My mother’s grandmother insisted that she wear garlic around her neck and eat onions, the equivalent of today’s masks and sanitizers, so that when she appeared reeking, at each bed, her sibs told her to go away.
People up and down the street were sick and dying, and the hospital was almost full. As her mother worsened, the town doctor wrapped her in blankets and put her in his Model T to take her to one of the few hospitals with a bed available. My grandfather, so deeply in love, was distaught, but the doctor was firm. He had to stay home to ensure that one parent remained for the children. She died later that night,
When my Uncle Herman asked him what had happened–Where is she?–my grandfather said, “She’s gone to be with God, son.” My uncle replied, “But doesn’t God know a little boy needs his mother?”
My mother told this story at family gatherings over the years. We shed tears each time over the grandmother who was prematurely taken from us, leaving only our grandfather, whom we never knew either. He was killed five years later by a drunk truck driver.
Lake Worth, Florida