Saturday, March 30, 2013

God Save The People

Once again Stations of the Cross ended Lent with such Passion. I'm a writer and I'm wordless. These youth truly drive the message home in spoken word, and song. Thank you mom and dad for making the trek to join us. Thank you bro for bringing my godchild up earlier in the day so she could participate, and for catering dinner. By the way she has the voice of an angel. Thank you Jewel and my Photogenic One for making the trek. I love it when we are together. Happy Easter!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Reprise: Whom Shall I Fear

For Aunt Jeanne
For Elizabeth
For Marty
For Daddy
For David
For Paul
For Perry
For Lil
For Memere and Pepere
For Florence
For You
For Me

Thursday, March 28, 2013

What if today was your last supper?

What would you eat?
Cook in or take out?
Who would you invite over?
Or would you dine alone?

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Chapter 4

Chapter 4

Good evening, Sarah.” The voice came out of no where but rang clear. The caretaker, Captain Charles Boss, the ghost of the house appeared as pixelated flecks in the late afternoon light. Dressed in his usual World War II Army fatigues. His hair haphazard and long by military standards. Mustache curled. Eyes coal and sunken. His figure leaning on the library desk before me. 

I knew if Charles was appearing that we, or someone close to us, were in need. But mom's phone call was the true painful harbinger. “Charles, what's going on?”

“One cannot say,” he replied, turning to scan the wall of shelved book bindings to his right. It was funny to watch him. These books were his. Came with the house. He knew every title, had read every printed word until they were rote, and still he perused them. “There is change on the wing.” With that we waited.

The house was quiet. Deathly quiet, curled up on the old leather love seat, my mind reeled recalling the sounds of my mother's sobbing. Whatever the news, it would not be good. Then as expected the word came on heavy feet, delivered in stark monotones. "Mrs. Marché was dead."

"She picked up a bacterial infection. It can happen with chemo. Hospitalized yesterday."
Mom didn't mention when we talked last night; her noontime.

"Her reduced immune system wasn't able to fight it. Her body shut down. She's gone."
And with that change arrived.

Late Night Texts
Me: Mrs. Marché died.
Jeff: What?
Crazy sad sad sad
Me too

I forgot to ask Charles if this house felt like home. Next time.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Your Last Haul

Dear Suburban,

Faithful and hard working till the end. Thank you for 13 great years of service and unfailing protection.

Your Mom

Gentle readers our next vehicle will be the Chevy Traverse, our Rig's distant cousin. I returned to the dealership and wearing a mantle of patience, and in a very calm discussion with the manager, agreed to go over their pricing algorithm. It was a very pleasant experience with one apology on their part for not explaining all the rebates during the initial meeting.

The outcome: Trust reestablished. Come to find out we qualified for another rebate. And tomorrow our dear Rig will be retired. There will never be another.

Do You See The Solution?

It's so ironic but life can be, and usually is, like the game Unblock Me. For when you first look at the puzzle the solution isn't obvious. But maybe, with trial and error, you see a possible first move and perhaps a second. And sometimes the puzzle stymies your progress and you have to stop, set it aside, reset and start over.

But there are those other times without knowing how, you solve it in record time. And you think, how did I do that?

Monday, March 25, 2013

Note to self

Thanks Walt!
(Image captured off of Facebook.)

The Gift

Why isn't car shopping like food shopping?

I don't walk into the grocery store and start haggling over the price of bread or lettuce. There aren't two prices on tomato sauce; eprice versus MSRP. So why would I do that over a car?

Forty five hundred dollars is very close to 20 percent off.

The blessing. How lucky I am to be able to car shop. Many people aren't afforded the luxury. I'll try to focus on that fact as I push this process forward.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Is it better to have loved and lost?

We've had our Chevy Suburban since 2000. It has been well maintained for its 195,000+ miles. But she is tired and it's time. Still I'm sad. She protected my Girl Scout troop when on a dark and stormy night in Boston on the way to the circus we were rear-ended. She has taken us back and forth to Florida faithfully, never breaking down on that 3,000 mile journey, multiple times a year, for 13 years. She has never failed us when put to the task of Vermont camping or lugging. Good and faithful.

So I'm charged with the task of finding us another. And I thought I had. It's a standard vehicle, nothing fancy. It has space for our children and for some of our stuff. After all it's not a Suburban. It's another Chevy, a Traverse.

And as I negotiated the deal and filled out the paperwork I wasn't filled with that new car euphoria. I was resigned. Of course no deal is done until cash and keys are exchanged. So imagine my surprise and disappointment when the same vehicle I selected to purchase at the dealership is listed online for the eprice $4500 under the negotiating starting price at the dealership.

My knee jerk reaction is to walk away from this deal and dealership. Leaving me with the sense I have lost two vehicles...  Stay tuned.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Look Up

I have been walking into this shed for 7 months and yesterday I looked up for the first time. Look at all the nests I've been missing.

Look up! Look down! Look behind you! Miss nothing.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Meet Nancy

The new beautiful girl at The Farm.

Slowly Writing

Slowly writing is better than not writing at all.

Chapter 3

Ring! Ring! Ring! Leave a messa...”
Running through the mudroom door, I lunged for the kitchen phone and breathlessly answered, “Hello.”
A sobby voice managed three words, “Is daddy there?”
Mom? No hello, no how's school, no I miss you. Just, “Is daddy there?” I didn't dare ask. Too frightened to want to know, I replied, “He's out in the barn. I get him.” Lying the phone down on the kitchen counter, I bolted out the door.
“Dad,” I screamed halfway to the barn, “Dad, Mom's on the the phone.” My dad was knee deep in what most would believe was a pile of scrape metal. He was a sculptor. Anything and everything was his medium. His next piece, to be installed in the Forest Park Zoo in Springfield, MA, was looking something like a recycled metal collage of reptiles and amphibians.
Sigh. “Your mother..., tell her I'll be right in.” He seemed just as preoccupied as Mom.
“Okay, but she's crying,” and I took off to relay his message. But not before his shoulders and head curl forward.
From my perch on a kitchen stool, I watched dad lumber in. His face deeply farrowed. Was he mentally still back in the barn, searching for that just right piece of his sculpture? Or had he jumped ahead to the phone call that was waiting for him on the counter? With him, it could go either way.
“Marg, wha...” He didn't get any further. I could hear my mother bursting into tears on the other end of the phone. My dad shot me a furtive glance before taking the phone into the pantry and closing the door. This could not be good. I retreated to the library. Dinner was on hold.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

This is exactly what backyard sugaring is all about.

I absolutely love this maple sugaring poem. And so will you.

High Anxiety

Isn't there a movie called High Anxiety? It's amazing the persona one can portray over the web, Calm, cool, collected, frenzied, sexy, shy, domineering, lazy, productive, proud, humble, energetic...  even anxious. You name it; you can electronically portray it with a few clicks on the keyboard. Tah-dah and the whole world sees you.

In looking over my posts I think my persona is one that is calm, fun loving, spiritual, laid back, sometimes ticked off, but over all calm.

One thing that didn't get done this spring: Maple Sugarmaking.
Truth be told, persona laid on the electronic line, as I've grown older I've grown more anxious. Who knows why? Motherhood, and my protective mother bear impersonation. Menopause, older age, and fluctuating hormone levels. Community plate too full and not enough time to see clearly to the other side. Children heading in three different directions and having to clone myself to be all places.

Regardless of the reason, my mantra: You can't do everything right this very moment, but you can do one thing. Pick one thing and do it.

So pick one thing; and do it. Then pick another. Always moving forward, even if it's a crawl.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Please, don't judge me

True exchange.
Somewhere else in the house; not in the kitchen
Child: Is chips and dip good for breakfast?
Mom: No, it's not a good breakfast.

Ten minutes later mom walks out into kitchen. Chips and dip on table.
Child walks in: Please don't judge me.
Mom's aside: At least she said please.

How easy is it for us to judge others. We see someone wealthy, skinny, driving a Mini Cooper, and of course, they must be happy. Someone fat, has to be lazy. Someone with a disability, must be a burden. Someone old, living in a subsidized housing, has absolutely no value. Someone who collects guns, must be irresponsible. Someone homeless, label them worthless.

Please don't judge, me or anyone else.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Keep Your Eye on The Prize

It's March Madness! Madness on the national level, state level, even the local school level. Keep your eye on the prize ladies! Keep your eye on the prize!


Monday, March 18, 2013

The week ahead

This week holds so many unknowns. All with the faithful and undying promise that we never travel alone.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Houston, we have a late bloomer...

Our Christmas cactus is blooming in March. Better late than never.

Happy Saint Patrick's Day! Our day is steeped in tradition. Food mostly. Just once a year.

Friday, March 15, 2013

"You will be removed"

Without too many details, I care for an elderly couple in their home. One client is not home now, due to medical reasons. One client remains. Both are very confused.

Because of their finances I'm paid by elder services for 2.5 hrs of aid each weekday. With only one client home I am only allowed 1.25 hours per day.

Yesterday I inadvertently worked beyond my time. It was a miscommunication. Later in the day the office called saying they would remove me from the client's home if I couldn't follow the rules.  Would not pay me for the time. Very threatening. Said it wasn't personal.

I told them I was sorry about not understanding the directive, and didn't care about the money; a whole $17. It was worth it to ensure an elderly person got their meds and lunch.

I guess for me it is personal.

Not the usual farm job

As I walked up the Farm driveway, one of my lovelies walked out from behind a snow bank and moo'ed. Behind her was another yearling. Also free, also munching on some hay. As if being free and unfenced was the natural state of their affairs.  Not. There was a breach in the fence. And while the Calf Manager fixed the fence, it was my job to keep the calves from escaping.

My brilliant idea was to go deep into the pasture, call the gals to come to me and then rub and scratch and talk to everyone I could get my hands on. It was a real love fest. I kept telling them I only have two hands, but plenty of love for each of them. To which their response was to rub my leg, my back, my arm with their heads. Or they chewed on my boots, my jacket, my pant leg...

Being out in the pasture, petting calves, is really the best job there is on the farm.  And check out these beautiful red ears. She is a real stunner.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

REALLY... You never know

Maple Sugaring our first year.

Until one day you do.

Walking out of our house I spied an older man lumbering up the long driveway to our next door neighbor's. I waved. Said hi, and kept moving towards our car.  He called and asked if he could ask me a question. I thought, you just did, but smiled and said sure...

I had my youngest with me. Unlocking the car, I ushered her towards the door. Feeling very momma bearish.

"Do you know the person that taps the trees and makes maple syrup?"

My teeth nearly fell out. "Do I, yes it's me!"

"Well," said the man, later I found out his name is Oscar, and he lives in the next neighborhood. "I've been watching you tap your trees and I told my wife I was going to try it. So I went to the Natick Organic Farm and they told me how to do it and now I have 10 gallons of sap."

"Well," I exclaimed, "You must boil it! And make syrup; probably close to a quart."

"Yes, I will," he replied.

As Oscar and I chatted, I remembered our first season when I reverently carried my first cup of over cooked maple syrup to Mr. Chick's house. "SEE WHAT I DID!" The year before, Mr. Chick had taught the town Ecology Club (we were members) how to sugar. Needless to say,  I was totally over the moon with awe. As I type this post I can still picture Mr. Chick's shocked face. This wide-eyed stranger showing up at his door carrying a cup mason jar of crystallizing syrup.  His comment: Fantastic, but you might try cooking it less and filtering. Advice I took to heart with every batch since then.

Over the years, I have returned to Mr. Chick's house or called to check on his season. He is always friendly; a true maple sugarmaker. He has even given me excess sap that he couldn't handle.

But back to Oscar and I.
Liquid gold

 "How's the flow?" I asked. He said the season is just about over. Very little sap flowing these days. He seemed a bit sad. I know how he feels. The end of the season is always very sad.

You never really know how your actions in everyday life influence or inspire those around you. Until one day, and then only if you are very lucky.

Oscar, hope to see you next year!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Pope Francis I

Lead Me Lord
Lead Me Lord

Key To Winning

A common cheer among completing organizations is "We're Number One!"

What would people think if they heard the cheer, "We're second!" ? Second to the One Who rules the world. And thankful.

The key to winning is not to be first.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Am I writing?

Good question... Life reared its head, not necessarily ugly, and I had 
to remind myself to sit, think and write.

Here is the next Chapter.

Chapter 2
As I walked down the driveway, sure enough Mrs. Westgate, flew by driving her beater 1998 4 door Chevy. Despite collecting on her husband's life insurance policy, she and Melody continued to live in the rented house on Cherry Street. Months ago, I asked, “Why don't you move back to Ice Glen? That way there we would be neighbors.” Their old house was still abandoned and boarded up. Melody's answer, “Too many memories.” I guess there would be.
“Hey, Sarah – wait up.”
It was Jeff, running to catch up with me. Lately I'd noticed his shoulders broadening and his voice getting deeper. Puberty hits us all. I stopped and waited. “What's up?”
“Did you study for Math? Quiz today, you know.”
No answer.
This year, instead of being a latch key kid at his own monstrous house with wings and a gated driveway, Jeff was a fixture to our beastly farmhouse complete with leaning barn. At first it was on a drop in basis. Then he became a regular, to the point of pouring Molly her glass of milk and knowing where the cookie tins are kept.
Mom noticed when he was there, no homework was getting done, so she laid down the law. “Come over all you want. Eat cookies, fruit, drink milk or juice – but you will do your homework.” Not two days into the new plan and we all knew Algebra to Jeff was as welcome as mud on an Easter dress. Mom, being Mom, tutored him. It was embarrassing the way she'd light up when he walked in the house. “Any math today?” It wasn't a weird thing, between Mom and Jeff, it was a weird thing between my mom and algebra. But, when she left, he stopped studying.
“You know, they're not grading my mom. It's you, your grades. She's not coming back until...” I couldn't say it. But I knew she wouldn't be back until either Mrs. Marché made a miraculous recovery or she passed away. Mrs. Marché had no other biological family and they were closer than sisters.
Jeff broke into my timely revelation. “My grades are fine. I know what's going on.”
I scoffed, “Are you saying you're a late blooming algebra wiz?”
He didn't answer. We both knew the truth of the matter. I changed the subject. “Is your dad back? Where was he, Bangkok?”
If looks could kill, it would be my burial. “Yes, and no. He left again for London. Some marketing mix up.”
“But I thought your mom was heading for New York today.” I was just about to ask, who was home with him, when the bus pulled up to the stop and we had to run for it.
On the bus, Jeff sat with his tagging cronies, but shot me a playful glance as I squeezed into an empty seat four seats behind him. As we jostled to school, I replayed the scene of getting on the bus. Jeff's whole demeanor changed. His chest pumped up, filling his expanding shoulders. His eye lit up, as he swaggered down the aisle. He never showed them the softer side I had come to know.
Five minutes till the late bell sounded, Melody rushed past me, heading for her locker ten down on the other side of the hall.
I knew she was in the building somewhere. Her Mom dropped her off, before racing over to our house. “Where have you been?” I shouted over the hallway din.
“Mr. Cheever's office...”
The Principal, what now? “You're Jeff in drag?”
Slamming her locker door, Melody shot back, “What do you mean by that?” The immediate hallway around us went quiet.
Still going through my books, I murmured, so not to bring anymore attention to our conversation, “I mean, Mr. Cheever might as well put a revolving door on his office. My two best friends are in there constantly.”
“Well this time you've got it all wrong. I was in there getting a recommendation letter. My mom thinks I should go to Allbright's Summer Program for Girls.”
Allbright's was for brains, girls heading to college. My folks had been trying to push me to go, but I was holding out for a summer time of fun at home. Fun and Allbright's were rarely ever mentioned in the same breath. “Since when are you going there?”
“Since I got a scholarship. Come on we're going to be late for homeroom. I'll tell about it later.”
But at the end of the day, Melody wasn't of the bus. There was no face to face telling, only late night texts.
Late Night Texts
Me: Allbright?
Melody: Yeah
Mom... college...
How long?
All summer
YIKES! 4 brainiacs
ur saying?
ans for 24?
x = 4 y= 3
cu 2morrow

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Is there magic in veggie soup?

Confirmation I Vegetable Soup for Parish Soup Night.
They each brought a little, but together they make a lot.
In religious Ed we have been studying our small roles in this great big world. Imagining the strength if we joined forces; joined in prayer.

Can you give me an example?

Think of veggie soup made solely of veggie stock.

Ok... ?

Add some onions
Now add in some celery
Add carrots


And maybe some black beans, corn, and broccoli
Add spices and then some cute pasta.
Simmer and serve hot.

Get it.

She's Back

Took my oldest back to college last night after being home for just about a week on break.

Our best conversations taking place on the drive. The best hugs when we said good bye for the next seven weeks.

Saturday, March 09, 2013


This post is about yesterday and the 6 inches of predicted snow that really was more like 15. But really it's about God's Plan and me kicking and screaming.

No school... No driving... No work. All play. Until work called back at 9 AM and said the family of my clients wanted a wellness visit. Reluctantly, I said I would try after the storm, around 7 PM. All morning and into the early afternoon I watched the snow pile up and roads get worse. There was no way I would get there safely. It would take hours for us to dig out.

I called work. Spoke to the owner. Asked what the expectation was for the visit. Mentioned the family lives closer than I do. Mention my husband was outside shoveling so I could make this shift... For what? A quick 15 minutes after a hair raising drive? They had no answers. Would callback... But didn't.

I asked on FB. Resounding response was to stay home. Find another way. I agreed, but...

I went outside to shovel. Thinking this was insane. No one should be out, but I couldn't not go. I didn't want to. It made perfect sense to stay home. no one would fault me. But I couldn't.

So off I went in 4 wheel drive. Main roads clear. Side roads passable. Found a cleared parking spot; just about a miracle.

And my client... She was still in her pjs from the night before. No meds taken. Dirty breakfast dishes on the table. Dishes from yesterday in the sink. Having eaten no lunch. Surprised to see me. As it was dinner time and not morning. Though she thought it was still morning. Mentioned her husband was around somewhere... Maybe in the second bedroom. They live in a one bedroom apartment. Husband not there.

I got her a glass of water. She probably had nothing to drink all day. Fixed dinner. Promised and delivered a "horrible" shower, for showers are always horrible. :-) Afterwards sat and had a cup of tea over dessert. Did dishes. Emptied the trash. Called the son. All is well.

There was a need. God knew it. I'm thankful I listened.

Friday, March 08, 2013

When the world hands you limes.

Make lime marmalade. :-)

My Motif One

There is no place like Disney.
No place like Disney...
No place like Disney...

If I put on my ruby running shoes and click my heels together three times, do you think we'll be magically transported home?

Have a Magical Day!

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Pained Decision

It's perfect sugaring weather, but our Shack stands cold and silent. The buckets aren't hung. The burner won't be lit. The pan not filled. There is no TAP TAP TAP of sap pinging. It's tough. It was a pained decision fraught with anxiety.

Why? For many reasons. But it was the correct decision.
With only two remaining quarts of last year's syrup, will we run out?  Probably.

Already looking forward to next year.

Tuesday, March 05, 2013


Grateful, thanksgiving
Sharing Holy Eucharist
With those most hungry

Inspired by jeff noel's post of Thanksgiving.

Monday, March 04, 2013

The Writing Process

This second book had a late start because I didn't know what was going to happen. How can that be, a writer not knowing the plot details? I had a start: three years after Forever Yours, and that was about it. For me the characters write the book. They whisper in my heart.  I take dictation.

Yesterday, while writing, what else would I be doing, the mom gets a late night phone call, and of course it's bad news. The teen in Washington is hospitalized because she tried to kill herself. I haven't written this part, but I know it.

I was so shocked by the turn of events, I saved the document and stopped writing. Is this true, I asked. Asking whom? The characters... Is this the true turn of events?

There have been hours thinking about this. And it is true. Somehow I'm going to have to write it.

The book is titled: With A Little Help. It has a happy ending. But to get there there is hardship, just as there is in real life.

Sunday, March 03, 2013

Ever Feel Like Quitting?

At The Farm, sometimes I do. But to leave the job unfinished...
You have dig in, put your head down and push on.
Or in this case,  keep shovelling.

It takes me two hours to clean the platform without the calves present.  Longer when they are inside to allow for petting, scratching chins and hugs.

Saturday, March 02, 2013

From the woman cave

Personally I love how it sort of looks like worms. But that is me...

In my twenties I was lucky enough to enjoy Pasatelli during the holidays. Pasmesan noodles in a peppery chicken broth.  While searching for a tried and true chicken recipe, to make for family, I came across a recipe for this coveted dish and in usual kitchen witch whirling dervish style, whipped up a batch. It was good, for a first attempt. Will try again closer to the Fall holidays.

The recipe was found in the St. Jeremiah Parish (Framingham, MA)  cookbook, published in the 1990s. That parish has been closed for going on 8 years or so. It's nice to know a little of  their legacy is being carried forward, in the heart of many homes, the kitchen.

Friday, March 01, 2013

With A Little Help - Chapter 1

I'm thinking... I'll post first draft chapters here... It will keep me writing if I have a deliverable.(Not that writing is ever a problem. The problem is when I'm writing, I'm not doing much else.)  Inspiration, where do you find it?  

Chapter 1

 “Sarah, are you up?”

 Groggy, and still in slumber land, I questioned whether my father's voice was part of dream or reality. In this house, in my dreams, it was a valid question.

 “Sarah, it's 6:45; time to get up?”

Truth be known, it was past time. To catch the bus to Monument Valley Middle School, I had to be out the door in 20 minutes. Life was so much easier when I was in still at Stockbridge Elementary. The day started at 9 o'clock, instead of 8, and I could walk to school, not catch the one bus that picked up the outliers, students who lived more than 2 miles from the school. Racing about, I threw off my pajamas and tossed on some somewhat clean jeans, tshirt and sweater. No one could accuse me of being a fashion plate. Socks on, sneakers in hand I ran down the back stairs, landed on one of the kitchen stools, and preceded to eat the peanut butter toast that was laid out on a plate.

 “Hey! That's mine!”

I hadn't seen Molly, dressed and ready for school, reaching into the refrigerator after the orange juice.

“Can I have it? I have...” glancing up at the clock, “five minutes to make the bus.”

“You have more than that. Stop eating my toast.”

It was amazing, in the second grade and she was already telling time. After, forcing one foot and then the next, into my still tied sneakers, I reached for the jar of peanut butter and a spoon. “Fine, sorry I took a bite.” Then with my voice thickened with what I call a pure protein treat I confessed, “I thought Dad made it for me.”

Still not eating her coveted toast, Molly replied, “Daddy left right after he hollered for you to get up. He had to leave for a staff meeting. Mrs. Westing is coming over to see I get to school.”

Life was strange. I wasn't left alone ever until I was in the sixth grade, and now, due to the circumstances, we never uttered the word cancer, Molly was being left in second grade. Granted it was only for a few minutes. Usually as I was walking to the bus stop, Mrs. Westing would drive by and wave. Still there was the principle of the thing. Mom had been gone for weeks now. Home was not the same. Exhausted, Dad got us up, fed, sort of clothed, and made sure Molly got her homework done. I'd do mine on my own. But there were the other things, like actually sitting with us at breakfast, making lunches, instead of buying, and nagging us to clean up the piles of stuff we left around the house. Mount Laundry forever cascaded across the upstair's hallway. He swore he would never take Mom for granted again. Agreed.

We did talk with her most days. She'd call, usually after our dinner, her lunch, and ask the usual questions, as if we were all sitting around the kitchen table. How's school? Who did you eat lunch with? How was the bus ride? How is Melody, Jeff? Seen Charles lately? Will you see Martha this weekend? Etc... Our answers were usually the same. After three weeks of nightly chats I realized that my life, despite living with a ghost, was really rather boring.

When she first arrived on Bainbridge Island, Mom gushed about the our cottage, “You'd never recognize it. They took off all the gingerbread work and painted it a sea moss green with rusty red shutters. And the gardens are all gone.” Gingerbread and gardens gone, really what was left? One thing I did notice in all her talking about the island and the house was Mom never spoke about Bainbridge Island as if it were home, so I asked her, “Do you miss it, now that you're back there?”

“No, it's more like a dream,” she replied, “A wonderful place I've been, but Stockbridge is home.”

I wondered if Charles felt that way. Next time I saw him, I'd have to ask. The next time... I wondered when that would be. Ever since reuniting Martha with her lost wedding ring, his visits were infrequent. Martha would say, “He is the caretaker. He takes care of things and the people of the house” And he did. Maybe he needed to be at the Marche's.

Right after Mom arrived she was very optimistic about what the doctor's were calling highly effective chemo. Revolutionary, with better than ever trial results. Sometimes Mom was so bubbly about the treatments, I wondered just whom she was trying to convince? As if her expounding the virtues of the latest drug cocktail would tip the treatment scale in our favor. But as the weeks went on, her enthusiasm waned. Beverly was gravely ill all the time from the treatments, never really recovering from the toxic effects.

With her mom feeling so ill, mom said that Carolyn was living over at Bobbie's. Except for one or two of the many phone calls made during that first week Mom was out there, Carolyn was never around. “Why isn't she helping her mom, helping you?” I asked.

“It's hard for her to see Beverly so sick. And Bobbie's parents are kind enough to let her stay.”

“Do you see her at all?”

“Usually right after school, she comes home for a little while, but then she goes over to Bobbie's. It's okay really.”

I didn't understand. My mom would never be alone like that.