1. What has happened to Russell's mother?
She has taken a bad fall and fallen into senility, or a "hardening of the arteries."
2. What is Lucy Elizabeth's greatest wish for Russell, and how does she help him strive for his goals?
She wants Russell to make something of himself, and she tries to motivate him by getting him a job as a paper boy.
3. Since he is unable to talk with his ailing mother, what does Russell realize about the past?
He realizes there is a disconnect between parents and children, and hopes he will be able to communicate the past to his children before he is beyond communication, like his mother.
4. When does Russell decide to become a writer?
Russell decides to become a writer when he is eleven after bringing home an A paper. His mother suggests the idea and he embraces it, thinking writers did not have to do real work like delivering papers.
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