Ryan's Hope
Spring 1983

Back to Scene IV
Scene V
(After a conversation with Jack, where he asks Maeve how she feels about Leigh, Maeve remembers Mary.)

Maeve:  Mary, get your feet off the table.

Schoolgirl Mary:  My feet aren't on the table. It was my heels.

Maeve:  Oh wouldn't it be grand if you could take a correction without feeling the need to correct me?

Mary:  Frank says it's important to say precisely what you mean.

Maeve:  Put your feet and your heels on the floor and don't talk back to me.  How's that?

Mary:  Good.  I want to have a lot of babies.

Maeve:  Well, I hope you will.

Mary:  And I want to do a lot of other stuff too.  I want to be a lawyer, like Frank.

Maeve:  Well, that would be splendid.

Mary:  But how do you have children and work?

Maeve:  You get tired.

Mary:  Oh, ma, are you tired?

Maeve:  No darling, I'm just teasing, making a joke, and besides, it's not so bad to be tired.  That means you've been working hard and that means you are alive and presumably doing just what God means you to do.

As Mary moves around the table and sits unlady-like beside Maeve, Maeve makes sure her skirt covers her knees. 

Mary:  Well, I know he wants me to have a lot of babies.  I just hope he wants me to be a lawyer.  You know Frank says I'd be pretty good at it.

Maeve:  Well, if Frank says then surely God must agree.

Mary:  I just can't figure out how it works, I mean, you can't take them with you to court or where ever.

Maeve:  Well, maybe you could have some help.

Mary:  I don't want any help, mother.   Oh, no.  I don't want anyone else taking care of my babies.  Nobody else touches my babies.  They're mine. I take care of them.

Maeve:  Well, then you might consider letting their father lend a hand.

(skip forward in time)

Mary:  Jack is so good with Ryan.

Maeve:  Does that surprise you?

Mary:  It surprises him.  You and I knew it all along.

Maeve:  I think we did.

Mary:  But for a while there, when  he was being at his most obnoxious, I thought I was going to have to bring her up by myself.

Maeve:  Did that frighten you?

Mary:  No.  It made me sad.  I wanted her to have what we had, a mother and father and a big family.  But I knew I could do it by myself if I had to.

Maeve:  Mary, thank God she has you both.

Mary:  Oh ma. There's so much I want her to know and feel and to believe.   You gave us that.  You really did.  I want Ryan to have it from me.  God, angels, saints, right from wrong, all of it.  To believe that love is the most important thing in the world and that her word is the most valuable thing she could ever give anyone.  And that one last effort could make a difference.

Maeve:  And to be joyous and to be brave.

Mary:  And of course to always do what her mother tells her to do.  How could the kid lose?

(skip forward to after Mary's death.)

Maeve: Oh Mary....

Mary:  You know the problem with us don't you?

Maeve:  No, tell me.

Mary:  I am an egomaniac and you take every word I have ever said as gospel.

Maeve:  I do not.

Mary:  You do, and I mean every word, because you have the memory of an elephant and you remember it all and it's embarrassing, mother. Furthermore, it's getting worse with age. 

Maeve:  Well, I'm sorry.

Mary:  Oh, you should be, but you aren't.  No way.  Oh, listen, ma, I'm just appauled by myself at 24.  Frank always said I was bad about sharing the credit, but where did I think Jack was going to be in terms of Ryan?  I wanted to ask myself why I had married him.  Jack is the most honest person I have ever known.   He's more honest than you because you'll see things a little differently for someone you love. You can't help it.   He'll give that to Ryan.  He'll teach her to love because he'll love her.  Oh, boy, she'll learn to hang on 'til Hell freezes over.  To question authority.  To respect words.  He'll teach her patience, we hope. 

Maeve:  And joy?

Mary:  Jack needs a little help in the joy department.  He's bringing Ryan up all by himself and he needs a little help, period.  He also needs to be in love, mother, and if I'm not threatened by that, why are you?

Maeve:  Oh dear, heavens, girl, I'm not threatened, who said anything about being threatened.  And I don't begrudge Jack help, nor a woman in his life.  I didn't begrudge him Rose.

Mary:  Oh, he wasn't in love with Rose, he just liked her father. 

Maeve:  Oh, Mary.

Mary:  And so did you.

Maeve:  Why you stop that.

Mary:  Actually, he did love Rose, but it wasn't a grand passion.   I mean, Rose was all right.  Rose was interesting.  She talked back to him.  She had secrets.  Why don't you like Leigh? 

Maeve:  I never said I didn't like Leigh, it's just when I think about her being with Ryan...

Mary:  Leave Ryan out of it, and not counting me, who is the person Jack loved the most?  Leigh isn't going to replace either one of us ma.  Not with Jack and not with Ryan either.

Maeve:  God help me.  Oh, Mary.

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