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November 12, 1998

"It's in me....In my intestine....In my right wall....but I knew that," Mom says in a little girl's voice, coy, trying to put a brave face on it. She's on a liquid diet. "If the Jell-O is yellow, I get red sherbet. If it's red Jell-O, the sherbet is orange. They try to provide a little variety." She's hungry. If she needs surgery, it'll be in New York and I'll be her escort. "Your last good deed," she says. The leaves are falling fast now. On Fremont Ave a city crew in cherry-picker is cutting branches that grow too close to telephone wires. It seems they cut more than is necessary, decapitating trees that earlier this week had looked so full and pretty. Thin wet limbs, a few colorful leaves still clinging to them, block the sidewalk.

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