A week ago, she was a nearly bed-ridden 91-year old, with sparkling eyes, a soft, engaging smile and adorable sense of humor appreciated by all who know her.
She’s in the hospital with pneumonia in her right lung, a still-abnormal heart rhythm called “A-fib” (atrial fibrollation) and has a urinary tract infection.
The region’s top hospital put her in a private room with a beautiful view of nearby mountains, in an environment staffed by professionals whose care is beyond praise to even include the dieticians whose delectable food Mom chooses from a menu with help from, and nods to, my sister.
IVs dole out the antibiotics and heart meds, pills routinely arrive as do techs performing tests or getting samples, the doctor is all one could wish for, and machines whose predecessors once beeped with asynchronous indifference now work silently to record her bodily functions from the leads of taped electrodes.
Despite looking straight into her eyes as her expressions change every minute or so, I’m staring at baggage left behind at the curb, and I feel tears wanting to slip their ducts to well at my lower eyelids' dams that sometimes fail.
My mom has left for a destination I’ll never know, has already arrived at a place I cannot reach her, and I never even got to say, "So long...."