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 Look Back To Yesterday The Final Chapter Part Two

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Davetucson
Ingalls Friend for Life
Ingalls Friend for Life


Number of posts : 8817
Location : Helena, Alabama
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PostSubject: Look Back To Yesterday The Final Chapter Part Two   Sun Mar 18, 2012 8:36 pm

I ran home and got Mr. Ingalls. He brought Albert home and called Doc Baker who had just come from the mercantile. It scared me to death Willie!”

“I’m sure it did” I replied. “Did Doc Baker tell you?” I asked. “Oh yes Willie, he did. He told Albert too. We are both so happy for you and Rachel. How does it feel to be a father?” “It feels wonderful, hard to describe.” Michelle said that Doc Baker didn’t know what we named the baby. That was Doc Baker for you. He knew that I would want to tell Albert myself and didn’t want to spoil the occasion. I would have to remember to thank him.

“We named him Mark Albert Oleson, Michelle” still in a low voice as to not to wake up Albert. Albert’s eyes suddenly opened and he had the devilish smile on his face that I had seen so many times before. “Nice name Willie Boy” he said. “You don’t know how that makes me feel, please tell Rachel that I love you both for it. Congratulations Pa! I would get up and shake your hand, but I am not feeling too great right now. Hope you understand.”

That was vintage Albert, apologizing for being sick. “Reverend Alden will make the announcement tomorrow in Church Albert. I am glad you are pleased.” I replied.

I told them both that it had been a long day. I was exhausted. I knew they were. I said goodbye to Albert and Michelle and made my way down the stairs. Laura was standing at the bottom of the stairs. She thanked me for coming and said to give her best wishes to Rachel. I couldn’t help but think of how many times Laura and I got into it as kids. Now, here we were, both with kids and both running a business. We had grown up. After saying goodbye to Mr. Ingalls, Almanzo and Mr. Edwards, I went down to the carriage and proceeded home.

It was all I could do to hold my eyes open on the way back. I got to the mercantile and unhitched the carriage. I stopped into see Rachel and the baby, but by now, they were both asleep. I peeked into the room and for a quick look before leaving for the hotel. There they were, Mark Albert asleep in the cradle, and Rachel asleep in the bed.
I didn’t feel tired anymore. This was one of the few times that I was grateful that the mercantile was just a walk away. Rachel and Mark would be safe and taken care of while I worked. It was a good feeling.

The rain was coming down steadily as I awakened at 5am Sunday morning. I couldn’t get dressed fast enough to get across the street to see Rachel and Mark. Church was at 10am and I wanted to make sure I had plenty of time to spend with them. I suddenly remembered that I hadn’t called Andy with the news. I would do that this morning.
It was 6am and I crossed the street to the lit up house on the side of the mercantile. As I entered the living room, there was mother in the rocking chair with Mark. The smell of a cooking breakfast was in the air. Father was preparing it and I could hear him humming a tune in the kitchen. “Look at your son Willie” Mother said. “He is beautiful”. And beautiful he was. I asked Mother if he had slept all night and she was delighted to report that he had. Rachel had not yet awakened, so I went into the kitchen to see Father.

Father had never been one for showing a lot of emotion. I never doubted his love for me for one second, but he was usually fairly reserved about showing outward signs of affection. This morning was an exception. As soon as I made it into the kitchen, he threw his arms around me and said “Good morning son, are you hungry?” He was squeezing me so tight that I could hardly get the answer out. “Yes Father” I replied. “It’s a fine day Willie, a fine day!” he exclaimed. You would have thought that he was a new grandfather. I hadn’t seen him like this since Nellie’s kids were born.

I could hear someone coming down the stairs. I looked over and at the foot of steps stood Rachel. She was beautiful. “Good morning Mom” I said. “Good morning Dad” she replied. She looked at me with that beautiful smile and we both embraced. I was concerned about her being out of bed so soon, but she explained that she was fine and wanted to come down for breakfast. Just a little breakfast and she would go back to bed. “I wish I could go to church with you this morning” she said. It was then that Mother proclaimed; “Nonsense, you and I will stay home with the baby while Nels, Nancy and Willie go”. One of the few times I agreed with Mother.

It was then that Nancy appeared. Sometime during the night, she had figured out that she had a new nephew. Of course she would wear a new dress to church for the announcement of Mark’s birth. I wouldn’t have expected anything less! My dear sister Nancy didn’t miss an opportunity for a little attention.

As we were about to sit down for breakfast, there was a knock at the door. In walked Reverend Alden. “So nice of you to invite me to breakfast Mrs. Olson” he said. “And what a joyous occasion this is” he added. Mother arose from the chair with Mark in her arms. “Have you ever seen a more beautiful child Reverend?” said Mother. “That goes without saying” said the Reverend. I couldn’t help but wonder how many times he had been asked that very same question. He had christened many babies over the years in Walnut Grove.

He looked at Rachel and me and congratulated us. Father walked out of the kitchen. “Good morning Grandpa and congratulations!” the Reverend exclaimed. Father shook the Reverend’s hand and handed him a cup of coffee. Reverend Alden said that it would be a joyous occasion at church this morning to announce the birth. “Breakfast is served” said Father.

We sat down to a breakfast of scrambled eggs, ham, and biscuits. The smell of it was wonderful! The rain on the roof intensified. Rachel took Mark from Mother’s arms and placed him in a cradle before she sat down at the table. “I suppose it would be a good idea for me to know the child’s name before the services this morning” Reverend Alden laughingly said.

“It is Mark Albert” Rachel replied. I had seen Reverend Alden in many situations before all during my childhood. He could become emotional at times, and when it happened, those eyes of his would well up like a leaky faucet. This was one of those times. This was one of the few times that I had seen him at a loss for words. “God will bless you both for that” he said. It was then that I told him that Albert would be Mark’s Godfather and that we wanted the christening to be two weeks from today at Lake Kezia under the tree near the covered bridge. “How absolutely wonderful” he said. “Would you say grace Reverend” I asked. “Of course” he said.

As Reverend Alden prayed, my mind went back to Lake Kezia where we had so much fun as kids. Albert jumping off that bridge at 14 years of age and nearly drowning himself, trying to become a dare devil. And of course, the time that he, Laura and Andy dressed up like monsters and scared Mother and us half to death. Not to mention the numerous times we had swam and gone fishing there. They were wonderful days and couldn’t help but think of how wonderful it would be to have Mark christened under that tree with Albert there.

The Reverend said a beautiful prayer that morning. He thanked God for the birth of Mark and also prayed that the Ingalls’s family would find the faith to carry them through their ordeal. It ended with a resounding “Amen” from all of us.

It was 9am and church services would begin in an hour. The Reverend departed to prepare for services while Father and I finished up the dishes. Rachel had gone up stairs with Mark to rest and Mother was in her room taking a nap. I had a feeling that she hadn’t slept as well as she told me she did. Father and I would go to services along with Nancy. I only wished that Albert could be there for the announcement. I suspected that he wouldn’t make it because of the incident yesterday. I took a minute to call Andy and give him all the news.

Andy could not have been more excited about the baby. He was especially pleased about Albert being his Godfather and the fact that we had named Mark Albert after him. I didn’t tell Andy what I saw at the Ingalls house yesterday. It didn’t seem necessary. Andy was aware of the fact that one day he would have to come to Walnut Grove to say goodbye to a friend. I didn’t want to spoil his Sunday by adding to the anticipation. I let him know when the christening would be and he said that he wished he could be there. I wished that he could be there too.

With umbrellas in hand, Father, Nancy and I walked down the street towards the church as we had done so many times in the past. Between going to school and church, I must have made that walk a million times. There was a good turnout considering the weather. The church was nearly full, but the front pews were empty. We made our way up the aisle to take a seat. Charles, Albert and Laura were not there. I suspected that Albert was still resting and that they had chosen to stay at home for the day. Nancy and Father sat to the left of me across the aisle while I sat in the vacant pew on the right.

“Bringing in the Sheaves” was the opening hymn. How many times had I sung that one? Father couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket, but it never grew old to hear him sing in church. The rest of the congregation had no trouble hearing him either! Well into the second stanza, I heard a different voice coming from behind me. It was Albert and Michelle, singing as they walked down the aisle. Laura and Charles had taken a seat in the back. He had that smile on his face as he walked down the aisle and sat to my right along with his sweetheart. That familiar voice of Mr. Edwards could also be heard as we finished singing. Albert was holding Michelle’s hand when he turned to his left and whispered “You didn’t think I was going to miss this did you?”

I knew that physically, Albert must have not felt being there. You could look into his eyes and tell that he was exhausted. I could also see the concern in Michelle’s face. Those two were deeply in love and it was a heartbreaking thing to know that they would never be able to experience what I was feeling this day. I was happy and heartbroken all at the same time. What he was doing today was beyond friendship. I felt like I had a brother sitting next to me. Doc Baker was sitting right behind us. He patted Albert on the shoulder before the sermon began. Albert turned to him and smiled.

Reverend Alden gave a fine sermon that day. The lightning and thunder rumbled through the church as he preached about heaven and the meaning of forgiveness. As he preached, I couldn’t help but to remember how many times Albert and I sat in this building during school when we were growing up. I was always jealous of him for being so smart. He could add up numbers faster than anyone in class and was a veracious reader. The marvelous thing is that he learned the basics on his own underneath that loading dock in the city. I remember Mrs. Garvey asking him how he learned to add numbers so fast. “When you shoot craps, you have to be quick” was his answer. She never asked him how he learned anything again. The only thing I ever beat him in was standing in the corner. I must have been there a hundred times. He never did.

Reverend Alden finished up the sermon and we sang the final hymn. “Shall We Gather At The River”. The irony of it was that we would be gathering next to the water in two weeks, and I will always believe he picked that song for that exact reason. After the closing hymn, he announced that he had a brief announcement to make.

“I have a joyous announcement to make this morning” he said. “I would like to announce the birth of Willie and Rachel Oleson’s son. He came into this world yesterday evening and mother and child are fine.” “Willie, would you please stand?” I stood up and faced the congregation. “I would also like to announce that the christening of Mark Albert Olsen will take place at Lake Kezia on Sunday afternoon, two weeks from today. In attendance will be Mark Albert’s Godfather, Albert Ingalls. I reached for Albert and had him stand beside me. To my surprise, the whole congregation stood up and applauded for what must have been several minutes. Clapping had never taken place in a service that I could remember. I knew who it was for. They all knew about Albert and had finally found a way to express their feelings about him without showing sympathy. I could see Charles in the back with that proud smile on his face along with Laura. Albert looked truly happy. No one in that church was happier than me at that moment.

The rain had finally subsided as we all exited the church. Reverend Alden was at the door as usual. As we gathered outside, I thanked Mr. Ingalls and Laura for bringing Albert. I wondered where Almanzo was. Laura said that the baby was sick and that he had chosen to stay home with her. I told Mr. Ingalls that I was surprised to see Albert in church. “I couldn’t stop him from coming” he replied. Albert finally came down the stairs with Michelle after having a brief conversation with Reverend Alden. I looked at them both and told them how much I appreciated having them there. “Nothing could keep me away this morning Willie” Albert replied. “And about that fishing date?” Albert asked. I told him that next Saturday would be perfect. I would close the restaurant and be there about noon.


The following week flew by and business was really brisk. The folks in town were very optimistic about the coming crops. The rains were abundant and the hills surrounding Walnut Grove were a deep green. All of the fields were breaking out with young corn and wheat. It was going to be a good crop. Mark and Rachel were both fine. They would remain at Mother’s until the end of the week. Doc Baker was by numerous times and couldn’t get over how well the baby was doing, despite being four weeks early. He had an appetite like his father. Father said that he would catch up in no time. The only thing I was worried about was that Mother would spoil him rotten before we could get him home. But, after all, that’s what Grandmothers are for.

Saturday came and I was up at my usual time of 5:00am. Hester Sue and Regina were happy to have an extra day off for the week and so was I. I dressed and went over to see Rachel and Mark before leaving for Laura’s. Had a great breakfast with them and left to go fishing with Albert. I was looking forward to it. It had been a long time since we had talked about old times, and it would be great to be with him again, good fishing or not.

Laura was at the door when I arrived. She said that she had packed a lunch for both of us and that Albert would be down in a minute. Mr. Ingalls had gone fishing with Mr. Edwards and left just before I got there. Laura looked at me and said: “You may run into them today.” I told her that I didn’t think so, our fishing hole was secret. “I see” replied Laura.

It was then that Albert came down the stairs and greeted me. He was wearing that same hat that I had seen him in so many times before, only in a bigger size. He looked great. You would have never known that he had a problem only a week before. It was going to be a good day. I thanked Laura for the lunches and we left in the carriage to go fishing. The fishing hole was about two miles away in a valley hidden by trees. It was a small pond that fed off of a spring.

Albert, Andy and I had fished there many times when we were kids. We never mentioned to anyone where it was because of the great fishing. Father had tried to pry it out of me on numerous occasions, but I never relented. I know for a fact that Mr. Ingalls and Mr. Garvey had done the same to Albert and Andy, but we had made a pact never to tell anyone.

We pulled up to the stand of trees surrounding the pond and got off the carriage. Albert had dug for worms the day before, so we didn’t waste any time walking through the trees to that secret spot. We broke through the trees and I couldn’t believe my eyes. There was Mr. Ingalls and Mr. Edwards sitting on the bank next to a pile of fish! I looked at Albert in disgust and he looked at me.

They both began to laugh uncontrollably. We walked over to them and waited for the laughter to stop. Albert looked at Mr. Ingalls and said; “Pa, what are you doing here?” “Fishing!” said Mr. Ingalls. “You two never knew it, but I followed you here one day a long time ago. You kept bringing home all that fish Albert. What did you expect me to do? If I could follow you all the way to Winoka and back, what makes you think I couldn’t follow you here?” Albert looked at me with that grin of his and said “makes sense to me!” And with that one, we all started to laugh.

Albert and I crossed to the other side of the pond and threw our lines in. I asked Albert how he felt and he said that he felt pretty darn good. The nose bleeds hadn’t come back for a week and he had gotten to spend a whole week with Michelle without incident. I could sense that he wanted to talk, something that was rare for Albert. He was always fairly quiet about the personal side of his life.

“I am really in love with her Willie, and she with me. That’s the worst thing about this whole situation. I feel sorry for her and my family, especially Pa. He has worked his heart out all his life and been slapped down so many times that I can’t even count them all. And through it all, he gave everything to me that I ever wanted.”

“That night, in the barn when Fagin was sick, and I asked him if I could call him Pa, he was so pleased. And the day in the loft when I asked him to adopt me, he was pleased again. And then when I got stupid and played around with that morphine, he stayed up with me for two nights of hell that I will never forget. He got me through it. And now he has to deal with this. He has loved me more than most father’s love their natural sons. That’s the one thing that I hold on to. I have been so lucky to have my family and the friends that I have made in Walnut Grove. That’s why I am not bitter.”

“When I pretended to be blind, because that sorry father of mine wanted me for a farm hand, it was the best decision I ever made in my life.” Albert said. He had told me many years ago about the courtroom experience with his with his real father. It was a good example of who Albert really was. He had always been so quick on his feet about everything. He could size up a situation and know how to deal with it in a matter of seconds. It was no wonder that he was accepted into medical school. I couldn’t help but think what a fine doctor he would have made had he had the opportunity to do so.

I was glad that we came out here. It was a good day. After catching more fish than we could eat, we both decided it was time to leave. I was going to take some to the restaurant for Hester Sue. They would make a good lunch special. I asked Albert if I would see him before next Sunday. He told me he was going to try and get into town during the week.

“I have had an urge for some sour balls lately and I need to go by the mercantile.” I told him to skip the mercantile. “I’ll sneak a bag out for you. Come by the restaurant for lunch on me and the sour balls will be there.” I said. He smiled as he got into his Pa’s wagon and began the trip back to Laura’s house. The Christening would be a week from tomorrow. It couldn’t get here fast enough.

It was just beginning to get dark as I entered Walnut Grove. I passed the mill and stopped to get a block of ice at the ice house before proceeding to the restaurant. I wanted to get the fish cleaned as soon as possible and placed in the ice box. Hester Sue could then plan on them for a lunch special tomorrow. Afterwards, I made my way to the mercantile. I took Mother and Father some fish that they could have for dinner tomorrow night.

Rachel was back to her old self and she and the baby moved back into hotel the following day. Mother spent half the day up there doting over her grandchild and making sure that everything was perfect. Rachel was happy to be home. Not near as happy as I was to have her back. We had not been truly alone for quite a while and I was looking forward to it.

Mark was a good baby, sleeping all night and not causing much of a fuss all day long. Rachel and he spent a lot of time down downstairs in the restaurant during the week. Everybody in Walnut Grove had seen him and it gave me a lot of opportunity to get some bragging time in. Of course, I could never keep up with Mother in that department. I felt sorry for Father at the mercantile. Mother was spending so much time at the restaurant because of Mark that I knew his work load must have been awful. He didn’t seem to mind.

Albert and Michele showed up that Thursday for lunch. As I promised, the sour balls were there. If there was one thing I was good at, it was snitching candy from the candy counter. Nellie and I had that one down to a science. This was Albert’s first look at Mark and he was beaming from ear to ear. He and Michele must have sat with Rachel for an hour talking about the baby. As they left, Albert looked at Rachel and I and said “See you both Sunday morning”. It was a wonderful day.

It was a beautiful Sunday morning in Walnut Grove and the church was packed. Everyone was there including Albert and Michelle. Rachel, the proud mother, had Mark in her arms the entire morning. Reverend Alden, as usual gave a wonderful sermon. Carolyn, along with James, Cassandra, Carrie and Grace had come from Iowa! Rachel and I were joyous over the fact that they were there. The Christening would be complete. Albert’s whole family would be there with the exception of Mary. Reverend Alden closed the service with his favorite hymn, Onward Christian Soldiers. He announced afterwards that the Christening would take place at Lake Kezia at 2pm that afternoon.

As we returned to the restaurant, I could see that smoke was coming out of the stove pipe in the kitchen. At first I was alarmed until I saw Hester Sue and Regina in the kitchen as I entered it. They were preparing food for this afternoon. What wonderful people they were. That was Hester Sue for you, always doing for people without asking. I loved her for it. Rachel, upon seeing Hester Sue, gave her a big hug and asked her if she would do us the honor of singing before the Christening. She said she wouldn’t miss it for the world and it made the day complete.

The Ingalls were headed out of town and I was able to stop them before they passed the restaurant. I told them that they were invited to the restaurant after the Christening and they said they would be there. It would be wonderful to have them all under one roof this afternoon.

Father had rented a deluxe carriage from the stable and he drove up to the restaurant with Mother and Nancy at about 1:15. Rachel got into the carriage first with Mark and then I helped Hester Sue and Regina in. I jumped in and we were headed to the lake. I thanked Father for the carriage. “Nothing is too good for my Grandson!” he replied.

It took about twenty minutes to get to the lake. It was perfectly still and sunny that day as we drove along the old road that I travelled so many times before. We passed the old Ingalls’s place on the way and I could see the Carter kids playing by the creek next to the house. As I looked at that that house, I thought about the loft and smiled. Albert had told me when we were kids about how tough it was to sleep with “Laura the locomotive”! I laughed out loud when that thought came to mind, and shared it with Rachel when she asked what I was laughing about.

Just before arriving at the lake, we passed that hill where the keepsake tree stood. My mind went back to the day that Albert, Laura, Andy and I had climbed that hill on that hot summer day along with class from school. I will never forget Mr. Ingalls’s and Mr. Edwards at the foot of the hill, watching Albert every step of the way with binoculars.
That day would be burned into my memory for the rest of my life.

As we crossed the covered bridge across the lake I could see that the Ingalls had arrived. Albert and Michelle were sitting in the shade under a tree with Laura and Almanzo. James, Cassandra, Carrie and Grace were walking along the edge of the lake enjoying the summer day. Reverend Alden was talking to Charles and Carolyn. And of course Mr. Edwards was there, looking in the lake, probably wishing he had a fishing pole in hand.

We all got off the carriage and I made a point of telling the Reverend Alden that Hester Sue was going to sing before the Christening. He was delighted. He loved her singing and had asked her numerous times to sing in church. She had a spiritual voice that was like no other. The Reverend knew what I did, Hester Sue was blessing to us all.

Just when I thought that the day was complete, something miraculous occurred. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see a wagon approaching from across the bridge. As it got closer, Albert let out a yell. It was Andy and Mr. Garvey. I was beside myself. I didn’t think this was possible. I had invited Andy out of courtesy knowing full well that he wouldn’t make it. Mr. Garvey had given me a present of a lifetime! He had business south of here and would drop Andy off for a week.

Rachel, upon seeing Andy, brought the baby over. “So this is Mark Albert” said Andy. Albert had that bubbling smile on his face as Andy and Mr. Garvey admired Mark. Mr. Ingalls was one of the happiest to see Jonathon and Andy. It had been a long time since he had seen his old friends. There was a true look of happiness on his face as he introduced them to Mr. Edwards.

Reverend Alden was standing under the tree, next to the bridge. He exclaimed to everyone that it was time. We all gathered with him and he asked Hester Sue to come forward. She sang Amazing Grace. It was absolutely beautiful, under that tree, that Sunday afternoon, listening to her sing with everyone that was important in my life. I could see Carolyn out of the corner of my eye, eyes glistening, looking at Albert who was standing in the front with me, Rachel and the baby. I thought throughout the song how wonderful His grace was, blessing me with my Rachel, a beautiful son and the best friend I ever had in the world.


As Hester Sue finished, Reverend Alden began the Christening. He said some beautiful words and at the end sprinkled Mark Albert’s head as he spoke; “In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, I Christen the Mark Albert Oleson”. Rachel, who had Mark in her arms, turned to Albert and said; “Albert, would you like to hold your God Son?” He took Mark in his arms and kissed him on the forehead. It was the sweetest moment I have ever experienced. Michele came up and put her arm around Albert’s shoulder as she looked at Mark with a huge smile on her face. I could only wonder what she was thinking as she stood there with the boy she loved, knowing full well what would eventually happen. I was happy and heartbroken at the same moment.

After an hour of everyone socializing after the Christening, we all went back to the restaurant to enjoy some of Hester Sue’s cooking. It was a wonderful afternoon. Andy, Albert and I caught up on old times while Mr. Ingalls, Mr. Edwards and Mr. Garvey did the same thing. James and the other kids went over to the school yard after eating and played liked they had done so many times before. Laura and Almanzo went to the back of the restaurant. I think they were reliving some sweet memories, while Carolyn, Mother and Rachel were upstairs with the baby.

Andy was going to be there for a week. I offered him a room, but Albert quickly nixed that idea. He wanted Andy to stay at Laura’s. She had a lot of vacant rooms, and I didn’t blame Albert for wanting the time to reminisce with his childhood buddy. After all, they had done so much together. I would find time to visit them this week, no matter how busy we were with the restaurant.

It was getting late and Charles wanted to leave for the house. Mr. Garvey was tired from the trip. He would spend the night at Laura’s before taking off on his business trip in the morning. Mother, Father and Nancy had gone home. As the Ingalls were leaving, I pulled Albert to the side. I hugged him as hard as I could and looked him straight in the eye. “I cannot thank you enough for today Albert. Rachel and I love you for it, and I want you to know, that Mark does too”. “I love you two for asking me”. He said. He smiled and helped Michelle into the wagon.
You could tell that he was very tired. They drove off just as the sun was going down. I couldn’t help but remember how many times I had seen that family drive down that street as they passed by the mill, over the bridge and beyond the hills that surrounded Walnut Grove.

I felt the need to take a walk. I walked down the street towards the Church. When I got to the church, I walked over to the steps and sat down. As I looked down the street towards the mercantile, my eyes wandered over to the playground. The memories started pouring through my head. I could see Nellie, Laura and Mary playing in that school yard like it was yesterday. Myself, Albert and Andy playing baseball. I wanted time to stop, because in my heart I knew what was coming and I didn’t want to face it. All I could do was cry, and cry I did. It had been a joyous day and at the same time it been an ending. I had done all I could for Albert, and now there was only one thing left; the waiting for that horrible day to come when I was going to face losing my best friend.

The following week was busy at the restaurant. I would get out to Laura’s on Wednesday and visit Albert and Andy. I was looking forward to it. After we closed Tuesday night, I was just about to go upstairs when the phone rang. It was Andy. “Willie”, Andy said. “I think you had better come out here.” He had spoken the words I had never wanted to hear. I asked Andy what was the matter. “Albert went up to take a nap earlier. Laura went to wake him and the pillow was soaked in blood.” Andy told me that Doc Baker was there and that it did not look good. “Come quick” Andy said.

I told Rachel that I was leaving and ran across the street to get a horse. There was no time to hitch up a team. I jumped on the horse and raced towards Laura’s house. I sped through the night as quickly as I could, and as I approached Laura’s house I could see that all of the lights were on. Doc Baker’s carriage was out front. As I climbed the steps of the porch, I could see Andy sitting down in a chair staring at the floor. He got up and looked up at me with tears rolling down his face. “The family is upstairs with him Willie” Andy said. I hugged Andy and we both sat down.


“He was just fine this morning” said Andy. “We joked around all day and took a walk down to the Carter place.” Andy continued. “He went up to take a nap and that’s when it happened. I was with Laura when she tried to wake him up. Willie, it was awful. That pillow was soaked through with blood.” I could hear the fear in Andy’s voice, the same fear that I was experiencing as we waited for someone to come down stairs.

The whole family came down the steps. Charles came out to the porch with Laura. “He wants to see you both” said Laura. Laura was crying and so was Mr. Ingalls. Andy and I went into the house and Doc Baker was sitting down in the living room. The kids were in the next room with Carolyn. I could hear James, Cassandra, Carrie and Grace crying. I looked at Doc Baker. All he did was shake his head back and forth. Andy and I went up the stairs and into Albert’s room.

Andy was on one side of the bed and I the other. As we both sat down, Albert opened his eyes and looked at us both. He had that smile on his face. “I want you two to promise me something” he said. “What’s that?” I replied.
“Be good friends” he replied. “All that matters in this life is your family and friends. I didn’t have either until I became Albert Ingalls. That’s why I came back, to be close to what I hold dear in this life.”

Andy put his hand on Albert’s and I put my hand on Andy’s. “You can count on it buddy” I said. He closed his eyes and went off to sleep. Andy and I sat with him for a moment and then left the room. We waited in the living room for what must have been hours. I called Rachel and told her not to wait up for me. I couldn’t leave, not now. The family was upstairs with Albert. Doc Baker was sitting with us when Carolyn screamed for him to come up. He came back down in a few minutes and spoke the words that I didn’t want to hear. “He’s gone” he said. Andy was visibly shaken and I had the uncontrollable urge to run. But I didn’t. It was over and Albert wouldn’t suffer anymore. I kept telling myself that and told Andy the same.

Mr. Ingalls came down and when I looked at him it was hard to keep myself under control. He was weeping uncontrollably as he told me how much it meant to him that Andy and I were both there. He hugged us both, as he had done many times in the past. Charles Ingalls was probably the most loving man I had ever known. It didn’t make any difference if it was his child, or someone else’s. He loved them all because he was the most descent human being on the face of the earth. That had always explained to me why he rescued Albert and brought him home.

I talked to everyone before I left the house. I was happy for Albert that the whole family had come for the Christening of Mark Albert. It was good that they were with him at the end. I embraced Andy and told him that I would see him in the next few days. As I made my way home through the hills, I thought about how much I would miss him. I would miss that great sense of humor, and that mischievous smile that always captivated everyone he knew. He was that kid that came from Winoka that captured everyone’s heart, including mine. I would make sure that Mark Albert knew about his Godfather, and what he meant to me.


Last edited by Davetucson on Sun Oct 21, 2012 10:39 am; edited 4 times in total
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Gin
Ingalls Friend for Life
Ingalls Friend for Life


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PostSubject: Re: Look Back To Yesterday The Final Chapter Part Two   Mon Mar 19, 2012 7:12 pm

I think letting Willie tell this heart felt story was a great choice Dave. I don't think any of us wanted to acknowledge that Albert really died, but it happens. My own grandfather had 3 months living with leukemia before he passed away. He had 5 kids and a wife to say a quick goodbye to. I like that you gave Albert a chance to embrace his childhood friends and see his family before he died. I never liked that Caroline wasn't with him in the series. I would move mountians to be with my sons.
I like how you gave Willie respect for his Mother in letting her handle the books, but in a way that didn't let her have full knowledge of all his finances. Good call...lol
We didn't get to see Hester Sue blossom enough, and I love that you let her have the place of honor that so many people of color never got in that time period. I could hear her sing "Amazing Grace"....
Bringing a new baby into the story was a way of showing us that life starts anew as well as ends and legacies are carried on.
I like how this was what I call a "quiet story" in that it was someones (Willie's) thoughts most of the time. You did very well. Thanks for sharing this with us.




It is the lack of Christianity that has brought us where we are. Not a lack of churches or religious forms but of the real thing in our hearts. LIW.....Words From a Fearless Heart
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PostSubject: Re: Look Back To Yesterday The Final Chapter Part Two   Mon Mar 19, 2012 8:11 pm

Thanks Gin: Means a lot coming from you.
Appreciate the review,
Dave


"Albert, do you REALLY think you are old enough to know what love is?"
"I must be Pa. I love you, I have for a long time."
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PostSubject: Re: Look Back To Yesterday The Final Chapter Part Two   Tue Mar 20, 2012 12:26 am

Gin wrote:
I think letting Willie tell this heart felt story was a great choice Dave. I don't think any of us wanted to acknowledge that Albert really died, but it happens. My own grandfather had 3 months living with leukemia before he passed away. He had 5 kids and a wife to say a quick goodbye to. I like that you gave Albert a chance to embrace his childhood friends and see his family before he died. I never liked that Caroline wasn't with him in the series. I would move mountians to be with my sons.
I like how you gave Willie respect for his Mother in letting her handle the books, but in a way that didn't let her have full knowledge of all his finances. Good call...lol
We didn't get to see Hester Sue blossom enough, and I love that you let her have the place of honor that so many people of color never got in that time period. I could hear her sing "Amazing Grace"....
Bringing a new baby into the story was a way of showing us that life starts anew as well as ends and legacies are carried on.
I like how this was what I call a "quiet story" in that it was someones (Willie's) thoughts most of the time. You did very well. Thanks for sharing this with us.

Gin, you sure made me cry!!! bawling bawling cryB cryB And you too, Dave. I've always been very fond of Willie, Andy and Albert's special friendship, and it was always hard to me not watching him die in the TV show. It's like not being able to go to a beloved one's funeral. You can't "close" this chapter of your life...and "Looking Back to Yesterday" lef me with a bitter flavor in my mouth, since I KNEW that Albert was close to death but I couldn't see him saying "Goodbye". Now, you achieved the work. Albert actually dies and was able to see goodbye to his friends and family.

Again: cryB cryB bawling bawling Blue No

Vanesa.


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PostSubject: Re: Look Back To Yesterday The Final Chapter Part Two   Tue Mar 20, 2012 10:50 am

Vanesa wrote:
Gin wrote:
I think letting Willie tell this heart felt story was a great choice Dave. I don't think any of us wanted to acknowledge that Albert really died, but it happens. My own grandfather had 3 months living with leukemia before he passed away. He had 5 kids and a wife to say a quick goodbye to. I like that you gave Albert a chance to embrace his childhood friends and see his family before he died. I never liked that Caroline wasn't with him in the series. I would move mountians to be with my sons.
I like how you gave Willie respect for his Mother in letting her handle the books, but in a way that didn't let her have full knowledge of all his finances. Good call...lol
We didn't get to see Hester Sue blossom enough, and I love that you let her have the place of honor that so many people of color never got in that time period. I could hear her sing "Amazing Grace"....
Bringing a new baby into the story was a way of showing us that life starts anew as well as ends and legacies are carried on.
I like how this was what I call a "quiet story" in that it was someones (Willie's) thoughts most of the time. You did very well. Thanks for sharing this with us.

Gin, you sure made me cry!!! bawling bawling cryB cryB And you too, Dave. I've always been very fond of Willie, Andy and Albert's special friendship, and it was always hard to me not watching him die in the TV show. It's like not being able to go to a beloved one's funeral. You can't "close" this chapter of your life...and "Looking Back to Yesterday" lef me with a bitter flavor in my mouth, since I KNEW that Albert was close to death but I couldn't see him saying "Goodbye". Now, you achieved the work. Albert actually dies and was able to see goodbye to his friends and family.

Again: cryB cryB bawling bawling Blue No

Vanesa.

Thats good to hear. There was never any CLOSURE leaving Albert on the mountain. I tried to achieve it in the story. Thanks Vanesa.
Dave
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PostSubject: Re: Look Back To Yesterday The Final Chapter Part Two   Tue Mar 20, 2012 11:20 am

Smiley Hug Goodness Vanesa I didn't mean to make you cry! Sorry...lol Guess we all do need closure when we wonder what happend to a favorite like Albert. He just grew on us so deeply I guess.
Michael Landon sure knew how to tug on the heart strings with episodes like this but that was what made him great at what he did as well as the shows 10 yr run.
I so wish we could get back to tv like this.




It is the lack of Christianity that has brought us where we are. Not a lack of churches or religious forms but of the real thing in our hearts. LIW.....Words From a Fearless Heart
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PostSubject: Re: Look Back To Yesterday The Final Chapter Part Two   Mon Mar 26, 2012 11:15 am

Vanesa wrote:
Gin wrote:
I think letting Willie tell this heart felt story was a great choice Dave. I don't think any of us wanted to acknowledge that Albert really died, but it happens. My own grandfather had 3 months living with leukemia before he passed away. He had 5 kids and a wife to say a quick goodbye to. I like that you gave Albert a chance to embrace his childhood friends and see his family before he died. I never liked that Caroline wasn't with him in the series. I would move mountians to be with my sons.
I like how you gave Willie respect for his Mother in letting her handle the books, but in a way that didn't let her have full knowledge of all his finances. Good call...lol
We didn't get to see Hester Sue blossom enough, and I love that you let her have the place of honor that so many people of color never got in that time period. I could hear her sing "Amazing Grace"....
Bringing a new baby into the story was a way of showing us that life starts anew as well as ends and legacies are carried on.
I like how this was what I call a "quiet story" in that it was someones (Willie's) thoughts most of the time. You did very well. Thanks for sharing this with us.

Gin, you sure made me cry!!! bawling bawling cryB cryB And you too, Dave. I've always been very fond of Willie, Andy and Albert's special friendship, and it was always hard to me not watching him die in the TV show. It's like not being able to go to a beloved one's funeral. You can't "close" this chapter of your life...and "Looking Back to Yesterday" lef me with a bitter flavor in my mouth, since I KNEW that Albert was close to death but I couldn't see him saying "Goodbye". Now, you achieved the work. Albert actually dies and was able to see goodbye to his friends and family.

Again: cryB cryB bawling bawling Blue No

Vanesa.


You aren't alone Vanesa. I cried writing the story several times. Albert had some scenes in that loft in the barn with Pa that still make me cry to this day. He was just a sweet kid. Matthew had that gift that you don't find in a lot of child actors. Michael Landon knew it when he casted him.
Dave
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PostSubject: Re: Look Back To Yesterday The Final Chapter Part Two   Thu Mar 29, 2012 6:46 pm

Good story,Davetuscon. Only if it had been done that way when they did the movie. bawling

Seeing the picture of Willie and Albert brought tears to my eyes. bawling
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PostSubject: Re: Look Back To Yesterday The Final Chapter Part Two   Thu Mar 29, 2012 7:09 pm

Spanky wrote:
Good story,Davetuscon. Only if it had been done that way when they did the movie. bawling

Seeing the picture of Willie and Albert brought tears to my eyes. bawling

Thanks Spanky,
I had a hard time getting thru myself. Albert was my favoritre........

Dave
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PostSubject: Re: Look Back To Yesterday The Final Chapter Part Two   Thu Mar 29, 2012 7:28 pm

You're welcome,Davetuscon. When I watch the movie, I cry when the doctor tells Charles Albert is dying and when he takes Albert back to Walnut Grove and he tells Laura he's home to stay. bawling
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PostSubject: Re: Look Back To Yesterday The Final Chapter Part Two   Thu Mar 29, 2012 8:29 pm

When he told Laura "I'm home sto stay, if you'll have me" it was all over for me..
I do not know what makes you more emotional when you get older, but I' m there.
I'll be 66 this year, and it just keeps getting worse, but thats ok. A man isn't a man unless he can cry. Just means you have a good heart.......
Dave


"Albert, do you REALLY think you are old enough to know what love is?"
"I must be Pa. I love you, I have for a long time."
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PostSubject: Re: Look Back To Yesterday The Final Chapter Part Two   Thu Mar 29, 2012 11:51 pm

Davetucson wrote:
When he told Laura "I'm home sto stay, if you'll have me" it was all over for me..
I do not know what makes you more emotional when you get older, but I' m there.
I'll be 66 this year, and it just keeps getting worse, but thats ok. A man isn't a man unless he can cry. Just means you have a good heart.......
Dave

You've said it, Dave...When you gets older you also gets more emotional. When I was a little girl I just hated the epies that would make you cry. I'd rather like to watch the "hilarious" ones. Now, my very favorite TV show's eopisodes , and books, and stories are the emotional ones... Ooops

Vanesa.


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PostSubject: Re: Look Back To Yesterday The Final Chapter Part Two   Fri Mar 30, 2012 12:54 pm

Davetucson wrote:
When he told Laura "I'm home sto stay, if you'll have me" it was all over for me..
I do not know what makes you more emotional when you get older, but I' m there.
I'll be 66 this year, and it just keeps getting worse, but thats ok. A man isn't a man unless he can cry. Just means you have a good heart.......
Dave

I think it's because you have had more experience in things, be they joyful or sad. I'm 17 and I much prefer the emotional episodes as opposed to the silly ones, and this is because I've been through a lot. It helps me deal with my experiences and my life to watch/read things with emotion...


I remember the time I knew what happiness was...let the memory live again.
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PostSubject: Look Back To Yesterday   Fri Mar 30, 2012 1:03 pm

Pepsi wrote:
Davetucson wrote:
When he told Laura "I'm home sto stay, if you'll have me" it was all over for me..
I do not know what makes you more emotional when you get older, but I' m there.
I'll be 66 this year, and it just keeps getting worse, but thats ok. A man isn't a man unless he can cry. Just means you have a good heart.......
Dave

I think it's because you have had more experience in things, be they joyful or sad. I'm 17 and I much prefer the emotional episodes as opposed to the silly ones, and this is because I've been through a lot. It helps me deal with my experiences and my life to watch/read things with emotion...

Keep that intelligent outlook Pepsi and you will be fine. If you can take a lot of the morals and values that were portrayed in Little House, and apply it to yoiur life,
nothing can stop you!
Dave
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PostSubject: Re: Look Back To Yesterday The Final Chapter Part Two   Sun Apr 01, 2012 11:18 pm

Thank you very much. I find that lately it's been such a struggle to stick to what I believe in these days..but if I can find at the end of my life that I'm able to say, ''I tried my hardest, even when I thought I couldn't make it.'', then maybe it'll all be worth it. Well, I suppose I'm getting off topic now... :)


I remember the time I knew what happiness was...let the memory live again.
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PostSubject: Re: Look Back To Yesterday The Final Chapter Part Two   Sun Apr 01, 2012 11:51 pm

Maybe you are off topic, but you also are teaching us a good lesson of wisdom in life, Pepsi. LHOTP teachs us excellent morals, and you are only showing you are a great LHOTP watcher! You don't watch it for fun, but to learn intelligent insights about what life is... Smile

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PostSubject: LOOK BACK   Mon Apr 02, 2012 9:39 am

Pepsi wrote:
Thank you very much. I find that lately it's been such a struggle to stick to what I believe in these days..but if I can find at the end of my life that I'm able to say, ''I tried my hardest, even when I thought I couldn't make it.'', then maybe it'll all be worth it. Well, I suppose I'm getting off topic now... :)

Just keep trying. Thats what inspired me to write about Albert from Willie's perspective. The whole story was about Willie's turnaround in life because of his admiration for the way Charles and Albert lived their life.
You are only 17 and you understand what Little House was all about. You are already a winner!
Dave
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PostSubject: Re: Look Back To Yesterday The Final Chapter Part Two   Fri Jul 13, 2012 7:44 am

Great job Dave...you did a wonderful job. I wish the "real" writers cared as much toward the end, they weren't good at continuing stories, even with just a few words, a mention of someone. I feel they just wrote Albert off and then he was forgotten at the end. Many things you wrote about could have been very plausible.
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PostSubject: Re: Look Back To Yesterday The Final Chapter Part Two   Fri Jul 13, 2012 9:29 am

Thanks very much......was a joy to write......
Dave


"Albert, do you REALLY think you are old enough to know what love is?"
"I must be Pa. I love you, I have for a long time."
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PostSubject: Re: Look Back To Yesterday The Final Chapter Part Two   Sat Sep 01, 2012 1:35 am

This was beautiful; thank you so much for this! Now this is the way it should have been written. The fact that the entire Ingalls family was there to say goodbye (except Mary, although she wasn't very close to him anyway) was excellent. I also love the way you wrote it from Willie's perspective...and adding the Garveys was a plus! Albert also grew up w/Carrie, and he was pretty close to James, so it was fitting that the rest of his siblings were there. Great job! I think Michael Landon himself would have been proud! Smile
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PostSubject: Lookback   Sat Sep 01, 2012 9:59 am

julmer70 wrote:
This was beautiful; thank you so much for this! Now this is the way it should have been written. The fact that the entire Ingalls family was there to say goodbye (except Mary, although she wasn't very close to him anyway) was excellent. I also love the way you wrote it from Willie's perspective...and adding the Garveys was a plus! Albert also grew up w/Carrie, and he was pretty close to James, so it was fitting that the rest of his siblings were there. Great job! I think Michael Landon himself would have been proud! Smile

How nice to get up in the morning and read a nice message like this one! I appreciate you taking the time to read it.........and thanks so much for the nice comments......If we had to lose him, I'll always think that's the way it should have been.....
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PostSubject: Re: Look Back To Yesterday The Final Chapter Part Two   Sat Jul 16, 2016 7:25 pm

Such a beautiful story! I'm so glad I came back here and read it tonight. I never felt quite right about how the movie went - they really could have incorporated so much more of Albert and his friends and brought more closure like you did with your story. I know this is a few years old now but I hope you see this, thank you for sharing this story with us!! :)




"It is still best to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasures and to be cheerful and have courage when things go wrong."
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PostSubject: Re: Look Back To Yesterday The Final Chapter Part Two   Sat Jul 16, 2016 8:48 pm

Thanks so much Christina for taking the time to comment. I'm glad you found it to be worthwhile reading....I, like you, didn't like the ending of Look Back either. I thought Michael left out a lot that should have gone into the story...........

Really appreciate your kind comments!


"Albert, do you REALLY think you are old enough to know what love is?"
"I must be Pa. I love you, I have for a long time."
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