For all the world, that last evening, a few hours before Mom died, she seemed like a proud old ship ready for one last voyage. She was safe; she was strong — safe, strong, safe, strong — as if safety and strength emanated from her in greens and blues, as sleeping she declared herself to the tide.
I thought, perhaps, she would not sail until it was light the next morning. But she couldn’t wait that long. At two-thirty, the telephone rang, and I was given the news that she was gone.
Moments before, I’d been awakened by a noise in the house: a rafter creaking, a wall settling, a fir cone landing on the roof. And so I stayed awake, waiting for the call, knowing it would come, and it came.
How she loved her home. How we love it still. What a joy, like her, to be here and passing through.