Last night was bittersweet, my brothers; sister and I have been in Alabama the better part of almost two weeks I guess. Our maternal mother lay in the hospital with no chance of ever leaving. We all realised that this was probably the last time we would all be together in Alabama and now we would have no reason to ever return to the beautiful state. She, mom, had seen us all and forgiveness for things over the years on all sides were put away. We made our peace before she slipped into an unresponsive condition. She had held on longer than Doctors anticipated as her heart was strong though everything else was shutting down. The death rattle began slow at first but by the next day was ever present and we knew her time was very short. I had to leave.
My drive across four states four times in eight days was catching up to me. I was torn between being there and being here as life goes on. I was on the highway last night on a lonely stretch of I-85 at 9:45 p.m when my cell rang, she was gone. I was both happy and sad. Happy she no longer had to deal with her condtion which had distanced her from myself, sad because she was gone and before leaving us her mind had returned her to the mother we all once knew and loved; the caring, funny, singing happy person.
I still had an agonising hour to go before reaching home. I drove in late and was met at the door by a blown up copy of the picture that accompanies my magazine article just released on the stands saturday. My wife and son had done it for me not knowing yet my mother was gone. Several copies of the magazine were displyed in a fanned out display and my son was excited to great me and read from the article. My wife said the phone had been ringing all day from people who had already seen the article. I was happy to see my long awaited return to print then I broke down. I told them about mom and my stopping to see Pop and my stepmother. It hit me that I was lucky as I had been able to see all three of my parents in the same day one final time.
I told of the phone call and what happened as the call ended last night. It's unbeleaveable but it did happen though people will think not; but when I hung up on my drive at the late hour of getting the news a car passed me by and pulled over into my lane. It was a newer blue Chevy Impala with North Carolina tags and you know what it said? It's tag read "Faith.G". Tears flowed yet again and I knew, then I said "I got your message mom. No one will believe me but I got your message. Your home now and all the pain is gone."