The Awakening of Russell Henderson

Every Sunday, I try to post an excerpt from my novel, The Awakening of Russell Henderson. Here’s another. The book is available at

One evening when Hanna and I were coming in from the hot tub, I noticed a I had a voice mail from Mom, “Russell, Dad’s in the hospital. Please call me as soon as you get this.” 

Panicked, I called back immediately, “Mom? I got your message. Hospital? What’s wrong? Is he okay?” 

He had a little heart attack.”

I couldn’t say anything for a few breaths, “How bad? When?”

“Yesterday. He’s in the Iowa City Hospital Heart Unit.”

“How is he? How serious was it?!”

“He had a dual by-pass. There was little a complication so he has to stay in the hospital for a few days. He would like to see you and Karen. Could you come home?”

“Of course we’ll come. I’ll try to get us a flight tomorrow. I’ll call you when I know. Are you okay?” I asked desperately.

“No, not really. There’s Donny and now this. I’m at my wits end. But the doctors here are very good. They say Roy’ll have a complete recovery, but he’s going to have to start watching his diet and start exercising. That’ll be the hardest part for him.”

“Mom, I’ll call you soon as I know something. Tell Dad hello and we’ll be there as soon as we can.”

“Thanks, Russell. I’ll be so happy to see you two kids. This’s all been real hard on us you know, Donny and everything.”

“I know, Mom. I know. I’m sorry. I will call as soon as I know something. Okay?”

“I know that’ll make Dad happy. Hear from you soon.” She clicked off.

I called Karen who started to cry. Hanna overheard and she was upset. “When you go, I’m going with you.”

“Not a good idea. You know our family dynamic.”

“I don’t care about that. I care about you. You and Karen both. I’m coming, no argument!”

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