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Story ID:11065
Written by:Richard Laurent. Provencher (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:In Memory
Location:Truro Nova Scotia Canada
Person:Richard L. Provencher
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OurEcho Preface This post deals with a mature theme or contains explicit language. While the post is not extremely violent or pornographic, it does contain language or explore a subject matter that may offend some readers. If you do not wish to view posts that deal with mature themes, please exit this post.

“Hello doctor. It’s very nice of you to check up on Harry so often.”

“I understand how hard this must be on your family, Joan. Unfortunately, there’s no change in his comatose condition. The procedures will be explained tomorrow. Definitely. We’ll call you, if we get any kind of movement. You’ll be here by ten in the morning?”

“Yes, it’s been a long three years.”


Now there’s a good word. Movement. It has a reassuring sound to it. Like the many times Harry had his canoe fishing its way across Lake Mattatall, in central Nova Scotia. The wind, loons diving nearby, AAH…the memories.

“Hey, I got a bite.”

“Me too. Thanks for bringing me here, uncle.”

“Fresh trout on the campfire tonight, right?”


Harry always thought Lawrence was a good little boy. At least his aunt said so, very polite, always tried to do the right things. Then finding out he was really a brat, and in later years tried to make up for all the pranks he pulled. Almost scared his parents half to death back then. Ha-Ha.

He remembered one day the willow switch sang a different song joining in with the boy’s loud protests. His habit of wandering off down the street was scary for his dad, the switch-king. And a sore bottom was a long time reminder to stay closer to home.

All Harry wanted to do was go down to the lake for a look at Otter aircraft. But then, he was only four years old.

And he was too young to realize Osisko Lake was also very deep.



“Yes, Doctor.”

“Please keep an eye on Mrs. Joan Courtney. She’s visiting on the fifth floor. You know, the one whose husband is going off life support. She and the children have been waiting a long time for him to come home. One more night of close observation will be required before the final step.”

“I’ll have a look-see Doctor.”

“Thank you nurse.”

“Any possibility of the family changing their minds before morning Doctor?”

“None, I’m afraid.”

“Such a shame.”



Harry remembered the first time he had to go to a hospital. A broken ankle was the reason. Acting silly in a game of soccer with a group of friends. He had tripped, twisted and broke what turned out to become years of painful aggravation before the ankle was properly strengthened. That Cortisone shot was not nice either.

Then one of his children had a serious accident where the skin was peeled from the front part of his foot. That took three months to heal, sufficient for his oldest son to return to high school studies and P-T work. “Does it hurt son?”

“Not really. Must be the Morphine.”

“I’m proud of you son. Lying there all day with your foot stretched out.”

“It’s okay. I can handle it.”

“I don’t know if I could handle it, son. Laying in bed all day must be awful.”

Now the blackness in his mind is so dark, even stars have evaporated. Harry suddenly remembered he never did get a private phone line.


“Pastor, will you please read from Psalm 23, Harry’s favorite?”

“And would you wish to say something?”

“Our grandchildren are here, and sons and daughter. We had such good memories together. Each of us held up hope he would return to us, but the stroke is not cooperating. And now after three long years, we release him to our Lord, Jesus.”

Finally a litany of words, ages old. A man’s love of life. And the return of such favors. A similar love from his family; sobbing among the tears.

Harry was suddenly no longer surrounded by blackness, only a bathing of brightness.

© 2016 Richard L. Provencher