my mother's last visit to
was taking all
her strengthto get on the airplane to come for a visit. We had made arrangement for me to pick her up at BWI , something she would never had agreed to before
and I would take her back to the airport
after the visit. Perhaps one thing I have learned that one should
not force people to do things that are impossible for them. Parents learn that
when they raise their children. It will take several tries, possibly weeks or
months more than would be optimal in the eyes of an impatient spectator to
learning, for Billy or Sally to learn to tie shoelaces or learn the thousands
of things that must be learned before little Sally or Billy become adult. The
same is the case with children when parents get old. Just as there is conflict
when the older teaches the younger, so there is conflict when the younger has
to do things for the older. This time it is important for the younger to be
forbearing, a role switch that is not easy to achieve .
ur time in
, soon There is no real formula here, the key is being there . So
I headed down to Spring for
well over a decade. Needless to say
my mother was greatly surprised to receive a visit form her
son in the middle of April, and I must say I
did not feel exactly on solid ground myself. I had four weeks of
vacation, jealously hoarded vacation, lot
of projects requiring lots
of intervention and I am in
be able to leave to resume my busy life.
My mother need someone to live with her ,
to tell her what day of the week it was, to make sure all the right pills were taken,
meals were prepared, activities planned. Up to that time my mother
had done all that. She had her weekly routine ,
friends would come to visit, we hired someone
to come read her mail and write her checks and take her shopping, and
much time was spent on the phone, much of it on calls to
Spring the normal routine was no
longer possible. We had
received a diagnosis of cancer which made even
to routine of getting up and
dressing for the day impossible. Keeping track of time became
impossible as well so she depended increasingly on a
who would gage the strength
level and say, OK,
eat Chinese and take a walk by the lake. Or lets go
watch some television ,
or lets have some soup ,
lets go to the post office or shopping or to
the hairdresser. That would be my role. While this was nominally a full-time job, there
were lots of free periods, when I could read, work on the computer, do
research, whatever. So I
adjusted to my new routine. I would get her up, fix a
bran muffin, arrange all the pills, get her
to the sun room next to the telephone and go find
a New York Times (the
provincial edition from
would have good days and bad days
, some days she was too weak to get up
and would sleep all day. Sometimes she would be up all night. The point was not to fix things, but to be there and
to be helpful in the appropriate manner. Of course, there was a regimen of pills for
chemotherapy for the cancer, there
were visits to the doctor and clinics,
all of which took on the form of major expeditions. Yet by and large
we did well. I
was reconnecting with my mother, something I had not had since I was a child, and
she was planning and arranging my days for me.
arranged to quit my job in that was just a bran muffin
and a orange juice.
Being back in my mother's kitchen
released a flood of foodassociated memories. For Mother's Day
I decided to cook a full Austrian lunch: soup, veal, salads, potatoes, and
desert. Of course it is hard to make a
soup in a lot of trouble acquiring
bones and root vegetables not easily available. So I found some German instant
beef soup in the pantry, a product that is all the
rage with the new generation of
housewives even in the villages in Salads there would
be three: potato, cucumber and Boston
lettuce. "Wienerschnitzel," breaded
veal cutlets would be the main course. For a side
dish I decided on peas and on small red potatoes with parsley. To
lily, I went for a
shrimpandhorseradishsauce appetizer. A slice of apricot
cake from a French pastry shop with
ice cream would finish the meal. I had
found a case of Gruener Vetliner at a
local wine store so everything was ready.
[LTE1]AU: OK to delete for conciseness?
[LTE2]AU: transfer OK for coherence?
[LTE3]AU: OK to delete the passage since it seems digressive in the context of the paragraph?
[LTE4]AU: deletion OK?
[LTE5]AU: added transition OK?
[LTE6]AU: OK to substitute regular since your life includes vacation?
[LTE7]AU: change OK to achieve parallel structure?
[LTE8]AU: change OK for accuracy?
[LTE9]AU: changes OK for a stronger organization of points?
[LTE10]AU: OK to insert activities for preciseness?
[LTE11]AU: OK to use colon after Or and to use quotation marks? Or would you rather let this passage be indirect discourse?
[LTE12]AU: OK to transfer sentence before Gradually to end of paragraph? It seems to fit better here. Also, are the word choice changes in the transferred sentence OK—for greater precision and variety?
[LTE13]AU: word choice changes OK for stronger accuracy? Deletions OK for conciseness?
[LTE14]AU: transition In fact seems needed here. OK?
[LTE15]AU: transition OK here, given the context of the sentence?
[LTE16]AU: already OK here?
[LTE17]AU: No new paragraph seems needed here: run into previous paragraph. OK?
[LTE18]AU: a more accurate word. OK?
[LTE19]AU: I placed salads later, since your book is largely informal in tone. OK?
[LTE20]AU: according to Webster’s 10th, two words without quotation marks or italics: Wiener schnitzel.
[LTE21]AU: word choice changed for greater precision? OK?
[LTE22]AU: not needed since it does not add essential information. OK?
[LTE23]AU: OK to use more specific the ingredients?