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Sweeter Than Elderberry Wine
An Asthma Attack


“I’ve come to talk. I think it’s time for it. We need to take a long hard look at some things.” Zona threw her head back and her chin out as she spoke.

“Suits me.” John agreed. He was as ready as she was to end this separation.

“The fact of the matter is that I can’t stay out there on that place with the kids by myself any longer. I’m not doin’ any good there, just holdin’ on to it is all. Your son is plagued with terrible asthma attacks and it is almost more than I can do to struggle with that and then have to take care of everything else.”

“I know you think I haven’t put some thought into things but I have.”

John spoke carefully to his estranged wife. “They are tellin’ me there is a lot of good farming land out around Guymon, Oklahoma. I believe, if we sell all this out here and give that a try we’d be better off. The air is dry out there and old Doc thinks that might help Lee’s asthma.” John characteristically was working toward his goal for moving the family to another location.

“You do what has to be done with paperwork and I’ll sign. I’m ready to give it up here. We got married to be a family and I still want that,” Zona reasoned with her husband. She reached up to touch his cheek with the flat of her hand and he pulled her into an embrace. The men in the saloon yelled their characteristic, yeee-hawwss and wobbled their beer steins on the tables, back and forth to rattle a sound of agreement while they waved a fist in the air. Their separation must have been discussed by the towns people already and this reuniting was met with pleasure and gladness for the couple’s renewed compatibility.

After John and Zona were re-united she was ready to return to the wagon where her daughter was waiting. She said her goodbyes to John. No sooner did she get up onto the seat than an asthma attack struck. She climbed into the bed of the wagon, and spoke to her daughter. “You will have to drive the oxen on home. If I stay very still maybe, I can make it.”

‘The stress and the huge amount of self-discipline Zona had taken on in order to communicate with John must have brought the asthma attack on her. After crawling into the box bed on the back she was almost unconscious but kept up her struggle to breath. The girl held the reins to the oxen and they found their way back to Otter Creek off the 4-D.’

“Mommy!” We’re home now. You can get up.” Like her mother before her she had the courage to take control and to go forward to do what was necessary at the time.


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