See part 1 for disclaimers
Author's Note: I am not a doctor so if any of this is medically wrong you have my deepest apologies. This note also applies to further parts of this story.
"Itís good to see both of my sons." Isaac Ziegler said as he opened the door of his house to his sons.
"Itís been too long, Dad." David said.
"Yes, it has." Toby agreed.
"Iím sure both of you are tired from your flight." Isaac said. "Howís Meghan doing, Toby?"
"Sheís fine. I brought some photos and other stuff for you."
"Good, pictures of my only grandchild. Your mother would have been disappointed that there are not any more."
"Yeah, she would have been." David said.
"Iím certain you are both wondering why I wanted to see you." Isaac said.
"Yes, we were." Toby said
"Sit down then" Isaac said.
Toby and David sat down on the balcony with their father.
"Okay, I wanted to see both of you once more before I die."
"Dad..." Toby and David said at the same time.
"No, let me finish. I was diagnosed with cancer a few weeks ago. Itís an inoperable brain tumor. They gave me six weeks to live."
Toby and David sat in shock for a few minutes before speaking.
"Youíre certain?" Toby said.
"Yeah, I am." Isaac said.
"Maybe you should get a second opinion." David said.
"I already did."
They set in silence for a few minutes again, before Toby finally asked the question that was on both his and Davidís minds. "How much longer do you have Dad?"
Toby was silent for a few minutes. In the last ten years, since his parents had moved to Israel, he had drifted further and further from his father. They spoke on the phone now and then. Mostly on the major holidays, and the conversations had become more frequent since he and CJ had married. Isaac had even come to Washington when Meghan had been six months old. But still the conversations were mostly about CJ and Meghan. Sitting there looking at his father, Toby found himself speechless.
"Dad, you know we love you." David said.
CJ was sitting next to the phone when Toby called. She picked it up on the first ring.
"I guess you made it safely to Jerusalem?" She asked.
"Yeah." He answered. "Howís Meghan?"
"Sheís fine. Whatís wrong?"
"What makes you think anything is wrong?"
"I hear it in your voice."
"Yeah, and you havenít answered the question."
"I...well we found out the reason Dad wanted us to come over here."
"CJ...heís dying...he wanted to see David and I once more before he died."
"Oh, Iím so sorry. Whatís wrong?"
"An inoperable brain tumor."
"Iíll ask Leo for time off and fly out there."
"No, donít. I think he wants it to be just David and I."
"Yeah, I realize that. But my point is you need me there."
"I want to honor his wishes."
"Okay. Then I guess youíll call me everyday?"
"Probably more than once."
"I love you."
"I know. I love you too."
"Iím...feeling right now like I havenít told him that often enough."
"I know you are. He knows how you feel."
"Yeah. Give Meghan a kiss for me."
"Okay. I will. Love you."
"Love you too. Bye."
CJ sat and stared at the phone after she had hung it up. Everything Toby had told her had shocked her, although part of her had thought that could be the reason Isaac wanted to see Toby and David. She got up and looked in on Meghan, who was asleep. She was still recovering from the ear infection she had earlier in the week. CJ had stayed up most of the nights with Meghan. CJ went back in the living room and sat down to read the memos she had brought home.
"Dad." Toby said stepping out onto the balcony where his father was sitting.
"Come out and join me son." Seeing the distaste on his sonís face, Isaac smiled. "I know you donít exactly like being outdoors son, but humor me."
"Yeah, I donít like being outdoors." Toby said as he poured some orange juice from the pitcher.
"I never understood why." Isaac said.
"Maybe I just donít like the fresh air."
"Maybe you donít." Isaac laughed. "I know I asked you yesterday but how are CJ and Meghan?"
"Theyíre both fine. Meghan had an ear infection a few days before I left, but sheís doing better now. She felt well the morning I left, and CJ said she was okay last night."
"I guess that you told CJ what I told you and David?"
"Yeah, I did. She wants to come here."
"No, listen Toby, itís not that I donít like her, or Melanie for that matter, but I wanted to spend this time alone with my sons."
"I explained that to her. I donít think she liked it though."
"She thinks she needs to be here for you?"
"And she will be, when you go back to the States. You know you having someone takes one worry off my mind.
"What do you mean by that?" Toby asked.
"Your mother and I always worried that you would end up alone."
"Hold on I was married to Andrea when Mom died."
"Yeah, I know that. But your mother and I knew she wasnít the one."
"Yeah, Leah said that would never last, and that someday you would meet the person you were meant to be with."
"She always was quite the romantic, wasnít she?" Toby laughed thinking of his mother.
"Yeah, she was." Isaac agreed. "She would have liked Claudia you know. And thatís what she would have called her, Claudia, your mother was too Old World to call your wife by her initials."
"You think she would have liked CJ?"
"Yeah, she would have. She would have seen how happy she makes you and that would have been enough. And of course she would have adored her granddaughter. Oh, why havenít you shown me those pictures you mentioned last night?"
"There in the house. Iíll get them in a minute. She was glad to come back here wasnít she?"
"Who?" Isaac asked.
"Mother." Toby replied.
"Yeah, she was. She had missed Jerusalem. But she liked New York too. It was just Jerusalem was home for her. After, I retired and you and David were grown up she wanted to come home."
"Yeah, I remember. I wish I had kept in touch more."
"You kept in touch."
"I called you on the holidays."
"You have a busy life, I always understood why you didnít call more often."
"The fact that I was busy is no excuse for not calling you."
"Yeah it is. Donít worry about it son. And donít sit and brood over it when Iím gone."
"Yeah, you will. And Iím going to call CJ and tell her not to let you."
"You would, wouldnít you?"
"CJ." Leo said as the rest of the staff left the meeting.
"Youíve talked to Toby?"
"Yeah, last night. His father is dying."
"Oh, Iím sorry. When are you leaving for Jerusalem?"
"Iím not. Isaac wants to spend his last days alone with his sons. I donít like it. I feel like Toby needs me there, but what can I do?"
"Thereís not much you can do."
"No, thereís not."
"Is Meghan feeling better?"
"Yeah, sheís fine. I have to take her back to the doctor later today. But sheís feeling much better. Sheís slept the entire night the last two nights."
"What time is the appointment?"
"Three. Josh or Sam one will do the afternoon briefing for me, if thatís okay?"
"Yeah, thatís fine. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"So, sheís feeling better?" Meghanís pediatrician, Dr. Bauer asked.
"Yes, she is." CJ replied. "I think the ear infection has cleared up, and she slept the last two nights."
"Thatís good, the tests indicate that the infection has cleared up. Has she taken all the antibiotic I prescribed?"
"No." CJ replied.
"Well finish the entire dosage, just to make sure the infection doesnít come back. And Iíll see her for her regular appointment in January unless something happens." Dr. Bauer said.
When CJ was leaving Dr. Bauerís office, she ran into her doctor, Dr. Santos, whoís office was next door.
"Claudia, hello." Dr. Santos said. "How are you?"
"Iím fine." CJ replied.
"Well, thatís good. That canít be Meghan. She canít be that big now?"
"Sheís almost two now."
"I guess she is."
"Dr. Santos, since Iíve ran into you, may I ask you a question?"
"The birth control bills that Iíve been on the last two years. I missed a couple of dosages earlier in the week..."
"Did you back up and take the pills after you realized it?"
"I see. And now youíre thinking you could be pregnant again?"
"It is possible that I could be."
"Take a home test in a couple of weeks and if itís positive come and see me."
"Okay, thank you."
"Your welcome, Claudia. Have you told Toby any of this?"
"He left for Israel three days ago, his father is ill. So I really donít want to tell him over the phone."
"Is Meghan still awake?" Toby asked after he and CJ had been talking for a few minutes.
"No, she went to sleep about an hour ago."
"I was hoping to talk to her. How did the doctorís appointment go?"
"The infection has cleared up, but Meghan has to take the rest of the antibiotic."
"I see. I bet sheís loving that."
"Yeah, she really hates that yucky medicine. You have a much easier time giving it to her than I do."
"Yeah, you do. Howís Isaac?"
"The same, if he hadnít told us. I wouldnít think heís sick."
"I see youíre off the phone now." Isaac said when Toby joined him in the kitchen.
"Yeah, and Iím surprised youíre not on the balcony yet."
"I was waiting on you. Howís CJ?"
"Fine, I think."
"She sounded worried, and Iím wondering what about." Toby said.
"You could always ask her." Isaac suggested.
"She wonít tell me. At least not right now." Toby said.
"She doesnít want you to have anything else to worry about."
"Iíve always been surprised that you two havenít had another baby yet."
"What brought that up?"
"David told me last night that Melanie canít have any children."
"I see. CJ had problems when she was pregnant with Meghan, remember?"
"Yeah, but from what I remember you telling me, thereís no guarantee that would happen again."
"Thereís also not a guarantee that it wouldnít happen again. I canít see her go through that again."
"Well, you know what you can take."
"Yeah, I do and I donít think she could take going through that again. "
"It was tough on both of you?"
"And if she were to get pregnant again?"
"Thereís a small chance. Weíll deal with it if that happens."
to be continued...