Goodbye, Henry Blake

by Margaret Houlihan

Author's note: The characters are property of 20th Century Fox and any characters I made up along the way belong to me.

April 1951. It's the happiest day of Lorraine Blake's life, her Henry is finally coming home. She is on the phone with Henry.

"Hello!" said Lorraine as she picked up the phone as it rang

"Lorraine, it's me! I've got great news, I'm coming home!" said Henry as he called from his office

"Oh, Henry, that's wonderful, I've got to recover the furniture!" said Lorraine, a 42 year old, blonde haired, brown eyed woman, wearing a yellow dress and white shoes

"Oh, honey, don't do that!" said Henry, wearing his fatigues

"Is she crying?" asked Hawkeye as he stood in Henry's office, also wearing fatigues

"No, she wants to recover the furniture! No, honey, all I care about is seeing you and the kids, all I care about is the bedroom!" said Henry

"Oh, Henry!" said Lorraine

"Honey, are the kids home?" asked Henry

"Molly and Andrew are out with our mothers, but Janie's home!" answered Lorraine

"She is, well put her on!" said Henry

Lorraine hands the phone to Janie.

"Janie, daddy wants to talk to you!" said Lorraine

"Okay, hi!" said Janie, a three year old, blonde haired, blue eyed girl wearing a pink dress and white shoes

"Janie, it's me, daddy, numb, numb, numb, numb!" answered Henry

"Daddy, I miss you!" said Janie

"Okay, honey, put mommy back on. Lorraine, I should be walking through the front door in three days, now don't tell anyone at the country club! We'll walk in together and surprise them, and don't let your mother wear my suits. I love you, honey!" said Henry

"Oh, Henry, I can't wait to have you home again! I love you too, goodbye!" said Lorraine

"Goodbye, Lorraine!" said Henry as he hung up the phone

"Janie, your daddy is finally coming home from Korea! Our family will be together again!" said Lorraine

"Mommy, can I tell Molly and Andrew about it?" asked Janie

"Yes, sweetheart, I'll tell grandma and grandpa and the Jaffes. I think we'll have a big party for daddy!" answered Lorraine

Just then, Molly and Andrew come home with Margaret Blake and Eleanor Green, Henry's and Lorraine's mothers.

"Mom, Margaret, kids, I have some news! Henry's being discharged and we're going to have a party!" said Lorraine as she was still gushing over the news

"Daddy!" said Andrew, a one year old boy with light brown hair and brown eyes, wearing a blue sweat suit with black sneakers

"That's right, daddy's coming home!" answered Lorraine

"Oh, Lorraine, that's wonderful! I'll have to tell Robert when I get home! He'll be so happy that his son-in-law will finally be reunited with the rest of us!" said Eleanor, a grey haired, brown eyed woman wearing a purple dress with black pumps and a handbag

"I'm so glad that my son will finally be away from that police action and that he'll finally get to meet Andrew! Oh, George will be delighted with the news! When is Henry supposed to be home?" asked Margaret, a grey haired, blue eyed woman wearing a blue dress with black pumps and a handbag

"In three days! Oh, mom, Henry asked if you could stop wearing his suits!" said Lorraine

"I will, Mildred Lorraine Green Blake! Besides, I only wore them for Halloween costumes!" said Eleanor

Kimpo Airport, 1951. Henry is waiting for his flight to San Francisco to be reunited with his family. He is wearing the pinstriped suit that Hawkeye, Trapper, and Radar gave him.

"I'm going home, I still can't believe it!" said Henry as he talked to himself

A young man sits down next to Henry.

"Hello, did I hear that you're going home?" asked the young man

"That's right! I'm waiting for my flight to San Francisco and I'll be home in Bloomington, Illinois before I know it!" said Henry excitedly

"San Francisco? That's my hometown, well, Mill Valley, actually! Allow me to introduce myself, I'm Captain B.J. Hunnicutt. I've just arrived from the states to be an army surgeon with a Mash unit. This is a picture of my wife, Peg, and my daughter, Erin. I'm supposed to be with the 121st Evac hospital and I'm waiting for my ride!" said B.J.

"Nice to meet you and your family, Captain. I'm the former Lieutenant-Colonel Henry Blake. I worked at the 4077th Mash as a surgeon and commanding officer. This is a picture of my wife, Lorraine, my daughters, Molly and Janie, and my son, Andrew, who was born while I was in Korea. I get to meet him for the first time!" said Henry

"Oh, that's my ride! It was nice to meet you, Colonel Blake!" said B.J. as he was leaving

"You too, Captain Hunnicutt!" said Henry

As Captain Hunnicutt left, an older man sat next to Henry.

"Excuse me, did I just hear that you're from Bloomington?" asked the older man

"That's right! I'm officially discharged from the army! I'm Lieutenant-Colonel Henry Blake, U.S. Army Surgeon!" said Henry

"Colonel Sherman Potter, also U.S. Army Surgeon! I'm from Hannibal, Missouri, and I've been married to Mildred for 27 years. This is a picture of her and my grown-up kids, Cory and Evie. This is my third war, I started in the Calvary in WWI when I was 15, then I became a surgeon and entered WWII. Now, I'm back in Korea and being sent to a Mash unit as a commanding officer. I've been in administration for the past couple of years, and I'd like to get back into the swing of things!" said Sherman

"You must really like the army, to be in three wars! Here's a picture of my wife, Lorraine, and my daughters, Molly and Janie, and my son, Andrew. I was commanding officer at a Mash unit, but on my spare time, I like to fly fish!" said Henry

"Nice looking family! The army's my career! I like to fish in my spare time, but I have a bigger fascination with horses. Do you like horses, Henry?" asked Sherman

I've never been horseback riding in my life!" answered Henry

"Oh, that's my ride! Nice to meet you, Henry! Maybe we could get together sometime after the war!" said Sherman

"You too, Sherman! That sounds great!" answered Henry

Just as Colonel Potter left, a tall man sat next to Henry.

"Excuse me, is anyone sitting here?" asked the man

"Nope! Where are you heading, are you being discharged like me?" asked Henry

"Oh, no, I'm heading to Seoul in a few hours! I'm going to give a medical conference in Seoul. I'm a surgeon at Tokyo General. The name is Major Charles Emerson Winchester, the Third!" said Charles

"I'm Lieutenant-Colonel Henry Blake, former commanding officer of a Mash unit. I've just been discharged and I finally get to see my wife and kids back in Bloomington, Illinois!" answered Henry

"I'm from Boston, I'm single, I've graduated from Harvard Medical School and I have a sister, Honoria!" said Charles

"Yes, sir, Lorraine and my kids, Molly, Janie, and Andrew, will probably be having a party for me. Here's a picture of them. Well, my flight to San Francisco is boarding now, it was nice to meet you, Major Winchester!" said Henry as he boarded the plane

"You too, Colonel Blake! Have a safe trip!" said Charles

"Don't worry, I will!" answered Henry

Henry boards on the plane and thinks about the three men that he met while at Kimpo Airport. He would like to see them again once the war is over. Little did he know that one day, those three men would be permanently assigned to the 4077th Mash. His thoughts are immediately on Lorraine and the kids.

Back in Bloomington, Lorraine is getting set for Henry's homecoming by having a small party with the kids, Lorraine's parents, Robert and Eleanor Green; Henry's parents, George and Margaret Blake; Henry's brother, David, and Milt and Sylvia Jaffe, Henry's neighbors. Janie was wearing a white dress and white shoes, Andrew was wearing a blue suit with black shoes.

"Mommy, when's daddy getting home?" asked Molly, a six year old blonde haired, blue eyed girl wearing a white dress and white shoes

"Soon, honey, very soon! He should be here within the next hour!" answered Lorraine, wearing a red dress with red shoes

I'm so glad, my son's coming home to his beautiful wife and kids!" said George, a grey haired, blue eyed man wearing a brown suit and brown shoes

"So is my little brother!" said David, a light brown haired, blue eyed man wearing a grey suit and black shoes, who works as a prison warden

"Not to mention a favorite son-in-law!" replied Robert, a grey haired, brown eyed man wearing a blue suit with black shoes

"I think we can all agree that our favorite neighbor is coming home!" said Sylvia, a brown haired, brown eyed woman wearing a green dress with green shoes

"Amen to that! My best friend in the whole world will be walking through that door at anytime!" said Milt, a brown haired, brown eyed man wearing glasses and a brown suit with black shoes

Just then, the phone rings out of the blue.

"Hello, Blake residence!" said Lorraine as she answered the phone

"Hello, are you Mrs. Lorraine Blake?" asked the voice on the other end

"Yes, that's me! Who is this?" asked Lorraine

"This is Colonel Daniel Jackson from Regimental Headquarters. Mrs. Blake, I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but your husband, Lieutenant-Colonel Henry Blake, has been killed in a plane crash. The plane was shot down over the Sea of Japan and there were no survivors. Mrs. Blake, I'm sorry for you loss, you have my sympathy." said Colonel Jackson

"Oh, no, no! When did it happen?" asked Lorraine as she was in denial

"A few hours ago. I have to notify the other families too. The army will be flying his remains to Bloomington in a few days. Goodbye, Mrs. Blake, and once again, I'm very sorry." answered Colonel Jackson

"Goodbye." said Lorraine as she hung up the phone

Tears were streaming down her face as she reacted to the news. Eleanor and Margaret stumble upon Lorraine as she was in tears.

"Lorraine, darling, what's the matter?" asked Eleanor as she watched her daughter crying as she was wearing a blue dress with blue pumps

"Mom, Margaret, that was Regimental Headquarters. Henry's been killed in a plane crash over the Sea of Japan. How am I going to tell my children that their daddy's never coming home again?" said Lorraine as she was still in shock over the news

"Oh, no, no, it can't be! There's got to be a mistake! Not my son, my baby!" said Margaret as she denied the whole thing, wearing a pink dress with white pumps

"I'm afraid there's no mistake. Henry's body will be flown here in a few days, so I now have to plan a funeral and become a widow for the rest of my life." answered Lorraine

The rest of the party see the three women in tears.

"Mommy, what's wrong?" asked Molly

"Sweetheart, everyone, I have some bad news. Henry's been killed in a plane crash over the Sea of Japan. His remains will be flown here in a few days in order to have a funeral." said Lorraine as she was still in tears

"Oh, honey, I'm sorry. Henry was a great guy, I can't believe it's true." said Robert as he started to cry

"I can't believe that war took away my son from his family!" said George as he was angered by the news

"Dad, mom, I don't believe it, I lost my baby brother, not to mention, a good friend too!" said David as he started to cry

Milt and Sylvia Jaffe held each other as they were in tears. Henry's kids were crying when they realized that their daddy was never coming home and that Andrew will never get to know his daddy.

The End