Simple Summaries

Taking Care

Joy Williams

Simple Summary by Sarah Frank

·      Jones is a preacher in love but it confuses him because love “doesn’t help anyone”

·      “Now he sits on a bed beside his wife in the self-care unit of a hospital fifteen miles from their home.”

o  She has disease in her blood that is apparently an indicator of disease elsewhere

·      Sense of time is lost in the hospital

o  “when Jones turns to kiss his wife's hair, he nicks the air instead.”

·      They have a daughter and a grandchild

o  The daughter “has left her husband and brought the baby to Jones. She has also given him her dog. She is going to Mexico where soon, in the mountains, she will have a nervous breakdown”

·      The wife is exhausted just gardening

o  Jonesassures her it’s just fall: a slow season. He says he’s tired himself

·      “"Justdon’t make me go to the hospital," she pleaded. Of course she will gothere.”

·      Hewrites to his daughter and signs it “Take care”

·      Wife at the hospital: “They won't let her do anything now, not even wash out a fewthings. You must take care.”

·      “These lessons are neither of life or death. Why was he instructed in them? In the hospital, his wife waits to be translated, no longer a woman, the woman whom he loves, but a situation.”

o  “She is a swimmer waiting to get on with the drowning. Jones is on the shore.”

·      Jones blesses his grandchild in the church

·      “Jones is waiting in the lobby for the results of his wife's operation. Has there ever been a time before dread? He would be grateful even to have dread back, but it has been lost, for a long time, in rapid possibility, probability and fact.”

·      “He thinks of his wife, her breathing body deranged in tubes, and begins to shake. All objects here are perplexed by such grief.”

·      “His wife’s sickness has changed everything for Jones. He will continue to accept but he will no longer surrender.”

·      Inlooking at his wife, he cannot believe it is the end

o  “Have so many years really passed? Is this not his wife, his love, fresh from giving birth? Isn't everything about to begin?”

crying. sobbing.