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Now there’s an idea, I thought. And tears came to my eyes.
The hours of afternoon dragged by. My mother lay uncomplaining as I went repeatedly to nurses’ station. Yes, they said, her name was on list of those to be picked up for a test.
Two o’clock, three o’clock. Poor Mother had eaten no breakfast or lunch, and soon it would be too late for a dinner tray.
Four o’clock. Still Anderson daughters crooned to their mother, talked to her, held her hand, stroked her hair. And took turns climbing into hard, narrow hospital bed, snuggling up to her, and holding her tight in loving arms.
Her eyes were open now, as she lay there.
At four-thirty orderlies came for my mother. She and I spent next two and a half hours in bowels of hospital. Mother was unable to talk because of a stroke, and I stayed close to give her medical history to imaging test technicians.
At seven they wheeled Mother back into her hospital room. And while we were gone a resurrection had taken place.
Mrs. Anderson was sitting up in bed, her eyes open, a smile on her face. Beside her bed were her daughters and, of course, grocery store. Plus remains of a dinner tray, which she had apparently sampled.
I was delighted for Anderson daughters. Then my mind returned to my own mother. “She hasn’t eaten for more than twenty-four hours!” I told nurse indignantly. “And now it’s too late for a dinner tray.”
Then Anderson daughters kicked in. “We’ve got lots of food over here!” they said joyously. They did indeed.
We settled on crackers and peanut butter from nurses’ station and a banana from Anderson daughters. While Mrs. Anderson beamed on us from her bed.
“I was pretty sick for awhile there,” she told me with an embarrassed smile. “But girls said they needed me.” She gave a loving look to her daughters.
“We do, Mom. We need you! You’re going to get well.” And they returned her loving look.
When I arrived next day, Mrs. Anderson, her daughters, and her groceries were all gone, and an aide was putting fresh sheets on her empty bed.
“What happened to Mrs. Anderson?” I asked aide, a new one who had witnessed none of drama of day before.
“Her? She was released this morning.”
“She was well enough to go home?”
“Apparently. The doctor thought so anyway.”
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