Karen V. Walker
July 12, 2015
5510 Mackleberry Lane
It was 5:30am when Joan woke up to fixed breakfast for her husband children this
was the weekday routine in the Lee home, Mr. Lee went off to work as a Computer
Programmer and their two children waited for the school bus with the other
neighborhood children who attended to same elementary school. Mrs. Lee
would do housework after everyone left and before she ran her errands for the
day. There were various volunteer jobs that she would do each week.
The people on Mackleberry Lane were middle class ranging in various professions
while the women often had coffee before attending to their personal errands this
particular morning was different. The families were extremely close as there were
only ten homes on the block and each one knew where each could normally be
found the routines did not change often this spring day in early May.
Joan Lee was absent during this morning coffee session she did not mention
her schedule to the other women or to her husband. This was so random for
Joan that the other women would spend the next hour trying to figure what
happened to Joan. The ladies would disperse from their morning coffee and
chit chat with the hopes that someone might hear from Joan Lee.
As the ladies would now attend to family business, making dinner and
running errands throughout their small town, it would be their hopes
that someone heard and/or saw Joan Lee, but to no avail and now
the children would be returning from school soon and this would be
of even greater concern as the ladies knew how much Joan loved her
children and was overprotective of them just as the other mothers
the ladies would wait just a little while longer before making a judgment
call to contact Mr. Lee at work. The ladies began to think of anything
they could do to locate Joan and one of the ladies decided to start
praying as they knew this could end up real bad as they did not know
if their friend was in danger.
They began to watch the news to see if there was an accident somewhere,
they just wanted to know where she was. This was a small town with a population
of 3,000 , 1 homicide in 5 years, 10 robberies and all criminals caught and
put in jail. The ten families felt relatively safe on quite Mackleberry Lane as
the children all played and attended school together. The families would
often get together on weekends and enjoy themselves watching movies,
preparing potluck dinners and on occasion, the men would go to either
baseball or basketball game together with their boys.
It was now time for the children to get ready to load the school bus and
come home as school was exactly 7 minutes from home on Mackleberry
Lane and a decision must now be made to contact Mr. Lee since Joan had
yet to home or contact her friends. The phone kept ringing, Mr. Lee
did not answer, they left a message and waited for him to return their
call while in the meantime the children were getting off the school bus
and it was decided that they would stay at Daisy’s house until they heard
either back from Mr. Lee or Joan.
Daisy lived next door the Lee family and this way they would be able to
see any activity from the Lee home. In the meanwhile the Lee children were
asking Daisy where their mother was at which Daisy had no answer and must
be creative with an answer quickly and Mr. Lee had not returned their call as of
yet. Daisy told the children that their mother had to run an errand and that
she would return shortly.
An hour passed since they left a message for Mr. Lee to return their call when he
finally called and was deeply apologetic and stated that he was in a meeting.
Daisy mentioned to him that she had the children and they were fine, however, they
did not know where Joan could possibly be. Mr. Lee told Daisy that he would
see if he could get in touch with her and mentioned that Joan had not told him
that she had any appointments for the day outside of the ordinary, but he did
say again that he would try to get in touch with his wife and he would call back.
Mr. Lee was appreciative that Daisy and the other ladies were taken care of
Mr. Lee would now spend the next few hours trying to get in touch with his
wife and of course he would start by calling her cellphone and by surprise
she answered he mentioned to his wife that she had their friends worried
since she failed to answer their calls and when she did not pick the children
up from the bus stop they had become extremely concerned and decided to
contact him at work.
Mr. Lee observed the soft whisper in her voice and began to cautiously question
her as to here whereabouts, Joan began to sob and through her sobbing tried to
convey the recent events of the last couple of weeks that she kept hidden from
him that she had gone to the doctor recently since she was not feeling well and
although she would have coffee every day with the other women she kept her
secret to herself for fear of worrying their friends. The doctor performed many
test, she had extensive lab work done and the results came back that she had
an autoimmune disease, Multiple Sclerosis that over time could be debilitating.
Joan finally told her husband that she was at Hamburg Park across town where she
spent the day praying and weeping. Having small children, she did not know how
she would keep up the family day-to-day activities. Mr. Lee finally convinced Joan
to come home where they could talk and he assuredly told her that everything
would be alright with the help of friends and family.
Mr. Lee called their friends and let them know that Joan was okay and she was
given some devastating news from the doctor and she was having an extremely
difficult time processing her recent diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis. Daisy informed
Mr. Lee that she would let the other women know that she was safe and prepare
them for Joan’s diagnosis.
Joan finally returned home and after her warm welcome from Mr. Lee and the
children she would explain to them what Multiple Sclerosis is and that there
is no known cure. She would also advise them of the medication she would have
to take and although, there was no known cure the medicine would slow down
the progression of the disease.
As a family, they would meet with the other families at Daisy’s house where she
would apologize for having them worry about her and that again she was devastated
with the doctors findings that she had this autoimmune disease called Multiple
Sclerosis. The families assured her that they would help her in any way they
could and that she was not alone. Joan knew that her friends were sincere,
however, it was just the shock of this disease since she was relatively young
and she did not know of anyone in her family with this disease.
It was back to normal now routines would continue as usual the children at
school and Mr. Lee at work. The women having coffee, however, this morning
coffee round table would be different and the discussion would capture the
important of true friendship. Joan and her friends would make a pact that
they would forever remain friends and would support each other in good times
and in bad times.