Mother/Daughter: Excerpts from Chapter 1

…We stood in my mother’s living room and she said, “I’m getting in bed, Peg-a-Roo.  Fix me a ham and cheese sandwich on rye with mayonnaise and some potato chips and a cup of coffee.  Bring them to me in bed.  I’ve had a stomachache all day, but I just took my temperature, and it is ninety-eight point six.”

I was sixty years old, and had flown into Jacksonville, Florida the day before to visit my eighty-six year old mother in her brand-new cottage in a retirement center.  I was blind and had no idea where the refrigerator was, let alone the ham, the cheese, the rye bread, the mayonnaise, or the instant coffee.

I thought the kitchen was on my right, which turned out to be true, and I located a stove with a pot, a cup, and a jar of instant coffee on it.  Momma had never owned a tea kettle.  Feeling around carefully, I found a spigot and filled the pot halfway to the top with water.

“Well, I recently had a poem published in the retirement center magazine,” Momma said.  “It was called ‘On Envy.'”

“I’ll read it to you in a minute.  Out of 500 residents here, nobody even commented on it.  Don’t you like some recognition?”  Momma asked.

“Yes, Momma.”

Momma must have turned on her Sirius radio, because it sounded like a Beethoven symphony was playing forth.  I stood still for a moment.  I wondered how Momma had handled my blindness without ever really saying how difficult it was for her.



4 thoughts on “Mother/Daughter: Excerpts from Chapter 1”

  1. A very good introduction. I like getting into the kitchen navigation right away, putting me in the “imagination zone.” My memory took me back to playing the “beep ball” game years ago, where blind adults and kids, along with the sighted folks wearing full blindfolds, tried to hit and field a big softball with a beeping device embedded in it. I recall never hitting the ball as it beeped past my swing. I did better fielding the ball as it skittered on the grass. But the overwhelming sensation was standing in the outfield, hearing all the sounds and losing my focus on the game itself. And being aware that I could remove the blindfold at any time, returning to the “sighted world.”


  2. Great start. Looking forward to reading more. Very nice photos, enjoyed seeing them.


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