A Mother's Love

by Margaret Houlihan

Author's Note: The characters are property of 20th Century Fox, any others characters that were created belong to me.

Korea, June 1, 1953. It was a sunny spring day. The staff of the 4077 are resting after treating many wounded through the night. Cathy Jo and Klinger are early risers because they keep the office running efficiently. Suddenly, the phone rings and Cathy Jo answers.

"MASH 4077, how may I help you?" asked Cathy Jo on the phone

"Hello, I would like to speak to Margaret Houlihan-Pierce. I'm her mother, Jean Houlihan!" said the woman on the phone

"Well, she's probably in her tent, but I'll get her", answered Cathy Jo

"Thank you, young lady!" replied Jean

"Klinger, make sure Margaret's mother is still on the line when I get back, I'm gonna get Margaret!" said Cathy Jo

"Whatever you say, Cathy Jo", answered Klinger

Cathy Jo goes over to Margaret and Hawkeye's tent. Margaret was getting Maggie dressed while Hawkeye was getting Ben dressed. Cathy Jo knocks on the door.

"Come in", said Margaret

"Hi Margaret. Hi Hawkeye. Hi Maggie and Ben. Margaret, your mother is on the phone. She seems like such a nice lady!" replied Cathy Jo

"I'll be right with you, Cathy Jo!" answered Margaret

"Okay. Klinger's keeping her on the line. Bye for now!" said Cathy Jo as she left the tent

"Hawkeye, I wonder why mom's calling me her. Maybe there's a family emergency!" said Margaret

"Oh, Margaret, she probably wants to know how you're getting along with motherhood!" answered Hawkeye

"Maybe you're right, Hawkeye. I'll meet you and our babies in the mess tent for breakfast!" replied Margaret as she leaves the tent

"Okay, kids. Daddy's taking you to the mess tent while mommy's on the phone with grandma" said Hawkeye as he picked up the twins and headed over to the mess tent

Meanwhile, back at the office.

"Mom, is that really you?" asked Margaret on the phone

"Why yes, Margaret dear! I just called because I wanted to know how my little girl is getting along with my new son-in-law and my grandchildren", replied Jean on the phone

"Things couldn't be better. Hawkeye is such a wonderful husband and father. He even delivered our twins. You'll like him, mom!" answered Margaret

"I'm sure I will. Oh, Margaret, the real reason I'm calling is because I'm coming to the 4077 next week. I have a nursing conference in Tokyo and nothing would please me more than to spend time with my daughter and her new family!" replied Jean

"Oh, mom, that's wonderful! I can't wait for you to meet your son-in-law and grandchildren. I'll let Hawkeye know that you're coming. And mom, thanks for sending me your old maternity clothes and babies supplies. I really needed them", said Margaret

"You're quite welcome, dear! I have to go now. Bye, Margaret!" said Jean

"Goodbye, mom!" said Margaret as she hung up the phone

"So, Major, what's the good word from your mother?" asked Klinger

"Klinger, Cathy Jo, my mother's coming to the 4077 next week after her nursing conference is over in Tokyo!" answered Margaret

"Oh, Margaret, I'd love to meet her. I wish my parents would come to see their little girl in action", replied Cathy Jo

"I have to tell Hawkeye. Bye!" said Margaret as she left the office to head over to the mess tent

Margaret enters the mess tent. Hawkeye and the twins are sitting with B. J., Charles, Father Mulcahy, and Colonel Potter.

"Hawkeye, I just got off the phone with my mother and guess what!" said Margaret

"Margaret, I don't know. Why don't you tell us your news!" answered Hawkeye

"Well, my mother's coming here to the 4077 next week after her nursing conference is over with in Tokyo. She can't wait to meet you all!" said Margaret

"Margaret, that's great that I finally get to meet your mother. I might have better luck with her than I did with your father liking me. Remember, he wasn't too crazy about me", answered Hawkeye

"I remember very well", said Margaret

"I can't wait to meet your mother, Margaret. How long is she staying here?" asked Colonel Potter

"I'm not sure, Colonel, but have the VIP tent ready for her!" answered Margaret

"I'll get right on that!" replied Colonel Potter

"Margaret, I think it's wonderful that your mother's coming here. A mother should be near her child whenever possible", said Father Mulcahy

"Thank you, Father. I think she'll get along just fine. Besides, she's an army nurse, so she's seen it all!" replied Margaret

"I can't wait to meet Hawkeye's mother-in-law. Peg's mother is such a warm and caring person. Charles, you're awfully quiet. Aren't you going to say anything?" asked B. J.

"Oh, Hunnicutt, I was thinking about something on my mind. Pierce, I can't wait to meet your mother-in-law", said Charles

"Say, Charles, does this problem you have on your mind have anything to do with Cathy Jo? You two have been inseparable for the past two months", said B. J.

"Yes, I just want to know where this relationship is heading. I might like to spend the rest you my life with that woman", replied Charles

"Charles, are you saying you want to marry Cathy Jo?" asked Hawkeye

"Maybe or maybe not! I'm not sure whether she'll want to spend the rest of her life with me", answered Charles

"Charles, you two are perfect for each other. You both have a keen interest for bringing culture to the 4077. You turn to each other in a time of need, and most of all, you love each other. Doesn't that give you a sign?" asked Margaret

"I think I'll let the relationship run its course. When the time is right, then I'll pop the question!" answered Charles

It's a week later and Margaret is scrambling putting the finishing touches in the VIP tent for her mother's arrival. She promised herself that she wouldn't go overboard like she did when her father, Alvin Houlihan, visited the 4077. Margaret comes out of the tent to join her husband and children and the rest of the 4077 for the arrival of her mother. One minute later, a jeep pulled up with an older woman in the back wearing a green dress. The woman looked exactly like Margaret, only she had grey hair instead of blonde.

"Oh, mom, I'm so glad you're here!" said Margaret as she hugged her mother as she got out of the jeep

"Margaret, I've missed you so much!" said Jean as she finished hugging Margaret

"Mom, I want you to meet my husband, Benjamin Franklin Pierce, and your grandchildren, Maggie and Ben Pierce", said Margaret

"It's nice to meet you, Mrs. Houlihan. Don't worry, I'm taking good care of your daughter and grandchildren", said Hawkeye as he shook hands with Jean

"So, you're Hawkeye. I'm so glad to finally meet my son-in-law and grandchildren. Margaret's told me a lot about you in her letters and please, call me Jean", replied Jean

"Hello Jean! I'm Sherman Potter, commanding officer of the 4077. You should be very proud of your daughter. She's a very dedicated head nurse!" said Colonel Potter as he shook hands with Jean

"Nice to meet you, Colonel. All I can say is that Margaret learned from the best!" answered Jean

"I'm Father Francis Mulcahy, chaplain of the 4077. I performed the wedding ceremony and baptism ceremony for the twins", said Father Mulcahy as he shook hands with Jean

"I'm pleased to meet you, Father. I just wished that I could have been there for my little girl's big events", answered Jean

"I'm B. J. Hunnicutt. I'm a surgeon here at the 4077!" said B. J. as he shook hands with Jean

"I'm Charles Emerson Winchester the third. I'm also a surgeon here!" said Charles as he shook hands with Jean

"Nice to meet you both! Margaret mentions that you two are my grandchildren's honorary uncles!" said Jean

"I'm Max Klinger. I'm a company clerk!" said Klinger as he shook hands with Jean

"I'm Cathy Jo Barnes. I believe we talked on the phone last week. Let me just say that I enjoy looking after the twins. I'm the assistant company clerk!" said Cathy Jo as she shook hands with Jean

"Nice to meet you two. Klinger, aren't you the one who dresses like a woman to get out of the army? Where's your dress?" asked Jean

"Oh, Mrs. Houlihan, I gave up on the idea. Allow me to get your bags for you!" answered Klinger

"Thank you, Klinger!" replied Jean

"Mom, let me show you to your tent. By the way, how long are you staying here?" asked Margaret

"A couple of weeks at the most!" replied Jean

Margaret, Hawkeye and the twins spend most of their free time with Jean, except when the wounded were pouring in.

A few days later, the wounded were pouring in.

"Attention all personnel, incoming wounded! Report to triage!" said the P. A. announcement

Margaret takes the twins to Cathy Jo. Hawkeye, B. J., Charles, and Colonel Potter tend to the wounded.

"This man can go first. He's got a belly full of fragments!" said Hawkeye

"Anything I can do, Hawkeye?" asked Father Mulcahy

"Father, there may be some soldiers needing last rights around here, but I think my patient will make it!" answered Hawkeye

"I'm not sure about this man's leg whether we can save it or not with the arterial transplant! It maybe beyond repair!" said B. J.

"I have a head injury case over here! Prep him immediately!" said Charles

"Chest wounds over here. A bullet may have punctured the lung!" said Colonel Potter

"Colonel Potter, is there anyway I can help?" asked Jean

"Yes, Jean, can you assist me in the O. R.?" asked Colonel Potter

"Sure, I'll go scrub right away!" answered Jean

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