(In Scene VI Carol was the sixth of nine to visit their father)
Setting: Master bedroom. Room is spacious and comfortable. King size bed against the far wall from the entry door. Nightstands on either side with reading lamps. A Lazy Boy positioned at the end of the bed facing the entry to the room. There is another chair, folding, that rests directly opposite the Lazy Boy so that both parties in their respective chairs would be facing each other. A couple feet from the two chairs is the entrance to the master bath. Along the near wall closest to the door sits an extensive dresser and bureau and just past the bureau is a walk-in closet. Various pieces of artwork hang from the open spaces on each of the four walls. One in particular is a painting of the man sitting in the Lazy Boy. It`s an action painting of the man highlighting his career as a professional basketball player.
The man has three days left in his life. He is home, in his room preparing to die from congestive heart failure. His nine kids have come to say their goodbyes, one-by-one.
LIGHTS COME UP
Door opens, Dan enters and shuts the door and turns toward his father.
DAN asking with permission.
MAY I JOIN YOU?
Father weakly lifts his hand and waves Dan over to join him.
Although a big man, 6`7”, Dan sits toward the front of the chair,
slightly leaning forward fully focused on his dad.
FATHER eyeing his son.
WHAT DO YOU SAY BIG FELLA?
DAN with reverence.
HOW YA HOLDING UP DAD? DO YOU NEED TO TAKE A BREAK?
DAN voice with a tone of praise.
SUCH A JOURNEY DAD… WHAT YOU`VE DONE, A WORLD-CLASS CHAMPION ATHLETE, SUCCESSFUL BUSINESSMAN, A WONDERFUL MARRIAGE AND NINE KIDS TO BOOT. YOU`VE DONE WELL MY FRIEND.
Father shrugs his shoulders in acknowledgement.
Short pause and Dan continues.
A COUPLE THINGS YOU HAD ASKED ME TO DO. GOOD NEWS,
TODAY I HEARD BACK FROM THE NBA. YOUR PLAYER`S
PENSION WILL BE TRANSFERRED TO MOM AND PAID UNTIL HER DEATH.
Dad nods with eyes closed and mouth`s Thank You.
ALL THE LEGAL MATTERS OF THE FAMILY TRUST ARE
EXACTLY AS YOU HAVE DIRECTED. MOM`S TAKEN CARE OF.
Short silence- Dan continues.
SUCH A LIFE DAD. IS THERE ANYTHING YOU
WOULD HAVE DONE DIFFERENTLY?
NO, NOT REALLY. WOULDN`T DO ME ANY GOOD NOW, RIGHT?
DAN somewhat awkwardly
SILLY QUESTION- WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN MOST THANKFUL FOR?
FATHER brows raised somewhat and head tilted.
YOUR MOTHER AND YOU KIDS.
HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE REMEMBERED?
FATHER a little embarrassed.
I DON`T KNOW. ASK ME SOMETHING ELSE.
DAN with admiration.
YOU WERE ALWAYS THE MODEST ONE.
I COULDN`T HELP HEARING YOU AND MARTY SINGING.
MIGHT WE HAVE OUR TURN?
FATHER a pleased look.
ONLY IF IT`S DANNY BOY!
DAN AND DAD together.
OH DANNY BOY, YOUR…
END SCENE VII
FATHER- 82, former professional basketball player, college All-American, great all-around athlete, businessman, devoted father and husband. Logical, understanding and a disciplinarian. Sang in the church choir.
DANIEL- 47, married, 4 children, lawyer, tall at 6`-7” and Hollywood good-looks. Athletic-collegiate b-ball, flamboyant, intelligent, passionate, perfectionist, persuasive, successful and a very fine singer.
SCENE – 7B
(Mother and Mike having private time in the far end of the dining room away from all the chatter. Dan is with his father)
Setting: Dining room sits just adjacent to the living room. Long table with high-backed chairs on the ends, and bench seating on the sides. A cabinet holding crystal, dishware, etc. sits snugly against the end wall. An opportunity for the eldest son to visit with his mother.
Their dad has three days left in his life. He is home, in his bedroom preparing to die from congestive heart failure. The nine children have flown in from around the country to say their last goodbyes. Siblings are commiserating, waiting for their turn with Dad.
LIGHTS COME UP
Mother sitting in a high-back chair and Mike sitting close on the end of the bench. Comfortable postures, water goblets sit just in front of their folded hands resting on the dining table.
MIKE with reverence.
HOW ARE YOU HOLDING UP MOM?
MOTHER deep breath and a pause… thinking.
WELL, AS YOUR DAD WOULD SAY, ASK ME TOMORROW.
Both have a soft chuckle.
MOTHER continues grasping Mike`s hand.
THIS HAS BEEN SOMETHING ELSE. EACH OF YOU KIDS MAKING TIME TO SEE YOUR DAD. HE IS SO THANKFUL. I`M VERY THANKFUL.
MIKE matter of fact.
HE`S A GOOD MAN, MOM. IT TOOK ME A LONG TIME TO FIGURE THAT OUT, BUT HE`S A GOOD MAN.
Mother squeezes Mike`s hand and nods appreciatively.
MIKE soft firmness in his delivery.
I DIDN`T MUCH LIKE DAD GROWING UP. WE JUST DIDN`T SEE EYE-TO-EYE. HE WAS SUCH A PERFECTIONIST THAT SOMETIMES I DIDN`T THINK I COULD BREATHE. YOU REMEMBER. NOTHING I DID SEEMED TO PLEASE HIM.
MOTHER now holding both of Mike`s hands in hers.
YOUR DAD AND I WERE SO YOUNG BACK THEN. YOU, PEGGY, AND MARIANNE CAME ALONG SO QUICKLY AND OF COURSE GIRLS ARE ALWAYS THE PERFECT ONES. BEING THE FIRST BOY WAS A BIT OF A CURSE. QUITE HONESTLY, YOU WERE PROBABLY HIS ALTER EGO…FREE SPIRITED, CHALLENGING, BOLD. HE WAS LEARNING HOW TO HANDLE FATHERHOOD.
Mike relaxing a bit and staying focused on his mother.
YOUR FATHER WAS EXTREMELY COMPETITIVE AND ONLY HAD ONE WAY OF DOING THINGS. HIS WAY…GOOD, BAD, OR INDIFFERENT. (Firmly with focus) BUT KNOW THIS, YOUR FATHER LOVED EACH AND EVERYONE OF YOU KIDS EQUALLY. HE MAY HAVE BEEN A BIT MORE DEMANDING WITH YOU BUT HE WAS ALWAYS FAIR AND PRINCIPLED.
A pause for a few seconds.
I REMEMBER WHEN YOU STAYED IN FT. WAYNE TO FINISH YOUR SENIOR YEAR IN HIGH SCHOOL. WE HAD MOVED TO NAPERVILLE BECAUSE OF LEO`S PROMOTION. IT WAS SO DISAPPOINTING FOR HIM TO MISS YOUR SENIOR YEAR OF TRACK AND THEN WHEN YOU ENLISTED IN THE NAVY, IT WAS DEVASTATING. HE THOUGHT HE MAY NEVER SEE YOU AGAIN.
I GUESS I WAS BEING A BIT REBELLIOUS.
A short pause. Hands still being held by both.
I`M SURE YOU KNOW THAT DAD ASKED ME TO GIVE HIS EULOGY ALONG WITH MARIANNE. I MEANT TO ASK HIM EARLIER BUT MAYBE YOU CAN HELP ME. IS THERE ANYTHING DAD WOULD LIKE FOR ME TO SAY ON HIS BEHALF?
MOTHER sharpness in her delivery.
HE WOULD LIKE YOU TO BE MICHAEL CRAIG, HIS VERY DEAR SON.
END OF SCENE
Nancy- 77, Mike (Baptized Michael Craig)- 57