So, yesterday, I left Christi in the East Bay and came down to Cupertino with our only automobile (did you know that "east bay" is pig-latin for beast?). Christi convinced Tiffany and Luoi that they wanted to drive doen to Lucy's Tea House (La Teejo de Lusi) in Mountain View for dinner. So those three, Mitch, Vince, Tammy and I had tea and some food. I asked Mitch where I could buy candles in the area and he sent me to Albertsons on El Camino, in Sunnyvale, right next to highway 85 and that big empty mall that used to be an Emporium. They had hundreds of candles. We now have candles in reserve. We meant to buy one of each, but accidentally skipped a few. Even so, we ended up with twenty two candles. There were on sale for twenty percent off. I was extremely pleased. I was returning to the aisle with a grocery cart when a guy walked up and asked if we were buying one of each. I said heck yes, there's a lot of them and they're on sale to boot. He asked why we were getting them and I said my mom was sick.
"Lighting a candle isn't going to help her. Getting on your knees and praying to Jesus will help her." he said, but not immediately. He seemed harmless at first but quickly accelerated up to preaching us the word. He told us about how his daughters had the power to lay hands and heal. I said they were welcome to lay hands on my mom if they wanted and I was sure nobody would mind. We got lots of folks praying at her bedside. The more, the merrier. He decided it would better to pray right there in the grocery store. and he held christi and my hands and asked Jesus to bless us and my mom. It was the first time I'd ever prayed in the grocery store. The stock boy thought it was a bit odd. I think they guy was a bit embarassed at some point, cuz he got really quiet when folks started staring. I think that if you're going to proclaim the word in a grocery store, you ought to be out, loud and proud (to co-opt a queer saying), but I guess Jesus doesn't necessarily want people to stare at you if you're going to get thrown out of the store. But he really did not want us buying the candles, so maybe it would have been worth it to him. He asked if I thought the candles would heal her, and I said no. He said, "that's right, only jesus will heal her!" but why was I buying them anyway? "She's scared of the dark now, and an electric light is too much light, so these are perfect." He suggested a kerosene lamp. But there were none in the ethnic foods aisle.
He must have told us fifty stories of people being healed by prayer. Some guy died right there in a church pew at church and the congregation prayed for him and he walked out alive. I said, "oh, but we have a do not recessitate order for my mom." and he had oodles of stories about people praying instead of calling ambulences and being healed. Are fundamentalists more likely to die of heart attacks because of delaying treatment? There's a study and some graduate degrees waiting there.
Despite Jesus' amazing power to heal, this guy's cart was full of diet foods and he combed over his bald spot. He didn't say anything about praying instead of going to the barber. If jesus can cure his daughter's tumor, can't He grow hair on the top of this guy's head? What about the Jesus diet? Pray five times a day to cure obesity. One man, he said, had his asthma cured by prayer, but refused to accept Jesus as his Lord and Savior. "And do you know where he is now?" "burning in hell!" I said. Hallelujia! (apparently it was a rhetorical question.) Anyway, it was getting late, so I said goodbye to him. At first he just seemed very lonely, but then I realized I did a bad thing by encouraging him.
The checkout woman said, "did you get one of every candle?" Had almost the same conversation again, except she said, "I guess she needs a lot of praying." and let it go. I don't understand why millitant atheists vince and Tammy want to stay in the south bay. People are praying all over the place.
Anyway, Margie is off at Albertsons right now, because she's very keen on candles and likes to buy them on sale. It seems she and her sister regularly burn twenty two of them in a week.
I came back to my parents house and refilled the distilled water on her oxygen generator and set my watch alarm to go off every two hours and tried to sleep. Mom's breathing was very rough and uneven. Its the sort of thing that makes me think she won't make it to morning, but she's as strong as a horse, so I wasn't sure. I turned up her oxygen, elevated her head, have her more morhpine, but none of these things helped. The hospice nurse arrived this morning while I was in the shower and discovered that I had cross-threaded the bubbler part when I refilled it with water, so my mom had gotten no oxygen during the night. Her breathing is fine now. Ooops. I feel bad about it. Mom is still going. Her kidneys are still going. She's part camel.
I'm going to see the Saint Francis opera in San Francisco tonight, unless something dramatic happens. My dad is encouraging me to stay in Berkeley tonight. He sarted that encouragement after I threatened to slug him if he said anything more about Jimmy Carter.