Should I go home for the night, or should I stay? I vacillated back and forth. Finally, I decided to go to my car, fetch a quilt, and cozy up in the love seat until my sister from Omaha arrives. It would only be a couple more hours. Coming back into her room, I checked on her again. She was sleeping so peacefully. Putting my mouth next to her nearly-deaf ear, I said, "Mom, I'm here with you. I love you." No response, just as it had been all day.
Rather than curling up on the love seat, I decided to sit in her recliner. I looked through her Bible. I found her devotional book, with the bookmark on July 24. Had it been that long since she felt she could read from that book? I organized her magazine rack, throwing away Kleenexes and napkins and old church bulletins.
Suddenly, looking over at her, I felt I needed to check on her again. Throwing off the quilt, I stepped to her side and knew immediately. Can it really be? I touched her and she was as warm and soft as ever, but no rising of the chest. I felt for a pulse, knowing there would be none. I put my finger under her nose to feel the soft whoosh of a breath, knowing there would be none. I hugged her, crying tears of rejoicing and sorrow. Reluctantly I reached for the call bell. "She's gone," I said.