I will never forget it. I answered the phone one June morning in 2009. The voice on the phone said, “If you want to see your mother alive, you will come see her in the next few days.”
A doctor was calling from Washington state and explained that my mother, who was in her 60s, was in the final stages of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. He gave her literally days to live.
Two days later, I was on a plane from New York to Tacoma. I went to see my mom, who was still in her apartment, since she said she wanted to die at home. She rallied while I was there, and was almost her normal self. A few days later, I went home, but asked her doctor and home health agency to keep in close contact with me.