As you all know by now, my mother loves to eat. How she stays thin, I’ll never know. In any case she’s been under a lot of stress and was going to out with a girlfriend for a night on the town. The next day she called from the hospital to tell me that she had collapsed on the street, but her girlfriend had managed to get her home. However, the day after she was still feeling lousy and went to the emergency room.
‘How much did you drink?’ I wanted to ask but restrained myself.
Well, to make a long story short, it turns out that she has a bleeding ulcer but had to have a test to confirm that.
That evening, I overhear Mickey talking to her. She’s just found out that we are going to go to the Serbian grocery store.
‘Bring bread,’ she tells Mickey.
‘You know you can’t have bread until they do the procedure to see what’s going on,’ he patiently tells her.
‘Okay,’ she sighs, like she’s five years old.
The next day she calls to tell me that she’s starving to death.
‘Aren’t they feeding you through that tube thingee?’ I ask.
‘Yes,’ she says, ‘but my stomach is empty.’
Reader, what can be expected from a woman who after an evening of gorging herself on a multiple course French meal at the Union League club takes her children on a tour so they can see the art on each floor and seeing the remnants of a banquet, wolfs down a roll, saying, ‘They are vasting good bread.’
Yesterday, they let her have broth and jello for dinner. ‘Jell-o’ she says, like I would say, pig’s feet, with a sneer. ‘The soup was good,’ she adds.
Today she is already volubly complaining when I call her in the morning. But her mood immediately brightens when they bring her an early lunch.
‘It’s Spaghetti, Leel, ‘ she says, ‘I’ll call you later, I’m going to be busy now.’
Later that afternoon she calls back.
‘How was lunch?’ I ask her.
‘Terrible!’ she exclaims dramatically. ‘Vatery sauce on spaghetti, roll like cardboard, a blob of spinach dat looked like brrd sheet. Den they gave me sorbet, the cheap kind. The worst part was, after I ate spaghetti, I saw der vas Parmesan on the side. It was hidden. I didn’t get chance to put on top.’
‘Aw,’ I cluck sympathetically, thinking, well, no one really goes to the hospital for the food.
‘I can hardly vait to go home to eat,’ she says, ‘maybe tomorrow they’ll let me out of here.’
‘I hope so, Mom,’ I say. She can tell my attention is drifting, and that I need to go back to work.
‘Okay, talk to you soon, I’m going to stare at TV for vhile.’ she says signing off.
I haven’t talked to her yet, but do I hope dinner was at least a little bit better.