“Hello, who’s this?” Mom asks suspiciously. “Hi, Mom,” I reply as distinctly as I can. “It’s your daughter, Miriam.” Talking on the phone with Mom is hit or miss. Sometimes she’s sure of how to talk into the receiver, other times she’ll pick up her glasses or even a tissue lying by her bed before she finds the right contraption. When my brother Simon makes his daily call, he calls my dad’s cell phone. That way Mom can see Simon’s photo when she talks to him. “Oh, Miriam,” she
I blame myself. I blame my cell phone. These phones suck us in and divert our attention. That's why I missed Mom when she came out of the bathroom. We were having lunch at our favorite restaurant, The Vineyard, overlooking the Mediterranean. Mom had already downed three glasses of lemonade that we'd thinned with water even before the main course arrived—because she drinks a lot and complains that water has no taste—. She'd ordered the mushroom quiche. My dad was with us, too.