I’m starting a list in my head. People who were nice to my mother since she’s been sick. The other column is people who have stopped calling, inviting, and basically avoiding my mom since she’s been sick.

I guess we can start with the nice. My cousin in southern Italy calls my mom once per month. And so does his wife who my mother doesn’t remember. I thanked her for always checking on my phone. I tell I know her dad is very ill so I thank her for calling. She told me during the last call “of course. It’s the right thing to do.”

My husband has gone to see my mom almost as much as me. He fixes whatever my dad breaks. Even after my dad told him he needed to lose weight my husband installed a new shower head.y dad said it was for my mom but he seems happy with it’s new height. I would be catatonic without him.

One friend and colleague asks about me a lot. Let’s me rage text with her about how terrible people have been to my mom. Unsupportive. Let’s me say out loud how she might need to get the basil money ready if these assholes show up at my mom’s funeral.

My second friend and colleague who I scream on our car rides to the office. She affirms my feelings. Let’s me hypomanic when I yell about such feelings as I pound on her dashboard. I wouldn’t have a career if it wasn’t for her. I think I would be self destructive if wasn’t one of the most amazingly kind and brilliant people I have ever met.

And my sister’s mother-in-law. She has her own health problems. Lives in the same housing development. Mona walks down the street despite diabetes and hypertension. She’s 82 years old. When Mona made it to see my mom this past weekend, she started sobbing when she saw how frail my mom was. She grabbed my mom’s hand. Kissed it. And prayed.

I promise myself that I will give these amazing souls my loyalty and love.

i am a first generation italian-american who grew up in southern new jersey. Life is amazingly beautiful and devastating. Sometimes in the same day.

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