The phone rings at 7:00 a.m. That’s never good. I make an educated guess.
“Tom.” My brother.
They say she’s had a stroke, he tells me. It happened sometime after she went to bed last night. She’s breathing but that’s about it. “She probably can’t swallow,” he says. “There’s not much to be done for her.” Our mother. Ninety-two years old.
“He’s coming here first. We’re going over there together.” Continue reading
Tonight, as always, my wife is reading a book in bed, this one about Leonardo da Vinci and his saucy little friend Salai.
“It smells like worms out here,” my wife says.
It’s the beginning of October. We’re coming out of a small grocery store in a light rain one morning. We are not loaded with bags. We’ve bought just one item. Reaching the car, we pull open the doors. She’s on her side, I’m on mine. The doors swing open and we turn, balancing ourselves on one leg, then bend, lean, fold and carefully lower our bodies onto our respective seats. As we do this, both of us emit very audible, slightly embarrassing, simultaneous groans. Continue reading