My mother says, “Trump and his cronies say that grandparents are willing to die for the economy — we most certainly are not!”
But in order to pay bills, my mother, who is also a grandmother, has been Ubering. She even Ubered on St. Patrick’s Day, despite my earlier warning, because she could see from her subsidized senior apartment complex that it was very busy down there, and she has bills to pay. Bills trigger an endless cascade of fears for her — a feeling which may be new to some of us but is commonplace for her. After I explained the dangers, pleading with her to accept that the money she needs is not worth it, she agreed to stop.
My little sister is a mother herself, and she also lives on very little income. She shares my mother’s car. They both take turns driving for Uber Eats now, terrified of eviction or worse, to earn whatever will sustain them in this upheaval.
My sister is close to having what she needs to cover rent, but she will drive again today, possibly tomorrow, for the rest.
I ask my mom casually this morning — trying to be casual anyway, before the fear in me expands and I explode into a million pieces — if she disinfects the keys and phone that my sister brings back, and how she disinfects the car, knowing in the pit of my stomach that, in fact, grandparents are willing to die for the economy. It’s already been choking many of them for a long time.