When the Memory Fades
By Glenn A. Hascall
An unusual Valentine's script that looks at Valentines Day from the perspective
of Linda who visits her husband, Harold in a nursing home. Harold doesn't
recognize her, but she sticks with her vows to love, honor and cherish.
In the end we are all faced with the reality of the high cost of love and
the satisfaction that is claimed in that commitment.
NURSE # 1
NURSE # 2
(SETTING: A nursing home. Linda walks in looking weary and is greeted by
a nurse behind the nurses' desk as she checks charts.)
NURSE # 1: Good morning, Mrs. Kelso.
LINDA: Oh, please call me Linda.
NURSE # !: (Smiles) You look tired.
LINDA: Oh, I'm alright. Just a little fatigued - that's all.
NURSE # 1: Those sure are pretty flowers.
LINDA: It's Valentine's Day, you know.
NURSE # 1: (Seems as if she will say something and then changes her
mind) If you need anything please let me know.
LINDA: Thank you, dear.
(Linda walks off stage as Nurse # 2 walks on from opposite side of
NURSE # 1: (To herself) I just don't know how she does it.
NURSE # 2: How who does what?
NURSE # 1: Mrs. Kelso. Her husband came to stay with us over a year
ago. She comes and visits every day and he doesn't even seem to know her.
I wonder what they talk about.
NURSE # 2: (Seems somewhat unconcerned) Who knows? I've got to
make the rounds, I'll see you in awhile.
(Nurse # 1 works at the desk and the voices of Linda and Harold come
from off stage - both should be miked)
LINDA: Good morning, Harold. These are for you.
HAROLD: (Pleasant) Good morning. Flowers? (Pause) Who are you?
LINDA: I'm an old friend.
HAROLD: You'll have to excuse me, I don't seem to remember you.
LINDA: (Only a little emotional) That's okay. How 'bout we just talk
about whatever you're interested in.
HAROLD: My wife just had a baby. A boy.
HAROLD: (Seems confused) Funny, I can't seem to remember his name.
He's just a newborn. When I see my wife, I'll ask her. (Gets excited) Oh,
you'd love my wife she's a wonderful lady.
LINDA: I'm sure I would.
HAROLD: I hope I get out of here soon.
LINDA: Where would you go?
HAROLD: Home of course, I've had enough of this Army hospital. I'm
ready to go home to (Pause) Linda.
LINDA: That's right, your wife's name is Linda.
HAROLD: (Proud) Yeah! She's a Beaut. I married her.
LINDA: Just before the war.
HAROLD: Have you met her before?
LINDA: Yes, I think we've met.
HAROLD: Are you friends with her grandmother?
LINDA: (Chuckles) I guess you could say that.
HAROLD: I have a real treasure in my Linda. She is the most wonderful,
beautiful, and incredible woman I have ever met.
LINDA: I bet she loves you, too.
HAROLD: Well sure, she tells me so every time she sends me a letter
- which she has done.
LINDA: Every day since you left for the service.
HAROLD: That's right. You know, you look a bit like.. (Pause)
LINDA: (Completes the thought) Linda.
HAROLD: Linda? (Pause) Is that your name?
LINDA: (Emotional) Yes.
HAROLD: That's a nice name. It seems like I used to know a Linda, but
I just can't seem to remember.
LINDA: You just rest now.
HAROLD: I am feeling tired. I think I'll just... (Long pause as Harold
drifts into sleep).
LINDA: Happy Valentines Day, Harold. I Love You!
(Linda walks back onto stage and is spotted by Nurse # 1)
NURSE # 1: How are you doing?
LINDA: (Warmly) I'm fine, just fine.
NURSE # 1: Your husband is getting the best care here, we've really
grown to love him.
LINDA: (Smiles) I'm so glad he has so many people who care for him.
NURSE # 1: Was he better today.
LINDA: He almost remembered me.
NURSE # 1: That's good.
LINDA: We have had so many wonderful years together. I'm just glad
that I can be part of this stage in his life.
NURSE # 1: You must be a very strong woman.
LINDA: Not hardly. (Chuckles) Some days it takes all the prayer and
strength I have to come down here to be with Harold. But I love that man
- and today - even if he didn't recognize me, he remembered our past and
memories that were lived out over 50 years ago. It's one of the
best Valentine's Day gifts I could have received.
NURSE # 1: (Unsure what to day) Ummm.
LINDA: (Suddenly embarrassed) Oh, look at me - a prattling old fool.
You've got more to do than listen to me. (Begins to walk off stage) I'll
be back this afternoon.
NURSE # 1: Thanks Mrs. Kelso.
LINDA: That's Linda. (Walks off stage)
(Stage lights dim and is quiet for a few seconds)
HAROLD: (Off stage says slowly and sleepily) Happy Valentines Day (Struggles
momentarily with the name) Linda - I love you too.
Copyright 2004 by Glenn A. Hascall
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