For the Patience
Note and Disclaimer: Yeah, still don't own the show and write about it. What more can I say?
When all else fails in eternal boredom, I always like to turn to the bright side of civilian life. Sometimes though, that light doesn't seem so happy. It resigns itself to the same old grind and keep waiting for the best to come, when it can.
That best sums up Peg Hadden Hunnicutt. What a great gal! I mean, it wasn't like she had a tough life. She grew up in Oklahoma and moved out to California when she was eighteen. She wanted to be away from her parents and begin anew. Besides, she needed to find relief from war. Her brother was killed in Germany and she lost her cousin in a Japanese POW camp.
It was odd to be in a place where it was so carefree. Peg almost lost herself in the glitter and glamor without going anywhere as a single woman, but felt that she had to rein herself in and find a virtue that will hold her over. That was when she learned patience. She wasn't fast and furious. She had to wait and take it slow, steady and easy. That got her places and landed her with real friends, a good job and an apartment of her own.
That was how she met her husband. BJ Hunnicutt was at the same party Peg was and saw her from across the room. But this was no ordinary occasion for him. Taking time off from medical school, he found himself drunk and a beggar to Peg's modesty and abstinence. She pushed him away until midnight. Finally feeling sorry for him, she danced with him until he threw up behind a flower pot.
Their relationship began. For the next few years, the two dated. Peg was patient. She had seen enough relationships sour and didn't want the magic to wane. BJ was a wonderful man, kind wise and trustworthy. He made her laugh too. And most important of all, he was a career man and will be able to provide for his family. By the time he finished his residency and Selective Service, they were married and had a child, a girl named Erin.
Then, tragedy struck. Not even three months after Erin was born, BJ received the worst notice any doctor could: he was drafted. He was to report to base and was going to be shipped out to Korea.
The news devastated the pair. They sought strength in the separation. Peg had to hold it together for BJ. She had to hold onto patience to keep her going. After all, it wasn't just BJ that was expecting her to be persevering. Even though she was too young, Erin looked up to her too. Peg had to keep the home fire burning and pray that BJ will come home alive.
After the farewell at the airport, the waiting game began. The first few months were difficult. Peg found herself more frustrated than ever before. She snapped at the simplest things, even as small as bathing Erin. She called her parents, weeping everyday about BJ. She sought wives like her, missing their husbands and supporting children on their own, and found that there was little to hold her over. She was truly alone.
But she still had to be patient and keep it as her anchor to Earth. After all, the war in Korea couldn't last forever. Doctors were always rotated out. BJ will come home soon and the tenure in the Army will be a dream. All she had to do was send packages and letters, enough to keep BJ going, and wait for his. It was their only link. Their love for each other and the patience always made the separation easier.
A year and more passed. While times were difficult and lonely, Peg found it insufferable. She could no longer be a housewife and mother. She had to learn to fix things on her own and manage men who liked to take advantage of her. She handled the mortgage on her own and soon was landing two jobs to make ends meet. While BJ's earnings were just enough to hold him over, Peg did not want to beg him for help. She had to learn that, while being a woman, she had to bid her time and grit her teeth. Patience was the key. If she did not keep this serene virtue, she was going to break down again. She could not afford to do so now, even as the armistice was called and BJ came home.
After her war, Peg found BJ in her arms again. But things were not the same between them for quite a while. BJ had seen horrors that Peg could only imagine in her nightmares. He had nights of drinking. He didn't want to work for months at a time, refusing to even take up his profession. They had arguments that made the neighbors stop and stare.
But Peg was patient. She tried every which way to understand BJ and told him everyday that she was on his side. Failing too many times did not faze her. She had determination and strength to keep going. Eventually, she saw time as their healer. All she had to do was stick with patience and BJ was hers for the taking.
I am Death though…and there is always a way to me. Throughout her life, Peg Hunnicutt held onto patience as her anchor and it kept her stable. It sustained her when nothing else could, especially when BJ was in Korea. That soon will be her undoing too. For being patience will cost her life one day and nobody will be there to hold her in the end.