She Misses Him on Sundays the Most

by Rachel

This is my first MASH fan fiction. This story is set over 40 years after the end of the war. The title and song lyrics are from "She Misses Him on Sundays the Most" by Diamond Rio. I changed the first line of the chorus because as much as I like the song I can't see Hawkeye and Margaret going bowling.

They were quite a pair, the way that love should be
They still held hands, for the world to see

They were married for 45 years, seven months, and thirty-eight days before he died. A stroke paralyzed his right side. He held on for three days, long enough for their children to make it back and say goodbye to their father, before drifting off as she held his hand.

She's thankful that she had him all those years
But she still has days she can't hold back the tears.

The day they buried Benjamin Franklin Pierce was sunny and clear. Margaret thought it fitting. All the surviving members of the 4077 MASH that they had kept in any touch with flew out to Maine for the funeral. BJ sat next to her and held her hand throughout the service. Next to him sat Peg, Erin and her family, his son Benjamin and his family. On Margaret's other side sat her children. Their oldest daughter Sarah, her husband Rob and their twin girls Becky and Georgia. Their older son Blake Johnathan "BJ", his wife Sandy and their daughter Megan. Lastly, their younger son Daniel Sherman and his partner Simon.

She misses their Monday night poker games
And he'd wear his Hawaiian shirt

All around them sat aged but still familiar faces. The O'Reilly's, the Klingers, Colonel Potter had passed away some years before but his children were present, Trapper and his family, Sidney Freedman had stuck in the back right before the service, Kathryn Winchester was present Charles having died of cancer two years before. While the rest of the room was filled with people that Hawkeye had touched over the years.

She misses their Wednesday night dinner out
Soon as he got home from work

The service was a blur to Margaret until BJ squeezed her hand and asked if she was sure she wanted to do this. She nodded and he smiled sadly and kissed her cheek. She made her way to the podium.

"Ben and I were never meant to see each other again after we said goodbye in Korea," she began. "Then he showed up on my doorstep two months later and the rest is history." She could feel the tears appearing behind her eyes and she fought to remain in control. "I'll always be grateful that he came that day. I'll always be grateful for the time we had together. And I know that he's up there right now having a ball watching all of this. A part of me expects him to walk through the door with those groucho marx glasses and those ridiculous flippers."

Everyone laughed at this. Margaret looked down at the faces of her children and grandchildren. "But I know Hawk isn't really gone. I can see him in all of you, because he touched all of you. And I know he would want us to keep laughing." She paused and looked up. "What I wouldn't give to hear you laugh one more time." She looked back at the crowd and found she couldn't hold the tears any longer. BJ stood and helped her back to her seat.

Saturday morning sleeping in, holding each other close
But she misses him on Sundays the most

More people got up to speak but Margaret was lost in thought. She remembered the night he had shown up at her door. She had been working in an army hospital in San Antonio. His eyes held the same pain she felt. A feeling of uncertainty about where you were and what you were doing. He took one look at her and then wrapped his arms around her waist, burying his face in her neck.

"I'm so lost Margaret," he'd whispered. "I don't know where I belong."

She'd held him tighter, knowing the feeling well. "You belong here," she'd replied. "Right here."

They'd spent the night talking, planning. Both of them knew that they didn't want to be apart anymore. Two days later he went home, his hand lingering in hers for as long as he could before he got on the plane. She was granted a transfer to Portland Maine and followed him two weeks later.

She sits alone, on that same old chair again
Mist in her voice, still echoes now and then

They were married in Hawkeye's backyard a month after she moved to be with him. BJ flew out to be best man and little Erin served as flower girl, becoming instantly enamored of her "Uncle Hawkeye."

A year later Sarah was born. Hawkeye cried when he first held her. He didn't speak for a full five minutes, he just stared at his beautiful baby girl. When he did say something he turned to Margaret and said in complete seriousness, "She's not allowed out of the house until she's thirty."

Two years later BJ was born and Hawkeye cried again. This time for his son and his namesake, remembering the baby that Henry Blake never saw. This time Hawkeye's first words were, "He's got a lot to live up to, but at least his initials mean something."

Daniel was born the next year and almost killed his mother and himself. Born six weeks early he came out the wrong way. Margaret recovered quickly but it was two months before Daniel could come home from the hospital. Two months that his parents slept in cots next to the incubator keeping the too small boy alive. One night Margaret woke to hear Hawkeye talking to the child through the plastic. His tone was light but she could see the tears in his eyes.

"If you don't come out of this your Grandpa Daniel and Grandpa Sherman are going to be very disappointed. I promised them that if you were a boy we'd name you after them." He choked back a sob, "So you can't do this do you hear me?" Reaching out he put his hand against the incubator.

But Daniel pulled through and when they brought him home Crabapple Cove, along with various members of the 4077 MASH who had flown in, had the biggest party any of them could remember.

Life went on without much excitement, and after the war both Hawkeye and Margaret could stand a lack of excitement. They took over the older Daniel Pierce's family practice, lived in Hawkeye's childhood home with his father until he passed away when his namesake was 10.

BJ and his family were frequent guests of the Pierces at Christmas and Hawkeye and Margaret and the kids often went to California during the summer. And throughout the years Margaret and Hawkeye remained true to each other. BJ once asked him if he ever went back to his old ways.

Hawkeye had smiled and said, "As a wise man once said, it's not like I'll get sent to Hell without a fan it's just that I don't want to."

"You ever been tempted?" BJ asked with a twinkle in his eye.

"Tempted's another story."

"Ah so you have been tempted."

"No," said Hawk, "but it's another story."

Margaret can remember the day Sarah went off to college. Hawkeye had been freaking out for weeks. She was his baby girl. He'd hugged her and joked about boys when they dropped her off but when they were walking back to the car to leave Margaret saw Hawkeye wipe his eyes. It was the same for the boys.

Brings back all those memories of him there by her side

What she'd give for one more Sunday drive.

They had both teared up when Sarah told them she wanted to be a doctor. BJ's interests were always more technical so while they were not surprised they were just as delighted when he told them he planed to become and aeronautics engineer. Daniel had never been as good with math as his older brother but had always loved books more. He had become a high school English teacher.

Daniel came out to his parents when he was 25. Hawkeye had been quiet throughout the whole time. Margaret had been quick to assure her son that it didn't matter and that they loved him no matter what, but Daniel had turned to his father with a worried look.

"Dad?" he had asked. "Are you angry?"

Hawkeye looked up, wordlessly crossed the room and pulled the young man into a hug. "No son," he said. "It's just for the first time I'm afraid there will be pain in your life that I can't protect you from."

Daniel had held on tightly to his father for several minutes. "I'll be okay," he said. "I was afraid you were disappointed."

"I love you," said Hawkeye. "And the only thing in this world I'm sure of is that nothing will change that fact."

Brought back to the present by the roomful of people standing up. They made their way back to the house for the wake. Much later BJ came to stand beside.

"There's so much of him in this room," she said. "I miss him so much."

"I know," replied BJ. "Me too."

"Do you think he's happy?" she asked.

BJ stared at the pictures that were scattered around the room. Ones of Hawkeye and Margaret, of the kids, of the gang from the 4077. Pictures of all the children playing together at the ten year reunion which had been held at Radar's farm. He looked over at Radar, now an old man himself telling Daniel Pierce about the time he and Hawkeye had been angry at each other. BJ looked back to Margaret and put his arm around her shoulder.

"I'm sure Charles and Colonel Potter are looking out for him," he said.

Margaret smiled for the first time in days, "And Henry Blake as well," she added. Then she looked over at a picture of the two of them. It was taken the day she had arrived in Crabapple Cove. They were sitting cuddled together on the porch swing. Her head was resting on his shoulder and Margaret could tell he had just made a joke because his face was lit with laughter and she was grinning as well.

The memories of a hundred other Sundays just like that one flood her mind. Sunday mornings they would get up early and watch the sun come up from the porch swing. The kids slept late so it was just the two of them for an hour or so. Though Korea and three children had taught them to cherish sleep, they never had any trouble getting up a little early on Sunday morning.

Now as people began to file out of the house she gave BJ one last hug. "Call me if you need anything," he said.

"I've got Sarah, and BJ, and Daniel here. We'll be okay."

"Well, if you need anything," BJ repeated.

Margaret nodded and watched the Hunnicutts drive away. She turned and stared at the old porch swing, running her hand over the smooth wood.

"Goodbye Ben," she whispered. Then she wiped her eyes and walked back into the house.

She misses their Monday night poker games
And he'd wear his Hawaiian shirt
She misses their Wednesday night dinner out
Soon as he got home from work
Saturday morning sleeping in, holding each other close
But she misses him on Sundays the most

The End