I was in college in Maryland. It was a Monday when I received a call from my mom. We talked about this and that and how it was going.
At the end of the call, she said, “I’ll meet you by the gate.”
At the time, I thought she meant the gate to her yard or garden.
On Wednesday, another family member called saying my Mother’s doctor had stopped treatment for her cancer six months earlier. That there was no hurry, but I should come see her.
I finished a test on Thursday and started driving back to Texas late Friday. I drove all night. When I got about thirty minutes from home, I felt it. It was like a huge rubber band connected to my gut had been pulled tight and then cut.
It snapped back and I knew my mother was no longer at the other end. I began to cry.
When I got to the house, no one had to say anything. I could see it in my sisters’ eyes.
My mother was lying in her bed, her hair had been combed. Someone had dressed her in a white cotton gown with tiny lilac flowers and a ribbon at the collar. Her hands were folded over her chest. I touched them, but they were already cold.
I knew then she hadn’t meant her garden gate, she would be meeting me somewhere else.
This is the basis for a book I’ve written, Meet Me at the Gate. Once it’s been polished a little more, perhaps it ‘ll be publishable.