***If my words have hurt you,
I will trouble you no more.
In the onset of the morning,
I will reach a distant shore.
Yesterday is mine,
Tomorrow time will have it's due.
All that I live through,
Is all just thanks to you...
Well, you couldn't call it a shotgun wedding as there was no baby involved but it sure shared simularities. When John and Maggie finally decided to get hitched they did it in the same smooth, quick decisive manner as they live they're lives.
Immediately following their engagement they stunned everyone into silence by announcing that it would be a Christmas wedding. That Christmas! They wanted it to be held at the house, Father Maghill had already agreed to perform the ceremony and they weren't planning the least bit of fanfare. Basically they just wanted it to be official.
Well that's were my southern roots stood up and took command. If that's how they wanted it that was fine however there would be some traditions that I stubornly refused to let them get away with ignoring. There would be cake, the bride would be wearing an appropriate gown complete with veil and bouquet, the whole 'something borrowed, something blue, something old, something new' would be adhered to, and I had two grandaughters that would make angelic flower girls and a grandson who would make a dashing ring-bearer...
With all this said, I saw Maggie and John both open thier mouths to protest when Murdock suddenly announded, "I was a bride once you know. It would be my honor to be your maid of honor."
With THIS said, we all broke down laughing. It was John who finally spoke, "No can do Murdock. You're the best man."
"Really? Aawww, Colonel..."
The days between the announcement and the wedding went by in a whirlwind and suddenly I found myself sitting among the small audience witnessing this beautiful occassion. They may not have gotten what they wanted originally as I had enlisted not only HM but BA into making it a momentous union, but they did still manage to keep it small. The only guests in attendance were myself, HM, BA, Mrs. Baracus, and my children Jimmy and Mary and their families with Father Maghill performing the ceremony of course.
It was small but beautiful. Cake was smeared, HM caught the bouquet, the bride and groom had their dance and the reception lasted until midnight, when the bride and groom were 'put to bed'.
It was wonderful to see everyone relax and cast the daily worries aside if only for the occassion. Of course, not to be misunderstood, everyone still felt the impact of Templeton's disappearance with a palatable air. How could we not? It didn't slip anyone's notice that HM began acting a bit more like Templeton than himself when it came time to perform the best man duties. And it's hard to get together with everyone knowing that the last time we were all together like this he was there. And then there's the children of course, they don't understand why their 'Uncle' Templeton is gone but know that it makes everyone sad and try their best to not upset anyone...
Also, there were the days leading up to the wedding that we all noticed that HM was making a lot more of those 'slips'. John got so worried at one point that he enlisted the help of another friend of the family, Dr. Richter. Apparently he had been HM's doctor when he was at the VA.
The 'slip' in question that sent John in desperate search of the doctor's number happened four days before the wedding...
John and I had been sitting in the living room amiably chatting, Hm stretched out on the floor in front of the fire dozing, while Maggie prepared dinner. I had just finished offering my help in the kitchen for what was probably the fifteenth time when BA came in and announced that dinner was ready. It was such a simple thing that it could have been blamed on his gruff awakening by BA excepts for the earlier, smaller, slips...
"Hey Fool! Get up!"
John smiled at me as we watched HM just roll over and sleepily mumble something into his balled up jacket.
"Come on Fool! Maggie got dinner waitin'!"
The next words from the errant pilot made john, who was still standing beside me stiffen...
HM rolled over once again and sat up, "BA, BA, BA...we can't eat now, Face isn't home yet!"
Now I know I haven't mentioned much about BA and you all probably think he's been coping pretty well through this whole tragedy but then you would be wrong. Even the mention of Templeton around BA these days will set off his temper, which as long as I've known him was never too well in check. But now...Well, it was mostly Templeton who kept the balance between the mad pilot and the big machanic and with him gone...Well...
Of course I thnk I mentioned once before that BA is more like a giant teddy bear than a big mean bully...I did mention that didn't I? So you'll understand that while his temper has not exactly been under control all of the time he has had a lot of sympathy for the pilot and not that he will admit it but I've even caught him gaoding HM into what used to be their normal banter, trying to cheer the pilot up. And I've seen him humor the Captain on more than one occassion, doing things that Templeton would have done...
Of course his words at HM's announcement, while true were not the best choice in dealing with the fragile pilot. "What you talkin 'bout man?! Don't go talkin 'bout Face! He's gone!"
Definetly not good and John seemed frozen to his spot...
"What do you mean Big Guy? Of course he's gone! That's why we gotta wait for him!"
"Don't start that crazy jibber jabber on me, Fool! Face ain't comin' back! He's been gone six months!"
"Six months?! What are you talking about? He just went to meet that girl! You know he just..."
"Captain!" John had somehow managed to get his legs to move. For the life of me I couldn't figure out how because HM's last statement caused me to sit back down. "Sargeant, help Mrs. Eta into the kitchen."
BA opened his mouth to protest but snapped it shut again as John snapped, "Now, Sargeant!"
I'd never heard John's voice sound like that. It was though it was made of steele. He knelt down in front of HM as BA offered his hand to help me up. I kne something was terrible wrong when I heard the tremble in HM's voice as I was guided from the room, "Colonel?"
They call it psychosis. It's a long, technical, hard to spell word that basically means HM has slipped into his own reality once again. According to BA he never left it, but even he admits that this is different than anything he's seen in all the years he's known HM.
Dr. Richtor highly stressed that in his professional opinion HM would be better off back in the VA, to which both John and BA highly stressed that as long as they could keep him stable there was no way in hell that was going to happen. Of course that's putting the whole arguement politely.
As it was, HM shifted back to 'our' reality two short hours after the incident, missing the whole arguement about his present and possible future. Over the next four days leading up to the wedding and the two days following it, which takes us to Christmas day, HM slipped in and out with ever increasing frequency. As per Dr. Rictor's suggestion, everyone went along with the HM's basic belief that Templeton had just stepped out for his date and would be home later.
At first it was pretty easy, heartbreaking...but easy. I think that in some strange way HM knew that our prayers were about to be answered. Six months of worries came crashing down on the poor soul and he just could not cope.
It was Christmas day, noon. The whole family, everyone who had ateended the wedding, had just sat down for Christmas dinner when the doorbell rang...
I'll never forget the look on the face of the police officer as he stepped into the dining room followed by John...My heart was beating wildly in my chest and for some reason an old song kept running through my mind...'Time Has Come Today'. The officer cleared his thrat and when his words were spoken I couldn't stop the tears from coming...For that brief moment I was as lost as HM. Jimmy reached over to wrap his arms around me...