The Golden Hour

It was a Wednesday.

I’d gone for lunch.

Mom’s breathing was different when I returned.

Quick shallow gasps had grown long and deep.

It was happening.

The moment I’d anticipated for 18 months.

The moment I hoped would never arrive.

The moment I couldn’t bear to miss.

“Come now,” I texted my sister. “Mom’s dying.”

 

I moved in close holding her soft, heavy hand.

“I love you with all my heart,” I whispered. “It’s ok to go now.”

Her mouth opened wide and gulped a breath.

“You’ve been so brave.”

I kissed her temple. Her hand. Her temple again.

Another deep slow breath.

“Thank you for always being here for me.”

A long pause and then a breath.

“Become the light on the mountains, mom, the birds in the sky.”

One last breath.

My sister arrived and held her other hand.

We sat like that.

Who knows for how long.

 

She wanted her body to be left quietly for some hours.

So my sister and I went hiking.

Climbing into the sunset.

The light slipping over us.

Bathing in our mom’s new form.

That was two years ago.

“Your mom’s light is killing it this morning,”

said a friend the other day.

They’re right.

Mom’s light always killed it.

Still does.

 

~Robynne Boyd

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