From then on my mother came every day after she finished work. She sat with me while I ate my supper and walked with me up and down the hallway. Sometimes we hardly spoke and she would wrap my arm in hers like she was escorting me to a ball, and we would walk. She would hold my hand or pat it to keep me from wringing them. I was so anxious that I couldn’t sit still and seeing her always scared me. I was afraid that she would launch into her lifetime habit of attacking me. But she didn’t.
She brought me new clothes to help compensate with the 60 pounds I had gained. With great gentleness she tried to get me to make myself look better. She would take me into the bathroom and soap up a wet facecloth and help me wash my face. She would encourage me to take a shower and brought lovely smelling soap so I would feel better about it all. Then we would sit on the bed and she would brush my hair while she relayed incidents from the store that she thought would make me smile through my tears.
During supper she would talk to me about good food I should be ordering when the menu came in the mornings. She never told me I was fat or that I should try to diet, she just gently suggested some ideas.
On the weekends I was allowed to go home more often and D or Cid would come and get me. The first time my mother took me home I was beside myself with anxiety. But she talked calmly to me to help me quiet down and suggested I take a pill for anxiety. When we walked up to the front door of the barn I almost flew into D’s arms for protection. Mom stood looking at D and at me as I cried and cowered behind him. She gently patted my arm and told me I would be okay and she wished me an enjoyable weekend. She phoned the next day to make sure I was all right and D asked me if I wanted to speak to her or not. When I reluctantly took the phone, I listened to my mother tell me I was going to be okay while I sobbed.
D finished his schooling and got a job in the little town where we lived. The pay wasn’t that good, but he was happy to be working and in a place where he could walk to work. By this time I had not worked for over 6 months and I never gave a thought about how the mortgage or utilities were being paid. Cid had come to the rescue with my car payments and my credit cards. I had been smart enough to pay for the extra cost of insurance in case of illness, and Cid took it upon himself to get in touch with everyone he could think of and those bills were paid off.
One weekend Mom came into town from her farm and sat with D and asked him about the mortgage and other bills. He told her he had maxed out his credit cards trying to keep up with everything. Mom asked for all the bills and D handed them over to her. She wrote several checks and made sure the mortgage was getting paid so I would not lose my house. They spent most of the afternoon together working on bills while I cowered on the couch and cried. I had no idea what D had done while I was hospitalized and I didn’t understand about bills and mortgages at this point. But they had saved my house for me and when I finally realized it I was shocked and very grateful.