"Ass first, Mom."
Mom was struggling getting into the car.
"Oh, I always forget that!"
Mom wore a brace because of her back surgery. She grabbed the edges of the door and turned herself about, lowering herself into the seat. Her feet slowly, painfully fit inside. Sitting back, she sighed. At last she was ready.
We were off to Perkin's (yay)!! The seat belt started beeping, as if to warn us about the food ahead.
"Oh, I hate that thing!"
Mom got her seat belt on. At the restaurant, as we perused the menus, Mom admitted she had done something "dumb."
"I ordered sixty cinnamon rolls. They were on sale on QVC."
"Mm," I said, musing on whether I should have the lobster thermidor or the vichysoisse con ablute friappe.
"Will you take them? I can't eat sixty cinnamon rolls."
"No. I'm not ten."
"Please? They're handcrafted by cinnamon roll artisans. They handcraft every roll and then age them in beechwood."
"Will Rachel take them?"
"She's not ten either. Even I have my limits."
Mom hung her head in despair. "What am I going to do? I was feeling so terrible the other day... I thought maybe the rolls would be something nice. But I'm just stupid."
"It's okay, Mom."
We ordered. Then Mom started to cry, patting cinnamon-roll-sized tissues to her face.
"Listen to me. I want you to be the executor of my estate. And I don't want a service. Just plant me in a hole somewhere."
"I'm serious! Just bury me and forget me." Mom blew her nose. "I don't want you or your brothers to do anything for me. Not that anyone would, anyway."
"And what about the headstone?"
Mom sniffed. "You can put 'She Tried' on it."
"Right. I don't know if I'll be able to manage it, though. On my grave they should put, 'He Tried' to put 'She Tried' on his Mother's Grave.'"
The French toast came, snowed under with powdered sugar. Mom smiled. The sun shone on the fingerprinted glasses. Everything was going to be all right.
Next Week: Excerpts from my new novel, LIBRARY. Shh!