After she recovered from the coma, what three words could Mama say in The Hiding Place?   

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dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

After she recovered from her coma, the only three words Mama could say were "yes", "no", and "Corrie".

Mama was stricken with a cerebral hemorrhage in 1918, while peeling potatoes in the kitchen.  She called to Corrie, who was sitting nearby, in a low whisper, while helplessly letting the water in the sink overflow onto the floor.  Corrie immediately got Mama to bed, and the family stood vigil as paralysis spread slowly over her whole body.  The medical field was not as advanced back then as it is now, and the doctor who was summoned to the house could do nothing.  Finally, Mama slipped into a coma, which lasted for two months.

When Mama awoke from the coma, she could only speak the three words mentioned.  She eventually regained enough movement in her arms and legs to be able to move about with assistance, and her optimistic spirit remained undaunted.  Corrie made up a game with which the family communicated with Mama, similar to "Twenty Questions".  Mama lived for three years after she was stricken and Corrie marvels at "the quality of life she was able to lead in that crippled body", bringing joy to all around her, and sharing a love that took in her family, "the city, the land of Holland, the world" (Chapter 4).