Synopsis (with spoilers!)
The narrator recalls a fall that results in her mother being transported to the hospital by ambulance. Her mother resists being taken to the hospital, but she insists. A similar fall led to a series of events that resulted in the death of her father—broken hip, surgery, nursing home, another fall….
She explains that her mother lives with her, not in a nursing home, and that this is common for Cuban families.
Her mother had a fall five or six years prior that she attributed to low blood pressure. Two days later, a trip to the hospital finds that she has a subdural hematoma, requiring brain surgery and months of rehabilitation. After that, the narrator explains that she resolved to always err on the side of caution and professional medical advice in the care of her mother.
While her mother is 92 years old and has cancer and heart problems, doctors say she could live another ten years.
Another scare requires a call to 911. Despite her earlier resolve, she does not want to make her mother go to the hospital against her wishes. The doctor suggests in-home hospice care, which means a six-month prognosis.
Throughout, the narrator recounts her experiences with the deaths of loved ones, and considers the experiences that friends have shared with her. From each, she gains a little insight that helps inform how she cares for her mother now.
She imagines that her own daughter will learn from her mistakes and be better equipped when the time comes. For now, she wants to simply share some time and more stories with her mother and her daughter.