Mom takes our temperature

March 13, 2020 at 4:55 pm (By Amba)

My mother, who is 96, lived through the Depression (which began just before her 6th birthday), World War II (as a 20-year-old bride whose new husband was in the South Pacific), and all that came after.

She says this is the worst she’s ever seen. And she said that BEFORE the virus.

But she remains a sharp chronicler of the day-to-day, even as the days melt and grow warped and surreal. Here’s a text she sent me today (with her permission). Tell me if it doesn’t put its finger on something about this day.

How’s stuff? We’re OK here. Sorta tippy-toeing around: may or may not
go out: hands off elevator buttons, door knobs, why does my face perversely want me
to keep Touching it? To make sure it’s still there?
Not listening to the news is restful, but also an anxiety magnet: what’s the recent folly, stupidity, or catastrophe that’s been perpetrated? In the silence of no iPhone or other electric hookup, I hear the occasional sparrow: it’s warm enough for them. Are you OK? Everything seems to have slowed down. That has to
be an illusion: must be rocketing along along on a collision course with
What you up to?
Love you 




  1. Alexandra Leh said,

    Well, she’s just wonderful! And this brings a tear…your mom wrote what my mom would write, with the same clear perspective and well-honed wit.

    Lucky us, to have mothers who learned to be brave and strong and insightful so early in their lives.


  2. amba12 said,

    I was lucky to know yours . . . loved the wry and piercing comments of hers you shared . . . consider mine your honorary comadre.

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