If we had blinked our eyes, we would have missed it.
For three days we watched every breath she took.
For three days her laboured breathing kept us awake at night.
One night we all slept there. Me in the recliner right next to her, Karen on the sofa bed, Joe on the couch, Billy on the floor. When the sun rose, Karen and I changed places.
When Ma finally woke that morning we knew there was something different. Her breathing was different. Her gaze was different. Her pain gone. She was no longer restless. She slept peacefully. She was there…but she wasn’t. She was just waiting.
That evening her breathing had slowed and become quiet. Finally, She calmly took her last breaths. It was as if a window opened and she left on the breeze. She looked like a sleeping child in her bed. Curled up on her side holding her rosary and her beloved medal. If we had blinked our eyes, we would have missed it.
It was heartbreaking to see her Grandson check for her pulse.
It was heartbreaking to see her Son-In-Law check again.
It was heartbreaking when Her other Grandson rushed in…..afraid of what he would find.
It was heartbreaking to look in my Sister’s eyes and know that it was over. What we waited for…peace for Ma. It was over. I wished for celestial music or fireworks some proof that she was okay. We all sat with Her for a long while, it seemed. But it wasn’t long enough. But she had “gone to the place that’s the best”…. and the happiest biggest family reunion ever. And yes, she let us know she made it.