Yesterday morning I arose before dawn, took my mother to the hospital where I was born forty-nine years ago, and watched her vanish down a corridor, wondering if I’d see her alive again. Seven hours later I was feeding her ice chips from a plastic spoon and doing my best not to get choked up as I told her she didn’t look too bad, considering.
In fact, she came through her operation somewhat bloodied (she lost a cupful) but mostly unbowed, and when it was over the surgeon informed us–convincingly–that the prospects for her recovery were excellent. I passed the word to her a couple of hours later in her hospital room, and she smiled wanly. Then I pulled out my cell phone and started calling all the people on the list she’d handed me the night before.
I don’t know what you do on the eve of major spinal surgery, but my brother, a man of action, decided the situation called for a cookout and proceeded to barbecue a mountain of pork chops, chicken breasts, and jalape