, huh." Her eyes locked tentatively on Lara's for a moment before jumping back to the helmet in her hands. And then the garage. "I... ah... I left most of my stuff on the bike..." She explained as the nurse allowed her entry into the house. "I'll just go see Nana first and then unpack and get settled in. Um..." Rowan searched for something more to say. Anything to disperse this ridiculous nervousness she always felt around Birdy's nurse. "If you need help with anything call me." The flustered archaeologist fled before she could make a complete fool of herself. Why does she have to look so damn adorable in that uniform?!?

"Nana, I came to visit, I hope you don't mind." Rowan announced as she entered her grandmother's room. She gave the elderly woman a warm hug, lingering in Birdy's arms just a little bit longer before releasing her. "Now what is this I'm hearing about you cooking." With hands on her hips Rowan arranged her face in a mock scolding expression. "You know you're supposed to rest." The young woman shook her head an chuckled. "You shouldn't give Lara a hard time, Nana." Rowan scolded with a smile on her face. She spend almost half an hour with her grandmother without mentioning anything about the will reading, the inheritance or the conditions Birdy had set for receiving any portion of it. After all it was not why Ro'd rushed to her Nana's.

~Aunt B arrives~

Rowan was in the garage, servicing her bike when she heard a car pull into the driveway. Wiping her hands on a washcloth she made a beeline for the front door, closing the garage on her way out. She made it inside just in time to catch the tail end of Aunt B's grand entrance speech. She stood there, just inside the front door, shivering slightly in her thin sweatshirt and worn-thin jeans, covered with spots of grease here and there, marveling at the mess her aunt had left behind. Rowan looked at Lara apologetically and sighing, began picking up discarded items and cleaning up after her aunt. "Sorry." Lara's not a maid, Aunt B! Ro thought irritably. However much she liked her aunt, sometimes she just couldn't stand how the woman behaved. I mean... How much of a flower child could you really be!

"Hi, Aunt B!" Rowan greeted, depositing her loot of discarded shopping bags and clothing articles on counters and chairs in the kitchen. "You left some stuff in the hallway. Rowan might have left a speck of grease on Aunt B's clothes/shoes, whatever I picked them up for you." Rowan said as she went to the sink to wash off any lingering grease. She looked at her now clean hands and her eyes ignited with a bit of mischief at the thought of leaving greasy marks on her aunt's clothes or shoes or whatever. It's what you get, aunt B! Rowan looked at Lara, who was just now entering the kitchen and grinned at her with a face most likely also smudged with grease here and there smartly, drying her hands off with a kitchen towel.


OOCOkay... I'm stopiiiiiiiing! I still wanna compel people though
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Old 01-14-2019, 12:35 PM
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Randall is here - time for fixing!Randy's silver sedan pulls up to the curb outside the house just as Bea arrives. Of course. Of all the days for Bea to actually show up early. Randy parks the car in front of the old oak tree and reaches across the console to grab an overstuffed manila folder. With his other hand he gives the door handle a tug and moves to exit the vehicle only to slam his shoulder into the still-firmly-shut door. With a groan, he releases the handle and twists as he gives it a tug. He doesn’t feel the latch release and attempts it again. The door springs out nearly clipping a passing car.

Sheepishly, he exits the vehicle and flicks the door shut as his boots crunch the light powder of snow. A dull thud behind him draws his attention back to the car where the door is bouncing lightly against the doorframe. With a frustrated sigh, Randy grabs the door and wriggles it into a closed position. As he walks up the driveway, he shakes his head gently. It would be nice to replace or fix the dang thing, but money is too tight for either. Besides it still runs fine, just some tricky convenience issues.

Randy does not seem to be dressed for the chill day except for his ankle-high boots that crunch-crunch all the way up the driveway. His worn and faded blue jeans seem unlikely to defend against the cold, although there are no visible holes in them. The blue and red checkered flannel shirt he wears is certainly warm … for a spring day. He wears no jacket, no hat, and no gloves. Yet, he seems comfortable in the frigid air. If he notices the chill it is certainly not apparent.

Randy enters the front door to find Rowan there picking up items. "Hey Rowan! Where is mom?!" he wiggles the manila folder at her as if it should mean something and, without waiting for an answer, deftly maneuvers the remaining minefield left by his sister – a feat that could only have come with years of practice – and heads straight toward the kitchen where he can hear voices. He finds Bea putzing about the kitchen and immediately glances into the adjoining rooms. "Hey Bea, where is mom?" Before she can reply he hollers, "MO-OM! Where ARE you?!" before quickly hustling toward her voice, brandishing the folder as he goes.

With a quick peck on the cheek, Randy quickly takes up a position beside his mother on her favorite couch and pulls the coffee table a bit closer. With an exaggerated flourish, he opens the folder and spreads the papers out on the table. "Ma, I put together a bunch of appointments with all the top specialists. We are flying to Phoenix on Sunday to see Dr. Rosen," he points to one of the pieces of paper, "he is probably our best bet, but we will see what he says. Then I have us on a flight to Atlanta for an appointment with Dr. Fernandez on Tuesday … well the appointment is Tuesday, the flight is Monday … anyway, I also have a flight to Houston to meet with Dr. Erikson on Friday. It’s a bit of a delay between, but I figure the warm weather can’t hurt right?"

Randy stops and glances at his mom expectantly. The hero has returned. There is still time to kill this cancer thing and he has brought the arsenal!


OOCRandy came prepared … two weeks worth of phone calls and favors … Mom is on a schedule …

 
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Last edited by Roekahs; 01-14-2019 at 12:40 PM.
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Old 01-16-2019, 08:53 PM
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Bernice to Randall
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Bernice regarded her son Randall with a kind smile and reached for one of his rough hands, cupping it in her own. "Thank you, my son. I really appreciate how much you care for me. And I can see how much you want to help," she smiled again and lifted her gaze to look him directly in the eyes. "I've come to peace with it. I'm okay. Maybe if I hadn't been so stubborn about going to the doctor, we would have caught it before it was too late. And then what you've done here would be great." She glanced towards the array of papers. "But I've lived a good life. And I have wonderful children. It just makes me sad that I won't be able to be here for you'all." She sat up a little straighter and shook off the downward-trending mood. "Let's not dwell on such things and enjoy the time we have left. Okay, son?"

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Old 01-16-2019, 11:37 PM
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Billy White

Billy emerged from the kitchen area, shirtless except for his coveralls, and wiping his hands of on the same, dirty coveralls. He carried a tool box, and had one or two more tools sticking from various pockets as he spoke to Bernice in the room beyond the hallway. "Bernie, I got that drain taken care of," he called as he approached. "I'll get that mess in there cleaned up in -"

He started as Bea came down the hallway like a whirlwind, leaving bags and chaos in her wake, and dodged to the side to let the woman sweep by. "Whoa!" he exclaimed in surprise as he pressed against the hallway wall. "Oh...hey Bea. Time for folks to start showin' up, huh?" It was at that point he registered the cacophony of noise and greetings from the other room, and self-consciously ran filthy fingers through his messy crop of hair. "Uh...guess I best go make myself presentable..."

Heading toward the staircase for the guest room that had been prepared for his stay, he tried to avoid family members until he'd had a chance to look a little less like...well, like his side of the family. He'd finally gotten comfortable in the old house, more or less, during his time there, thanks in no small part to Bernie's open acceptance. She'd been pleasant enough, even downright nice to him, but she'd seemed a bit distant as far as opening up or talking about anything meaningful. Billy had no problem with that, since he had no idea what to say to a dying relative he only faintly knew or remembered. He wasn't good with words, at least not that kind of talk, and was glad to just make himself useful fixing up the place. Repairs and upkeep had become his refuge; painting, repairing, loosening things that were stuck and tightening things that wobbled. It gave him something to do other than think about things, and he was glad of it.

Heading up to the guest room, he tossed through his clothing looking for something a little more suitable. He had a shirt and jeans he'd worn the few occasions he'd made it to church, in the past, but nothing particularly nice. It just wasn't part of his world, but a side of him wished he had at least one fancy shirt to wear, and maybe some pants that weren't denim blue. Oh well, at least it's clean, he figured, then gave the shirt an experimental sniff. Well...clean enough.

He ran a comb through his hair, and washed up a bit to scour most of the dirt and grease from his fingers. His nails were still dirty, but he figured he could just keep his hands in his pocket. Nothing wrong with dirty nails anyway, right? It meant a man worked for a living.

'Cept ya don't, do ya? he sighed, examining himself in the mirror. The man staring back didn't look like a member of the family gathering downstairs. Except maybe Randy, anyway. Snorting and giving a dismissive wave of his hand, he turned from the mirror, stuck his cap on his head, and headed downstairs.
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Old 01-17-2019, 12:21 PM
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J.A.
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"I want you all to come together and not just pretend to be nice to each other." Mom's words had lingered in J.A.'s mind since the meeting two weeks ago. If nothing else, he was a man with a strong sense of duty, and he was always inclined to do what his mother asked if it were in his power. Add his desire for a rapprochement with Rowan, and as the days passed he found himself looking forward more and more to Thanksgiving at the old place. "I want you all to be a family again," she had said. James understood that well - he thought any empty nester would. He missed Rowan and her friends being loud at all hours of the night and devouring the contents of the refrigerator like locusts. He missed helping with homework, hands sticky with popsicle residue. He wanted someone to fling open the door of his apartment and shout, "Dad!"

As he pulled into the familiar circle drive and parked, he saw Rowan's bike parked near the garage. The sight of it made him grin. She loved that old Triumph, and he remembered her pride when she bought it without a dime of help from anyone. The car festooned with radical-chic stickers could only be Bea's, the truck probably Billy's...and someone's silver car that had seen better days. Shutting off his own car, he gathered his travel bag and phone and walked up to the house. Taking a breath, James grabbed the handle, pressed the button, and opened the door. Entering the foyer, he saw...not much. "What did you expect, boyo? The welcome wagon?" He chuckled and walked in. Seeing nobody, he quickly darted upstairs to his old room to drop off his bag and then went to see Mom.

He found her in the sunroom, a folder next to her. "Mom," he said warmly, then closed his mouth as he choked up a little. "I missed you, lady." Then he gave her a hug (so frail) and kissed her cheek. "You look great," he lied. "Listen, Ma...Bea is planning to inflict a vegan catastrophe of epic proportions on us if we're not careful. You say the word, and I'll fill the house with bacon, preservatives, and coffee grown only in the most oppressive regimes on Earth." James grinned and sat down beside her, taking her thin hand in both of his. "I'm glad we're here. Happy Thanksgiving, Ma."
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Old 01-18-2019, 06:38 PM
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From the kitchen, shouting across the house, Putting some flavor on my FATE point pickup, treating the help very unhelpfully in full view of the familyBea bellows in a very unladylike way, "You can put that coat just anywhere, Lara, thanks, you're the best! Oh, and there is some Croatian cheese in the blue bag that needs to be kept at EXACTLY 51 degrees, so don't touch it too much. I hope mom's fridge WAH!" she shouts, somehow even louder, as Billy pops up near the sink and greets her sheepishly.

She puts a hand on her chest and looks desperate for the moment it takes her to realize that this man is a cousin. "Oh, Billy! Gracious, I thought you were a stranger. Yes. Well, yes! Time for the fun to begin. I'm already working my fingers to the bone, getting things just right," she adds as Lara comes in with her bags, and Rowan follows, smudgier than Billy, who points soon scoots off after reporting to Bernice.

"Ro! Happy Thanksgiving. Oh, and mom, there you are!" Bea says, seeing her mother seated in the nearby sunroom, "You need the first hug!" she adds, then begins putting away the groceries. "Rowan, have you been in the garage all day? You look like it. Thanks for helping mom and Lara." Bea winks as she uncorks a bottle of wine and very ineffectively begins to stash away her foodstuffs. By the time she's finished most of her glass and piled the new foods haphazardly in the cabinets, Randy and J.A. have also arrived and sat down to consult with her mother.

There is a moment where Bea stands there, alone, watching the scene in the next room. She tugs her shawl around her shoulders tightly, crosses her arms, and swirls the dregs of her drink in her dangling hand. Her eyes narrow as she watches the machinations of her brothers unfold. Surely they're plying their mother with pledges of devotion, promises of salvation, and stories meant to debase the merits of the other siblings. Beatrice's foot taps and her breathing pauses. For a moment she looks to anyone watching like a calculating automaton.

The moment passes. Her squint goes away, replaced by an open smile. Bea sets her glass down with an over-loud clack, and she floats over to the gathered group. She opens her arms wide and gives her mother the hug promised many minutes ago. "Mom! Happy Thanksgiving!" she says with gusto. "And Randy, c'mere," she next reaches over to her youngest brother for an embrace, seeking to visibly blot out the fact that he was last-in-mind days before. "And J.A." she finally hugs him.

"You look great, mom. Everybody does! The family is all here, never looking better. Well, Arabella should be here soon, at least, I suppose. Tom is probably held up persecuting someone," she suggests, not noticing her Freudian slip.

 
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Old 01-19-2019, 09:36 AM
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Mom's words resound in Randy's head. Not unexpected. Disappointing, but not unexpected. Randy's eyes remain fixed on the folder for several seconds as he gains his composure. When he turns to his Mom, a smile is painted across his face. He hopes it doesn't look too fake. "Sure Mom. We will enjoy the time we have left." He stands and leans in to give her another peck on the cheek, "I will just leave this here in case you decide you want to give it another shot."

Before Randy can decide where to head next, James wanders into the room and the conversation changes in an instant. Randy glances at Bea as James describes the inevitable meal that is about to be unleashed upon them. Briefly, he catches a strange look in Bea's eyes, but it passes and Randy dismisses it.

Then Bea herself sweeps into the room and turns everything on its head as she has done her whole life. Randy can't fault her. He wishes he had a bit more of the outgoing personality that Bea was blessed with. He greets her overzealous hug with a firm squeeze and a "Hey Bea. Good to see you!" As soon as he is released, Randy works his way around his sister and lays his hand on James' shoulder, "You too James. Always good to see you!"

Quickly excusing himself, Randy heads back the way he came. He stops momentarily to give Rowan a gentle hug. It always felt odd to consider her as his niece when their ages were more akin to cousins. He had always insisted that she just call him Randy, but he had never pressed her into doing so. Whatever she was most comfortable with at any given time had worked fine - and it had changed throughout the years for certain.

Breaking free from Rowan, Randy claps Billy on the shoulder, "Billy! Good to see you! Care to help me grab some things from the car?" Randy doesn't really need help - there aren't that many things to grab - but Billy looks like a cat amongst dogs and Randy guesses he would relish the idea of escaping even if it is only for a few minutes.
 
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Old 01-19-2019, 03:13 PM
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Tom and Arabella arrive, dropped off by a family friend. Laden with shopping, because frankly neither of them trusted Beatrice in the kitchen. Since they had stuff that needed to be refrigerated, they start to put stuff away. In contrast to Beatrice, Tom tells Lara cheerily. "Lara, don't be silly. Arabella and I are perfectly capable of putting the stuff away ourselves. You are a nurse not a housekeeper.
We thoroughly appreciate the job you're doing for Bernice. Just you put your feet up, and we'll get this all sorted."

The husband and wife team work with brutal efficiency. The fridge freezer is organised, and pride of place goes to a large and succulent looking turkey. A freshly baked apple and blackcurrant pie, a favourite of Bernice, is also placed. Some stuff that had expired, gets tossed.
After everything is done, Tom caught a look in his wife's eye. He embraces her and whispered. "It's going to be okay."
They walk arm in arm to Bernice. "Hello everyone."
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Old 01-19-2019, 03:55 PM
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A Crazy Bunch
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After Aunt B's flamboyant arrival, the family started filing into the house one right after the other. Cousin Billy also popped in from somewhere. Rowan still didn't know how to feel about the man. He was a virtual stranger to her and she still couldn't get over the fact that he didn't know at the time of the will reading if his own aunt was still alive or not. Though, if she had to be perfectly honest, with relatives who knows how much removed, and living ways away from each other, it was possible. So she had decided to give him the benefit of the doubt. And for the time the two had been both staying in Nana's house together, he'd proven to be quite the handy man. And certainly not some mooch come to leach off Birdy's good will and money.

The family was now actively piling up in the house, with most heading straight to Birdy, except of course for aunt B, who had to be the way she always was. A whirlwind of a creature who danced by the beat of her own drum. Rowan's hackles rose a bit when her aunt bellowed orders for Lara as if she was a housemaid. She made a move to interject, but stopped herself. Oh, she wanted to go there on her white horse and be a night in shining armor. But at the same time she knew how irritated she could get when people tried to defend her in situations she was perfectly capable of defend herself. Plus, she kinda wanted to see Lara put her aunt in her right place. Just because she was a nurse and a caregiver didn't mean she was a pushover.

Rowan did move closer to the nurse, however, and said awkwardly. "Ignore her, Lara. She's..." Whatever Ro was about to say was interrupted by her aunt passing them by and commenting on her niece's appearance. "Why, yes, I have, aunt B. I'll take it as a compliment. Since bikes need love too." Rowan deflected her aunt throwing some shade her way. When her father walked into the house, though, Ro visibly tensed and relaxed a bit only when he walked straight to Nana's sun room.

This was one of the reasons Rowan still clung to the tenuous connection she still had with her Dad. He was a family man. Which was also, ironically, why it still hurt so very much. But maybe Nana was right. Maybe it was time to put the hurt away and start the healing process. Her dad loved her, she knew that much. And she loved him. Now they needed to accept each other for what and who they were. Without judgement. And allow each other to do and own their mistakes should they make any.

Rowan surfaced from her thoughts and finding herself still next to Lara colored slightly. Her lip curled to the side in a crooked grin. "Aren't we a crazy bunch though." She said through a chuckle as she watched aunt Bella and uncle Tom arrive last and actively try to rescue the family from aunt B's vegan onslaught. She enjoyed watching the two of them operate like a well oiled machine. She often times wished the same thing for her. Rowan glanced surreptitiously at Lara, but quickly looked away and shook her head. Yeah, right. As if anyone would want me with my crazy travel schedule and even crazier research ideas. Rowan wilted a bit as she observed the family interact with one another. With Birdy as the center of their familial star system.


 
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Old 01-19-2019, 06:30 PM
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Billy White

Billy stood hovering near the outside of the gathering, hands stuffed into his pocket and pointedly observing the decor he'd seen for the past week as the family milled about, interacting. When Randy broke through the din, calling for his aid in carrying supplies, he confirmed his cousin's estimation of his mentality by almost literally jumping at the chance. "Oh! Hey, Randy...yeah, you bet!" Hustling toward the door to join Randy, he seemed to breathe for the first time since exiting the kitchen, particularly when Bea had made her 'stranger' comment. Probly didn't mean nothin' by it, he'd consoled himself, but was still slightly shaken. Breathing the free air again, a grin crossed his face and he followed Randy out to the car.

"Hey, man, good t'see ya again," he fairly gushed as he made his way out to the cars. He liked feeling useful, it gave him a sense of purpose. If a man wasn't useful, wasn't helping, he wasn't really a man, after all. He rubbed his hands, both a function of warmth in the cool November air...though he was used to far colder, hailing from the mountains...and as a nervous, anxious gesture. "How 'bout this, huh?" he said excitedly. "I ain't seen you since I cain't remember when! What you been doin', anyway? Sorry y'missed Dad's funeral...sad t'say I cain't even remember if you was invited." He looked genuinely remorseful, though everything had happened so fast, virtually nobody had shown up. At least, that was what he told himself.

He extended his hands, ready to be loaded up with cargo. "So, how's things been, anyway?"
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Old 01-21-2019, 01:42 PM
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"Tom's gonna Tom" James thought, echoing something one of his grad students said to him weeks before. Christ, the man was irritating - trying to take over, patronizing the nurse. Could there not be a happy medium between Bea's peremptory tone and Tom's oily condescension? As the nurse moved to an out of the way room, J.A. moved to join her. "Hi, you must be Lara. We haven't had a chance to meet...I'm James, Bea's son. I'm happy to meet you," he said, offering his hand. "I'm pretty embarrassed...none of us even knew Mom was ill, even though we keep in pretty good touch. I know you can't say anything about her health because of privacy laws, but can I ask if you've been...helping...her for long? Do you stay here at the house? How...has she been?"

This was so peculiar. He knew it would be, at least at first. Things would settle down some, and he imagined that he and Bea would quickly settle into being big sister / little brother. That was easy for both of them. And Rowan might be, just might be, thawing a bit. Best not to push that. He'd almost had a chance to talk to Randy, but the kid (Your brother, he reminded himself) had darted off with that cousin. They seemed to have more in common than he and his brother ever could.

 
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Old 01-22-2019, 09:25 AM
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Bernice warmly greeted each family member, giving each a hug and a kind word. Though, she did seem to wince a few times as she moved about. As if checking off a mental checklist of who had come through the door, the family matriarch eventually turned to ask Bea, "is Jamison coming today? Or did he have his own family function to attend?" She ended her tour of the arriving family next to Lara and whispered something to the nurse, who then checked her wrist watch and whispered something back.

Lara, for her part, greeted the family members with a smile and appreciation for those who gave her thanks for her contribution to Bernice's care. When J.A. called her away to talk, she touched Rowan briefly on the arm and told her, "I'll be back shortly." Certainly, she didn't mind having a break from Aunt Bea.

She accompanied J.A. into the next room where it was a bit quieter and more conducive to talking. She shook the hand offered her and replied, "she's good. She's struggling a bit today with pain." She glanced down at her watch again, apparently timing the next dosage of pain medication. "Thank you for being concerned about her privacy. It can be very important to some people, including your mother. One of the early conversations I had with her was about what she was okay with her family knowing and what she wanted to keep to herself. Of course, there are certain things that I encourage her to share with those close to her but in the end it is her decision. Like, her end of life wishes, such as whether she's okay with having a feeding tube or oxygen, and so on. I'm sure you know that your mother likes to do things her own way." She chuckled softly and briefly.

"I've been here just over 3 weeks," she reported. "Not long after your mother was diagnosed. Her oncologist went over the treatment options and she opted for what we call comfort care. Basically, she wants the remaining time with us to be as good as it can be without invasive countermeasures."
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Last edited by girlplay; 01-22-2019 at 09:27 AM.
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Old 01-22-2019, 07:19 PM
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Polite and lukewarm greetings are exchanged. When Bernice asks the question of Beatrice, Tom thinks. I hope the poor bastard decided to make a run for it. South of the border, down Mexico way. Inadvertently smiles as he thinks of the song. Looking around the room he sees Rowan. Whispers into his wife's ear. She nods and then Tom walks over to Rowan. "Hey Kiddo. You look like you could use a drink. Why not come to the kitchen and I'll fix you a coffee?"
Assuming she says yes, as they wait for the kettle to boil. "So how are you doing? It's probably hitting you the hardest of the lot." When she had first came out, Tom instantly accepted her sexuality. That's the thing about him. Tom could be surprisingly liberal given the time he came from, and the profession he had been in.
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