Thursday afternoon I packed a bag with clothes for a vigil and left to see my mom.

I got there at 8:45 pm.

She was unconscious, or non-responsive at least. She had an oxygen mask on her nose and mouth. She was laying a little towards her right side with her chin on her right shoulder.

She was gulping for air with each breath.

Two of my sisters had been with her most of the day and they hurried me to her side as they knew it wouldn’t be much longer.

I talked to her for a couple of minutes and my sister read her the mother’s day card message that I wrote, as I was not able to read it myself right then.

Then a big breath, like sleep apnea, a couple of shallow breaths and she was gone.

About 15 minutes after I got there.

She once told me that she was not afraid of dying, and I believe her, but that she was afraid that the actual act of death would be painful. I don’t think it was.

And I think she waited for me and could hear me. I was the last of her children to get to her bedside during the past week.

She heard me. She knew I was there.

And she just couldn’t hold on any more.

She had strong faith and was as up on religion as any lay theologian. I know where she will be. Where she deserves to be.

And I will miss her terribly.