With this in mind when we had our final family visit with her at the hospital it was with guitar in hand. My husband and daughters are the musicians, usually it is Mom and I the audience. I took it to the next level this time and sang along to every song. Not only did I sing so did Mom. We sang her favourites, Me and Bobby Magee, You are My Sunshine and then she asked for Meghan to sing I'll Fly Away. She has sang it to her before and she loved it. This time it was different. The poignancy of the situation hit us in the face. It didn't phase Mom at all. The words are, "I'll fly away oh glory I'll fly away. When I die, hallelujah, by and by, I'll fly away." It is a beautiful song with terrific harmonies with Barry, Jerri and Meg carrying us, myself and my brothers Pat and Jim sang too and with Mom. When we came to the part where it says "I'll fly away"' she flapped her arms like wings and said that's me, I'll fly away.
All of that in itself was beautiful enough but Mom and I had had a plan about the after life. She told me she would visit as a bird. All of that came about one morning when I was talking to her from my patio on the phone. A mother bird was teaching her young to fly and I was watching describing it to mom. She was delighted and felt as though she was there. Then as the little one took off it lost flight and fell ever so gently into my chair. Mom was a part of it the whole time. I sorted the little guy out and then with his momma squawking he took off again. Back to our phone call we both marvelled at nature. I marvelled at the relationship of love and trust between those birds. We compared them to humans that's when she said when she is not in this world any longer she would visit as a bird. I asked how I would know it was her, she thought about it for a while then ever so coyly said of course you'll know your mother.
While they we were singing I was remembering that conversation. A mother never really leaves a child, they just let them fly alone.