In the meantime, Inez had sent a flower arrangement just short of something the size of a wedding display. Belva had called twice, just to check up on Cordelia - both times offering to have anything she needed delivered. And, she was emphatic, she meant anything.
Bunny stopped by Cordelia's to drop off a Spam cake she had made the night before and a box of Twinkies. Pearl told her that Cordelia had done well through the night. Bunny reminded her she was close, if she needed anything. "Pearl, please let me know what I can do. I'll feel better when I can see her, but I trust Dr. Magill. If he says she needs her rest, then so be it. Give her my love." Pearl thanked her and Bunny went to work.
Around 10 that morning, Tula was at Cordelia's ready to run the show. Pearl stood her ground and managed to keep Tula downstairs. However, she had to endure Tula's inquisition. Who had been by the house? Who had called? Did Pearl know who Cordelia had named as Power of Attorney? Did Pearl know anything about Cordelia's new Will? What banks did she use? Did she have any attorneys in addition to Marlboro & Sweeney? Who was her financial advisor?
Pearl, knowing it was none of Tula's business, told Tula that Cordelia had always kept her affairs to herself. Which was true. However, Cordelia did share them with Pearl.
About noon, Belva showed up. "I just could not stay away. Aunt Cordelia has always been my favorite. I will just be despondent when she dies."
Pearl laughed,"Well, I'm afraid you don't have to worry about that any time soon."
"Oh, I thought Aunt Cordelia was dying," Belva said surprised.
"Well at her age, any health issue can be fatal."
"But Mr. Sweeney has never called me before."
"Did he tell you she was dying?"
"Well, no, but he said she was getting her affairs in order." She paused, "And I heard Tula was here, so I knew it was serious."
Pearl just went back to the kitchen. Under her breath she said,"I'm surprised you could find the house, it's been so long since you have been here."
Belva followed Pearl into the kitchen,"Pearl, I think you can go now. This is serious, Aunt Cordelia needs better care. I took a First Aid class at college and have a Red Cross award (she had received attending a Donor's Gala). So you can see I am skilled at elder care."
"Well, I'm glad to know you are so qualified but I'm not going anywhere. You never darken 'Miss' Cordelia's doorway for years and now you show up, thinking she is on her death bed."
The house phone rang and Belva answered. It was Inez. "Belva, why are you at Cordelia's?"
"Because Mr. Sweeney called me and told me it looked like the end. Tula's here also"
"Dear God, well I'm on way. I knew she was sick and figured it wouldn't be long, but it never dawned on me to go to her house. I'll have to reschedule my tennis lesson and facial."
Pearl was taking all of this in. In an hour or so while Tula and Belva seemed to be preoccupied, Pearl went upstairs to check on Cordelia. After seeing her, she walked outside of the bedroom into hall, pulled her mobile phone from her pocket and made a call. "Mr. Sweeney, this is Pearl, I think it's time."
"Thanks for calling Pearl. I'll call Dr. Magill." They rang off. Pearl managed to get back downstairs before anyone saw her. Of course the fact they were bickering in the kitchen helped.
It wasn't long before Dr. Magill and Luther Sweeney walked in the house. The women in the kitchen all turned in surprise. Tula, acting upset, put her hand to her mouth,"Please, don't tell me this is it?"
Dr. Sadler said,"I'm afraid so."
"How did you know?"
Tula turned and started out of the kitchen. Luther said,"Where do you think you are going?"
Tula faking tears (unsuccessfully) said,"To see my dear Aunt before she dies."
Dr. Magill spoke up, "No you are not." He looked at Inez and Belva."Y'all will get a chance to see her but not now."
Just at that time Inez and Bunny walked in. At the same time, Tula and Belva looked at Bunny,"What are you doing here? You are not even family."
Luther smiled,"Bunny is here because Cordelia specifically requested her to come."
Dr. Magill looked at Bunny,"You can go up there now."
Pearl said,"I'll go with you."
Bunny was visibly shaken,"Would you Pearl?"
"Of course 'Miss' Bunny, I owe it to 'Miss' Cordelia and 'Mr.' Harrison, bless his soul, to be here for you."
Bunny looked at Dr. Magill and Luther and then followed Pearl up the stairs.
Tula was clearly miffed,"What the Hell is that about? Now I know Cordelia is not in her right mind. Why would she ask to see that harlot when she has family here?"
"That was her request. And I assure you that your Aunt Cordelia may be ill but she is of sound mind." Luther said matter of factly.
Pearl opened Cordelia's door and Bunny walked in. When she looked at Cordelia in her big four poster bed, she gasped. Pearl said,"It will be OK. I'll be downstairs if you need me."