Easter weekend was relatively quiet. My dear friend JS came on Saturday, bringing positive energy, familiar stories, a smile and laughter to mom’s house. What a breath of fresh air.

I had decided to make traditional Portuguese Easter bread, even though my mom would not be able to eat much, if any. Something about that tradition was necessary, I think, for me to create some normalcy in our new reality.

Although mom has a hard time standing for any length of time, she sat in a chair next to me in the kitchen, grating lemon peel and slowly pouring the melted butter over the batter as I kneaded in the way she’s taught me since I was three years old.

We put the dough “to bed” wrapped in blankets and quilts for the night. At 5:30 AM I got up and snuck out to the kitchen to make the loaves for their second rise. Mom joined me, shuffling in to the kitchen holding on to the pan that has been her constant companion for the last month.

She watched me make the loaves and we set them aside and went back to sleep for another couple hours as they rose before baking them. The house smelled amazing.

It’s traditional to make enough to share with family and friends. So I gave loaves to my mom’s neighbors and a friend down the street, all of whom check in on her regularly. I sent GS home with loaves for our SF neighbors.

And I kept one for us.

Mom had a hard time keeping any food down over the weekend. Even a simple vegetable broth I made didn’t stay. Today we have a “short” day at the infusion center; the halfway point in Cycle One. It seems like an eternity, but it’s only the third week.

But between bouts of throwing up my mom’s spirits seemed generally OK. My cousin Manuel came up from San Jose to visit, and my mom was so happy to see him.

After he left we watched “Oh Brother, Where Art Thou” and “The Amazing Race” together. And she was talking and responding to what we were watching.

Today is a new day, and an opportunity to start again. So we’ll see how it goes.

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