My mother died.
Before she died, she asked us all, sister and daughters and niece to stand around her bed in the ICU and tell her that we accepted her decision, and we did.
They cleared the tubes away and tucked the blankets around her and asked her if there wasn’t anything she wanted.
“I haven’t eaten anything or had anything to drink for four days,” she said. “I want a coca cola.”
She drank the coke and asked us to call her brother. I passed her the phone. “I’ve had enough.” she said, “I want to die now Ferd. I’m drinking a coca cola and it’s delicious. I love you.” I tried to think of what else I could give her.
I called the other Ferdinand and he sang to her on speakerphone. He read her a poem.
We held her hands and rubbed her feet. We told her how much we were going to miss her.
“There’s nothing I can do about that,” she said.
The nurse brought an afghan and a candle a worry stone and muffins and coffee and water.
My mother said to my sister, “Love each other.”
Her breathing slowed down. Her niece called from Spain to tell her she loved her.
We cried and cried some more. For a moment, we were quiet.
As my mother left, we sang to her.