|Subject: Agony of Life : part 8 and 9
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Date Posted: 19:47:36 07/17/08 Thu
In reply to:
's message, "Agony of Life : part 7" on 14:37:56 06/29/08 Sun
part eight Reunion
1 July 2023
A few weeks later Harm packed up the SUV with some of Mac’s possessions to give to Mackenzie. It was time to share some of his memories and a part of her with their daughter and her family.
There were albums, books, some old uniforms, and some of her favorite dresses and gowns. It was time for someone to enjoy them. He was ready to let go because there was someone new to remember her.
He decided to drive to Amherst, Ma. in Mac’s 1999 red corvette convertible. He wanted to give it to Mackenzie. It would be something Mac would have wanted him to do. It would give Mackenzie more insight into who her mother was.
Before he left he called his old buddy Jack Keeter to drive his SUV to Amherst for him. The corvette was too small to carry everything he wanted to give to Mackenzie. He would ride back home with Jack after the long weekend.
Jack would get a kick at seeing his daughter who looked so much like Diane and Mac. He would put on a show about knowing her and wondering how after all these years she still looked so young and beautiful. Jack was a good story teller.
He would earn his keep by telling the family stories about Navy life aboard aircraft carriers. He also knew Mac and could tell Mackenzie some things that he couldn’t.
They arrived at the Johnson estate shortly after 1400 hours. He beeped the horn to let Mackenzie know that they had arrived. She came running out of the house with Billy right behind her. She was surprised to see the car.
“Wow! What a nice looking car!” exclaimed Billy as he and his sister stopped in front of the vintage corvette convertible.
Harm smiled as slowly got out of the car. He was getting old and he couldn’t move as well as he once did.
“Is that your car Dad?” asked Mackenzie as she saw another man walk behind her father.
“No, this was your mother’s car. It’s a 1999 corvette convertible.” He replied. “They don’t make these anymore. By the way this is my buddy Jack Keeter. We were in the Navy together.”
By this time Mr. and Mrs. Johnson had come outside. Mr. Johnson whistled when he saw the corvette. He had always wanted to own one himself, but it wasn’t practical when you have two small kids.
“You must be Sarah Mackenzie. I don’t know how you do it, but you look as beautiful as the day you broke me out of an Iranian jail and the week we spent crossing the dessert to Turkey. How have you stayed looking so young?” smiled Jack as he kissed her hand.
Mackenzie blushed at the flattering compliment. He thought she was her mother. How wonderful that made her feel. She also was surprised by his charismatic attitude as he kissed her hand.
“My mother drove a corvette?” exclaimed Kenzie completely surprised. “I thought you said she was a marine.”
“She was a marine. She even drove an old Cherokee jeep for awhile.” chuckled Harm.
“Then she met Harm and she became a free spirit.” laughed Jack.
“It’s yours now Sarah. I know Mac would have wanted you to have it.” offered Harm.
“Can I keep it?” Kenzie asked Mother Johnson with a pleading look.
“I don’t know. It’s pretty expensive and it could attract trouble. Besides it could also affect any scholarships that you might receive this year.” replied Mrs. Johnson.
“Mother, it might be too much car for her right know, but when she graduates from college she’ll be ready to drive it responsibly.” offered Mr. Johnson.
“I don’t want you to worry about her education Mrs. Johnson. Mac and I set up a trust fund for her when we heard about her pregnancy. My mother and her husband also set up a trust fund for her. Money will never be an issue for her. We can talk about it later.” informed Harm.
“Why don’t we go out back on the porch Harm. You and Jack must be tired from your trip. We have arranged to have drinks and lunch.” offered Mr. Johnson.
They all went around the house to the back porch. They enjoyed the late lunch talking about different things. They gave a short history of Mackenzie’s life, what her plans for the future were.
“What about you Bill? What do you want to do when you get older?” asked Harm. He knew the answer, but he wanted to hear it from him.
“I want to go to the Naval Academy and then I want to become a fighter pilot.” replied Billy. Finally something interesting to talk about.
“Jack and I both went to the Naval Academy. It’s pretty tough to get into. It’s even tougher to last four years there. You can’t be a dummy.” smiled Harm.
“I could be persuaded to write you a letter of recommendation if you meet the standards.”
“Really! That would be great!” exclaimed Billy.
“You know Jack was a fighter pilot. I’m sure he would be willing to talk to you about what it takes to become one.” smiled Harm. He wanted the Johnsons to know he was thinking about Billy, not just Mackenzie.
“I would be honor to talk with you Bill. I flew for over twenty years and flew every type of jets they was. But I wasn’t the best, Harm was. He was a top gun, something I never quite did.” replied Jack.
Harm reached into a bag he had with him and pulled out a cover and tossed it to Billy.
“This was the cover I wore when I became Captain. And here are the wings I wore. They were my father’s. They’re yours Bill. You can wear them when you become a pilot.” smiled Harm.
The afternoon was beginning to get late when Mrs. Johnson noticed that her little girl was in need of something.
“What’s up Kenzie? You look a little upset.”
“Tommy Peterson called, he’s invited me to a Ball on the fourth. I don’t have anything to wear. You know I don’t have that many dresses, but even if I had more I don’t think any of them would be good enough to wear to a ball.” wailed Kenzie.
“It’s kind of late to be looking for gowns to wear especially on a holiday weekend.” replied Mrs. Johnson.
“I may be able to help you Sarah. I was looking through a lot of Mac’s old things after your visit. I brought some of her things with me for you to have. Mac and I use to attend many formal events.
She needed to have many gowns. I brought a few of them with me. They are in the SUV.” offered Harm.
“You have already given her so much Harm. We can’t expect you to give or buy her gowns too.” replied Mrs. Johnson.
“Nonsense Mrs. Johnson, they were Mac’s gowns. She would have wanted Sarah to have them. I have no use for them. I kept them because I couldn’t throw anything that reminded me of her away. I want her to have them.” replied Harm.
“Come with Bill and help me bring them into the house for your sister.” ordered Harm.
Bill and Mackenzie went with Harm to his SUV. They were amazed to see everything he brought. The SUV was pack with things that had belong to Mac.
“I only brought ten of her gowns with me. Mac has many more, which you can have, but I think these will do for now. These were my favorite ones to see her in.” smiled Harm.
“Thank you Dad. I will treasure them always.” cried Kenzie.
They took them inside to her bedroom.
“Why don’t you look them over and try on the one you like best. Then you can model it for your parents.” offered Harm.
A short time later Mackenzie walked outside with the gown of her choice. It was a beautiful burgundy red mid length gown. It hugged her body in all the right places. Everyone but Harm was stunned to see how beautiful she looked.
“Wow sis! You look beautiful.” exclaimed Billy.
“Mom, dad?” asked Kenzie looking for confirmation.
“You look beautiful dear. Tommy will be floored when he sees you.” replied Mrs. Johnson.
“She looks like Mac Harm. She would have been so proud of her.” offered Jack.
“It’s a little tight around the waist.” said Kenzie.
“I’m sure we can let it out a little sweetie. Many of the very good gown have some extra material.” replied Mrs. Johnson.
“You’re a little taller than Mac was. She used to model when she was your age. Models usually are thinner than everyone else. I think you have my bones.” smiled Harm.
While Mackenzie was upstairs changing out of her gown Harm decided to talk to the Johnsons about the trust funds that were set up for Mackenzie.
“While Sarah is upstairs I wanted to talk to you about the trust funds that were set up for her when she was born.” began Harm. It was a sensitive subject, but it needed to be talked about.
“That’s not necessary Harm. You have already given her so much.” replied Mrs. Johnson.
“Hardly Mrs. Johnson, I have missed out on eighteen years of her life. I have a lot more of Mac’s stuff back at the farm. She would have wanted Sarah to have them. As for the trust funds, Mac and I were lawyer.
One of the things we did for many of the Marines and Sailors was to help them with their estates planning in case they were killed in action. It was something we thought to do after we got married.
We originally put fifty thousand in the trust fund. Then after Mac’s death, I put in all the death and survivor benefits. After I retired from the Navy, I placed all my retirement checks into the trust fund.
The trust fund is now worth over three million dollars.” smiled Harm.
“What! Wow! That’s a lot of money.” whistled Mr. Johnson.
“The trust fund my mother set up for Sarah is now worth about ten million.” added Harm.
“That’s too much Harm. We can’t let you do that. It doesn’t seem right.” argued Mrs. Johnson who was feeling a little small.
While she and her husband had work hard all their life to provide for Mackenzie and Billy, they were lucky to keep a roof over their head and save enough money to pay for tuition for their kids.
“This isn’t a contest Ellen. You were a lifesaver eighteen years ago. I was in no position to take care of Sarah after Mac died. I barely managed to put in the last two years in for retirement.
When I got out I went on a bender for nearly five years before I slowly got my life back together. That was another five years. I’ve been practicing law again the last six years.
There is no amount of money that I can give Sarah to make up for the eighteen years that you have been her parents. You have done an excellent job and should be proud of the young lady she has become.” explained Harm. He was a lawyer, he was not going to lose this argument.
“I know it sounds like a lot of money, but it really isn’t for me. My step father left me over one hundred million dollars when he died. I inherited a hundred acre farm worth over ten million dollars from my grandmother when she died.
So you can see money isn’t an issue for me. Eventually it’s all going to go to Sarah. So right now the trust fund is small potatoes.” Harm completed his explanation.
“Thank you Harm. I feel better knowing that what you have done is what any parent would do for their child, ensure that they will have a future when they are gone.” replied Mr. Johnson.
They spent the next hour looking through the photo album Harm had brought with him. It showed them what kind of woman his Sarah MacKenzie was. She enjoyed her life as a Marine and as a woman with many friends.
Mac had arranged the photos according to the different phases of her life while she was at JAG. One section showed the different activities she participated in, Of course Harm was in many of those photos.
Another section showed her with Harm at the many different social events that they had attended. There were so many different gowns of different colors. Most of them showed Harm and Mac dancing together chin to chin.
Mrs. Johnson didn’t have to wonder why her daughter was so beautiful. Mac was truly a very beautiful woman who lit up a room whenever she entered. She envied Mac for being so beautiful and having such long lines.
part nine Unexpected surprise
They had gone out front to sit on the porch later that afternoon. There was a nice summer breeze blowing and the sun was on the other side of the house. Harm and Jack were drinking a beer with the Johnsons while Mackenzie was upstairs in her room trying on some of the dresses Harm had brought.
Harm noticed a woman walking up the driveway and stopped in front of the corvette. She checked the inside of the car before standing up. Harm felt like whistling as she was a fine looking young lady. Then he heard her speak.
“So this is where my car disappeared to. I wondered what happened to it. I couldn’t find it anywhere when I returned to the states.”
She knew Harm was on the porch. She had seen him as she drove up. She would know figure anywhere. Jack had called her this morning telling her where they were going. He didn’t know the exact location until they had arrived here.
He had excused himself an hour ago to call her again to give her more detailed directions to the house.
“Mac?” said Harm as he heard a voice he hadn’t heard in eighteen years. It couldn’t be he thought. She was dead. How could she be here now? It did look like her.
He got out of his chair and leap down the steps in one stride and was at Mac’s side in less than three seconds.
Billy looked on in surprise. He was surprised that an old man could moved that fast, but then there was an older woman standing there in their driveway that looked a lot liked his sister. He quickly went inside to get her.
The Johnsons didn’t know what to think. They were shocked and couldn’t move. Jack meanwhile looked on and smiled like the cat that ate the canary.
“You’re getting a little slow flyboy.” smiled Mac as she gave him one of her most beautiful smiles.
“What are you doing here Mac? They told me you were dead.” exclaimed Harm as he gabbed her to make sure she was real. He then took her in his arms and hugged her.
“Easy there Sailor, I’m not as pliable as I use to be. I’m a little more fragile now. Jack called me this morning. He told me you called and that you wanted him to drive to Massachusetts with him.
Where have you been? I have been looking for you since I got back from the middle east thirteen years ago.” replied Mac.
“They told me you died after our baby girl was born. I couldn’t handle it for a long time. I wandered aimlessly for many years before I finally ended up in Montana. It was a cattle ranch.
I tended cattle for awhile until I saw an old plane in one of the barns. I asked the owner if he flew and whether or not the plane flew. He told me he hadn’t flown in a few years because the plane didn’t run any more.
I offered to look at it and got it running. Even flew it a few times. I knew then it was time for me to get back to my life. I work part time as a lawyer. I’m living at my grandmother’s farm. She died about fifteen years ago.” replied Harm.
“I almost did die. Webb and his people somehow got to me before I died. I was in a coma for six months. When I woke up Webb told me the baby had died and you were gone. He said you were devastated and had left the Navy.
He convinced me to work with the CIA and Naval Intelligence in the Middle East since I was fluent in Arabic and Farsi. I stayed until I had my twenty plus one.
When I returned to the states I checked every place that I knew where I thought you might be. You weren’t in Washington. You weren’t in La Jolla. I even checked the farm and you weren’t there either.
So I moved back to Arizona to take care of my uncle and mother before they died a couple of years ago. Jack called me at 0500 hours this morning. He told me you called. I took a flight to New York City and rented a car.” replied Mac.
Meanwhile inside the house Billy was trying to get Mackenzie’s attention. He thought she would want to see the woman who had just arrived.
“Kenzie! Kenzie! Open up, I have to talk to you.” yelled Billy.
“What do you want Billy? I’m busy trying on some my mother’s dresses.” she answered back.
“There’s a woman outside. She looks like you. I heard Harm call her Mac!” explained Billy.
“My mother is here?” she exclaimed as she opened the door.
“I don’t know. Harm said she was dead, but she sure looks like the woman in the pictures.” Billy replied as they hurried down the stairs and unto the porch.
“I’ll kill him if I ever see him again. The pain he has caused me ..... and you. I have missed you so much Sarah. I felt like dying when they told me you were dead I was dead inside for so many years.” cried Harm.
“I felt that way too when Webb told me that the baby died. I wanted to crawl up inside myself and die, but Webb convinced me to work for him.” replied Mac.
“Our little girl didn’t die Sarah. I gave her up for adoption shortly after she was born. It’s one of the reasons I’m here today. She came to visit me a few weeks ago and invited me here for the holiday.” corrected Harm
“I’ll kill him if I see him again.” murmured Mac.
“Do you want to see her? Her name is Sarah Mackenzie Johnson.” asked Harm.
Tears were forming in her eyes as she nodded her head. For so many years she felt like less of a woman because she hadn’t given life to her daughter when she was born. Now she had the chance to see her. Harm turned her to the porch.
Mac looked up and saw the most beautiful young lady in the world. She couldn’t believe how beautiful her daughter looked. She was full grown and quite tall. She also noticed that she was wearing one of her expensive dresses.
“Now you know why your car is here Sarah. Your baby girl is here and she is all grown up. Go on, go up and see her, talk to her.” directed Harm.
He walked her up the steps to her daughter who had been waiting anxiously for her. Mackenzie was shocked to see her. She couldn’t move. It had to be her mother. She looked so much like the pictures of her.
Mac held out her arms to her daughter. She just wanted to hold her and never let her go.
“Are you my Mom? Dad said you were dead.” asked Mackenzie when she found her voice again.
“That’s what Harm tells me. You do look like me. You’re beautiful sweetie. Where did you get that dress? That dress cost me two thousand dollars. What else did Harm give you?” asked Mac giving her a stern look.
“Uhmm ..... He gave me ten gowns and fifteen dresses along with some military uniforms and ..... and ..... some photo albums of you and him.” she shuddered.
Mac looked over to Harm with a look that could kill.
“I suppose you gave her my favorite gowns and dresses. Do you know how much I paid for them? More than you paid to restore that car of yours.” asked Mac in a voice of a full bird Colonel.
“Mac, Sarah honey, I only gave her a few of your things. The rest of them I have back at the farm. You must have had over thirty gowns and a hundred dresses. I thought you would have wanted her to have them.” squirmed Harm.
“I supposed you gave her my shoes too. I bet they don’t even match the gowns or the dresses. I wondered what you did with all of them. Harriet was of no use. I never thought to check out the farm house when I didn’t find you there.” Mac continued the assault like any good marine.
“No, I’m sure I matched up the right shoes to the gowns and dresses. You explained your system to me many years ago. You know it wasn’t easy. Every gown or dress I picked out for her I saw you in it. It took me back to a happier time.
For instance that dress she’s wearing right now. You wore that to Skate’s wedding a year after the crash. You looked like a delicious creamsicle. Do you remembered what we did that night after Skates left for her honeymoon?” smiled Harm as he raised his eyebrows up and down several times.
It was a smile that hadn’t been seen in eighteen years. It was a smile that could make any woman swoon, Mac was no exception as she felt her knees buckle. Mackenzie saw the smile too and thought WOW! No wonder why her mother fell in love with him.
She also saw the change in both of them. They were becoming playful and very suggestive in their conversation and actions. She could see the love between them even after all this time apart.
“Not in front of the baby Harm. We must not give her any ideas.” smiled Mac.
The smile lit up Mac’s face. It was the most beautiful smile Mackenzie had ever seen. She wondered if that’s what Tommy Peterson saw whenever she smiled. Harm had told her she smiled like her mother.
“Before I leave Mackenzie, I’ll need to check out the shoes to see that he gave you the right one. There was a pair of shoes for each gown and most of the dresses. I had over a hundred shoes of various different shades. Harm is a little color blind.” smiled Mac.
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