Winchester Home, Boston, Massachusetts
January 1978

The Winchesters sat in their living room with classical music playing in the background while they each read a section of the Boston Herald. Charles was reading the business and finance section, while his son was reading the world news section. Whitney was reading the entertainment section, and Isabella read the Society page. While reading Isabella see the announcement she and Charles placed in the paper announcing the engagements of their children and reads it aloud.

"The Dr. and Mrs. Charles Emerson Winchester III of Beacon Hill are proud to announce the engagement of their son Charles Emerson Winchester IV, a medical student at Harvard, to Ms. Rebecca O'Reilly daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Walter Eugene O'Reilly of Ottumwa Iowa. The wedding is set for June in Ottumwa. The Dr. and Mrs. Winchester would also like to announce the engagement of their youngest child, daughter Whitney Winthrop Winchester to medical student and West Point graduate Captain Benjamin Franklin Pierce Jr., son of the Dr. and Mrs. Benjamin Franklin Pierce of Crabapple, Cove, Maine. Their wedding is set for July in Boston.

Dr. Winchester is Chief of Thoracic Surgery at the prestige Boston Mercy Hospital, and is married to Isabella Winthrop daughter of millionaire John Winthrop. This fall the Winchester's will be celebrating their twenty- fifth wedding anniversary."

After Isabella finished reading, Whitney discovered an article about Elizabeth Pierce in the Entertainment section and she read:

"Rising starlet Elizabeth Pierce announced her engagement to long- time love medical student Benjamin Franklin Hunnicutt of Mill Valley, California. Elizabeth Pierce is the daughter of the Dr. and Mrs. Benjamin Franklin Pierce of Crabapple Cove, Maine. Pierce who became engaged on December 25 says that the wedding is set for sometime in May. To add to recent accomplishments Ms. Pierce just wrapped her first full- length feature film entitled, "When She Looked Into the Mirror," in which she portrays Claire Riverside, a terminally ill actress, which will be released in April of this year."

"I still can't believe my best friend is a movie star," exclaimed Whitney.

"Lets not forget she's your future sister- in - law as well," reminded her brother Charles.

"This is exciting isn't darling?"

"Yes, it is my love, it's all too hard to believe."

*** Below is a story I wrote two years ago for an English class and is the story in which I based Elizabeth Pierce's movie on. Enjoy and please let me know what you think of both this and the story below. Chrissie

When She Looked Into the Mirror

I watched her as she sat there staring into the mirror. Her hair was long and shiny a beautiful color of brown it was. Her eyes were as blue as the Caribbean Sea. Her lips of wine were soft and full. Her body was small and petite. Her skin was a golden brown. Her looks resembled those of a classic movie star, those like Vivian Leigh and Lana Turner. She was simply beautiful. Inside her flawless body her heart was big and her she was full of life. She had a secret she wanted no one to know. Only myself, Jones Riverside, and her closest friends knew. She was dying. Dying of what you may ask? Claire Riverside was dying of cancer. Much like one of her idols Jacqueline Susann she wanted no one to know for her fear of what may happen if they were to find out.

Claire Riverside was one of Hollywood's biggest stars. She had a life many dreamed of having. She had myself, her faithful husband of almost 10 years and our daughter Bianca. In our home there was a room dedicated solely to her award statues, which she was so proud of, but her most favorite room of all was our little girl's room. Claire designed Bianca's room with much dignity and pride. In her room there was a playground so that Bianca could play even on rainy and cold days. Her bed looked like a small castle fit for a princess. The room was a pink utopia.

The sun rose over our Beverly Hills mansion like it did every morning. The sunrise was different today though. The medley of colors was so vibrant and breathtaking. Well that sunrise would be the last I would enjoy for a long time. That day Claire would receive a phone call from her doctor. This call would change our lives forever.

It was Dr. Patterson, Claire's oncologist; he said the cancer had come back. It had been in remission for two years, we thought it wouldn't come back? I guess we were wrong. Later on that day, she went into his office for the appointment he asked her to take. He told her radiation would take care of it. Thoughts scrambled through her mind as he spoke of her treatment. The thought of death crossed her mind too many times. She thought she'd never see her daughter graduate nor get married. This just made her have more strength to go on.

I waited for her to return home. It had begun to get darker. The sun was setting and night was quickly approaching. Claire still wasn't home. I had begun to get worried for her safety. At nine o'clock she finally came home. She said she had driven to the beach where she often went to think. Her mind was cluttered with thoughts of her work, our daughter, and her disease.

Weeks passed and the months went on. The radiation had caused Claire to lose her hair and become ill once and a while. He stomach often bothered her and her head too. She had a wig, made of her own hair. She shaved her head while she was going through her treatment. Her wig looked just like her hair did when it was long; of course it was short being that they did have some alterations to do on it. This was so that no one would catch on to her secret

She went on with her life as she did day in and day out, like nothing had happened. She was living in a world of denial. Denial was the path Claire chose. It wasn't the smart and mature thing to do and this wasn't like Claire at all. Claire couldn't stand the fact that she was ill and that there would always be that possibility she could die. She couldn't bear losing her battle with cancer. She was just too strong.

When I look back, I remember saying to her she was just giving up, but she denied it. She said, " See I am struggling to deal with everything on my mind. Ok, maybe I am in denial but I just don't want to face the fact that I may never see our daughter graduate nor get married or even grow old with you. I also don't want to face the fact that tomorrow could be my last day or that I will never attend another movie premiere. Life is just to precious to give up on. I don't want to die; I just want to live for my daughter and you, Jones'."

Finally the happiest day of our lives had arrived. It was perfect. Spring had begun and the flowers in our garden had started to bloom. Claire loved to garden, it was one of her favorite things to do. The roses had bloomed exceptionally this year, as did the tulips and daisies. The sky was clear and the sun was bright. The weather was not hot, but a comfortable temperature. It was warm. That afternoon we received a call from the doctor telling us that Claire's cancer was in remission once again. We were more than ecstatic. She thought I could go on with my life now. She was right, well so she thought.

As time moved on Claire began to feel ill once again. It was constant trips to the emergency room. Not once did she ever entertain the thought of seeing Dr. Patterson. On one of her many trips to the emergency room the emergency room doctor asked for some tests to be done on her, to make sure the cancer hadn't come back.

I remember it like yesterday. It was a beautiful autumn day. The sun was vibrant and the day was just so peaceful. It was dusk when we received the phone call from Dr. Patterson asking if we could come down to his office immediately. When we arrived he told us both to sit down. He said that Claire's cancer had returned and spread to her lungs and that she didn't have long to live. The only thing I remember her saying was, " Well I guess it is my time and I better make the best of it!" Then Dr. Patterson looked at her and said, " That's your choice," and Claire replied with, "Some choice."

The last movie premiere she ever went to was her own, the movie that won her eleven Academy Awards. The movie was "Infamous" about the infamous Studio 54. She was absolutely gorgeous. As she walked down the red satin carpet, she realized that this would be her last premiere and she just smiled. Cameras flashed as they took the last pictures of her alive.

When her time had finally come; she was lying in bed with Bianca to her left with her arms tightly around her. She held my hand as she stroked it with her thumb and kissed me goodbye and told me that she loved me with all her heart. You could tell she wasn't in pain anymore as she said to Bianca, " I'll always be there for you, be strong, and I will love you always." As she took her last breath a tiny tear ran down her still rosy red cheek, her legacy slowly came to an end.

Years passed and I remarried. Bianca is now eighteen and is going to graduate. She is her class president and valedictorian. Soon she will be giving her speech. I only wish that you could be here to see it, Claire, you would be so proud. We miss you so much. Well don't forget because you will always be my one true love. Why did you have to leave? You left me so soon, with only a marble stone on which I cry for you, for us. Well now I have to go, it is time for the graduation.

"Good evening ladies and gentleman, as our years here come to pass our memories will always last. Ten years ago many of you saw me through a very painful ordeal in my life, the death of my dear mother Claire Riverside. I remember what she said to me the day she died, she said," Bianca I'll always be there for you, be strong and I will always love you." She was right she would always be there for me. Even though I can't see her, her legacy still lives on and she is always present in whatever I may do. You may wonder where I am going with this but what I am trying to say is that no matter what happens we will always be there for each other. Today is our commencement, into an adult world full of decisions and responsibilities. We are not saying goodbye, we are saying farewell because goodbye is permanent and farewell is not. So as we bid farewell remember to thank your family and friends for all the times you've had with them because once they are gone they are never coming back. So please take my words of advice and use them wisely because after this there is no turning back, we are on our own from now on. One more thing I would like to say before I say farewell is dedicated to you Mom, everything I have achieved I have done for you. Everything I have hoped for is for you Mom, and even though you are not here with me one this very important day of my life I know you are there for me and I in return am there for you. I love you always Mom. Now, your legacy will on forever and forever and I will not say goodbye to you but I will say farewell for I will see you someday again, because that is when I look into the mirror."

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