Mummy and Me, 3/30/2021

You might recall that my 92-year-old mother was diagnosed with Covid-19 in April 2020. She was quarantined on the Covid floor at her nursing home in Massachusetts for 30 days. She seemed to have a mild case and recovered completely.

That’s the Mummy we all know: the baby girl born prematurely in the third-floor walk-up at barely two and a half pounds and incubated in the kitchen oven. A survivor.

On February 17, 2021, my mother began having hallucinations—or whatever one calls visitors from the other side. She spoke with her mother and others long dead.

She refused to eat. We were told she had two days remaining at best, but she continues to prove everyone wrong. I was told that if I tried to get there from here, I probably wouldn’t make it in time.

But she continued to rally. One day she would sleep all day; the next, she’d be completely lucid. Up, down, up, down. No one knew what to think—least of all, the hospice nurses.

In mid-March, she was still hanging on. There were more sleepy days, she was very weak, but she was still waking up with clarity and bits of conversation. When my brothers visited, she would ask who was with them. More dead people.

I decided to book a last minute flight to Boston on March 19—without telling my siblings I was on my way—and betting against the odds that my mother would hang on at least until I got there. I stayed for a week. Mom didn’t recognize me until the third day. She said a weak “Hi.”

She still hasn’t had solid food. She sucks water from a sponge and sips small amounts of protein shakes.

Good grief—She’s playing tic-tac-toe with my sister today!

The day before yesterday one of my brothers was there and Mom was frantically waving and reaching out to dozens of dead people passing through her room. She said there was someone bringing fried chicken and biscuits. Curiouser and curiouser! She wanted to know: would she be having lunch today?

My siblings will continue with their time on watch. They’ll take turns, vigilant at her bedside, trying to keep her comfortable.

But all I want to know is: Does this mean there’s fried chicken and biscuits in heaven?

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