Chapter 39

My mind switched over to the next focus in my day: Dawn. Day five of the agreement was pending. She arrived at the last minute, causing me just a bit of doubt. “I’m sorry I called last night to cancel.” She initiated before she even sat down. “I thought I would ‘show you’.”

“I’m sorry I stopped calling every hour. I thought I would ‘show you’. It’s a tie.”

“Listen.” She assumed a serious air. “While we were being honest with each other, I skipped a page.” I held my breath. “Don’t worry” she added, astute to my condition. “I told you about Dave…what a great guy he was to me…”

“Yes, you did. I know it was hard for you when he died.”

She raised a hand to call me off. “What I didn’t tell you is that he has a daughter. Her name is Evalyn…that’s Eve-ah-lin, she’s fussy about how you say it.” When I added nothing, she continued. “I called her last night, after I left the message on your phone cancelling today. I told her about what’s been going on for me, about coming here and meeting you, about you ditching me…”I raised my hand to object and she waved me off. “I told her about the agreement. She took your side; she reminded me you weren’t abandoning me. Anyway, I asked her the question you asked me…What do I want now? I told her the best idea I had come up with was to go back underground for a year, resurface and collect five more days of crisis service…”

“I never thought of that option.” My eyebrows sprang to my scalp. I was impressed with the ingenuity of the plan.

“Well, Evalynn was not impressed!”

“What did she think?”

“She thinks I should come in today, which I have. She thinks I should hear you out about other supports, which I will. She wants me to be serious about reaching out to someone who can help me in the long term, which I might. And she wants to come and visit me over Easter…” she trailed off.

I did not judge these suggestions, although I agreed with them, I only responded. “So here you are. That’s step one. I have the info here for you about the therapists, case managers, peer support groups…and I am happy to answer any of your questions about them. If one of them sounds like a fit, I am happy to make a few calls to get you set up. That’s step two and potentially step three. I think it would be great to reconnect with Evalynn…”I annunciated the name correctly. “What’s she like?”

“She’s a little younger than me. She works in a bank in Kempenfeldt. I have only seen her twice since Dave died. Once when we had to sign over his insurance money to me, which was tough but I had to accept it, and once for lunch on one of the anniversaries of his death. We always got along…about as much as I can get along with anyone. I admit I was a little jealous of her because Dave loved her dearly…I always thought he loved her more than me.”

“Well, whatever happened, she isn’t scared off.” We reviewed the lists and Dawn recognized the name of one of the counselors she had worked with in the past. I made a quick call and because she had been a prior client she had some priority on the wait list. But it would still be three weeks to the initial contact. Dawn wasn’t sure about the peer support group. She wanted to talk this over with the new counselor. I agreed to continue to see her, so she didn’t have to go underground for another year! But it would be on a less frequent basis. We agreed to getting together in a week.

“Isn’t that Good Friday?” She asked when she consulted the calendar embedded in her phone.

“It’s a long story. The employees at the hospital got to chose Good Friday or Easter Monday as their day off and they picked Monday.”

“Oh. At least the stores are open.”

“I think that was the deal-maker.” I added with a slightly cynical chuckle.

“By the way…I don’t know if you can do this but I think those scales you showed me are off. I might like to see them changed. I feel differently now.”

“Sure. I’ll take another run at them.” I wasn’t convinced we were out of the woods. Miraculous outcomes were a bit of an emotional hoax. I knew ghosts would haunt Dawn for a long, long time. But I also had faith in her ability to manage them. Apparently even if it meant going underground for a year, which she was obviously capable of. Some of the people we see as most vulnerable are really the toughest. Anyway, renewed and improved scales were actually in my own best interest.



My writing experience comprises, almost exclusively, academic papers and technical/ professional reports. However, I have lost faith in these methods as paths to real change. My doctorate is in Education, specifically transformative education and through my research and my work, I have come to the conclusion that people learn more through stories than journal articles. Therefore, instead of investing in the usual strategies for pedagogy, I am leaning toward fiction as a way to change minds about social issues and dilemmas. I believe stories can un-other social interpretations in a way I feel I have failed to in all my academic and professional writing. I hope to convey some alternate ideas about the work I have done for 35 years, as a mental health nurse, psychometrist, educator and administrator.

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