Mother visited me during Parent week her visit was a complete surprise to me. I met her aircar at the entrance to the gym. When she stepped out of the car I stood in shock. She was even frailer looking than before! She had lost nearly twenty pounds of weight and with her body that was too much. She was thin as a rail.
“Mother are you OK? Are you in pain?”
“No my dear. I’m fine.” She slowly climbed the steps up to my room. I took her arm and walked with her. I could see she was placing her steps carefully and concentrating the whole way. She entered my room and sat down on the bed.
“Mother can I get you anything? I have a small cooler with drinks.”
She smiled softly. “No thank you Min, I’m OK.” She looked around my small room. I had painted it a soft blue and coerced the quartermaster to loan me several rugs and blankets to dress it up a bit.
“Are the kids alright? Why are you here mom?”
“I left your sister in the care of Abigail Sully. I gave her the job of nanny and moved her into the house. She helps me with your brothers and little Athena. You should see her Min. Athena is getting so big. I think she will take after my mother or grandmother. She already has the features.” She smiled at me and sighed. “You need to stay here this summer Minerva. Your father is trying to take command of the district Militia command. It has become very political. There are many extremists that are against the equal rights amendments. They are putting pressure on your father. He can handle it but it will be easier if you are not around to further inflame them.”
I nodded my head in understanding. A small part of me resented my father for sending mother to tell me this. “How are you really mom? Is the disease getting worse?”
“Dr Quinn is monitoring me thank you very much! But to answer your question, yes it is getting worse. The medical professionals here don’t know what it is. They say it is related to the Old Earth Lupus disease. It attacks my autoimmune system and weakens me. It makes me susceptible to other virus’s. The process of fighting those other viruses is what is killing me.”
“Mom, have you considered going back to Mars?”