PERSONAL BAGGAGE
A Tale of Marriage, Medicine and Murder

Mother

This is a list of how often and where the term 'Mother' appears in the book PERSONAL BAGGAGE.


Search result for 'Mother' in PERSONAL BAGGAGE

Chapter 1: Chapter One
"...Motherng the house from the garage, Penny undressed in the laundry room and tossed her muddy yard clothes into the washer. Yesterday’s rain had made the weeding job messy. She envisioned her immaculate, stylishly-dressed Mother. As a child and even later, Penny had thought that when she ..."
"...Mothergreat!” Penny stood up, barely able to listen to what might come next. Her Mother’s mental status had declined at an alarming rate since coronary by-pass surgery two months ago, and her father, a retired Presbyterian minister, was unable to manage his home. Reva Ryder was their ..."
"...Motherhad assumed that when the need arose she would be the one who would take care of her parents in the same way in which her Mother had cared for her grandparents, but it had turned out that she and her husband, Johnny, a high school coach and history teacher, ..."
"...Motherertain extent, Penny had enjoyed her children more when they were young: so cuddly, cute, and so eager to learn. As they grew older and after she became a nurse, their needs multiplied in the dark. Penny had once believed that if she tried hard enough she could ..."
"...Mother, one might agree that when a relationship fell apart there should be a sign to show that something life-changing had happened—not like this: just keeping on keeping on. Even lovemaking, which her Mother described as “your privilege to do something for your husband,” had become just another ..."

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Chapter 2: Chapter Two
47.
"... cheerful and polite. Strolling through the parking lot toward her car, she heard her Mother’s voice: “People are interesting, aren’t they?” Then her father’s tedious repetition: “I hope that someday you will be as sweet and beautiful as your Mother.” Penny had tried to ..."
48.
"... “I hope that someday you will be as sweet and beautiful as your mother.” Penny had tried to emulate her Mother but she was a poor copy. Sweetness and beauty took a back seat to the daily crises of her life. The trip back to Dixiana was effortless. She passed a car whose driver was ..."
"...Motherng back inside, she scouted for odors, sniffing through her house. In the living room above a burgundy leather couch hung three pictures, one of each child as a senior in high school, like trophies in a row. She tapped a silver tea service which had belonged to ..."
"...Mother running water as hot as she could stand, she showered until her thoughts were fuzzy and her feet were red. She found ­sanctuary in her queen-sized four poster, remembering shopping trips with Johnny in search of their perfect bed, and her anticipation of ­lying ­beside him every night ..."

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Chapter 5: Chapter Five
28.
"... “I’m new up there; no one told me.” “Well, keep your ears open,” Dr. Ghent said. “Get all the details. I’m taking my wife to visit her Mother so if you need anything for my patient, Dr. Graham’s on call for me until tomorrow.” After the door slammed behind him, Maureen ..."
92.
"... like an agitated chicken. Maureen interrupted the young man to ask the family not to try to keep up with the ambulance. “They won’t let you see her for a while, anyway. God’s taking care of your Mother; your job is to get up there in one piece.” Penny helped transfer Mrs. ..."

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Chapter 7: Chapter Seven
"...Motherther was busy caring for the family in addition to her duties as a minister’s wife. Parishioners, neighbors, and friends came to Mrs. Nichols for counseling and comfort, but her most challenging task was cheering up her husband. As a child, Penny knew she wanted a husband ..."
"...Mothereth Faye Nichols, Penny and David’s middle sibling, was Public Relations Director for the city. Resembling their Mother more than Penny had remembered, Faye smiled and fluttered a hand at them from behind the wheel of her Volvo. Her once-dark hair, now silvery, was dramatized by hoop earrings ..."
25.
"... From the couch their Mother, her white hair resplendent in the dark room, her wrinkled face radiant with pleasure, stretched out her arms to them. Degenerative hip disease and low blood pressure made walking difficult, and she was forgetful to the point of neglecting her own personal care. ..."
"...MotherFaye and Alice set places at the picnic table on the porch, Penny held her Mother’s small cold hand and chattered about Johnny and the children. Instead of thinking what she would say in reply, Mrs. Nichols gave the gift of her undivided attention. Her gaze was ..."
"...Mother humid and hot in the house on Friday morning, but Rev. and Mrs. Nichols wore sweaters. This was the maid’s last day and she took care of their Mother and the meals while the children packed. Mrs. Nichols greeted neighbors who came to say goodbye, and she ..."
38.
"... He tells me more than I want to hear about how sex with Mom gets better every year.” Penny bent forward to see David on the other end of the bench. “I told Mother about blow jobs last summer.” Alice gasped and covered her mouth. David placed both feet on the wooden dock with a thud ..."
"...Motherxt morning, Penny took care of her Mother as she would any disoriented patient, except her Mother was not just any patient and her care was laden with emotion. Penny clipped Mrs. Nichols’s ragged nails, then helped her climb into the footed tub, recalling the other tubs in which ..."
"...MotherPenny placed a large packing box on the kitchen table beside a mound of time-worn items, whose odors crowded the room like shadows. She filled the crate with ten of her father’s sermons, a book written by her Mother’s brother, old photographs and newspapers, and some of her own ..."
69.
"... behind the receding tide. Night birds called and a thousand frogs croaked. “I never knew warm beer was so delicious,” Penny said. She felt lightheaded. “Do you think Mother and Daddy have had a good life?” “I always hoped to take Mom to Europe so she could revisit the places she ..."
91.
"... Equipment.” Too tired to shower, Penny prepared the convertible couch and climbed into it before removing her shoes. On the outskirts of sleep, she mused, “I know Mother and Daddy did their best; I know they love me; but I’ve been more myself since I left home.” That was ..."

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Chapter 8: Chapter Eight
"...Motherday morning, the air carried the scent of decaying marsh as Penny and David settled their parents in Faye’s Volvo for the drive to the airport. Faye navigated the familiar roads while Rev. Nichols, his arms folded across his chest, sat beside her and glowered out the window. ..."
11.
"... could barely hold his bones together. Faye watched from the terminal window as the men lifted her Mother up six steep steps into the aircraft, then she turned and hustled to her car. David needed her back at Westview to help load the U-Haul. Once inside the plane, Penny and her ..."
"...Mothernside the plane, Penny and her parents were on their own. Unable to stand upright because of the low ceiling, they crept down the narrow aisle, across a long hump in the floor, then over a series of wrinkles in the carpet. Finally, they took their seats: three ..."
"...Motherg in her purse, Penny located her father’s bottle of Ativan. She placed a half-tablet under his tongue and encouraged him to relax and breathe deeply while the recorded instruction lecture told them how to use air vents that would not blow air. Rev. and Mrs. Nichols ..."
"...Mothered to the heat outside, the cool temperature of the terminal felt frigid against Penny’s damp clothing and she wrapped her Mother’s legs with her sweater. During a forty-five-minute wait, both of her parents complained about the cold, then an announcement was made overhead. The flight for Roanoke ..."
"...Mothercried as she looked across the runway. She had spent the past four hours trying to find out what had happened to her family, had alienated several airline personnel, and lost her car keys. She noticed two flight attendants carrying someone down the steps of a tiny aircraft ..."
24.
"... Sustained by a light supper in her brother’s home, Penny helped her Mother up the steps to a guest bedroom and unpacked the suitcase. Rev. Nichols joined them and silently accepted his belongings. After a trip to the toilet he climbed into bed and left Penny to undress his wife. In ..."
"...Mother bathroom, Penny unbuttoned her Mother’s skirt and dropped it and her panties to the floor before seating her on the commode. She lifted Mrs. Nichols’s feet, shoved her skirt and panties aside, then took off her heels, stockings, and garter belt. Penny tried to remove her Mother’s ..."
30.
"... mirror over the sink and recognized her father’s scowl. “Never mind, Mother. Let’s just put on your pajama bottoms.” She guided Mrs. Nichols to the bed, kissed her goodnight, and tucked her in beside her silent husband. On the way downstairs, Penny visualized her neat bedroom at ..."
"...“After I called you, Mother and Daddy wouldn’t eat lunch,” Penny told him. “Daddy said he was sick and most likely would freeze to death. Honestly, David, it felt like the Klondike in that terminal! After we had waited for three hours they announced another delay while the ground crew changed ..."
"...“The attendants put Mother behind the pilot in a cubicle with no window, so I sat in back of her and Daddy sat across from me. The pilot turned around and asked us to move to the rear TO BALANCE THE LOAD! Daddy refused and he stared daggers at the man—that’s ..."
"...“When the pilot closed the curtains behind his seat Mother couldn’t see anything, and when he cranked up the engine I heard her scream. I leaned up as far as I could and yelled as loudly as I could and explained again what we were doing. When I had finished she looked at me and nodded. ..."
40.
"... comforted by a cool breeze and powerful gin and tonic. Mother’s strong,” Penny said. “She’s tired and confused and in a strange place—I couldn’t get her clothes off. What would we do if she failed the test tomorrow?” Alice sighed, closed her eyes, and gulped down the rest ..."
49.
"... and assisted me in my work.” “Sir, I am directing these questions to your wife,” Mrs. Coal told him. “He grows flowers and I arrange them,” Penny’s Mother said. “Now, take your time Mrs. Nichols. I want you to spell wolf.” Penny’s mother giggled. “W-O-L-F, ..."
51.
"... flowers and I arrange them,” Penny’s mother said. “Now, take your time Mrs. Nichols. I want you to spell wolf.” Penny’s Mother giggled. “W-O-L-F, wolf.” “Now spell wolf backward.” Unable to answer, Penny’s mother looked to her husband, and Penny doubted that she could ..."
53.
"... wolf.” Penny’s mother giggled. “W-O-L-F, wolf.” “Now spell wolf backward.” Unable to answer, Penny’s Mother looked to her husband, and Penny doubted that she could pass this test herself. Colonel Coal directed her last question to each of Penny’s parents. “Are you happy ..."
63.
"... the key provided for incoming residents. Returning alone to check on her parents, Penny found her Mother hobbling around upstairs and her father lying in bed with his eyes closed. She leaned over him. “Daddy, would you like to get up now?” “No!” He bellowed at her, his voice and ..."
65.
"... bellowed at her, his voice and his glare filled with fury. “I can’t get up.” Indignation boiled in Penny’s mind. Her Mother could have fallen on the stairs while he lay there thinking only of himself! Frightened by the lifetime accumulation of anger raging within her, Penny was unable ..."
"...Motherened by the lifetime accumulation of anger raging within her, Penny was unable to make herself comfort her father. She helped her Mother down the steps and into a recliner on the sunlit deck, wrapped her in a blanket, and turned the pages of a House Beautiful magazine while ..."
"...Motherd stepped into her parents’ room to dress her Mother for the trip and found her father standing before his closet, already emptied of everything except his preaching robe. He stared at it until Faye, in her gypsy skirt and fringed shawl, arrived and helped him into his sweater, ..."
80.
"... yard to stand on the river bank, and as they returned to circle the house. David supported his Mother out the front door into the oppressive morning air, down the steps, and along the brick walkway to Faye’s car. Hesitating as she was being helped into the backseat, Mrs. Nichols smiled, her ..."
83.
"... jumble of boxes, then Faye backed the car out of the driveway. Riding beside her Mother, Penny looked through the rear window and saw David standing where they had left him, and the friends next door on their porch, still waving. After such an emotionally charged experience, it would have ..."

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Chapter 9: Chapter Nine
"...Motherts and their families loved Maria McEliney, the 3-11 unit secretary who had been a nursing tech for a home health agency before the birth of her children: two sets of twins, only three years apart. Now that the girls were all in high school, Maria worked at the ..."

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Chapter 10: Chapter Ten
"...Mothersank deep inside herself, oblivious to the beauty around her, consumed with trying to imagine her parents’ life in Imperial Palace. She called them every week but they didn’t talk much—her Mother seldom spoke. After all, they had expected to live the rest of their lives together in ..."
28.
"... out an ancient newspaper wound onto a wooden rod. Johnny looked up and laid down his pencil. “Be careful with that, it’s brittle.” He rose, hitching his trousers, and walked around the table. “Your Mother showed it to me one time.” Penny had not enjoyed her mother’s stories of ..."
29.
"... trousers, and walked around the table. “Your mother showed it to me one time.” Penny had not enjoyed her Mother’s stories of their ancestors’ lives, but Johnny, the history teacher, had listened. “You know what you’re holding, don’t you?” Penny offered him a sheepish grin ..."
41.
"... veterans, which had been held in Columbus, Mississippi during the preceding week. Penny blinked with incredulity. “I’ve always hated the name Augusta, but Mother must have named me for her grandMother.” “Well, it’s all spelled out in the book you’ve got there; your uncle ..."
"...Mothercleaning up the kitchen and putting away the dishes, Penny searched her dresser drawers for the box of old jewelry her Mother had given her. Finding it, she lifted out a small velvet bag and loosened its drawstrings. It contained a gold-link chain from which dangled a circular ..."

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Chapter 11: Chapter Eleven
"...Motherdiscontinued her digoxin when she was admitted, so we’ve been trying to figure out why her level keeps rising, and this morning one of the floor nurses caught the patient’s daughter giving her a pill. The woman wasn’t trying to sneak and do it, either; she said the doctor ..."
34.
"... a house.” “Where does he live now?” “He’s been living in a recreational vehicle out in the parking lot; I’ve heard he showers in the men’s locker room and he sent his pregnant wife to live with his Mother until he can afford a house.” A monitor alarm bell sounded, and Penny ..."

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Chapter 12: Chapter Twelve
50.
"... said, “Doesn’t your husband help you?” “He deserted when I was pregnant. It’s always been just Ma and Bob and me.” “What’s wrong with your Mother?” “She’s diabetic, among other things–-you know honey, infected sores on her feet, heart problems, and her latest thing is ..."
184.
"... into the house, she was amazed to find him ironing. Johnny looked up, unsmiling. “Most of this is my stuff; I used to do my own ironing when Mother was working. By the way, Virgil called about Callie. He said you can call him tomorrow.” “I couldn’t do it today.” Penny spread their ..."
185.
"... “I couldn’t do it today.” Penny spread their supper on the table, substituting dishes for the plastic containers. “David called this morning, and they need me to go to Roanoke and check on Mother and Daddy this weekend. I’ll fly back home on Monday so I won’t miss any work.” ..."

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Chapter 13: Chapter Thirteen
60.
"... ear, “What happened with Dr. Child?” “He didn’t keep his charts caught up, and he raised a ruckus everywhere he went. I heard he left to visit his sick Mother and didn’t come back; ‘course we’ll never know the real story.” As Penny stepped around the end of the counter ..."
68.
"... next assignment. “They’re pulling me back to Third for AM admissions,” she said. “The kid you gave me is okay, Penny. His Mother spent the night so she helps him. I’ve changed his dressing, given all his meds, caught his chart up, and written out your Report.” “It’s too bad ..."

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Chapter 14: Chapter Fourteen
"...Mothere meditation itself created insomnia, like peeling back a scab to expose a bleeding wound. Except for strained phone calls, she was isolated from her parents—but not from their values and admonitions. She was confident that her Mother and father would be irreversibly shocked if they really knew ..."
16.
"... amount, tipped him ten dollars. There was no answer to her knock on the door of her father’s apartment, but she found him in the nursing home pushing a wheelchair containing her Mother, whose white hair was in tight curls from a recent permanent. Rev. Nichols leaned over his wife, ..."
18.
"... hair was in tight curls from a recent permanent. Rev. Nichols leaned over his wife, “This is your daughter Penny,” he told her. Penny, feeling excited and sad and tired at the same time, kissed her Mother and hugged her father. “Let’s go to Mother’s room where we can ..."
20.
"... and sad and tired at the same time, kissed her mother and hugged her father. “Let’s go to Mother’s room where we can visit,” her father said, directing the wheelchair through a maze of hallways. Following her father, the room Penny entered had a bathroom just inside the door. ..."
22.
"... Following her father, the room Penny entered had a bathroom just inside the door. To the left, in a bed against the wall, lay an old lady with her eyes closed, and at the end of the room, near another bed, hung her Mother’s favorite painting: three camellia blossoms with dewdrops on the petals. ..."
25.
"... at the vine pattern on her own skirt. “We’re so glad to see you, my precious,” Penny’s father said. “Mother usually has her meals here, but tonight I have arranged to take her to the main dining room so we can all eat together.” Wondering if she should help her mother use ..."
"...Mothering if she should help her Mother use the toilet, Penny patted below the waistline of Mrs. Nichols’s skirt and discovered that she was padded with diapers. They left the nursing home through the enclosed, heated walkway that connected all the buildings. At the hub of the walkway ..."
"...Motherthe way, Penny’s Mother looked around, reaching out and picking up anything she could grab. When Rev. Nichols paused to catch his breath too close to a fire alarm, she managed to pull the handle, setting off insistent clanging and flashing lights. Her embarrassed husband apologized to the ..."
"...Mothering to her father beg her Mother to “take a bite of that,” or “don’t take so long, you’re keeping everybody waiting,” Penny had flashbacks to meals from her childhood. She observed a crumb on his chin, his nose dripping and unwiped, the man still trying to be in ..."
32.
"... his memory and hearing had decreased. For some reason, however, Mrs. Nichols managed to eat every one of her shrimp. “Did you enjoy the shrimp, Mother?”, Penny asked. “Not very much, but I can get them down as well as the next person,” she answered, wrinkling her nose. Penny sat up ..."
34.
"... asked. “Not very much, but I can get them down as well as the next person,” she answered, wrinkling her nose. Penny sat up straight. Her Mother had just said a whole sentence! Her father remained unfazed. “Those shrimp should never have been taken away from their mother.” After the ..."
35.
"... wrinkling her nose. Penny sat up straight. Her Mother had just said a whole sentence! Her father remained unfazed. “Those shrimp should never have been taken away from their Mother.” After the meal, and after returning Mrs. Nichols to her nurse, Penny and her father walked back ..."
"...Motherle you’re here I need to buy some socks—the ones David bought don’t fit—and I want you to give your Mother a good bath. I don’t know if they are taking care of her over there. And won’t you PLEASE tell me how to help her. I ..."
47.
"... right!” Before going downstairs to meet her taxi, Penny rubbed Vaseline onto Rev. Nichols’s back and told him, “Tomorrow morning I’ll give Mother a bath, then take you out for lunch, and we’ll shop for socks tomorrow afternoon. Does that sound all right to you?” “I don’t ..."
50.
"... how much I admire you! You are SO beautiful,” her father said. The next morning Penny drove her sister-in-law’s car and, following the taxi driver’s directions, arrived at her Mother’s bedside before breakfast. Mrs. Nichols resisted her daughter’s efforts at bathing and dressing, ..."
53.
"... Nichols reached out and touched the hawk’s eye medallion resting on Penny’s chest, then turned it from side to side. “You gave this to me, Mother.” “I know,” her mother replied in a quiet voice. Making conversation while her mother ate wore Penny out, and when her mother ..."
54.
"... hawk’s eye medallion resting on Penny’s chest, then turned it from side to side. “You gave this to me, Mother.” “I know,” her Mother replied in a quiet voice. Making conversation while her mother ate wore Penny out, and when her mother would eat no more, Penny pushed her into a TV ..."
"...Mother conversation while her Mother ate wore Penny out, and when her Mother would eat no more, Penny pushed her into a TV room and joined her in front of the set. Mrs. Nichols was distracted by people coming and going, and registered alarm each time an announcement was ..."
56.
"... at which she pointed from time to time, than she was in visiting with her daughter. Leaving her Mother watching TV, Penny collected Rev. Nichols from his apartment and they set out for a nearby shopping mall. “What would you like for lunch, Daddy?” “I don’t think I can eat anything ..."
"...Motherhad washed her parents’ clothes the night before, but it was 10:30 Sunday morning by the time she finished ironing them and returned to the nursing home. Already dressed, Mrs. Nichols sat in her wheelchair while Penny folded her clothes away into drawers. She placed her father’s clothes ..."
76.
"... apartment where he lay, fully dressed, on his bed. “Look Daddy, I brought Mother over here so we can all eat lunch together,” Penny said, wondering if his obvious anger was because she had gone to the nursing home before coming to see him. “It would be too hard on Mother! She’s in ..."
77.
"... Penny said, wondering if his obvious anger was because she had gone to the nursing home before coming to see him. “It would be too hard on Mother! She’s in pain,” he snapped. Asking her father to find the church channel, Penny sat on the couch beside her mother’s wheelchair and turned ..."
78.
"... would be too hard on Mother! She’s in pain,” he snapped. Asking her father to find the church channel, Penny sat on the couch beside her Mother’s wheelchair and turned the pages of the magazine she had brought. He stood up, changed the channel, and came to sit beside Penny while ..."
80.
"... sit beside Penny while the choir sang “Sweet Hour of Prayer.” Mrs. Nichols smiled, recognizing the song, then pointed to a picture in the magazine lying open on Penny’s lap. Penny raised it to give her Mother a better view. “We don’t HAVE to watch this,” Rev. Nichols said in a stern ..."
83.
"... too small to make a difference. Presently, observing that her Mother had fallen asleep halfway into a sermon about God’s love and forgiveness, Penny said, “I don’t believe Mother is in pain, Daddy, or she wouldn’t be able to fall asleep like this.” Rev. Nichols pushed himself up, ..."
87.
"... him. “YES!” he yelled, “But YOU aren’t listening to it!” Penny giggled, then collected herself. “Let’s go down to lunch,” she said, realizing as she spoke that her voice sounded exactly like her Mother’s. Even if Penny worked harder and made more money so that she could ..."
"...Motherf Penny worked harder and made more money so that she could hire help and move her parents to Dixiana, and even if she and Johnny suddenly became wealthy and she could quit work—even then she could not take care of her Mother because she would not be able to ..."
90.
"... any more. Promising to return to eat supper with him, Penny pushed her Mother through the halls toward her building, stopping at the grocery for two ice cream sandwiches. When they reached the nursing home, she wheeled her Mother up to a small dining table and produced the ice cream. “Oh!” ..."
91.
"... dining table and produced the ice cream. “Oh!” Her Mother clasped her hands, “I want one of those.” Mrs. Nichols allowed Penny to peel the paper down for her, making eye contact and returning Penny’s smiles with vacant smiles of her own. Then, because her mother seemed ..."
"...Motherbecause her Mother seemed uninterested in verbal communication, Penny wheeled her back to her room, hoping that less activity and more familiar surroundings would improve her concentration. Closing the bathroom door against the stench of ammonia, Penny arranged the wheelchair so that her Mother faced the wall on which ..."
93.
"... friend. Penny told stories from the past, recounting times when Mrs. Nichols had come to help after the births of her grandchildren, asking if she remembered. “Those things are getting dim,” her Mother replied, but encouraged Penny with “What else?” or “And then what?” Penny had ..."
94.
"... else?” or “And then what?” Penny had hoped to witness the old warmth come back to her Mother’s eyes, but her gaze was barren. “Mother, remember when we sat on the porch at Westview and watched the sunset? Do you miss that beautiful river?” “There are many things I miss,” ..."
"...Mothersmiled at her Mother, telling her she had enjoyed their visit. They held hands, gripping tightly with their fingers interlaced. Penny examined her Mother’s small cold hand, spreading its fingers, admiring the ring she would inherit, thinking how this hand had fed her and taught her to feed ..."
99.
"... don’t know who we are or where we’ve been.” Hot tears Penny had been holding back spilled down her face. She looked through the flood into her Mother’s eyes, hoping for some swelling of emotion or even just a slight reaction. Apathetic to Penny’s tears, her mother continued ..."
100.
"... flood into her mother’s eyes, hoping for some swelling of emotion or even just a slight reaction. Apathetic to Penny’s tears, her Mother continued steadily, “But we have been fortunate.” Penny spoke with difficulty. “I miss you, Mother.” Her mother answered evenly, “I miss you, ..."
101.
"... a slight reaction. Apathetic to Penny’s tears, her mother continued steadily, “But we have been fortunate.” Penny spoke with difficulty. “I miss you, Mother.” Her mother answered evenly, “I miss you, too.” A nurse came for Mrs. Nichols and wheeled her to her place in the ..."
102.
"... her mother continued steadily, “But we have been fortunate.” Penny spoke with difficulty. “I miss you, Mother.” Her Mother answered evenly, “I miss you, too.” A nurse came for Mrs. Nichols and wheeled her to her place in the eating area. Before walking away, Penny locked in her ..."
104.
"... her to her place in the eating area. Before walking away, Penny locked in her mind the image before her: her Mother sitting at the table in a stylish dress, her silvery hair shining, the prettiest lady in the room, smiling and waving to her daughter. After supper with her father, Penny ..."
112.
"... slipped into her purse. It contained a 200-dollar check and a note: “Dearest Penny, Thank you for a wonderful visit. Much love, Mother and Daddy.” Although mentally and physically drained, Penny would have only one night to rest before she was expected back at work on Tuesday ..."

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Chapter 15: Chapter Fifteen
"...Motherhad been warned about the sisters in Report: they were suing a nursing home because their Mother, eighty-seven years old with advanced ovarian cancer, had fallen out of bed. They then brought her to Oncology requesting aggressive treatment. Yet, when Dr. Hutton ordered radiation and the ambulance had ..."
46.
"... her blanket and picked something imaginary out of the air. Zunetta helped Penny pull her Mother up in bed, then pointed to the woman’s head. “Look at this lump. I want you to see what they did to Mama in that nursing home!” Penny clicked on the over-bed examination light: there was no ..."
"...Mothertton addressed him. “Your Mother’s blood sugar is almost 500. I’ve been controlling her with oral hypoglycemics but she’s beyond that now. Penny will do finger sticks and give her insulin every two hours tonight.” He beckoned to Penny. “With Decadron on board it’s going ..."
91.
"... of that it’s lousy at home.” Fresh tears spilled down Barb’s cheeks. Mrs. North’s son appeared at the desk. “I need help with my Mother. She’s pulling her IV line, and I can’t do anything with her.” Barb blotted her eyes with a piece of paper towel. “I’ll help him while ..."

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Chapter 16: Chapter Sixteen
96.
"... I got to hang in there and think about the amenities.” Buck set his feet on the floor and slid his hips off the desk. “And your wife is still living with your Mother?” “Yeah, for at least three more months. She’s not happy about it, either.” He turned and ambled toward the hall ..."
154.
"... he said. “I should have known Daddy was so sick and gotten him to a hospital, and I should have taken better care of Mother and kept her mind from shutting down, and I forgot to call Maureen today. I feel guilty to be healthy...guilty that I’m not doing something for Mother...” “What! ..."

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Chapter 17: Chapter Seventeen
109.
"... David took a shuddering breath. “I need to call Faye. She can tell the Charleston church.” “How’s Mother?” Penny asked. The words came out coarse, hung over from sleep. “I’m here too,” Alice said. “Your mother had a couple of seizures this week and her ..."
110.
"... asked. The words came out coarse, hung over from sleep. “I’m here too,” Alice said. “Your Mother had a couple of seizures this week and her twitching’s worse. She’s not eating but we told them not to start tube feedings.” “Mom’s checked out,” David said. “She’s in a ..."

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Chapter 18: Chapter Eighteen
69.
"... “I hope I don’t run into Dr. S., but I’ve saved enough dirt to keep him away from me.” Penny changed the subject, afraid someone might hear them. “How’s your Mother doing?” “I guess she’s a little better. They take care of her, and I check on her every day. She’ll ..."
"...Mothered. Basically, I’m tired.... But I have a new little baby girl and I’m buying a house and I won’t be mooching off my Mom much longer.” He offered Penny a hospital photograph of his newborn, then removed his glasses and wiped the lenses with the tail ..."
98.
"... all that candy and popcorn. “I understand. Now if you don’t mind, I want you to tell all of this to Penny. She’s just come home, and I know she’d rather hear it straight from you.” Johnny held out the receiver. “It’s Alice, about your Mother.” Penny’s stomach lurched as ..."
130.
"... should stay at home, Johnny.” “Do what you want, but it might make you feel better to dress up and go out. We won’t be there long, but I have to put in an appearance.... Your Mother could keep on like this for a while. You know it?” In the passenger seat of Johnny’s ..."
132.
"... it?” In the passenger seat of Johnny’s blue Mercury, Penny leaned back and rolled down her window to gaze up at a black-velvet sky hung low with diamonds, each star surrounded by a tiny halo due to her vision. She would soon be Motherless. Who would she be with no parents? The ..."
"...Mother eyed, staring into the middle distance, she dreamed of her Mother. Mrs. Nichols’s solution to any problem was to pray about it. After some of those prayer sessions, Penny confided less, but her Mother was always there and she cared. Without her there would be no ..."
147.
"... “Your Mother died thirty minutes ago. I called Angel Wings, the ambulance service that picks up bodies for Virginia Medical School, but they wouldn’t come because of the holidays, so I’ve called a funeral home. David says it’s fortunate that Mom has her own angel wings.” Penny ..."
148.
"... that Mom has her own angel wings.” Penny fell into a deep despondency. Somehow, her Mother’s silent presence must have been a comfort, because with Alice’s report the earth cracked open, leaving a gaping cavity from which Penny’s roots were missing. The approach of Advent Season made ..."
"...Motherproach of Advent Season made everything worse; Christmas music exacerbated Penny’s sadness. Other years she had listened to carols, burned candles, and enjoyed a resurgence of anticipation as she simmered sugar, milk, and pecans, but this year her Mother’s pralines would carry too much baggage. ..."
"...help but wonder if her children blamed her for their failures like she used to blame her own parents. Determined not to make the same mistakes she believed her parents had made, she had invested so much of herself in her children. Now she understood that her Mother’s concern with their appearance had been her way of loving, and that her father’s continuing to work hard in spite of his depression had been love as well. ..."

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Chapter 19: Chapter Nineteen
53.
"... that morning, and Mama was sweet as could be. “Now, I don’t miss work unless I’m real sick so at the Christmas banquet last week they gave me the award for best attendance.” Milton propped up the certificate on his Mother’s bedside table. “I believe she heard you,” Penny said, ..."
"...Motherhould have quit when I first thought something was wrong, but I didn’t—not until he sent in a claim for removing a scrotal wart from a boy who came for an athletic physical. The boy’s Mother noticed the charge on her Explanation-of-Benefits statement and called the office. Her ..."
104.
"... each one of them.... How was your breakfast with pistol-packing Flossie Mae this morning?” “She’s a strong woman, and she’s been through hell with her son and her Mother and Dr. Scales.” “What about Dr. Scales?” “He’s slick as snail slime! He’s the reason she moved to ..."
108.
"... in a haunted hospital with an evil doctor; how lucky can you get? With your imagination, you should write a book!” “I swear on my Mother’s grave, Johnny, Dr. Scales...” Johnny hugged Penny, pulling her off balance. “Have you forgotten? Your mother doesn’t have a grave.” Caught ..."
109.
"... you should write a book!” “I swear on my mother’s grave, Johnny, Dr. Scales...” Johnny hugged Penny, pulling her off balance. “Have you forgotten? Your Mother doesn’t have a grave.” Caught off-guard, the pain of remembering ambushed Penny. She walked faster, rounding the ..."

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Chapter 20: Chapter Twenty
"...“I remember a storm like this years ago.” Mr. Garrett squinted at Penny as the sun printed slats of light on his face. “Everything iced over and the temperature dropped into the teens, like today. Mother told us to find birds frozen in the bushes and on the ground and bring them in the house, then she put them in a box and dried off their feathers as the ice melted. There were five of them and all but two came back to life.” ..."

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Chapter 21: Chapter Twenty-One
"...Motherwho police suspect of fatally beating his wife, Mother, and child was critically injured in a motorcycle accident yesterday in Dixiana, Mississippi. Buck Dalton, 28, had been wanted ever since detectives found the bodies in their 124 State St. home in Ardmore, Louisiana. However, before detectives there could ..."

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Chapter 22: Chapter Twenty-Two
"...Motherr great-grandMother was born in New England and when she was a year old her father, Abram Murdock, moved the family to Columbus and found work rebuilding the railroad. He traded with the Choctaw Indians, and then later he operated a silver mine. The house he built, Elizabeth ..."
66.
"... Penny imagined these rooms as they must have been, with beautiful carpets, heavy silk draperies, and polished furniture. She didn’t have to imagine the china. Her Mother had kept a lidded casserole dish, a piece of her grandMother’s pink-rimmed china, on display in their home. A ..."

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"...Mother long-ago conversation, she remembered hearing her Mother say the same thing. She had told Penny that she didn’t like sleeping in her grandMother’s bed because she was afraid the tester would fall down and cut off her legs, and that bed was the one in which both her ..."
"...Penny reached his side. “Last night I dreamed that an old lady led me though a tunnel from the basement to a hole in this hill. Her smile was like Mother’s.... And the bed I slept in—I think it might be the one Mother and GrandMother were born in. Johnny—the medallion on the ceiling is just like my necklace!” ..."
"...Motherreturned to the kitchen, poured coffee, and carried her cup to the table. She gazed at her right hand, at her Mother’s ring on her own finger, wishing her Mother were here to tell them about a time when the basement floor had been wood, and there was a ..."

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23.
"... Now that the children were grown, Penny recognized that when they were small her ego had been bound up in how well they behaved. Was it possible that she had switched her self-image from Mother to house-keeper? Was a clean, well-run home as important as she believed it to be? By ..."
63.
"... bother Joan at all. “You’ll be fine,” Joan said, patting Penny’s arm like a Mother. “Just make rounds, trouble shoot, and assign rooms. The census is low this weekend; CCU is empty and no one’s on telemetry. We’re to send heart patients on to Jacksonville.” “Is Mrs. Gwen ..."
"...Mothero nurses walked toward 104, and Penny heard labored breathing before they reached the room. The Mother looked to the nurses for help and moved away from her daughter. Penny clicked on both the room light and the over-bed light and turned the girl from her side to ..."
"...Motherhe pit of her stomach, the certainty of impending doom ignited Penny’s nerve endings. Turning up the thermostat, she placed a folded blanket on the heater vent that jutted out under the windowsill, and left Joan to comfort the child’s Mother. Penny strode back to the North Station ..."
88.
"... you can think of anything else we can do.” Penny called Dr. Scales again. “Loretta’s Mother, Mrs. Honeycutt, needs a tranquilizer; she’s pretty hysterical.” Penny wrote his order, obtained the medicine he prescribed, and returned to 104. No longer calm, Joan moved about the room as ..."

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"...Motherglanced around and was struck by the normalcy of her surroundings. Fingers of light streamed through tree branches making patterns on the land. A Mother hurried her child to the car, and two sweaty golfers waved and continued their conversation. It seemed to Penny that anyone nearby ..."
88.
"... talked to Flossie Mae, sorry that she hadn’t kept in touch with her. “Because you’ve already got her Mother: Josephine Banks is in 406. Flossie Mae is sick—her BP is 235/150. Tell Maria to go down to Third, okay?” Penny reentered 409 and Maria handed her Mr. Logan’s vital signs. ..."
"...Motherny completed Flossie Mae’s admission, two security guards and Supervisor Leroy Crouch arrived on the elevator. The admission assessment had taken even longer than usual because Mrs. Banks, who could see into Flossie Mae’s room from her bed, kept motioning for her daughter to come to her room. ..."
140.
"... Mae said. “I used to schedule appointments with him for Dr. Scales’s patients.” Penny stood beside the bed. “Flossie Mae, do you want me to shut the door so your Mother can’t stare at you?” “No honey, she’s asleep now, and I feel better with it open.” “It sounds like ..."

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Chapter 26: Chapter Twenty-Six
"...“I certainly hope you and Daddy were married, Mother.” A blond woman in designer jeans spoke from the bathroom doorway. She turned to Penny holding a tube of lipstick in one hand and a lip-liner brush in the other. “She’s not kidding about the rest, though. I’ll bring VCR tapes of her movies, if ..."
67.
"... you started her treatment yet?” “No, but I’m ready to begin; I’m giving her the pre-meds now. If you want to bring the movies, I think everybody would enjoy watching them. Did Joyce go over the side effects of your Mother’s two drugs with you?” “I have the papers she gave me ..."
"...Motheralf of the first chemo drug had infused without any untoward events, Penny rechecked Mrs. Sharp’s vital signs and came out into the hall as Flossie Mae arrived to spend the night with her Mother. Flossie Mae wore a raspberry-pink jersey and matching earrings, and she had fastened back ..."
99.
"... out of Mrs. Banks’s room. He paused for an instant as if to come toward Penny, then turned, wrenched open the door to the stairwell, and disappeared. Flossie Mae, lurching forward, collapsed in her Mother’s doorway, her legs and trunk still in the room. Carina shouted into the desk ..."
"...Motherment drew Penny’s attention and she looked toward the bed. She had forgotten Mrs. Banks was in the room. Flossie Mae’s Mother had been a mute witness to her daughter’s murder! The woman, who had not spoken since her stroke, was sitting up staring at them from ..."

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25.
"... happened upstairs.” Penny began with Flossie Mae’s arrival at 11 o’clock. She told them about the phone call from Bob, eating supper, walking with Flossie Mae to her Mother’s room, and then going back to hang Mrs. Sharp’s chemo and hearing Flossie Mae scream. “Now, we need to ..."
44.
"... even realize she was cut until I saw blood running out of her chest, you know?” When they reached Oncology, Mrs. Sharp’s daughter was in her Mother’s room. “Did she do all right with her chemo?” “Your mother didn’t sleep very well,” Penny said. “But she did fine with her ..."
45.
"... Mrs. Sharp’s daughter was in her mother’s room. “Did she do all right with her chemo?” “Your Mother didn’t sleep very well,” Penny said. “But she did fine with her cheMotherapy.” “They made a movie last night,” Mrs. Sharp said. “You should have been ..."
47.
"... made a movie last night,” Mrs. Sharp said. “You should have been here!” “Sometimes Mother gets a little confused at night.” The daughter smiled. “Her doctor calls it Sundown Syndrome.” Penny walked into an empty patient room, turned on the Weather Channel, and gazed out ..."
"...Motherching her car from the rear, Penny noticed that her back bumper was crooked. She leaned over to look under the car and understood why: one tire was flat, and not just partially flat—it was completely down. She stood, overwhelmed for a minute, and then chuckled, remembering her ..."

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"...“I didn’t do enough! I didn’t protect Flossie, I didn’t realize Daddy was so sick, and I didn’t go to Roanoke when Mother died. I wish I had done more for Maureen.... I didn’t even notice Callie was sick until she was dying! And I haven’t been a good wife to you—I didn’t understand...” ..."
"...Mother grinned. “You got him where it counts, though. I think the saying goes, ‘Heroes are made, not born.’ They’re just regular people who rise to meet the circumstances at hand, and you do that on a regular basis. Your Mother told me her grandMother had ..."
"...Motherng the chain with its hawk’s eye medallion from her neck, she replaced it with the string of cultured pearls Johnny had given her on their wedding day and installed the pearl ear studs she inherited from her Mother. “Pearls become more beautiful when you wear them,” her Mother ..."

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Chemo
Aretha Franklin
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"A nurse juggles jobs at two Mississippi hospitals, aging parents and a stressed marriage in McMillion's novel .... a comprehensive..."

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