|Subject: Agony of Life : part 7
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Date Posted: 14:37:56 06/29/08 Sun
Agony of Life
Disclaimer: JAG is property of Belisarius productions, no copyright infringement intended.
spoiler: Dining out
Summary: What do you do when the most important person in your life isn’t there anymore.
Author’s note: Alternative universe where Harm and Sarah lives begin after the Admiral’s Dining Out. Takes place after the end of season nine.
Good feedback is good for the soul and my happiness.
part seven Visitation
5 June 2023
Sarah Mackenzie Johnson, affectionately known as Kenzie, had just graduated high school. It was time to find her real father. The Johnsons told her when she was about ten that they had been adopted her when she was a baby. It hadn’t really surprised her that much, after all she didn’t look like anyone else in the family.
At first she thought her mother may have remarried, but that wasn’t the case. Her parents sat her down and explained the facts of life to her. Her birth mother had died giving birth to her.
Her biological father had given her up because he couldn’t raise her, he was grieving for his wife. They adopted her with the provision that they kept her name, Sarah Mackenzie. It was her mother’s name.
They had been trying for many years to have a baby so they had no problem with her being named Sarah Mackenzie. The adoption was made official a month later.
“Mom, it’s time.” Kenzie told her mother.
“Time for what Kenzie?” her mother asked.
“It’s time for me to find my real father. You promised me I could look for him after I graduated from high school. I have three months before college starts.” she pleaded.
“Are you sure you want to do this Kenzie?” her mother asked.
“I need to know him Mom. You know I love you and Dad, but I need to know where I came from. Do I look like my mother or do I look like my father? Who are or were they? What did they do? Do I share the same interest that they do?” she whined.
“I know you do sweetie. When we adopted you we attended sessions about the needs of adopted children when they came of age. Your dad has done a little research. We know your father was Harmon Rabb Jr. He was a Captain in the Navy. He retired after twenty one years.
He’s semi retired now and living in Belleville, Pa. It’s about a six hour bus ride.” her mother answered uneasily. While she understood her daughter’s need to find out about her biological parents, it didn’t make it any easier to let her do it.
“When can I go?” she asked.
“Saturday would probably be the best day. He’s more likely to be home. I want you to promise me that you will call me when you get there okay Kenzie.” answered her mother.
She knew this could be a life altering experience for her little girl. Her father would either accept her or reject her. She hoped her little girl wouldn’t meet with disappointment.
That was a strange thought these days. Mackenzie stood almost a head taller than she did. She was a small woman, standing only five feet two inches. Mackenzie was pushing six feet. She was taller than she was when she was only ten years old.
“Yes Mom. I will, I promise.” she replied. She hugged her mother tightly.
Several days later Mackenzie left her home in Amherst, Ma. She boarded the bus in the center of town. According to the bus schedule the bus would arrive in a small town five miles south of Belleville at one o’clock.
She hoped to take a cab the rest of the way to her father’s farm in Belleville. She became more nervous the closer she got to the farm. She was lost in thought when the cab came to a stop in front of a large two storied building.
She paid the fare and got out to walk up the walkway to the house. It was beautiful. It had a large wrap around porch in the front. The area around the porch was well landscaped with bushes, flowers, and ..... roses.
They were beautiful. There were many different colors and sizes. She could picture spending the rest of her life here. She saw a large barn a hundred yards away. She wondered what he kept in there.
She knocked on the door and waited. It seemed to her that she waited forever, but it was only a couple minutes. She wondered if he would even recognized her. Would he know her? How would he greet her when he didn’t know who she was?
A few minutes later a very tall good looking gray-haired man open the door. She felt like letting out a whistle. If he was her father then she must look like her mother. She couldn’t believe how tall he was. He looked as tall as Tommy Peterson, who was six foot five.
Harm looked at the young woman standing on the porch in front of him. She looked like his Sarah did so many years ago. She was so beautiful. She looked to be as tall, but a little heavier, more muscular than his Sarah.
She must be their daughter. He did a quick calculation in his head. She appeared to be about the right age. His Sarah would be so proud of how her little girl had grown up.
“You must be Sarah.” he greeted her.
“You know me? Are you my father?” she asked timidly. Her heart was racing a mile a minute.
“If you’re Sarah Mackenzie Johnson.” he was surprised that he remembered her adopted name.
“Yes I am, how did you know?” she asked in amazement.
“You look as beautiful as your mother.” he replied before giving her a smile no one had seen in nearly twenty years.
Mackenzie just about swooned when she saw his smile. Her knees felt so weak. Then she smiled in return when she realized he said she was beautiful like her mother.
“You have a smile as beautiful as your mother. I could never refuse her anything. Why don’t you come in and sit for awhile. I’ll fix us some lunch. How long are you here for?” he asked.
“I’ll like to stay a week or two if that’s alright Dad?” she replied giving him one of her adorable smiles she hope he couldn’t refuse.
“I would like to get to know you and my Mom.”
“You’re welcome to stay as long as you like Sarah. I’d like to get to know you too.” he replied before giving her a big hug. He took her bag and placed it by the stairs.
“I’ll show you to a room after lunch.” he smiled. He hadn’t felt this alive in years.
“Do you mind if I call my Mom to let her know that I arrived here safely? I promised her that I would.” she asked.
“Of course you can Sarah. Your mother use to make me promise her all the time. She knew I wouldn’t break a promise I made to her.” he replied as she laughed.
Well that had been true for much of their time together. He had never broken a promise to her that he could help, but that all changed the night his marine died. There was no way he could take care of the baby if Sarah wasn’t there with him.
While Harm finished making lunch Mackenzie called her mother. She was excited that Harm had welcomed her without reservations. The phone ran for a few minutes before her mother answered it.
“Hello, Mrs. Johnson speaking.”
“Hi Mom, it’s me Mackenzie. I’ve arrived at the farm.” she began.
“How was your trip Kenzie? Have you met him yet?” her mother asked curiously.
“It was long Mom and very tiring. And yes, I have met him. He’s great. He’s very tall and handsome. He has beautiful blue eyes. And his smile is unbelievable. I almost swooned when he smiled. He must have been a ladies man when he was younger.” she replied excitedly.
Harm was walking into the room when he heard the last comment. He had to smile. It was true he had been a lady’s man, but there were no ladies in his life now. Sarah was the only one who ever had his heart.
“Lunch is ready Miss Sarah!” he bellowed with a smile.
“Bye Mom, I’ll call you later to let you know when I will be home. “Oh Mom! He knew who I was when he saw me. He says I’m as beautiful as my mother.” she chirped.
After lunch they sat down to look at some photo albums. He had dug them out of the attic. Mac had collected enough photos to put into albums that would take at least a week to look through.
Everywhere they ever went people took photos of them. Sometimes they were of them together, other times they were separate when they were involved in something and weren’t aware the photo had been taken.
Mackenzie loved looking through the albums. It gave her insight into who her parents were. They appeared to her two people forever in love. Even the first photo ever taken of them together showed the love between them.
It seemed interesting to her there was always someone around taking candid photos of them. Many of the photos were of them having fun together doing so many different things. But what was amazing to her was all the photos that showed them gazing at the other lovingly.
One thing that she noticed that piqued her interest was the many different hairstyles her mother had worn over the years. She counted fifteen distinct style.
In all her teenage years when she had full control, she only wore her hair one way, long and tied into a pony tail. She was beginning to see why her mother suggested other ways for her to wear her hair.
She always told her that having excess hair only distracts from a beautiful face. Now she understood what her mother meant. Her mom looked beautiful with every style she wore her hair in.
“I notice that you and mom standing in front of a yellow bi-plane in some of these pictures. Did you fly?” she asked.
“It belonged to my father. We were going to rebuild her, but he went MIA when I was five. I rebuild her myself as therapy after I crashed in ninety one. Your mother and I use to go flying once a month when the weather was good.” he sighed in remembrance of happier times.
“You crashed!” she cried out in alarmed.
“Yeah, I was a top gun pilot in the Navy during the first Desert Storm. I flew Tomcats. One stormy dark night I developed the inability to see properly. I crashed killing my RIO and severely injuring myself.
I became a lawyer after that. I still flew a few times a year after that.” he replied.
“How did you meet my mother?” she asked.
“She was a lawyer too. There was a big case that she was called in on. It was rocky at first because she was a Marine. Marines don’t like sailors very well. And added to that she look like a dead girlfriend who had just died.” he sighed once more.
“She was a Marine? Where did you meet her.” she asked excitedly.
“We met in a rose garden, the White House Rose Garden in fact. I had just receive a DFC for saving the life of the CAG during a time of war. I hadn’t flown in five years.” he replied. It was the most important day of his life.
“Wow! That sounds so romantic! I can’t wait to tell my friends. Is that why there are so many roses planted around the house.” she exclaimed.
“Yes, well the story goes like this. I was walking along with the Admiral. We came up behind her as she turned around. The Admiral introduced us. She offered to shake hands. She gave me one of your beautiful little smiles.
I froze. I stood there looking at her. She was wearing one of those dreadful marine green uniform with the funny looking cover. But all I saw was the most beautiful woman in the world who looked like my dead girlfriend who had just died a few months ago.
She said I looked deep into her eyes finding her troubled soul that day. It wasn’t long before we were very close friends who love each other’s company. I think we knew each other better than we knew ourselves.” he moaned with sorrow.
“Wow! That is an awesome story Dad. Do you still fly?” she asked.
“Not very often anymore. I still have the yellow Stearman. It’s name by the way is ’Sarah’ after my grandmother, but your mother always thought I painted her name on the plane to get special attention from her.” he smiled.
“We can take her up while you’re here if you like.” he smiled.
“That would be awesome Dad! Billy will be so jealous.” she smiled in return.
“Who’s Billy?” he asked.
“He’s my shorter younger brother. He’s sixteen. He wants to be a aviator in the Navy. He wants to go to the Naval Academy.” she answered.
“I went to the Naval Academy like my father did. He married my mother in the Academy Chapel. Your Mom and I got married there too.” he added.
“So what do your friends call you Sarah?” asked Harm.
“I used to go by Sarah when I was little, but then when I was around eleven, I wanted to be call Mackenzie. It sounded somehow more special. Later it got shorten to Kenzie, which is what everyone calls me now.” she replied.
“Your mom’s name was Sarah Mackenzie. She liked to be call Mac. She was a Marine. She didn’t think a Marine should be called Sarah. She also didn’t want any special treatment. She thought Mac was more gender neutral. She demanded respect from everyone.
But as you have seen in some of these photos, she was more than just a Marine, she was a very beautiful woman, and even the uniform couldn’t hide that fact.” Harm once again sighed in memory of his strong willed marine.
Over the next week and a half Harm spent all his free time with Mackenzie. They went flying in Sarah three or four times. Harm gave her flying lessons. Mackenzie took to flying like a fish takes to water.
In no time she was an expert. There was no better feeling for her than to have the wind blowing through her long beautiful brown hair. Harm and Mackenzie also spent time taking long walks on the farm.
He told her stories about their adventures in Europe, Russia, South America, Central Asia, Japan, and Australia.
For the first time in nearly twenty years Harm finally felt fully alive again. Meeting his daughter was like a tonic. It fed nourishment to his tormented soul, a soul that had long ago resigned itself to a life of no love or hope.
Before she left to go home she remember something Harm had told her about her mother. Whenever she wanted Harm to do something she made him promise her. She made him promise her that he would come to visit her during the fourth of July weekend.
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