Cassie and Scott celebrated Christmas morning with their congregation and returned to see Georgia as promised. At first they were surprised to see Officer Babbitt in the hospital hallway, then their surprise turned to shock as Mouse made his way down the corridor towards the three of them. Mouse, as he approached them, was again reminded of the three wisemen. He brushed it off and joined them in what was soon to become a vigil outside Georgia’s room.
Dr. Phil walked up, wished the small group in the hall a Merry Christmas then entered Georgia's room. She looked up at him and immediately informed him they would need a larger turkey for the Christmas dinner. Georgia then looked at the tree and asked how many people they would joining them. Danny looked confused. While Dr. Phil laughed kindly and reminded Georgia once again that he was the doctor not the butcher. Having seen many pictures of Danny (the most recent in the newspaper public interest story run several weeks earlier supporting Danny’s early release), the doctor immediately recognized him as Georgia’s son and congratulated them on their reunion. He invited Danny into the hall to speak privately. As they left the room, Georgia carried on her conversation with the tree about the menu for tonight's Christmas dinner.
Although Dr. Phil had suggested they speak privately, Danny stood firmly in the midst of his newfound friends and supporters. This was all hitting Danny fast and hard. His chest felt tight and his head was spinning. Dr. Phil’s words cascaded and bounced around the narrow hallway. Danny didn’t respond and just stared through the door at his mother who was still engaging with the tree, just yards from where they stood.
Mouse could see that Danny was confused and overwhelmed, and in an effort to help his best friend, he interrupted Dr. Phil. “So what you’re saying Doc is that Danny's mother won't let go and maybe Danny can ease her mind so she can move on in her journey?”
Dr. Phil looked at Mouse, his eyebrows raised. Looking Danny’s overwhelmed face he proceeded “Well, yes, basically, in laymen's terms, that is what I said.” then he looked at Mouse and asked “What was your name again?”
“They call me Mouse” said Danny’s best friend and held his hand out to Dr. Phil. They shook hands. Then Dr. Phil excused himself to continue his rounds.
Mouse then turned his attention to Cassie and Scott. “Hey, you’re the people from the church, aren't you?” For the next ten minutes the five of them exchanged introductions and thoughts how to best serve Georgia and ease her suffering. They entered the room together. Cassie adjusted Georgia's pillow and poured fresh water in her glass. She positioned the straw so Georgia could draw a little water from the glass with ease but no attempt was made. Cassie looked at Scott, they both knew the end was near. Georgia was still talking to the tree and asking it questions about her husband George.
Danny held his mother’s hand, it felt cold. He rubbed it to comfort her. It comforted him too. They sat in silence then all of a sudden the tree spoke. Everyone heard it.
In a soft firm voice the tree called out to Georgia. She asked the tree if it was the same magic tree from all those years ago. The voice reassured her it was. Everyone in the room exchanged glances and quietly watched as Georgia gazed deeply into lights looking for the source of the voice. The tree went on to speak of a strong handsome man waiting for Georgia under the grand old oak tree in the countryside of deep green rolling hills. The tree told her that her Christmas dinner was waiting there with him, her beloved husband George. “He is waiting for you Georgia. All you have to do to join him is let go.”
Danny stroked his mother’s hair. “It’s okay. I’ll be fine Ma. Go be with Dad. You shouldn’t keep him waiting any longer..” He choked on the words as he said them but she didn’t notice.
Georgia slowly drifted away, her breath cycling down until it stopped short, with a brief final gasp she let go. With his heart heavy and his eyes filled with tears, Danny leaned over and gave his mother one last kiss on her forehead and quietly said goodbye.
No one had noticed Mouse leave when he slipped out of the room and made his way down the hall to find the ceiling access entry point he had spotted earlier that day. He had entered the utility room, pulled himself up into the crawl space and crawled through the tunnel until he reached the blinking lights of Georgia's tree. Removing the duct from the vent and pushing it aside, he cleared his throat and brought life to the magical white tree. He just knew it was exactly what was needed to help Georgia let go and move on. After her last breath had passed, Mouse returned from the tunnel to the hallway outside Georgia’s room where the three wisemen, Cassie, Scott and Babbitt stood, watching over their new beginning.
That night Cassie and Scott enjoyed their Christmas dinner at the Outreach Church. Their guests were Babbitt, Danny and Mouse.
After Cassie and Scott married, they continued their work with the Outreach Church and both became defense attorneys.
Babbitt became the prison’s associate warden and later warden.
Danny had no more legal troubles, but it took him several years to recover from his time in the SHU. He later worked in prison reform.
Mouse decided not to return to the West Coast. He also became involved in prison reform.
Together, Cassie, Scott, Danny and Mouse started the Wyoming Center For Justice and worked closely with Warden Babbitt on prison reform and progressive detention techniques to help rehabilitation. They were instrumental in establishing a prison pet program that allowed inmates the privilege to be housed with a pet.
From that year on, each Christmas Eve, children from hundred of miles away would flock to the Justice Center to witness the magic of the talking Christmas tree. Danny organized the event and all the kids would delight in the way the magic Christmas tree would answer their questions. Of course, positioned above in the attic was Mike "Mouse" Sanchez -- the voice behind the magic and the spirit of new beginnings.
Shop is Temporarily Closed
George is currently in Spain filming a new TV show. Unfortunately our shop is out of autographed merchandise and will be closed temporarily until George gets back to Ventura.
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