Saturday, August 22, 2015
*Greetings one and all. Today I take great pleasure in introducing you to yet another character from "The Vampyre Blogs - Coming Home". Meet Doctor Jonathan "Jack" Tyler, or Doctor Jack as everyone calls him. He's another member of Nathan's extended family, as well as a dear friend to Brian and his family. Jack of course knows Nathan's secret and being the town surgeon, keeps a good supply of blood on hand for him. But Jack didn't always know about Nathan, and he's here to tell you all how he found out. I hope you enjoy meeting him and hearing his tale...
Things were busy at the clinic today, as they've been most of the week. With the start of school there were a lot of last minute immunizations, check-ups, summer sniffles and whatnot to deal with. Things should quiet down for a bit, but soon it'll be cold and flu season again. Then of course there'll be the holidays, not that I mind. I love helping decorate the clinic with my staff. I'll also get to help with the decorations at home as well, but that won't be for a few weeks.
God I love this time of year, seeing all the leaves turning it's as if mother nature whipped out her most vibrant paints and started dabbing at the trees. Looking up I saw the sun was already setting and quickly got into my car. From there I drove out of town and soon found myself driving down some the most beautiful country roads, bordered by forest on both sides.
Turning down a well-known side road, I headed deeper into the woods until I started seeing cars dotting both sides of the street. But I could see people heading back to their cars. Not many folks like to wander the trails after the sun started going down, but me and my wife love it out here. I manage to find a good spot to park near where the street actually ends in a wide circle, designed so folks can turn around and head back the way they came. There's also a fence with an opening that puts your right on the walking path that leads into the woods.
Getting out, I recognized a number of my patients and neighbors. This is a popular stretch of woods and in autumn, none of us can get enough of this area. As I make my way down the picturesque path I'm transported back to another time, some thirty years ago, when my life had taken a much darker outlook. My mother had been diagnosed with cancer, and suddenly my world of popularity on and off the playing field had become so meaningless...
My ruminations are suddenly interrupted by the appearance of a red fox who is standing in the middle of the path a dozen yards ahead of me. The animal is looking at me and cocks its head in a curious fashion. There had been a fox back then too, I remember.
The animal starts to swish its tail excitedly and then proceeds to trot towards me, stopping occasionally as if to check me out. Finally, when it's just a few feet away, it gets excited and then races around my legs and then starts heading off to the path. It pauses briefly to stare at me and I just know I'm supposed to follow him, which I do.
Soon, I find myself deeper in the woods, listening to the crunching of the leaves beneath my feet, as well as enjoying the canopy of gold, red, yellow and green above me. I also keep track of my guide who keeps stopping to make sure he hasn't lost me. As we venture deeper into the woods the sounds of a running water reach my ears and I know for sure where I am and who's waiting for me.
We come to a clearing that overlooks a large stream with a waterfall just off to my left. Ahead of me there's a big blanket spread out with my wife Cheryl setting out plates. My son and daughter, Joe and Darlene are with her. While over by the edge of the stream stands my mother and the man who saved her, Nathan. Although she's still in her late sixties, I have to admit she's still a fine looking woman. The fact that she wouldn't still be here if not for our family friend and guardian, has never been lost on me or my wife. She and I had been high school sweethearts and I'd nearly pushed her away when my mother got the cancer diagnosis, but Nathan kept me from losing her as well.
He'd found me in this very spot all those years ago and given me hope when I thought there was none to be found anywhere. That was the day he'd also shared his secret with me and showed me that even when life throws you what seems to be the ultimate curve ball, that hope can appear out of that darkness if you just keep your eyes open.
I look up and see the sun is fading. Soon the stars will be out. I wonder if tonight will be the night that Nathan shares his secret with my children? A part of me hopes so. The truth can be frightening, but it can also be wondrous as he showed me that lonely autumn night so long ago...
TO BE CONTINUED...