The last conversation I had with my mom, I asked her if she was frightened. "No," she said slowly. It was very difficult for her to speak. "I'm... confounded." 

Confounded. What an interesting choice of words. The doctors and nurses had said that some of the medications she was taking could make her feel confused about what was going on. But I don't think that's what she meant. She seemed too clear, too resolute. I like to believe she meant she was confounded by this thing we call life, and this other thing we call death. Confounded. Amazed. Bewildered. 

After a few seconds, she added, "Tom is guiding me."

"Can you see him?" I asked. My heart raced. Were we having one of those Hollywood-type deathbed scenes?

"No," she said.

"Can you feel him around you?" I asked. She looked at me like I was just a little bit crazy. But then that could have been because her eyes were dry and she couldn't see very well.


"So how the hell is he guiding you, Mom?" I said, trying to lighten the mood a little. 

Mom took another deep breath and explained, "I keep thinking about how he died. So peaceful. That's how I want to go."

She got her wish. Dad was in the room with her. I had gone down the hall to watch the snow falling. Bekah was with her girls in the lounge. Chris had gone home to sleep. According to Dad, Mom took one deep breath. He waited for the next one, but he suddenly realized it wasn't coming. He called a nurse and came to get me. By the time we got back to the room, the nurse told us she was officially gone. I ran to get Bekah. We called Chris. 

The rest is a bit of a blur. I'm confounded. 

Mom and Tom

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