Episode 18 - The Heartache

(14 April 1981)
Writer: Kathleen Hite.
Director: HerbertHirschman.
Music: Alexander Courage.


"There was a growing independence in our family as we grew older. With the years we became more individual, often holding firm and differing opinions, approaching life from diverse directions. But let joy or sorrow come to one, it always came to us all, to be faced, to be shared, to be experienced together. When the Waltons needed to be a family we came together as one".


Rose is babysitting John Curtis and Virginia when she has heartburn. As she mixes baking soda and water, John Curtis runs off. While at Jim Bob’a garage, Stanley Perkins inquires about new car tires after thinking of going back on the road. On his way to visit Rose, Stanley finds John Curtis standing by the roadside. At the same time, Rose and Ben frantically search for John Curtis, unable to find him anywhere. By the time Stanley drives up, Rose is near hysterics, but is calmed when Stanley tells her that he found the lost boy.


Cindy talks with Erin about the possibility of a job. Ben overhears the conversation, saying he likes the idea. That night while the boys eat dessert and the girls wash dishes, Stanley announces that he has been promoted at the newspaper. He then asks Rose to marry him, with a honeymoon at Niagara Falls and a life traveling and enjoying life. Jason plays the piano as the happy couple dance. The women talk about wedding plans, but Rose insists that she will wear the dress they made for her and that nothing special will be done. Rose reaches for more “bicarb” to settle her upset stomach. That night, after Rose takes even more “bicarb”, Mary Ellen insists that when she visits Dr. Cole for her marital blood test, she ask the doctor for medicine. The look in Rose’s eyes show a worry about something more serious. At his office, Dr. Cole has found that Rose’s problem is not heartburn, and suspects Rose realizes it, too. He prescribes nitroglycerin for her chest pains, knowing they are warning signs for an impending heart attack if she doesn’t slow down.


At the Baldwin house, Miss Mamie and Miss Emily toast Stanley and Rose’s upcoming marriage. They ask the couple to allow them the pleasure to use their house for the wedding reception. Rose hesitates at giving an answer, saying things are racing too fast. Stanley notices a change, and comments about his concern upon returning to the house. Rose insists that she likes her life just like it is, and does not want to marry him. Stanley says, “You don’t want to marry me?” Rose doesn’t answer and Stanley is perplexed. Rose enters her room, clutching her pills. At breakfast, the family places a wedding present on her plate but learn that Rose has cancelled the wedding. Rose suggests they return the camera for their money back.


Cindy receives her best sale from Mrs. Winslow since working at the fabric store. Mrs. Bassett says Cindy deserves a raise if she will join her as assistant manager. Cindy hesitates, knowing the position will take her away from her family. Cindy decides to think about the offer and decide later.


Elizabeth tries to convince Drew while on the telephone that she still loves him. Soon, Stanley arrives to call on Rose. He presents her with the trophy they won at the Elk Spring Dance, saying he has given notice at the paper and will be moving away so he can forget her. She accepts his decision, although Stanley can’t believe she wants him to leave. Returning to her room, Rose is distraught, crying at what she has done.


To forget her troubles Rose repeats spring-cleaning, drafting Jim Bob and Elizabeth to help clean the house. As Mary Ellen and Erin arrive, they find Rose scrubbing the floor, nearly exhausted. Rose indicates her health is improving daily, but Mary Ellen seems not to believe her. Later Cindy returns to find that her husband and daughter miss her.


The next day, Rev. Marshall visits Rose. While sipping tea the minister bluntly asks Rose what she is concealing. Rose explains what happened between her and Stanley, but Tom does not believe her. Suddenly, she grabs her chest, and then looks for her pills. Mary Ellen brings the medicine, announcing they are nitroglycerin for her heart condition. Rose explains that she cannot stand people looking at her as an invalid. She states she will not tie down Stanley as a sick wife. Rev. Marshall says that Stanley is entitled to know the truth. Mary Ellen drives Rose to Stanley’s apartment where Rose tells him that she is suffering from a heart condition that necessitates her doing less. Marriage to her would be like living life from the sidelines, but Stanley says he does not care how they live. Rose leaves unable to be a burden on him.


Cindy brushes Virginia’s hair noticing that she changes a little each day when she picks her up at nursery school. At breakfast, the family pampers Rose while Cindy announces she isn’t returning to work so she can spend as much time with her daughter as possible.


Stanley buys a pack of gum from Ike for a nickel when Ike comments that he also has angina, a heart condition. Although he had to take it easy immediately after the attack, he slowly was able to regain his normal work schedule. Ike advises Stanley that Rose isn’t troubled about cramping his style; she is worried about dying on him. Stanley joins Rose on the bridge across Druscilla’s Pond, telling her that he twisted his ankle. He also has seen signs where he must slow down, and find a place to watch the passing parade. Rose sees he is deceiving her, as he limps on the wrong foot. Stanley tells Rose that she could no more sit back than he could. For the last time, Stanley proposes to Rose, knowing that she makes him feel young. At the Baptist Church, Rev. Marshall joins the couple in holy wedlock with friends and family looking on.


"The road behind them had been rocky and uneven, but we all felt the road ahead for Rose and Stanley would be in the best of repair, paved as it would be with joy at each other, sharing with friends their unfailing good humor and laughter. And for our family, when joy came to one it came to us all".


Jim Bob: Is anybody awake?
Erin: What is it Jim Bob?
Jim Bob: I can't sleep, I guess I'm too excited about the wedding.
Erin: I think it's something else.
Jim Bob: Like what?
Erin: Like all the money you made selling Stanley the tires?
Jim Bob: I think that's pretty exciting.
Erin: Goodnight Jim Bob.
Jim Bob: Goodnight. Is anybody else awake?



Ike had his heart attack three years ago.

Rose and Stanley won the dance at the Elk Spring Dance.


Also appearing:

Ike and Corabeth Godsey (Joe Conley and Ronnie Claire Edwards), Rose Burton (Peggy Rea), Cindy Walton (Leslie Winston), John Curtis (Marshall and Michael Reed), Virginia (Clare and Elizabeth Schoene), Miss Mamie and Miss Emily Baldwin (Helen Kleeb and Mary Jackson), John-Boy (Robert Wightman), Stanley Perkins (William Schallert), Rev. Tom Marshall (Kip Niven), Dr. Cole (Ken Sansom), Mrs. Bassett (Corinne Michaels),