My phone rang and Sylvia Gray, the Business Office Manager at Woodland Terrace, was on the line.

She said that she was sitting with my mom, who was so excited to talk to me that she was crying. It was very sweet of her to say that, but I suspected my mom was just crying because that has been her default state for the last few weeks.

I could hear Sylvia give my mom the phone and after I said, “Hello?” a half-dozen times, I heard my mom’s voice weakly rasp, “David?”

I said, “Hi, mom! Can you hear me?” and she replied, “Yes.”

That was pretty much the most talkative she got for the next seven minutes. I kept trying to engage her:
“Can you hear me?”
“How are you feeling?”
“Please try to relax.”
“Try to take a deep breath, mom.”
“It’s going to be okay, mom.”
“Are you still there, mom?”
But she was — for all intents and purposes — unresponsive for the rest of the call.

Eventually Sylvia took the phone from her. She told me that she had given my mom a piece of paper with my name and number on it, and that she seemed to very happy to have that.

Sylvia said that some of the nurses had asked if my mom had any clothing, because she’s just been in a hospital gown since she arrived on Friday. (And I realized that meant that she had probably worn nothing but hospital gowns since she was admitted to Halifax on May 16th, which is pretty depressing.) I told her that my brother-in-law had some of her clothes and I would call him and / or arrange to have some of her clothes brought to her as soon as possible.

I asked Sylvia if she could get me the email address for Sherri Spillman and she provided it right then. Then she tried to get me to say, “Goodbye,” to mom, but mom wasn’t really talking at all, so we hung up.