Jake walked into the kitchen and saw Helen getting something out of the refrigerator. As she saw him he said, “Morning honey, need some help?”


Helen smiled. “No, it’s my turn to make breakfast. You would just get in the way.”


Jake chuckled. “Okay.” Walking over to the table he picked up the paper. “I’ll just be in the living room watching the news. Call me if you need any help.”


As Jake left the room Helen said, “I will.”


Now that Jake was out of the way she started the task at hand. Ever since retiring she had really developed a strong interest in all things domestic. As she cooked she realized she had made too much food for the pair of them. There was way too much for either of them to finish at one sitting and it wouldn’t be too good as leftovers. She wished it were Saturday so she could invite Daria and Stan over to help them eat it all.


When she had finished getting everything ready Helen called out, “Jake. You can come in now. Breakfast is ready.” When he didn’t come right away she called out again. “Jake, breakfast is ready.” After no reply again she went into the living room.


When she entered the room she saw Jake sitting on the couch. Looking at him she said, “Jake?” There was still no reply. Walking around the sofa she saw her husband sitting there with the paper still in his hands. His head was bent over and his eyes were closed. As she looked at him all she could say was, “Oh Jake.”


Daria and Stan were sitting around the kitchen table eating their typical meal to start the day. Stan was having a piece of toast with marmalade while Daria was enjoying a healthy bowl of her favorite cereal, anything with marshmallows as the main ingredient. As she sat there eating and reading the paper the phone rang. Since Stan’s mouth wasn’t full he answered. “Hello.”


“Oh hi.”




The difference in his tone from the “Oh hi” to the “Yes” caught Daria’s attention. This sounded serious. She figured it was the hospital with something important. As she sat there Stan continued.




Handing the phone to Daria he said, “It’s Helen.”


Daria didn’t like that at all. Slowly she took the phone from Stan. Putting it to her ear she said, “Mom?”


When Daria and Stan got to the house they found Helen sitting in the recliner staring at the sofa. The ambulance had already taken Jake away so she was in the house alone. As soon as Helen saw them she stood up.


Daria rushed over and the pair hugged. During their embrace both cried tears of sadness that hadn’t been shed since Quinn and Neil died. As they continued holding each other Stan just stood back and watched with a helpless feeling. He had witnessed this scene countless times at the hospital but it was a different thing when it was happening to those you loved the most.


After several minutes Daria and Helen separated. Helen sat down in the recliner again and Daria took the chair next to her. Since Stan didn’t feel it was right to sit on the couch he sat on the arm of Daria’s chair. For several more minutes all three sat there in silence while they regained their composure. Looking at her daughter Helen finally broke the silence.


“It was his heart. It finally gave out.”


Stan stood up and went over to Helen. To try to comfort her some he put his hand on her shoulder. As she reached to pat it she gave him a brief smile of gratitude. Looking down at her he said, “Helen I’m so sorry.”


Helen looked at the sofa again. “The paramedics said it was as sudden as these things could be so he likely didn’t suffer too much. It’s small comfort but it will have to do for the moment.”


Daria looked at her mother. “Mom what do you need us to do?”


Helen turned to Daria. “Just be here. I don’t want to be alone right now.”


“We’ll stay here as long as you want us to but that’s not exactly what I meant.” Daria said. “There are so many details to work out. I hate to bring this up now but we need think about that.”


Helen gave Daria a reassuring look. “You don’t need to worry about that Sweetie. We worked out most of the details a long time ago.  After we lost Quinn, Jake and I didn’t want to put you through the stress we experienced at that time so we made arrangements in case something like this happened. All I need you to do is be here for now.”


“I will Mom. I will.”


There was one task Daria did need to handle, call Quinn. When Daria told her the news she was so upset she couldn’t even speak at first. Stan got on the other phone and said for her to go home, pack, then get to the airport. He would take care of the details and call her with the flight information. Quinn thanked him and by that afternoon she was back in Lawndale with her family to share their grief.


Stan picked her up at the airport. When Quinn saw Stan she immediately ran over and hugged him. As they held each other Quinn cried while Stan just patted her back to comfort her. After they picked up her bag the pair went straight to the Grands house. Quinn figured there would be time to unpack later. Right now she wanted to be with her grandma.


When they got to the house Stan had barely stopped the car before Quinn was out of the front seat and heading inside. The first person Quinn saw was Daria. Once again there was a round of hugs and tears that lasted for several minutes. When they finally calmed down each went to sit in the big chairs in the living room.


Quinn took a tissue and blew her nose. When she finished she looked at her mom. “Where’s Grandma?”


Reaching for a tissue herself Daria replied, “Upstairs. She’s trying to get some rest. I can’t say if it’s working. She seems to be taking it well but I feel she’s holding it in right now.”


Quinn nodded. “That’s understandable. So when did it happen.”


Daria bowed her head and took a deep breath. She hated telling this kind of stuff but Quinn needed to know the story. After getting her strength she started.


“This morning about seven. He came in here to watch the news while Mom finished breakfast. When he didn’t come after she called him she came in here to find him gone.”


Quinn put her hand over her mouth. “Oh no! That’s awful.”


Daria closed her eyes and nodded. “Yes but all indications are it was fast. He probably didn’t suffer any.”


Sighing Quinn said, “It’s small comfort but I guess it’s all we have.”


“That’s just what Mom said.” Daria thought.


Just then both heard a voice from upstairs. “Quinn? Is that you?”


Looking to where the sound came from Quinn saw Helen coming down the stairs. Getting up she rushed over to her Grandma. As they hugged she bent down and whispered in Helen’s ear, “Oh Grandma.” As they remained in their embrace Helen whispered back. “It’ll be okay sweetheart.”


The entire time this was going on Stan had remained out of sight in the kitchen. He just watched with amazement at how these three generations were with each other. He had seen close families before but there was something there that went beyond a simple family bond. He knew his best role for the near future was to stand back and wait to be called for.


Daria turned to see her husband standing in the doorway of the kitchen. Looking at him she said, “Stan? What are you doing there? Come here.” She then motioned for him to come sit next to her.


He raised his hand and made a slight waving motion. “No I’m getting ready to make some coffee. When it’s ready would you like some?”


Daria nodded that she would. She turned to ask if Helen or Quinn would like some as well but they were still talking so she didn’t disturb them. She figured it would be a few minutes before the coffee was ready and they would likely be done by then.


Shortly, Quinn and Helen came over. Helen sat down while Quinn went to the corner and got another chair. It was then Daria noticed nobody had sat on the couch all day. She knew why she didn’t want to sit there and guessed everyone else felt the same.  As Quinn sat down she spoke.




Daria turned her attention from the couch to her daughter. “Yes Quinn?”


Quinn looked uneasy. Taking a breath she started. “I’d like to stay here with Grandma tonight. Is that okay?”


Daria wondered why she had to ask. “Of course it’s okay. That is if Mom doesn’t mind.”


“Thanks.” Quinn said.


Daria had considered staying the night but really wanted to be with Stan as well. She couldn’t imagine life without him around and wanted to be with him as much as she wanted to be with her mom at this time. Quinn’s presence with Helen tonight would give her some peace of mind that Helen wouldn’t be facing this first evening alone.


Everyone stayed until very late. Finally Stan and Daria had to go home. As everyone shared one more moment before separating for the few hours they would be apart Daria hugged her daughter. As they embraced, she whispered in Quinn’s ear, “If you need anything at all please call me. I’ll be right over.”


Quinn whispered back, “I will Mom. Thanks.”


All the short drive back to their house Daria and Stan said nothing. When they got home both went straight up to the bedroom to get some rest. It had been a busy day. In spite of Jake and Helen taking care of most of the details in advance there still had been several things that needed doing.


Although they were both very tired neither one was able to sleep. Stan lay there wondering how things would go over the next few days. He knew how difficult it could get and hoped he would be there when he was needed. All Daria thought about was how Mom had lost Dad and wondered what life would be like without the man laying next to her. As she lay there in thought she instinctively reached over and wrapped her arms around her husband.  Just as instinctively Stan reached around and held Daria. They remained in each other’s arms other until dawn.


Back at Helen’s, Quinn was rolling around in bed. Her mind was too active to get any sleep. She sat up. The moon was bright enough that she could see all around the room. She had seen pictures of the room from before she was born. While it wasn’t something she would have liked she could see how it fit her mom’s personality. As she sat there she wondered how Grandma was doing. Sliding her feet into the slippers she carefully walked down the hall and peeked into Helen’s room.


What Quinn saw surprised her a little. Helen was wide-awake watching a news program. As she looked through the crack in the doorway she was shocked when Helen spoke.




Quinn opened the door a little more and stuck her head inside the room. “Sorry Grandma. I didn’t mean to disturb you.”


Helen smiled and shook her head. “You didn’t disturb me sweetheart. I was just watching the news. It’s something Jake and I did every night before going to sleep.”


Closing her eyes in an attempt to keep from breaking down, Quinn just stood there in silence. Helen looked at her granddaughter for a second then spoke again. “Quinn are you alright?”


Quinn quickly regained her composure. “Yes Maam. I’m sorry.”


Pressing the button to turn off the television Helen patted the bed to let Quinn know to come over and sit next to her. After Quinn sat down Helen put her arm around Quinn. “Don’t be sorry. It’s normal to cry at a time like this. I would be more worried if you didn’t.”


Quinn leaned her head on Helen’s shoulder. “But I haven’t seen you crying that much.”

Raising her hand and stroking Quinn’s hair Helen said, “I‘ve cried Quinn. I’ve cried a great deal. And I will be shedding tears over this for a long time.”


Moving around on the bed to be a little more comfortable, Quinn asked, “So what will happen now?”


Helen turned her head to look at Quinn. “We go on with life and we miss him.”


Quinn closed her eyes. “It isn’t right.”


Helen nodded. “I know Sweetheart, but it’s life.”


The next few days went in a blur. All the time was spent either at the house or the funeral home. As the day of the funeral approached all the chaos finally caught up to everyone and all four collapsed the night before it from complete exhaustion. By the morning of the funeral everyone was a little more rested and slightly more emotionally prepared for the events to come.


The funeral wasn’t very big. A number of people Daria didn’t recognize showed up to pay their respects. That wasn’t much of a surprise. Her parents had many friends she didn’t know. They all spoke about Jake with kindness but to Daria the most moving eulogy came from Andrew Landon who told how Jake helped him get back on his feet after he hit hard times. This all happened before Daria moved back to Lawndale so this part of her Dad came as a surprise and really made her feel better. 


After the funeral things calmed down a good bit. Quinn only had a few days of funeral leave but wanted to stick around a little longer. Since she had vacation coming she called in and told everyone at work she would be taking an additional week to be with her family.


That evening Daria stayed with Helen for the night. She hadn’t really had any time alone with her mom since the event and wanted to be there that night. Quinn decided since her mom would be there she would go back to the house with Stan and give them some privacy.


The pair sat in the living room in silence. Both had plenty to say but neither knew where to start. As each tried to figure out what they wanted to say they just sat looking at the floor. Eventually Daria started.




Daria’s voice shook Helen out of her concentration. “Yes Sweetie?”


Daria looked down for a moment then at her mom. “I uh, I just wanted to apologize for not being here more over the past few days. There was just so much to do that I didn’t seem to…”


“Daria you have nothing to feel guilty about.” Helen interrupted. “I understand. There are many things that need to be done at a time like this. You didn’t neglect me. You did what needed to be done.”


“Um thanks.” Daria said. “I just wish I could have been with you more.”


Helen smiled. “You’re here with me now. That’s what matters.” Standing up Helen looked at Daria. “I need to tidy up the kitchen. People brought so much food I need to put it away before it spoils. Would you help?”


“Sure.” Daria said. Standing up she followed Helen into the kitchen. After about a half-hour the kitchen was in decent enough shape both decided to call it a night. As they left the kitchen to go upstairs, both went through the living room. As they passed the sofa they stopped for a second. Slowly Helen rubbed the back of the sofa at the place where she found Jake. As she did Daria noticed her mom bite her lower lip. Putting her hand on Helen’s shoulder she said, “I miss him too Mom.”


Reaching up, Helen took her daughter’s hand. Turning to look at her she said, “I know. It’s just hard to believe he’s gone but the last few nights I’ve reached over the bed and nothing was there. Since the day he retired we never spent a night apart. The bed seems so empty now.”


Daria turned her head to look at her mom. “I don’t know what to say.”


“You shouldn’t.” Helen said. “You don’t have to say anything. You’re here. That’s all the comfort I need.” Reaching over she hugged Daria. “I love you Sweetie.”


Daria wrapped her arms around Helen. “I love you too Mom.”


Separating, Daria and Helen went upstairs. As they went to their respective rooms Daria spoke one more time. “Mom?”


Helen stopped at her door. “Yes Daria?”


“If you need anything just ask.”


Helen said, “I will. Thanks.”


A few hours later Stan went to the kitchen to get a drink of water. As he entered the room he saw Quinn sitting at the table looking at a photo album. His sudden appearance gave her a bit of a shock. After recovering she said, “Oh Stan, you scared me.”


“Sorry.” He said. “Didn’t mean to do that.”


Quinn smiled. “It’s okay. No harm done.”


Stan went to the refrigerator and got a bottle. Walking to the table he sat down. He opened the bottle and took a sip. Looking at Quinn he asked. “Couldn’t sleep either?”


Nodding, Quinn said, “Yea. I figured I’d look at one of the albums. I want to remember the good times. It helps me forget the pain of the past few days.”


“I understand.” Stan said. “Mind if I have a look?”


Quinn turned the book so both of them could see it. “Of course not.”


For the next several minutes the pair looked at pictures of Quinn and Daria’s lives. There were pictures from before she came to live with A.D. along with the pictures of her life with her aunt up to when she adopted her. As they moved toward the back of the book there were photos of the Grands and them enjoying all kinds of activities. Before too long pictures of her and Daria’s life with Stan appeared. He came along late but the pictures were all great memories. It followed her through high school and into college up until the day she graduated from medical school. Taking her attention away from the book she looked at him.




Looking up he said, “Yes?”


“May I say something?”


Stan nodded. “Of course.”


Quinn took a deep breath. “I want to tell you something.”


“You can tell me anything Quinn. You know that. What is it?”


“Uh Stan. I came to live with Mom after my parents died. I have to say it wasn’t easy. I loved her but she was still a stranger to me in many ways. Eventually she became my mom but it took several years. You came into my life much later. I accepted Mom marrying you because you were nice to her but I figured I was too old for another dad in my life.”


Stan just looked at her and nodded. “I understand.”


“You never tried to push your way into my life,” Quinn continued,  “but you were there when I needed you and I have to admit you were my inspiration for wanting to be a doctor. I figured if I cared half as much as you I would be a good doctor.”


Stan smiled. “Thank you.”


“You’re welcome.” Quinn said. “The events of the past few days made me think a great deal.” Pausing for a second, she took another deep breath. “After losing Grandpa I feel I need to say this.”




Reaching over she put her hand on top of Stan’s. “While I’ve never called you this I want you to know I do consider you a dad. I love you and wanted you to hear me say it at least once.”


Looking into Quinn’s eyes he smiled and said, “Thank you.”


For a few seconds the two just looked at each other. Slowly, both turned their attention back to the photo album.


At the same time, Daria got tired of lying in the bed in her old room and went downstairs to get some water too. As she descended the stairs she noticed something in the living room. When her eyes adjusted to the low light in the room she saw Helen sitting in one of the chairs. She just stood there looking at her mother wondering if she should disturb her or just go back upstairs. Finally she figured she would talk for a while.


Walking into the living room she went over to the chair. In a soft voice she asked, “Mom?”


Helen turned her head to look up at Daria. “Oh hi Sweetie.”


Daria went over and sat in the other chair. “Sorry if I disturbed you. I came down for a drink of water and saw you here.”


Helen smiled. “It’s okay. I was just thinking about Jake.”


Daria turned her head to look at the sofa. “I’m sorry. What are you going to do?”


“What do you mean?” Helen asked.


“About the couch.”


Helen was confused. “I don’t understand.”


Daria shifted her weight a little and looked at her Mom. “I mean Dad, um, died there and if you haven’t noticed nobody has sat there since it happened. I can’t give any reasons for anyone else but the memory makes me not even want to see that couch any more.”


Not believing what she heard Helen spoke up. “Daria. It’s just a piece of furniture. I hate the fact that it makes you feel that way but what happened could have happened anywhere. The reason I haven’t sat there is mainly because the only time I ever did sit there was with Jake. To sit there now would be as difficult as it is to stay in that big empty bed.”


This explained a lot to Daria. She had never considered that Helen might feel that way. She associated the couch with something bad while Helen saw a different, more pleasant, memory in the same piece of furniture.


“I’m sorry Mom. I hadn’t thought about that.”


Helen held out her hand for Daria. “It’s okay Sweetie. I wouldn’t expect you to. It wouldn’t mean the same to you. I just miss your dad and sitting there would be too much of a reminder that he won’t be back. Eventually that will change but it’s too soon.”


Daria took her mom’s hand. “I understand Mom.”


Helen smiled and nodded. “Didn’t you come down to get a drink?”


Daria was shocked at how fast she changed the subject. She figured Helen didn’t want to discuss Jake any more. Standing up, she turned to look at Helen. “Uh sure. Do you want me to bring you a glass?”


Looking up at Daria Helen said, “No. That’s okay. It’s pretty late and I want to get started early tomorrow. I’ll just go back to bed.”




As Helen headed upstairs Daria went into the kitchen.


The next few days were very busy for everyone. Stan hated to not be around during this time but the hospital needed him to come in. Daria and Quinn spent most of their time with Helen helping her with the details that always follow this type of loss. While many tasks weren’t pleasant, Helen appreciated the fact that her two girls were there to share this time. She did get a little put out at times when they would intervene before Helen could do something she wanted to do but she figured she should let it slide for a while. Eventually things would calm down and life would return to something normal.


Stan was sitting in his office filling out some paperwork when the phone rang. It took a few rings before he realized the receptionist had already left for the day. Pressing the extension he picked up the receiver. “Hello?”


“Oh Hi Helen. So are the girls still there?”


“You chased them off!?”


Stan couldn’t help but chuckle as Helen explained.


“They wouldn’t let you load the dishwasher? I don’t see what’s so bad about that.”


“That wasn’t the worst?”


When Helen told him what finally made her push Daria and Quinn out of the house he almost fell out of his chair. After a few seconds he finally managed to get his composure back.


“I agree. Offering to run your bathwater was a bit too much. You were right to get rid of them.”


“No don’t call just yet. Let them think you’re still upset. Tomorrow morning will be enough time. Thanks for giving me a warning. I’ll be on my toes when I get home tonight.”


Helen’s next statement made Stan curious.


“That isn’t why you called?”


“Sure I can stop by on my way home. Are you feeling okay?”


“Then do you need me to stop somewhere and get something?”


Helen’s next few comments put Stan in his place.


“Sorry Helen. I guess you are tired of people doing everything for you. I’ll be leaving in about a half hour. I should be there before too long.”


“Okay. Bye.”


Putting the receiver on the cradle Stan wondered why Helen wanted him to stop by. He returned to his work but before too long curiosity got the better of him. Looking at the small pile left to do, he decided he would just come in early tomorrow and take care of it then. Grabbing his jacket, he left to see Helen.


When he got to the house he knocked on the door. Helen was a little surprised to see Stan. “Oh I thought you would be a little later than this.”


“Sorry. I finished up a little earlier than I figured.” He lied. “Is this too early?”


Helen shook her head. “No of course not. Come on in.”


Stan entered the house. “So what is this about?”


Walking to the kitchen, Helen said, “Would you come with me?”


Stan followed Helen through the kitchen and into the garage. When they both were there she walked over to a cabinet with a large red metal box on it. Looking at Stan, she gestured for him to come nearer. When he got closer she spoke.


“Stan. This is something you know well.”


Stan looked at the box. “Yes. That’s Jake’s tool box.”


Helen nodded and smiled. “Yes. One of the things Jake enjoyed most were the times you came over and helped him fix things around the house. Not having a son he never really had an opportunity to share these things with the girls growing up. Sadly Neil lived too far away to really ever join in too much of this activity with him.”


Helen rubbed the top of the box.


“Jake loved the time the two of you spent working on things around here. And he loved you very much.”


Stan smiled. “I loved him too Helen.”


“He knew that. Which is why I’m doing this.”


Stan raised an eyebrow. “Doing what?”


Taking her hand off the box she turned toward Stan. “Giving you his tools.”


Stan was stunned. “Helen that’s nice of you but what if something around here needs fixing?”


She gave him a grin. “I’ll call you. Fair enough?”


Stan laughed. “Fair enough. Are you sure you want to do this?”


“Yes. There are plenty of things in this house to remind me of him. This is one memory I want you to have. Okay?”


Bowing his head for a second he scratched the back of his neck, looked up at Helen, and smiled. “Okay.”


When Stan got home he saw Daria and Quinn sitting around the kitchen table. Both looked upset. He knew what was bugging them so he decided to keep his visit with Helen secret for the moment. As they saw him, he spoke up. “So what’s wrong?”


Daria turned to look at Stan a little better. “Mom kicked us out of her house. We’re just trying to figure out what we did to upset her.”


“Yea. We were cleaning up and suddenly she asked us to come back here.” Quinn added. Raising her arms in the air she said. “We can’t figure why she wanted us out of there.”


Stan knew this was a dangerous moment. Almost any reply could be the wrong thing to say. As he listened to Daria and Quinn comment on Helen’s actions he tried to decide if he should say something. Eventually he realized he would be expected to comment so he quickly went over what might be the best reply. His thought process was suddenly interrupted by Daria’s voice. “Stan? Staaan Helloooo?”


Snapping out of his fog, he looked at Daria. “Sorry. You were saying?”


Crossing her arms, Daria gave him a cross look. “I was SAYING. What do you think would make Mom kick us out of the house?”


“Are you sure she kicked you out of the house?” Stan asked.


“Well she asked us to leave.” Quinn replied.


Looking at Quinn then Daria he asked, “Was she angry?”


Daria shook her head. “No, but she seemed a little upset.”


“Ah.” Stan said.


Quinn and Daria both asked simultaneously. “What do you mean ah?”


Stan sat down at the table. “Well she hasn’t been alone since she found Jake. It’s been several days. Perhaps she just needs a little by herself.”


Daria and Quinn both turned from Stan to look at each other. Neither had ever considered that. He had a point. Quinn turned back to look at him.


“You’re probably right. We should probably call and apologize.”


As Quinn got up to get the phone Stan put his hand on her arm. “No. If she wants to be alone we shouldn’t bother her. You can call her in the morning.”


Quinn rolled her eyes. He was right but she didn’t like not talking to Grandma. She really wanted to hear her voice to make sure she was okay. She reluctantly agreed and sat down. “You’re right. We’ll leave her alone tonight.”


The next morning all three were once again in the kitchen having breakfast. Since they were all early risers so it took some effort for Stan to keep the other two from calling Helen right away. After about an hour he agreed Helen was likely awake by then and figured it was safe to call.


Picking up the phone, Quinn volunteered to dial. After several rings with no answer Quinn got upset. She wondered if something had happened to Grandma. Daria tried to soothe her concerns but wasn’t too convinced her mom was okay either. Quinn was ready to go over there to see about Helen when Stan and Daria suggested she try calling one more time.


Dialing again, Quinn was relieved when Helen answered this time. Helen explained she had been outside when the phone rang and was getting ready to call back when Quinn called the second time. Helen asked if she and Daria would like to go to lunch with her. Both Quinn and Daria agreed to go and after deciding when to meet they hung up. Looking at Daria she said, “Well she’s fine. That’s a relief.”


Looking at Quinn Daria asked, “So where did she say she wanted to eat?”


Quinn’s eyes got big. She never bothered to ask. “I guess we’ll find out when we meet her.”


Later that day all three women were sitting around the table waiting for their food to arrive. The conversation for the most part had been simple discussion about local events. After a while Daria changed the subject.


“Uh Mom. I’m sorry if we did anything to upset you yesterday.”


Helen turned from Quinn to look at Daria. “What do you mean?”


Daria looked down. “I mean I hope we haven’t upset you. I know this is a difficult time. We don’t want to make things worse for you.”


Helen smiled. Taking Daria’s hand she reached out to offer Quinn her other hand. When both women were in her grasp she began. “You haven’t made things worse, on the contrary. I love the fact you both care so much that you want to be with me right now but you two need to start living life for yourselves again.


Quinn gave Helen a confused look. “Grandma?”


Turning to look at Quinn, Helen continued, “You two have lives of your own. Those lives didn’t stop just because Jake’s gone. It’s time for both of you to get back to those things you normally do, and I need to start learning to adjust to life without him.”


Daria spoke up. “But Mom. It’s only been a few days. Isn’t it too soon to go it alone?”


Returning her attention to Daria Helen smiled. “Sweetie. I have to start sometime. It won’t be easy but it’s a necessary part of life.”


“But we don’t want you to face this alone.” Daria said.


Squeezing Daria’s hand, Helen said, “I won’t have to. You and Quinn are only a call away if I need you.”


“We are.” Quinn said. “If you need anything just call.”


Helen divided her attention between both Daria and Quinn. “I’m just happy I have two beautiful and caring women in my life.”


Just then the waiter brought the food and the conversation ended for a while. When they had all finished Quinn said she still had one more day before she had to go home and asked if it would be okay of she stayed over. Helen said she was always welcome. She should just not overdo the helping.


Daria left Quinn at Helen’s house and drove home. Sitting in the house alone she thought about what her mom had said earlier. Deciding she was right Daria called the office and said she would be returning to work the next day.


The next morning Daria and Stan got up and went to work while Quinn stayed at Helen’s house. That afternoon Quinn was sitting on the back patio when Helen called her inside.


Going inside, she found Helen sitting at the kitchen table. In front of her was an envelope. Sitting across from her, Quinn said, “Yes Grandma.”


Pushing the envelope across the table, Helen said, “I found something I thought you might like to have.”


Quinn picked up the envelope. Opening the flap she pulled out a picture. It was a photo of her when she was very young. Jake was pushing her on a swing set. Both had the biggest smiles Quinn had ever seen.


“That was taken when you were four.” Helen said. “You and Jake were in the back yard when your Dad took that picture. Jake loved that photo. I thought you would like to have it.”


Quinn fought hard to keep from breaking up completely. “Grandma. I love it. I’ll treasure this always. Thank you so much.”


Helen just smiled. “You’re welcome Sweetheart.”


The next morning Quinn was packed and ready to leave. Once again Stan had to go in to the hospital on a Saturday so he said his goodbye before he left. As he and Quinn hugged goodbye she whispered in his ear, “Thanks for helping me get back here… Dad”.


Stan didn’t say anything. He just looked at her and smiled.


A few minutes later Daria and Quinn picked Helen up and the trio made their way to the airport. Since nobody wanted to say goodbye all three waited until the last minute to have Quinn board the plane. When the jet left the gate Daria and Helen made their way back to the parking lot.


When Daria got back to the house, Helen asked her if she wanted to come inside for a cup of coffee. Daria agreed and the pair went inside. After the coffee was ready Helen poured two cups and both went into the living room. Daria started to sit in one of the chairs when she saw Helen walk over and sit on the couch. Shocked, Daria looked at Helen.




Turning toward Daria, Helen asked, “Yes?”


“You’re sitting on the sofa.” Daria said.


Helen smiled. “Yes. I want to watch a little television. Care to join me?”


Finally Daria realized what her mom was doing. Getting up she walked over and sat next to Helen. Picking up the remote Helen found an old movie both of them had probably seen at least a dozen times before. The two sat there talking and watching television all afternoon.


The End.


As usual Daria belongs to MTV. This was written for my own amusement.