Jack swung down hard with the axe splitting the piece of wood almost perfectly in two. He liked chopping wood, it helped him forget. Forget things like dropping out of his residency to help care for his elderly parents way up in the mountains. At least up here there was not a hospital or even a clinic around for miles to remind him of his abandon career of becoming a doctor. Now that his parents finally past on Jack was left with a stalled life and a mountain home that was not selling. As he placed another log on the chopping block he saw a snow flake fall on his hand, great he thought another storm! There goes my chances of getting into town today.
Jared nodded again, not trusting himself to speak at the moment. “Okay, you’re going to put the end of the stethoscope there. Now you'll tighten this screw here and then squeeze the bulb until this gauge is about 160, or about 10 above the last time you heard my last heartbeat. Then you’re going to slowly loosen this screw and let the gauge drop. When you hear the first beat, remember that number, and when the sound stops, remember that number too.  You got it?”
It felt like he was watching a movie as he saw the doctor cleaning out his son’s mouth and nose. Jason beamed as their little boy, Jackson was almost certainly going to be his name, was nestled into his arms by a grinning nurse. Distantly, he wanted to hold him too but the mere seconds of relief following his exit had disappeared and the pain was back with a frightening intensity.
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