Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Hummingbird

Round 29: February 2029 (Summer)
last update/next update

Betsy and Kimberly Carmody are both 58 and Sarah is 24.
(David is 47, Cara is 40, Nick is 26 and Susannah is 19)


Narrated by Sarah Carmody

For Valentine's Day, Nick wanted to take me out for dinner. We've been out for dinner many times before, of course, but we wanted to go somewhere really special.

And besides, it was a good excuse for me to see Nick in a suit. I've seen him in uniform and he looks amazing in it but never in a suit before. Nick scrubs up pretty nicely.

My parents had something similar planned, so they took the car and Nick and I got a taxi out to Exeter.

Our date was really beautiful.

We were hungry and it took forever to get served (Valentine's Day, it's busy) but it's not like we had nothing to say to each other.

And it was really worth the wait, when the food finally came. It was expensive - more than we probably should spend - but it's not fun to be sensible all the time. And we had plenty to celebrate.

We did a bit of dancing after dinner, even though no one else was. It was all very romantic.

As wonderful as the evening started out, it didn't end that way. While Nick and I were waiting for the taxi to go and get drinks, I received a phone call from the hospital, saying my parents had been involved in a car accident and had both been admitted.

I told Nick and he insisted on coming to the hospital with me. I told him he didn't have to but he wanted to.

I really didn't expect him to, but I was glad he said he would. I was worried and I knew I'd feel better with him there.

We were allowed in to see Mama right away. She was asleep but woke up after not too long. I don't think I've ever felt so relieved in my life.

She tried to get up straight away, to go and see Mum, so I had to force her back into bed.

Nick's uncle David was one of the doctors on duty that night and came in to talk to us. Mama's injuries were not too bad and he said she could come home in a couple of days, after they held her for observation.

They weren't ready for us to see Mum yet, which made my stomach sink.

Nick tried to reassure me but I was terrified.

After an hour or so, I was able to go in and see Mum. She was out completely. David was not as positive about Mum as he was about Mama. She had sustained some head injuries in the crash so they were watching her even more closely.

Nick was great about keeping Susannah informed too. She wasn't going to be able to get up from campus until the next morning but she wanted to know what was going on, of course. I'm sure she wasn't getting any sleep anyway.

I spent most of the next few hours going back and forth between the two rooms, which was physically and emotionally draining. I was advised to go home and get some rest and come back the next morning.

Nick had to convince me but I finally relented.

Susannah came back home as soon as she could the next morning and we met at the hospital.

When we headed into Mama's room, she was busy arguing with Cara. She was insisting she didn't need a wheelchair to go and see Mum.

It's hospital policy though, so she had to give up in the end.

I was hoping we would walk in and Mum would be conscious and able to greet us, or at least look at us but there was no change from last night.

Cara was even less optimistic about Mum than David was the previous night. She looked the same to us but she had deteriorated overnight.

We stayed with her most of the day. A doctor would come in regularly but we were mostly left alone with her.

I don't think there was ever much hope for Mum, but I was trying to stay optimistic. But she just slipped away that same afternoon.

I'm trying to comfort myself with the fact that Mum wasn't alone when she died and that it was peaceful. The doctors told us she wouldn't have felt any pain.

Susannah's classes don't start until next month, so she's staying with us until it's time for her to go back.

Mama is distraught, obviously and I'm glad Susannah can be with us for a while. I think it'll help to have us both around.

We often can't think of anything to say but it just seems better than being alone.

I can't concentrate on anything else right now. I just keep thinking of Mum. I can't believe she's gone.

Every single thing I draft turns out completely crappy.

I'm building up a good stock of balled up paper around my desk.

My boss noticed and sent me home. I was in no state to be working anyway - drafts were definitely the last thing on my mind.

Mama wanted to close the salon for a few weeks to take some time for herself, and for us. She was only able to stay closed for a couple of days though. It's just her there, so unless she goes in, she doesn't make any money. And with Mum gone now, money is tighter.

She still likes the work but her heart isn't really in it right now.

She's working shorter hours and shutting up while it's still light. She usually stays open a lot longer. That's all she can afford to do, in terms of cutting back on work.

I don't even know how Mama is breathing right now. I don't know what I'd do if I lost Nick and we've only been together 2 years. My parents were together for over 30 years. How do you recover from that?

They had their rough patches but they got through it. The last few years, they were really happy.

Nick has been such a fantastic support for me over the past week.

He's a good listener, so he's been there when I want to talk about Mum and he's also happy to just sit with me in silence when I don't feel like talking but don't really want to be by myself either.

Mama adores Nick, so she's been more than happy to have him over, even now. Talking about us getting married is about the only thing that's guaranteed to raise a smile from Mama at the moment.

Nick and I had planned to start looking at setting a date this month but I don't really have it in me to think about it.

I feel terrible, because I know how keen Nick is to get married. I still don't want to wait too long but it's just not at the forefront of my mind right now.

I just thought Mum would be around while we were planning the wedding and then on the big day and I just really hate that she won't be.

Mum was never really the type of mother who sat around longing for her daughter's wedding day. She wasn't much of a romantic. But she knew I was, and she was so happy for me and Nick when we announced our engagement.

It's heartbreaking that she won't be here to see me on my wedding day. Nothing will make me happier than to marry Nick, but there'll be a tinge of sadness there too, without Mum.

**********
Betsy Carmody, 1971-2029

Principal of Sullivan District High School, Betsy Carmody, died in hospital after sustaining severe head injuries in a car accident. She was aged 58.

Betsy, 1971.

Betsy Carmody was born to Joseph and Vivienne in Sullivan in 1971. She had one younger sister, Anna (51).

From an early age, Betsy loved school and was happy to spend her spare time reading, or using the family's telescope.

While studying economics at university, she met future wife Kimberly after they were introduced by a mutual friend.

Shortly after graduation, Betsy and Kimberly married and Betsy began her teaching career.

In 2005, Kimberly and Betsy adopted their daughter Sarah as a newborn.

Six years later, the couple expanded their family again and adopted Susannah, then just a year old. Susannah is about to begin her sophomore year at Suffolk University, while Sarah is living at home after recently completing her Master's in architecture.

Betsy's extended family in 2029: sister Anna and her husband Emil and children Nathan and Hope and Betsy with Kimberly, Sarah and Susannah.
Betsy leaves behind her sister Anna, her wife Kimberly (also 58) and daughters Sarah (24) and Susannah (19).

Outtakes:

Sarah's 3 playful points in action, while Nick's 10 are lying dormant.

This wasn't really what I was going for, so I didn't use it but I am actually really impressed that EA made a decent animation for scrapping drawings on the drafting table, rather than just having them fade away, like the sewing projects do.

And someone of you would have seen this one at N99 but I just really liked it.

Notes:
  • Title is from Hummingbird by Wilco.
  • Betsy was the Sim who rolled the car accident ROS this round. I was not nearly as sad to kill her off as I was about Tessa. I guess because she was much older and had already lived a good life. But I still didn't want to do it. :( We'll never get to see Grandma Betsy, which is sad. I think I've earned veto rights over any death ROS for the next 30 rounds or so!
  • The ROS didn't actually call for anyone other than Betsy to be involved but seeing Kimberly was in the car, she went to hospital too. But I wrote that in mostly because I wanted my hospital to actually heal someone for a change. ;) The doctors at Lukas Novak Memorial were kind of seeming like butchers lately!
  • Because I knew Betsy was going to die before Sarah and Nick got engaged, I was always planning to hold their wedding near the end of the round. Probably in Caleb's update, I'll have Sarah and Nick announce their wedding date.
  • Once Sarah and Nick get married, I'll move Nick into this house (and completely redecorate it because it's hardly changed since Joseph and Vivienne bought it). I don't want to stop playing Kimberly's salon but I don't particularly want to play Kimberly on her own either. And I can't see Sarah leaving her mother so soon after Betsy's death anyway.

27 comments:

  1. Ugh, another death. I agree, you get veto power. Heck, someone should add to their ROS a set number of vetos :P

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  2. Oh my goodness gracious! This was so sad! But I agree, somehow it wasn't as sad as Tessa's death, probably because she'd already lived a wonderful life.

    Susannah is going to be messed up over this, I mean, first her college-roommate dies, and then her mother? She might need some therapy, lol!

    But Betsy will surely be missed, she was a great spirit in Sullivan for sure.

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  3. This was beautifully written. How sad.

    I don't like it when one have to kill off Sims but as you said Betsy lived a wonderful life.

    RIP Betsy.

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  4. Thanks for reading, guys. :)

    Apple Valley, LOL, yeah, I thought so! I think I've been very brave, killing off my Sims!

    I would add a number of vetos to my ROS, but I'd probably just end up doing whatever I wanted anyway!

    Tessa, thank you. It's always sad when someone dies but the younger they are and the less chance they had to live, the sadder.

    Susannah has had a really tough time over the last couple of years. I'm going to deal with her in Rebecca's uni update, even though Susannah's in the dorms. She'll get lost among everyone else's drama there.

    I'm actually planning on Rebecca becoming a psychologist when she finishes, so it's a good thing she and Susannah are friends, eh?

    miss-essa, thank you. It's hard for me to write the serious stuff, so I appreciate it when people like it anyway. ;)

    Killing off Sims is sad but it adds to realism, and to the story in general. So while it's sad, I force myself sometimes. :(

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  5. sad sad! She had a full life, but it's a sadness for all those left behind, and the lack of her not becoming a grandma/seeing her daughters married.

    Poor Susannah. :(

    I really like that last photo of Sarah, and I'm glad she has Nick to be a shoulder for her to lean on.

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  6. When I read at N99 that you had a post up, I couldn't wait to read it. When you said Sarah had a lot on her mind, I was thinking of something completely different, so this kind of struck me! I was so sad to see another one of your sims go, and thiq on Valentine's day!
    This really was sad to read, and I only just woken up :(
    As always you wrote it beautifull.
    That picture of Sarah ..... So great! But I'm a huge Sarah-fan!

    How do you do the killing off? Is it with Simblender/insim?

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  7. I recently completely revamped the ROS system, as with so many different sims 2 death scenarios, there was the 1 in 10 odd for a sim to roll his/her dice off the edge of the earth:( The death scenarios are now clumped together with illnesses under the same category, cutting the possibility of dying by half. (In the background, a crowd of sims cheered for the new policy before going on their merry or tragic lives). But then, I also added Lakeside Height's career risks.. (Sims paused mid-track, turned back to glare at the gamer)

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  8. Yes, definitely veto any death ROS for a few rounds... and while you're at it, give poor Susannah a break from any tragedy for the next dozen or so rounds too!

    So sad, for everyone close to her... really beautifully written too. I really wasn't expecting that! And you WERE brave to go through with two death ROS so close together!

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  9. You have definitely earned yourself a veto! Such a sad update but beautifully written.....I'm glad Sarah has Nick around to help her through this......poor Kimberly :(

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  10. I'm actually sadder than I was with Tessa.

    I know Tessa was younger and had a bright future ahead, but Betsy was a mother, a wife and a principal to the school. Such a sad loss. :(

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  11. Thanks for your comments, all. :)

    Maisie, this is true. There is a lot that Betsy will miss out on now. :( Especially with Susannah. She'll never even meet whoever Susannah ends up with.

    I really think Sarah and Nick are the best things to ever happen to each other. I did not imagine I would like them together as much as I do.

    Tanja, oh, yeah, I didn't want to be too spoilery there! When I wrote what I did at N99 though, I actually wondered if anyone would think Nick and Sarah had broken up.

    Not a wonderful end to Betsy and Kimberly's Valentine's Day. :(

    And yep, I use InSim to kill off my Sims. For car accidents, I use the satellite death option, not that it really matters because I don't actually show it.

    lepifera, ah, see, I just have all my ROS tossed in together. So the chance of death is actually pretty low - 4 or 5 in however many scenarios I have in my file. I can't imagine how many deaths I'd roll if I had them separated. It seems like it would up my chances somewhat!

    Blackcat, I know, poor Susannah. :( Maybe she'll meet her true love at college to attempt to make up for all this death and tragedy I've been putting her through. Even putting aside Betsy and Tessa, she didn't have a great time in the last college update.

    And thank you. :)

    Mizzgin03, thanks. I feel like not killing anyone at all ever again! I will but I definitely won't be accepting any death ROS for a little while.

    Shake, oh, really? That's another way to look at it. And Betsy was around a lot longer, so there was more time to grow attached. She was most definitely a strong presence in Sullivan.

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  12. I agree that you've definitely earned yourself a veto! Such a hard year with all these deaths. :(

    What a great obituary you posted though. She will live on in the spirit of her loved ones!

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  13. Heh, I must have been too tired to write last night.

    That really sucks. RIP Betsy! :( Ditto to what has already been said. She did live a good, full life but it's sad that she'll never see her girls get married, meet her grandchildren, etc. Another great job writing this update, though. I am glad that Sarah has Nick to help her through this but I hope Susannah will be ok. And I love the family photo you did.

    I have death in my ROS only once and then have a randomizer that runs (at the same time) to tell me how the sim dies. That way instead of having 10 out of 80 or so odds of rolling death, I have a 1 in 80 chance. I think I might increase that though. Well... maybe not yet. I don't know what I'd do if I had to kill off one of my 33 sims that isn't an elder lol.

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  14. I was not expecting that at all. :( How sad for the family, especially when this is supposed to be a happy time in Sarah's life, planning her wedding and looking forward to the future.

    I'm glad it wasn't a young person again, but it's still very sad! I think you do deserve a death veto for a while!

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  15. Oh hell! So that's why Sarah looked so serious in that picture. No more death ROSs for Sullivan for at least a couple/few years! I can't take any more! :(

    But Sarah and Nick looked so nice for their date! Wish their night could have had a happier ending.

    RIP Betsy! :(

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  16. I agree with those who said that it was very beautifully written but it's very sad to read. Betsy's been around for so long and I've always liked her.

    Nick and Sarah's date looked so romantic. Too bad it didn't end so well with that phone call :(

    No more death ros for Sullivan in the next 10 rounds!!!

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  17. I hear you. ;)

    Last round I rolled a death by poison (it was the second time since the beginning of my hood). I wasn't too attached to the sim but I really felt for his wife and his toddlers.

    I also had two unexpected deaths at the end of the round. :(
    Both were favorite and young just like Tessa. I don't quit without saving and I don't plead the Grim Reaper.

    As you said this is great for the story and things are more interesting.

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  18. Ugh! I can't stand those death ROS. Too bad she didn't make it for the wedding though. :( And LOL at the Butchers of St. Luke's. I have no idea why that tickles me so much. >.<

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  19. Thanks for your comments, everyone!

    gallowaytownship, well, there's only been one death so far this year. But yes, it's been a bit dismal in Sullivan of late.

    I like doing the obituaries, so I'm glad you liked Betsy's. It's nice to go back through my old pics.

    Danielle, it is. :( There'll always be someone missing now, for this family.

    LOL, yeah, I wouldn't increase the odds with your population! Maybe when your hood grows a bit more.

    Shana, not that there's ever a great time for your mother to die, but this definitely came at an awful time with Sarah. She shouldn't be having to think about anything but happy stuff right now. :(

    Laura, now you know, lol! I don't think I can take any more death ROS either. I already have elder deaths scheduled for the future and I'm even sad about those.

    Sigh, I feel bad having to put my Sims through this kind of thing! I pretty much ruined Nick and Sarah's date in about the worst way possible. A definite break from death ROS for a while!

    Sari, I liked Betsy too. Anna was her clone but it's amazing how I was able to fool myself into thinking they were actually very different!

    Nick and Sarah's date was probably as romantic as it could be up until that point. But I like to think that this will make them an even stronger couple.

    miss-essa, oh, how sad. No, I don't quit without saving or plead with the Grim Reaper either. Two unexpected deaths though! I don't think I've ever had that.

    Riverdale, they really do suck sometimes, don't they?

    LOL, it just honestly started to feel like no one was getting out of that hospital alive, unless they were in there having a baby! So now we know, they do actually heal some people!

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  20. Awww, RIP Betsy! I was just thinking how cute she is with all her freckles too. Like seeing her for the first time, and then it turns out to be the last time I'm going to see her.

    But I loved the set up at the beginning. Nick and Sarah were looking very cute. (Even if I still have issues visualizing them as a couple, lol.)

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  21. Lunar, oh, that's sad! I actually had a similar thought (right before I offed her, lol!) I was just looking at her profile and thought "you're really quite a cute Sim, aren't you?" I'm taking a break from ROS death for a while and I'm oddly relaxed about rolling them next round as a result!

    LOL, I'm glad you thought Nick and Sarah were cute, above your visualisation issues!

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  22. I don't really have anything to add that hasn't been said by other poster.

    By I agree, you deserve a pass from any ROS deaths that roll up in the near future.

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  23. oasisvalley, oh, don't worry! I'm definitely going to be enacting a death ROS veto for the next couple of rounds!

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  24. Aww. :(

    What a blow...I imagine none of them will ever be able to look at Valentine's Day the same again. :(

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  25. Rachel, no, probably not. :( I can't imagine Valentine's Day will be much of a celebration for any of Betsy's family in the future.

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  26. I'm almost as sad about Betsy as I am about Tessa. Almost. Because as you said, she'd already lived a good chunk of her life already and seen a lot of important things. However, there are so many more things she'll still miss, like Susannah's graduation, Sarah's wedding and Susannah's (if she gets married), any grandchildren.
    And two ROS deaths in one round? How on earth did you get through that?

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  27. Fini, very true. Betsy lived a good life but there was a lot left for her to see and experience that she hadn't yet done and now won't get to. :(

    Tessa's death was actually last round but hers and Betsy's came so close together that it was like they were in the same round! It was very hard but I got through it. I did give myself a pass on any ROS deaths for the next couple of rounds though!

    Thanks for reading!

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