“You are my sunshine, my only sunshine—” my alto voice cracked as it blended with my dad’s tenor. We held gram’s hands and sang one of her favorite songs, as she passed from this world to the next place. “—you’ll never know dear how much I love you. Please don’t take my sunshine away.” I couldn’t get the last three words out.
She was a feisty ninety-eight-year-old Irish woman with a room full of loved ones who spent her final hours with her. We were told she could hear us even though the morphine kept her from being able to respond with anything more than a few occasional groans. I believe she could. When I arrived, I ran my hand along her feverish forehead and back and forth through her thick gray hair. She groaned loudly. I think she knew we were there. She did the same when she heard her ninety-four-year-old sister’s voice on the phone that afternoon. Auntie Joyce was on her way from Canada and you could tell gram heard her sister’s last words to her, even though she couldn’t respond.
Just two days before, she’d been giving my dad and Uncle Jim hell because they’d kept her waiting longer than she wanted while they enjoyed a round of golf. My poor Aunt Trudy had to calm her and assure her they’d be at the nursing home to visit her soon. She didn’t want to hear it. She was spitting mad.
Maybe she knew.