I am Brian, msforgetmenott's Son.
As many of you know she is hospitalized for an extended stay for a serious ovarian cancer surgery. As the day approached for this surgery, it became very hard for us as when ever in conversation with my Mom, she would mention some family item that we must take home. You see she believed she would not survive this surgery. She continually expressed it. She had been passing to us many of her Dad's family items that she had collected in 1999, when my Grandfather had died. During the Christmas holidays, or perhaps a Birthday, old things of value, inside new packaging. I have a powder horn made from an ox horn, that belonged to my Great, Great Grandfather. But that is another story for another day.
Our Family is small, only my Parents, I and my wife and our Daughter, almost 14 now. It is a far cry from those days when families had ten children each and their children had as many again each.
Early in the morning of my mother's surgery, we were able to sit in a room where in front of us was a screen, where we could follow the progression of my Mom's surgery. We shared this room with others, waiting for their loved one's surgery to be completed also, their eyes on the screen, with tensions high. One of us would get up and bring back coffee and such, we all knew we had a long wait.
On a trip from that room to the bathroom, I saw a beautiful well designed garden, just outside the big windows. Unusual trees and flowering plants. I stepped out, learning from the sign that this was a public healing garden. After several hours, being inside, the air was fresh and there were many songbirds to hear. Pretty paths with benches set in the shade. It was what my heart needed, and I sat, alone and I cried. I cried for myself, my Mom, and all who love her.
I felt something on my back, then heard as slow male voice saying, "do you mind if I sit with you?" Shaking my lowered head no, I felt a person add weight to the bench, and putting a large hand on my knee. I turned to see, thinking it was a minister or priest, but saw no one. Yet, I still felt the large hand on my knee. My mind was swirling in confusion, but I knew who was beside me, my Grandfather, the only one with hands that large. The same hand I held as he took his last breath, with my Mom holding the other hand.
My Grampa, without doubt. You see for nearly 90 years those hands milked by hand, cut logs, worked farm machinery, held the reins of a workhorse and so very much more. I watched those hands gently pick an apple from the tree and plant tiny seeds in his wonderfully productive garden. "We are here for you Son, and your Mother" I lifted my head and for a brief moment I saw all an enormous mass of men and women, standing in masses, blocking out every flower and tree. Then they were gone, as was my Grampa.
I stood, my tears dried and with a lighter step, walked back to the room. I no longer thought that we would lose my Mom. She was going to be fine.