On Wednesday, January 11, I was in the lobby of my mother's building waiting for the elevator to open when my cell chirped. It was my perky marketing rep at iUniverse and she said congrats, Merely Dee had gone live! I was stunned for a moment but then regained my equilibrium and glanced around for someone with whom I could share this amazing news. But there was no one, only Molly, the massive golden retriever house dog. I told Molly my story, but she just rubbed her furry head on my thigh trying to get another scratch behind the ears. She was unimpressed, so I said good-bye and went upstairs.
Of course, I told my mother, and for that one moment, she was thrilled. But then she forgot and I didn't have the heart to repeat myself all day, so I let it drop. I'd make do with that one fleeting smile of recognition. Mom had always been so supportive of my writing and I knew that if she'd been in her right mind, she would have probably spent the entire day on the phone telling all her friends. I bundled her up and headed out to the dentist for our semi-annual cleanings, but not before texting my entire family first.
The replies came fast and furious and my cell kept beeping so much the dentist kidded that maybe we should do this another day. I reassured him that I could get back to everybody later, and to please finish with my mother before she changed her mind and fled. The entire dental staff congratulated me, and I left with a minty-fresh smile on my face.
My standard agreement with Mom is that if she cooperates with the dentist, we can go to her favorite place for her favorite lunch. And so we headed off for Burger King, home of the Whopper, my cell buzzing the whole drive. By this point in the day, I was fairly anxious for news of my massive on-line sales. How did the book look on Amazon.com? Had President Obama bought one yet? After all, Merely Dee is a Chicago story. What about Oprah? Did my newly 'live' novel have a good set-up on the publisher's website? I knew that my sister, Sue, who is a whiz at Facebook and such, would have a report for me. Only one problem--I couldn't get to my phone!
But I saw hope up ahead and turned into the parking lot. I leaped out, unfolded Mom's walker in one swift movement, and pulled her as efficiently as possible from the car. We shuffled painfully slow up a rather steep slope, through two sets of heavy glass doors, and into the restaurant. I looked up at the menu board and gasped. This wasn't the home of the Whopper! In all the excitement, I'd pulled into the wrong parking lot.
"Oh, I'm so sorry, Mom. This isn't Burger King. It's McDonald's."
She looked at me and said, "Well, do they sell hamburgers here?" The girl behind the counter giggled.
I nodded. "Why yes, yes they do."
"Well then, get me one." And Mom toddled off to find a seat.
What's the old saying? A nod is as good as a wink to a blind horse. A Quarter-Pounder was as good as a Whopper to someone with Alzheimer's. And so Mom and I celebrated my going 'live' with a pair of burgers and some ice tea. I told her my news again, and for that one sweet moment, she was thrilled.