Born On The Fourth Of July

Born On The Fourth Of July

A Story by Joanna Maharis

This is a story about a little fire cracker who is the apple of her grandmother's eye


Born On The Fourth Of July

By Joanna Maharis

Lacey Richards was her mommy's firecracker, sparkler, and all of the fireworks combined. She was born on a humid summer’s day on the 4th of July. Mrs. Katherine Richards, Lacey's paternal grandmother made a huge fuss over her, by tickling her belly to make the baby laugh, cooing over her, or lulling Lacey to sleep with the music stylings of Nat King Cole. Two songs in particular Mrs. Katherine Richards often sang to the child were Mona Lisa, and Unforgetable. There were times when Lacey would keep her mother Mrs. Connie Richards up all hours of the night for a diaper change, a feeding, or to sooth her restlessness. No matter what Connie did, she just couldn't soothe her little girl. So she asked her mother in law to hold the baby for a while to see if she could soothe the baby enough to be able to sleep comfortably. Unusually, the lulling worked, but one rainy night, the baby was screaming throughout all hours of the night. Grandma Katherine Richards picked up the baby and stroked her face and found little red spots on the baby, and shouted, "Connie, get in here. There something wrong with the baby. I think she could be coming down with rose'ola. The top of her head is swollen, and she's burning up as well. We've got to get her to the hospital."

The doctors worked on the baby to calm her while they made haste to bring down the swelling at the top of her head, and the fever. The child screamed out, "Gam. Gam. Gam."

When the doctors asked Connie Richards what the child meant, she responded, "That's her word for grandma. Evidently, she wants my mother in law in here with her.”

Doctor Menace went out into the waiting room to get Mrs. Katherine Richards, who was wearing white pants and a white blouse. She was told she would have to wear a mask, gloves, and a gown over her clothing "before entering the child's room," exclaimed Dr. Menace.

Lacey wouldn't accept her grandmother they way she was dressed, because Grandma resembled the doctors. Lacey was so frightened, she kicked her legs back and forth and flung her arms back and forth, pounding every in the arms with her fists.

A team of three doctors held her arms and legs, and secured her head of which Lacey shook back and forth. They had to put needles in the child.

Mrs. Katherine Richards couldn't bear to see her little grand baby suffer so. "I'm going to go home and change my clothes, Dr. Menace. I live a couple of blocks from here. I can drive my car to my house and back here to the hospital in no time. In the meantime, I'd like to ask that you folks be gentle with her. The dear little thing is in so much pain, it breaks my heart.

Upon returning to the hospital in a lavender sleeveless blouse and black pants, Mrs. Katherine Richards was escorted into Lacey's room by Dr. Menace. They entered to find the baby with nothing but a diaper on laying in the incubator. It was chilly in there, because Nurse Lila had turned the fan on while the doctors and everyone else was out of the room. She sat in a chair reading a McCall’s magazine, while the baby slept. Dr. Menace looked at Lacey, and then looked over at the nurse, when he yelled, "Nurse Lila, just what do you think you are doing. Why is the air conditioner turned on? This baby can catch pneumonia. She's been through so much already this evening. Not only are you not doing your work, but you chose to risk jeopardizing this child's health. Why are you not paying attention to what you should be doing, instead of reading the magazine? Your job is to monitor this child."

All the yelling made Nurse Lila jump. "I thought it would be okay if I took a little break. My feet are hurting me, and I'm so very tired. If you don't mind, I'd like to cut out an hour early tonight."

"As a matter of fact, I do mind. But under the circumstances, I can do better than that. You may leave this room and go to the board of directors to receive your walking papers," Dr. Menace said bluntly.

Even with all the yelling, Lacey seemed to sleep peacefully. Firecrackers could be heard going off from a park nearby. There were festivities going on that day for the 4th of July. It was Lacey's first birthday. Grandma Katherine Richards pulled a small Teddy bear out of her shopping bag, and laid it next to Lacey. Resting in the baby's arms was the Raggedy Anne doll her mommy bought for her from the gift shop.



© 2014 Joanna Maharis

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Joanna Maharis
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Added on June 12, 2014
Last Updated on June 12, 2014
Tags: story, Born on the fourth of july


Joanna Maharis
Joanna Maharis

Kalamazoo, MI

Graduate of Western Michigan University with a BA degree in Writing, which has been my passion since the tender age of six. Grew up in Kalamazoo, Michigan where I currently reside. I love to read al.. more..