first thanksgiving in Colorado nearly proved the end of my relationship
withSully before it even began.
The children and I had just returned from Boston where I had gone
to tend to my mother who had been ill. My sister had wired me that
mother was on her deathbed, and so despite my fear of returning ‘home’ Mathew,
Brian, Colleen and I set off for Boston. Upon arriving we found mother
confined to bed having been given a virtual ‘death sentence’ by
her physician, Dr. Hanson, a pompous man who clearly had no respect
for a 'woman docto'r. Over his objections, I had examined mother
myself and had determined that her malady was not life threatening,
but instead a severe bout of hepatitis brought on by her proclivity
for oysters. With the aid of an Indian remedy, which William, Dr.
Hanson’s young assistant, and I, quietly administered to her,
mother had recovered and the children and I had found ourselves settling
in to life in Boston, well except for Matthew, who hadn't wanted
to come with us in the first place. But I had needed him to help
with the younger children and sometimes, as I told him, 'we need
to do things we don't want to do."
lure of Boston was strong, Sully says, where you are born always
has a place in your heart. There were times when I even contemplated
not returning to Colorado. How much simpler my life would be
if we stayed in Boston. And then there was William who had made
no secret of the fact that he was fond of me and that he hoped
that I would remain in Boston, in fact, he had proposed a partnership.
Dr. William Burke had been mother’s physician’s assistant
until he had chosen to help me save my mother’s life without
his senior partner’s knowledge. He had been fired for that
act of insubordination and was planning on opening his own practice-
he needed a partner, he said’ the right partner”.
William respected me as a professional colleague and as a woman.
I had left Boston, because I had lost that when my father died,
now I was being offered a chance to start over, to live the life
that would have been mine, had I never left. And I would be with
my family again, mother was ecstatic at the possibility. And
then, suddenly, Sully appeared one evening at dinner and nothing
was simple anymore.Mother, bless her heart handled Sully’s
presence with dignity and generosity. She immediately bad him
to join us at dinner and of course to stay at our home. But why
had he come? I believe now that there was a part of me that must
have known the answer to that, but at the time, I was too frightened
by what it might mean.
His presence was unsettling, he seemed so out of place in Boston.
Or was I the one out of place now? Suddenly I wasn't sure of anything
anymore! Although I must admit I was a bit flattered by the attention
paid to me by both Sully and William during the ensuing weeks, I
was also incredibly torn. It was as if I were being forced to choose
between two worlds. One, a world in which II knew what was expected
of me- where I would be ‘safe’. And the other-far more
dangerous, one I wasn’t sure if I had the courage to enter.
I knew only one thing, from the intensity in those blue eyes when
they asked, “aren’t you glad to see me?” Sully’s
world would be anything but ‘safe. At least the differences
between Sully and William were clear- again I was wrong, nothing
was that simple!
it seemed had made the decision to show me that he could if necessary
fit into my world. “When in Boston,do as the romans do” he
announced one evening at dinner, appearing in a stylish Boston
outfit much to my surprise. He looked so incredibly handsome – so
almost ‘Boston’! I couldn’t tell if mother
was impressed by Sully’s new attire or resented it somehow-
she had the most curious expression on her face when Sully said
that. And then came an invitation to ‘dinner and dancing’ and
to my great surprise even the opera! Before the distinction between
William and Sully was obvious- but now it was beginning to blur.
Still, there was something different about Sully, something not
even his proper Boston suit and sudden penchant for eating snails,
could conceal. It was what had drawn me to him in Colorado and
yet at the same time frightened me. Could I ever be what he wanted
me to be or was this where I truly belonged?
William suddenly proposed marriage after a lecture at which he
without warning presented me to his colleagues to give a lecture
on the benefits of the tea I had used to save mother’s
life, I was thrown into even more confusion. What I hadn’t
realized was that Sully had overheard William’s proposal.
me after the lecture and asked me if I planned to marry William.
It was clear he had violated my privacy and had been listening to
my private conversation with William, I reacted angrily. I told him
it was none of his business. I didn’t mean that, I believe
deep down, I wanted him to tell me why he felt that it ‘was’ his
business. But Sully didn’t reply and merely stalked off. That
was his way though when upset, I was used to that, we would discuss
it later when we had both cooled off. I returned home to the accusatory
glares of my three children, who informed me that Sully had left
to return to Colorado Springs. At that moment I finally allowed myself
to feel what I had been trying so desperately to ignore. I was in
love with Sully- The question was did his appearance here in Boston
mean that he returned my love? I had to know. Sully's train was about
to pull out when I reached the station.
Franctically I searched the compartments until I found him. I accused
him of leaving without saying goodbye. I asked him why he had even
come at all? And then, he said the words that I secretly had been
longing to hear without even realizing it until that moment- "Because
I love you". The train was pulling out,with all my heart, I
wanted to stay with him, but the children were at mother's, I had
And when days later we finally returned to Colorado Springs, Sully
was standing there. My heart stopped. He held out his arms and I
simply ran to him, not caring that the entire town was witnessing
our reunion. We loved each other, that was all that mattered. Wasn't