The husband looked up from the Sunday comics.
"Whatever will be, will be. . ."
He looked down the hallway.
The mama had already wandered out of sight.
"That's the first time I heard her sing," said the husband.
"She's getting ready to sing tonight at the novena," I said, just as surprised as him.
"I don't think they'll be singing that song," he said.
"No," I said, "But they should."
Unfortunately, the mama didn't have the chance to sing. Her ride never came to take her to the second night of the novena of mourning for her friend. That's a Catholic Church ritual of praying that soothes the souls of the departed's loved ones. My definition.
Fortunately, the mama didn't seem to mind that she had been forgotten. She was probably relieved. She did not have to deal with the question that people seem compelled to ask her. How old are you?
It's not a question anyone should ask of an elderly person, particularly at a funeral or a novena for the dead.
The mama has a ready answer for the question. I'm a 100 years old.
But on the first day of the novena, it turned out that her answer didn't stop people from asking further prodding questions like What do you eat? What do you do all day? Do you live alone? Do you color your hair?
The mama thinks it's rude of people to ask about her age. She has decided that she must come up with a better answer that would stop any further questions.
I think she should just sing it.