A Tale of Marriage, Medicine and Murder


This is a list of how often and where the term 'children' appears in the book PERSONAL BAGGAGE.

Search result for 'children' in PERSONAL BAGGAGE

Chapter 1: Chapter One
"... More than a profession for Penny Pewitt, RN, nursing was her avocation yet something was missing. Neither nursing, with its multiplicity of demands, nor the animals her children, Tom, Dick, and Harriet, had abandoned to her care filled the emptiness they had left behind. Tears stung ..."
"... out when you didn’t come to our boys’ games...” Penny interrupted. “But when the boys played you were always there and I was at work or washing or cleaning. I guess you remember that none of our children helped around the house.” She closed her eyes, lowered her head, and pinched her ..."
"...She closed her eyes, lowered her head, and pinched her nose. Almost inevitably, she recalled an evening when she had compiled lists of age-appropriate chores and presented one to each child at supper. The children complained and Johnny said the lists were a bad idea. She suffered again the desperation of that rock-bottom moment when he didn’t support her, and she walked out of the house, got into her car, and drove all the way to Louisiana. Finally, she turned ..."
"...To a certain extent, Penny had enjoyed her children more when they were young: so cuddly, cute, and so eager to learn. As they grew older and after she became a nurse, their needs multiplied in the dark. Penny had once believed that if she tried hard enough she could be a perfect mother; Dr. Spock’s ..."

Chapter 5: Chapter Five
"...Wearing a small bandage on her forehead, the patient entered the Unit in a wheelchair pushed by an ER tech and trailed by a short, wiry man and his two teenaged children. The man, whose face was a mustache, insisted on remaining at his wife’s bedside, but Penny finally persuaded him to wait in the hall until she completed her assessment. He herded his offspring, a gangly boy wearing a denim shirt with the sleeves cut away at the ..."
"... beeper number. Call me if you have any problems.” Scales opened the hall door to admit the woman’s family, hugged the anxious husband, and patted the children. Assuring them that they had nothing to worry about, he left by the back door. Dr. Ghent’s chest-tube patient was asleep in the ..."

Chapter 7: Chapter Seven
"...Growing up as the oldest of three children, Penny had enjoyed the tree house and the sandbox where she played with her brother and sister, and the swings and stilts her father had made for them. Those were happy times, but as Penny grew older, the tension increased until her father’s depression became a breathing force. ..."
"...While Faye and Alice set places at the picnic table on the porch, Penny held her mother’s small cold hand and chattered about Johnny and the children. Instead of thinking what she would say in reply, Mrs. Nichols gave the gift of her undivided attention. Her gaze was on Penny as she smiled and nodded, recognizing the names of her grandchildren. ..."
"...It was humid and hot in the house on Friday morning, but Rev. and Mrs. Nichols wore sweaters. This was the maid’s last day and she took care of their mother and the meals while the children packed. Mrs. Nichols greeted neighbors who came to say goodbye, and she listened to their stories, encouraging them to stay. Even long-time friends did not realize that she would not remember they were here when they had gone. ..."
"... his sisters toward the house. “It wasn’t a question of love,” Penny said. “I couldn’t live up to their expectations. But now that I’ve been through raising children myself, I can see that there would be more complications in a minister’s family.” They entered the house from ..."

Chapter 8: Chapter Eight
"... is the date of today?” None of them knew. “What have you done in your lifetime?” Mrs. Nichols hesitated so Rev. Nichols answered. “Well, you raised three children and assisted me in my work.” “Sir, I am directing these questions to your wife,” Mrs. Coal told him. “He grows ..."
"... tomorrow—it’s like God has fast-forwarded the world.” “Yeah, you could be right. I remember long summers and endless winters when we were children. An all-powerful God could speed up time and we’d never know it.” David parked the car in front of his house. Turning toward ..."

Chapter 9: Chapter Nine
"...Patients and their families loved Maria McEliney, the 3-11 unit secretary who had been a nursing tech for a home health agency before the birth of her children: two sets of twins, only three years apart. Now that the girls were all in high school, Maria worked at the hospital to avoid being at home when they were there. Her children telephoned their mother with one crisis after another, and on days when Maria was ..."

Chapter 12: Chapter Twelve
"... Flossie Mae’s size, and they settled down with cups of coffee to take Report on the one CCU patient. “Do you have any children?” Penny asked Flossie Mae when their first chores were done. “A nineteen-year-old son. He used to be a problem, but he finally got himself a job, so now Ma’s ..."
"... lobby again?” “Sure, and if the teachers get the children’s names and their lists to us, we can get the word out and the tree up, you know, so people will have more time to shop. Those who have done it before want to do it again. I think timing was our problem.” At the top of the ..."
"...and I trust you to do the best you can for us, but...” She couldn’t verbalize her thoughts: All the time I was trusting you, you didn’t trust me! “I wasn’t getting ready to leave; you wanted me to work because we needed money to educate our children.” ..."

Chapter 14: Chapter Fourteen
"... friend. Penny told stories from the past, recounting times when Mrs. Nichols had come to help after the births of her grandchildren, asking if she remembered. “Those things are getting dim,” her mother replied, but encouraged Penny with “What else?” or “And then what?” Penny had ..."
"...mother, telling her she had enjoyed their visit. They held hands, gripping tightly with their fingers interlaced. Penny examined her mother’s small cold hand, spreading its fingers, admiring the ring she would inherit, thinking how this hand had fed her and taught her to feed her own children, and recognizing that her own hand was now as wrinkled and spotted as her mother’s. ..."

Chapter 16: Chapter Sixteen
"...Dr. Benson to stop her cancer treatment and to discharge her with hospice care, but after two weeks at home, her husband brought her back to the hospital to ensure her death would be pain free. Around 4 a.m., the whole Allison clan gathered: twenty-seven men, women, and children at her bedside and spilling out into the hall. ..."
"... we borrowed, you know? He’s only at home when I’m gone. Penny had met Barb’s children: three-year-old twins, a boy and a girl. “Your children are too young for school. How do you sleep when your husband’s at work?” “They go to nursery school on days when I sleep; I pick ..."
"...“They go to nursery school on days when I sleep; I pick them up in the afternoon and do everything before I come here. It’s like all the man thinks about is finishing his thesis. I can’t raise my children, and that kind of stuff, down here, totally alone. We need to go back to the mountains where our families are!” ..."

Chapter 18: Chapter Eighteen
"...Penny set her coffee cup down gently. “Barb, I don’t know what you’re up against. I just know I used to think I couldn’t stand it—that I couldn’t make it. I didn’t have enough income to support three children so I didn’t have a choice, but now I’m glad I had to stick it out. I think that if you hang in there, your marriage will get better.” ..."
"... the sharpest scalpel in the autoclave.” Penny loaded Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons” into her car’s tape player and reviewed her preparations for the weekend. Because of her work schedule, the children were coming for Thanksgiving dinner on Saturday. When she entered the kitchen, Johnny ..."
"...Penny smiled, feeling as much out of place as a syringe in a jewelry box. “You and I need to catch up. Let’s do something together when the season’s over. How are your children? Do you have any special plans for the holidays?” She heard herself speak, but Betty’s replies did not reach her. ..."
"...Penny couldn’t help but wonder if her children blamed her for their failures like she used to blame her own parents. Determined not to make the same mistakes she believed her parents had made, she had invested so much of herself in her children. Now she understood that her Mother’s concern with their appearance had ..."
"...their annual Christmas meal. In previous years, Penny had spent much time and effort preparing their holiday celebration, but this year she was only responsible for meat and drinks. Making Christmas candy had been a tradition in her parents’ home that Penny had continued with her own children. Her older son, Tom, had told her that he would bring “Grandmother’s pralines” for their dessert this year. ..."

Chapter 19: Chapter Nineteen
"...“Complimentary Reindeer Exams” proclaimed the sign in front of the veterinarian’s office as Penny set out for Jacksonville Oncology on Christmas Eve. Given her choice of Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve or Christmas night, she had chosen to be off on Christmas night so that her children could come for supper after their own separate family celebrations that morning. ..."
" Dixiana, but Maureen’s cold body remained in Oncology at 5 a.m. because ER had been so busy that its doctor couldn’t come to pronounce her. Penny threw her uneaten supper into the garbage and sat down in the staff room. It was Christmas and her children were coming this afternoon. All the presents were wrapped, the house was clean, and the barbeque was ready. ..."
"... Mae. “Merry Christmas!” It was nine Christmas evening when the children left, and Penny, who had slept for two hours before they came, said, “Let’s take Zac for a walk, Johnny. It’s fifty-five degrees outside. I can clean this up when we get back.” They took the usual route up ..."
"... forward against his leash. Red and green lights shone from their neighbors’ decorations, but the street was deserted. “Man! I had fun with our children—BIG TIME!” “That barbeque smelled like cardboard,” Penny said. “Did you think the meal was okay?” “It tasted fine to ..."
"...Maureen’s death, and the excitement of having their children at home for Christmas, topped off by Buck’s motorcycle wreck kept Penny awake far into the night. If she had not worried about waking Johnny, she would have gotten out of bed and started cleaning their wrecked house. Sometime after four, she fell into a sound sleep. ..."

Chapter 20: Chapter Twenty
"...Penny laid a bonfire in the fireplace, congratulating herself when the big logs began to blaze. In years past, she and the children had enjoyed sitting by the hearth with a roaring fire, but now their wood was only for emergencies. As she poked the kindling, adding more logs and inhaling smoke, she could almost hear the sounds of children in the room. ..."
"... our mortgage almost paid, we’re better off than we’ve ever been.” “I might not be so tired if I didn’t have to work every other weekend—but what if our stocks go down or if our children need help or something?” “We’ve made enough extra that you don’t have to worry. It’s ..."

Chapter 21: Chapter Twenty-One
"...agreed to pitch in and stuff, and I finally convinced my husband to move. I got a phone interview at the hospital where I used to work. It’ll take my husband another month to totally finish up his thesis, but he said he’d help me get the children to Vermont and everything and then come back and finish.” ..."
"...or the doctor either, for that matter. And she thinks the doctor hired somebody to kill Buck’s family to KEEP HIM QUIET!” Johnny shouted, then paused and lowered his voice. “How would that keep him quiet? If somebody killed you or any one of our children, I wouldn’t care what happened to me. I’d get them back if it was the last thing I ever did!” ..."

Chapter 22: Chapter Twenty-Two
"...with me. Here comes the interesting part, I think it is, anyway. Before the Civil War, a lot of slaves escaped to the north. Slave owners kept their servants illiterate and tried to keep them from learning how to tell direction, but slave parents taught their children to locate the North Star. Northern sympathizers and some southern slaves helped fugitives escape and the Underground Railroad sent travelers into the South to teach specific routes using the North Star as a guide. The most dangerous part of the trip was across states like Mississippi, where ..."

"...When their children were young, Johnny had added one of these coins to each of their Christmas stockings every year until the little spenders rebelled against saving and traded them to him for paper money. Penny examined one of the tiny white rocks among the coins: a baby’s tooth! Johnny ..."
"... Now that the children were grown, Penny recognized that when they were small her ego had been bound up in how well they behaved. Was it possible that she had switched her self-image from mother to house-keeper? Was a clean, well-run home as important as she believed it to be? By ..."
"...dehydration. The next-to-last order, written by Joan, was a phone order from Dr. Scales: “Give 1500cc IV fluid by clysis.” Penny had administered fluids into a patient’s tissues when there was no IV access, but it was long ago. She had not taken care of children for many years. ..."

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"A nurse juggles jobs at two Mississippi hospitals, aging parents and a stressed marriage in McMillion's novel .... a comprehensive..."

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