It was about 8:00 p.m. on a Friday night. The date was May 9th.

I hadn’t heard from mother since Wednesday morning through a text message telling me that she’s doing okay after being admitted into The Respite House, a well known and respected hospice in Williston Vermont.

This, I considered was good news.

I didn’t worry much when I didn’t hear from her on Thursday, figuring that she’s either being a social butterfly, chatting up all the residents and staff. Either that or the Respite House Staff were keeping her incapacitated with the task at hand. She had not been reacting well to her pain medication. What better place than a hospice to finely tune a individual’s meds. These people had it down to a fine science.

My concern began rising Friday morning when there was still no word from her.

I sent a text message but there had been no response.

When there was still no contact by Friday night I knew something was wrong.

After googling The Respite House to get their phone number, I was disappointed when the staff was not answering their phones. That however was understandable because it was after business hours.

It was then that I began to type up an email to my Mother’s good friend, who Mother had instructed me was my contact should anything arise.

In the email, I explained my rising concern over Mother’s situation and asked if it was possible for an update on her status.

I was just about to press the send button when the phone rang.

It was my Mother’s friend, the same one I was about just about to email.

Long story short, her news was quite grim.

Mother was not doing well at all.

The fact was that the doctor’s consensus had it that she would not be leaving the Respite House to go home.

“What happened?” I asked.

No one knew, she told me.

The fact was her cancer seemed to be worse than anticipated, and she had succumbed to confusion and breathing difficulties.

“When would be a good time to come?” I asked her.

“Now,” she replied.

My husband Frank and I left for Vermont the next morning which was Saturday.

The clock was now ticking.

I felt like I was heading into a raging emotional whirlpool that was about to consume my world as I knew it.

I doubted that I was ready for this…