by: KK Duke
It had been an hour or so since Daisy and Uncle Jesse had left the hospital. All Luke could do was sit on the stool and watch KK through the rails of the hospital crib. The room was only illuminated by a dim light that was situated against the wall closet to the crib. Bo knew that Luke needed to talk about his feelings and who else to turn to but his best friend. A best friend that hadn’t been there for him since KK arrived. Maybe he felt jealous of her. Okay, really jealous of her. Before she came along Luke was willing to go out and chase girls in the General Lee in a moment and now he would rather spend the time with KK. What was so interesting about a baby anyways? All she ever did was eat, sleep, or have a dirty diaper. He just didn’t get it. Maybe by staying here, with Luke, he would finally understand what was so special about it. She was cute and adorable, but what else could she do? She was only 20 months old and unable to do much more than what a newborn could do. Why was that? Aaron and Karen were talking and walking, why couldn’t she? Granted she couldn’t walk just yet but in time he hoped so but why not talked? There was the autism, but Luke said she was starting to talk. Maybe that was a good sign? He sure hoped so, because for Luke’s sake, he hope she be okay.
“Look how peaceful she is, Bo,” Luke said, bringing Bo out of his daydream. Bo brought the other stool and sat next to Luke, looking in on KK.
“Wish they could give her a prescription for this. She would always sleep the night away.”
“I know she has kept you up at night, but she’s getting the hang of sleeping through the night although the last few nights she must have been in pain the last few days.”
“I can’t even imagine what she felt. It was probably a pin pricking her and she couldn’t get it to go away.”
A few minutes of time passes by in silence.
“Do you ever think she’ll be normal?”
“What do you mean by normal?”
“How we were when we were kids.”
“Who knows, Bo? Right now, I would tell you no. It will take a lot of time and energy just to get her talking and walking. Maybe she’ll never be like us when we were her age. Then again, maybe she will. I pray every night for her to be strong and independent. Be able to speak her own mind, not have it locked up in her own head. It’s asking a lot but if I won’t who will?”
“Luke,” Bo said a few moments later, “Has she changed you in any way?”
“Of course she has. I don’t know what kind of spell she has over me, but she’s my entire world.”
“Look how defenseless she is. She needs everyone to do everything for her practically. It likes I can leave my mark in life.”
“What? What mark?”
“To be remembered for something. I mean I know we’ll probably be legends for years to come thanks to the crooked law enforcement, moonshining and the General Lee but for KK I can make an impact in her life.”
“What if nothing changes?”
“What do you mean Bo? Things change everyday.”
“What I mean is what if KK never talks or walks?”
“She will. She just needs to figure it out in her own time. She’s already talkin’. She’s a bit behind for her age but the doctors that Uncle Jesse has been in contact with say that she should catch up by the time she’ll go to school.”
Bo wanted to ask more questions about he didn’t want to talk, he wanted to listen. But Luke would budge and start talking. He kept looking at KK, watching her chest go up and down in rhythmic pattern.
Bo got up and went to the window to look out and get his thoughts together. This was driving him nuts. He couldn’t help but talk. Being silent and patient was the strong qualities in Luke not him. He could barley go a minute without saying anything but Luke was always the quiet and reserved one. Bo would get into some heavy trouble because of his yakking and Luke would think of a plan to get him out of it. That’s the way it always worked.
An hour or so passed. Bo was becoming antsy because he was bored and was exhausted but felt he needed to be there for Luke and KK. After all she was family too. Luke indicated that he was leaving the room for a moment to use the restroom and would be right back. It was now two in the morning and KK had been sleeping peacefully so Bo didn’t bother to sit down on the stool close to her. He figured that he would sleep through the night like the doctor said so there was no point of being close to her.
Suddenly he heard crying. It took a few minutes for Bo to recognize that it was his own cousin making this noise. He had only hoped Luke heard her cries, but realized that he didn’t when he didn’t come back right away. “Now what to do he mumbled to himself.” He walked back to the crib where the stools were and tried to calm her down.
“Shhh….,” he tried telling her while brushing her hair of her face. That didn’t work. Actually it maid her screams louder. He knew that the only way to calm her down was to pick her up and rock her. Luke had told him that and it was really the only thing that worked. She loved to be rocked. Bo gently, without disturbing any wires, picked her up in his arms and rocked her.
“Hey you,” he quietly whispered to KK. “You were supposed to sleep through the night and then wake up after the surgery. So much for that theory, unh? You just love to surprise everyone, don’t you,” Bo said with a smile. This seemed to calm down KK a bit. She was crying as hard, but still was.
“Hey, Luke isn’t going to be to thrill with me if he knows that you woke up and were crying under my watch. You know, Luke loves you more than I have ever seen anyone love anyone. Sure Uncle Jesse loves each of equally, but you have wrapped your hand around Luke’s heart. You know you might be the first one to do that. Okay, there was that race car driver but she was just a fling. You’re at least staying in Hazzard.
Bo rocked her in silence for a few more minutes and it seemed that she was falling back to sleep. “That’s a good girl, its 2:15 in the morning and all princesses need their beauty sleep. We may complain about you waking us up, but there’s not a better place to grow up than Hazzard. Ask any of the locals and you’ll learn. And remember you, if anyone tries to hurt you, you run to me and I’ll beat them up for you. Okay, violence is not the answer to everything, but when you get older and understand about your family back in Michigan, you’ll get it.
A few minutes more of rocking and KK finally fell asleep. He then gently placed her back in the crib and tried not to jostle any wires around that were attached to her.
Bo had totally forgotten that Luke had been with him and had stepped out before KK started crying. Walking into room Luke spoke softly, startling Bo, “See, didn’t I tell you that you would fall in love with her.”
“I totally forgot about you. At first I was upset that she was crying and then I had to calm her down and by the time I was done and she was sleeping, I forgot that you had stepped out.”
“Doesn’t she grow on you?”
“She does. Hey, Luke do you worry about her father ever coming back into down and trying to take her back to Michigan?”
“We can’t live in fear of it, so I try to keep it in the back of my mind.”
A few minutes of silence went by. Luke then told Bo that he was going to get some sleep and if he needed anything to wake him up.
Not too much longer Bo was sound asleep on the stool as well.
The sun was shining and Luke was a bit disorientated of where he was at. Then reality hit him and he realized that his precious baby was going to have major surgery today. He was scared and he wasn’t even the one going through the surgery. He got off the hospital bed and realized that Bo was sound asleep on the stool. He also noticed that his big hand was wrapped around KK’s small hands and a tear came to his eye.
“Hey Bo,” he said trying to stirred him awake.
“Hey, what time is it,” Bo asked sleepily.
“It’s almost seven. Jesse and Daisy should be here soon and so will Dr. Kervish to take her to surgery.”
“Luke, she’ll be fine. I know you’re nervous but she’s in capable hands.”
“I know,” he said wiping a tear that got away from him, “but she’s my baby.”
“She’s not just your baby, she’s mine too!” Bo said smiling trying to help lighten the mood.”
A few moments later Daisy, Uncle Jesse, and Dr. Kervish entered the room.
“How’s the patient?” Dr. Kervish asked.
“Sleeping like a baby,” Bo said.
A nurse came in and some orderlies waited at the door of the room who would take KK to the operating room. “I’ll give you a few minutes. Just let me know, I’ll be standing outside the door,” Dr. Kervish said and left the room.
Both Uncle Jesse and Daisy wished her luck and kissed her. Bo was next and told her that he loved her and gave her a kiss. The three of them gave Luke some privacy in order to tell her goodbye. “You behave young lady and no crying business,” although Luke himself was on the verge of tears. “After this a few weeks in a cast and then you’ll be walking before you know it. I love you,” he said and then brush her hair off her forehead and kissed her there.
Luke couldn’t speak to let Dr. Kervish know to come in so Uncle Jesse did. Luke was all choked up even though he swore to himself he wouldn’t and that she would be fine. But still when it’s your kid going through something as scary as surgery and you can’t do anything about it you still freak out over it.
After they had taken KK away Daisy and Uncle Jesse went to the Surgery Waiting Room while Bo waited outside the door for Luke. Luke had walked over to the window, facing it so no one could see his tears. He didn’t want anyone to know that he was crying, after all he was a man and men don’t cry. Bo knew what was going on, he walked over to where Luke was standing and put his arm around his shoulders. Luke couldn’t hold it in anymore and let the tears run down his face. Even Bo shed a few because he was worried about her as well.
A few moments later, “I feel like a fool, but I worry about her.”
“You were always the worry wart of the family,” Bo said to Luke. “Come on, Jesse and Daisy are gonna start worrying about what happened to us.”
Bo and Luke then went to Surgery Waiting Room to wait out the surgery with Jesse and Daisy.
Luke tried looking through a few magazines but couldn’t concentrate on anything so he paced around the waiting room driving Uncle Jesse up the wall.
“Luke,” Uncle Jesse said, “Relax. She’ll be fine.”
Luke ignored his Uncle. Not that he wanted to make him mad, but he never recalled any of his cousins in the hospital for surgery. Didn’t he understand that KK was having major surgery and he was just playing the role of the nervous father? So he kept pacing and Uncle Jesse gave up in trying to have him sit down.
Three hours later, after KK was taken to the Operating Room, Dr. Kervish came to the Surgery Waiting Room.
“How is she?” Bo asked, shocking his Uncle Jesse that it wasn’t Luke asking.
“She’s fine and you’ll be able to see her in a few minutes. If all goes well she’ll be able to go home today. There will be a nurse to see you in a few minutes to lead to the recovery room and I will meet with all of you at least once before we release her to go over the plan to literally get her on her feet and walking.”
“Thank You doctor,” Uncle Jesse said as he walked out the door.
KK did go home that day with a red cast that cover her right leg from below the knee and covered most of the foot. It would take a while for her to get on her feet and walking but once she got home she started to crawl. Crawl all over the place that is. Everyone had to keep an eye out for her because she loved to get under people feet. She even started talking more and more which was a big relief to everyone that knew her.
She went to the doctors on August 26, 1977 to get her cast off her leg. They had said let her decide when she wanted to take her first step. It wouldn’t be long though. KK had recognized by watching her sisters that you could move faster if you were on two feet as compared by two knees and she had tried only to chastise by everyone not to put weight on her right leg. During her and her sister’s birthday party she decided it was the time to show off and walked a few steps to where Luke was standing. Everyone applauded and KK just smiled.
In Hazzard, miracles do happen.