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An Italian Mother's Pandemic Tale by C. R. Mitchell

When The Covid hit, we all were-a scared. Dis’ little bitty thing is a gonna kill everybody! So we do like any good citizen, we prayed, and we cooked.

Food is the life-a-force. It a cure a anything. Anything! So, I cooked, and I cooked, and I cooked. It was a nice. It is hard for me to cook for just a one. The food, it no taste a the same. So, I cooked like my whole a family is coming over for the Sunday dinner. I eat my little a portion and put the rest into the freezer. This a way, if I die from The Covid, my kids will no go a hungry.

My son called me everyday. Oh, my heart was so a full. So was my a belly. That is when I noticed my first a symptom of The Covid. I was a terrified. But I didn’t tell a my kids because I don’t want them to worry. So, I say I’ma fine.

To keep me occupied, I cleaned. It is a good exercise and keep you a heart a healthy. I ignore my Covid symptoms and cleaned, and cooked. I started with the hallway closet. It was full of the coats and the hats and the dust bunnies. It makes my a nose run non-a-stop. When my son calls, he a thinks I have The Covid. I tell him I’ma fine. But, he was so a worried, he brought me ten bags of groceries! So, I sent him home with some food from the freezer. He smiled but no hugged me. After he a leaves, I cried.

He called the next day and I can no a talk because I’ma crying.

“Ma’ what’s The matter? Why you crying?”

“Because, you no hug me.”

“It’s not safe, Ma’.”

“I know. I’ma sorry. I didn’t tell you I have The Covid.”

“What!?! You looked fine yesterday.”

“No, no. I gotta The Covid.”

“What are your symptoms?”

“I gained ten a pounds!”

“Oh, Ma’!”

“Okay, it is a fifteen pounds.”

“Ma’ that ain’t a symptom of Covid.”

“No? Why is everybody sayin’ The Covid makes you gain a weight?”

He no a call me for two weeks! I cried, and cooked, and cleaned, and cried some more.

After six a months of The Covid. All my closets got no dust, and I give away all my coats and hats to the church. The Covid keeps me a home. I go no a place no more, so I no need a coat. My son no a call a me, my Sunday dishes got the dust, and I sleep with my wooden spoon ‘cause it’s the last thing that touched my a son. I cry myself to a sleep every night.

I call my a son.

“I made the lasagna for you family. You come over and get it?”

“No, Ma. I can’t.”


“Because I’m quarantining.”

“You have The Covid, and no tell a me?”

“No, Ma’. I don’t have Covid. I was exposed.”

“Why you go out with no clothes on?”

“No, Ma’. Not exposed like that. My friend has Covid.”

“Oh, I’ma so a sorry. That’s a sad. He okay?”

“Yeah, Ma’. He is fine. Just tired and achy.”

“Oh, I know, achy. It is no fun. I achy every day.”

“I know Ma’.”

“So, you friend get The Covid, how you get exposed.”

“We went to the bar for a beer.”

“You can go to the bar, but you can no go to a church, and no come see a me?”

“Ma,’ he ain’t at risk like you. We have to be careful. I don’t want you to get sick and die.”

“I no gonna get sick from The Covid, ‘cause I’ma gonna die from the loneliness! But it’s a nice to know you gonna miss a me when I die!”

“Ma’ I don’t like this either, but we gotta be smart to beat Covid.”

“Okay. Youse a right. But I’ma gonna need more ingredients to make another lasagna.”

“You just made lasagna. Why you gonna make more.”

“For my funeral!”

“Oh, Ma’!”

After he hung up, I cried. At least, I know he is gonna miss a me. But I worry, who is gonna make the lasagna if I no a here? It makes a me a sad to think my kids no eat a good after I’ma gone. I make a sign of the cross when I a picture the sauce from the jar on my son’s a table. Then I cry.

Thanksgiving came, and a went. I no cook like I use to. Nobody gonna eat it but me. And I already gained The Covid Nineteen-a-pounds. But I’ma grateful we are all a healthy, not so happy, but a healthy. No one die, so that’s a nice.

I cried the first week of December. I’ma so lonely. I cried while I knitted a sweater for my wooden spoon. It keeps me company while I drink my a coffee. It looks a good in the chair across the table. It no a eat, but it good a company.

Today, I got outa bed and said. “I no a cry today! I’ma gonna call my a son and tell him I’ma gonna make his a favorite cookies! The lemon one.”

“Hi. It’s your Ma’.”

“How are you doing today, Ma? I’ve been meaning to call you.”

“I know you a busy. You gotta the work and you need time to go to the bar with you a friend. How is he? Did he get over The Covid?”

“Yeah, he is better.”

“Oh, That’s a nice.”

“Do you need some groceries?”

“No, no. I’ma fine. I get a delivery. It’s a nice. The boy brings it to my door. But I pay him a little extra to put it in the kitchen for a me.”

“Ma’ that’s dangerous! You don’t know if the kid has Covid. You could catch it from him.”

“No, no. I’ma real careful. I wipe a everything down with the wipes. I’ma smart and a safe. But, I’ma glad you are so concerned about me. You know I cry every night. I’ma so a lonely.”

“I know Ma’. I am sorry. It is hard on all of us. But we gotta be smart.”

“Oh, I know. Be a smart to beat The Covid. That’s a why I get up dis’ morning and say, I gonna make you a favorite cookies.”

“That’s good, Ma’.”

“I know you a busy, so I won’t a keep you, but I want you to know something.”

“What, Ma’.”

“The Covid has hit me very hard. At first, I worried about dying from The Covid. But you said to be a smart. So, I done all the cookin’ and cleanin’ all for you. I even cleaned my a garage. Everything is a ready.”

“Ready for what?”

“For you!”

“Ma’ I can’t come over. It’s not safe.”

“I got my dress and my shoes all laid out. It’s a gonna be okay, you a see. You gonna do just fine without me. Oh, and I’ma gonna leave everything to Frank. I don’t know what I would have done without Frank. He loved me when I cried. He loved me when I gained The Covid Nineteen-a-Pounds. Frank has been a wonderful.”

“Who’s Frank?”

“Be sure everybody eats a good at the funeral, okay? You a good a son, but I gotta go.”

“Ma’? Ma’! Wait! Do you have Covid? Did Frank give you Covid?”

“I love a you very much.”

As I hang up, I hear my boy say what I have been wanting to a hear for months. I start to cry.

I put my wooden spoon in his nice sweater, and put him in his chair at the head of the table. I take my shower and put on my a dress. I did my hair real nice and made sure my make-up looks a good too. I putta all the food on the table, light the candles, and have the soft a music playin’. I’ma all a ready. It is gonna be the best a dinner.

As I’ma hangin’ up my apron, I hear my a son pounding his a fist on the door. I check my a hair in the mirror, adjust Frank in his a chair, and walk a real slow to the door. I can hear my a son crying out for his a mama.

I answer the door with a smile.

“Ma! Are you alright? I got here as fast as I could.”

My son wraps me in his a arms and gives me a big a hug.

“You said you would be a right over, so Frank and I waited for you.”

“I swear, Ma. If this Frank gave you Covid, I will break his neck! Where is he?”

“He is sittin’ at the head of the table.”

“What? In my father’s chair?”

“Now you a here, you might as well join us for a dinner.”

As my son walks toward The kitchen, I can’t help to a smile. I’ma smart! I beat The Covid!

By C. R. Mitchell

Author of The Italian Rose Mafia Series.

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An Italian Mother’s Pandemic Tale by, C.R. Mitchell ©2020 Papillon Publishing, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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