Mom was gravely ill and not expected to live very much longer. She was in her seventies and had severe diabetes. She had to be injected with insulin every day. Her youngest daughter, Mary, who was about twenty five at the time, gave her the injections and kept the needles sanitized and in a special box, which was kept on a high shelf just in case one of the grandchildren was visiting.
We lived several blocks away and since my mother couldn’t be there with mom all the time because she had four children that needed her attention, the sisters came up with a plan. We lived not far away on an incline and our house faced downhill towards mom’s house, which allowed us to see from our upstairs window, mom’s upstairs hall window. Since we did not have a phone because we could not afford one, it was arranged that if mom took a turn for the worse, one of the sisters that still lived with mom, would pull down the shade and mother would know to come quickly! We all kept our eyes on that window as often as we could and one day I spotted the shade had been pulled down! I alerted my mother and she asked me to go with her and my older sister would watch the younger ones. A neighbor and friend of my mother would come in and check on the children from time to time and made sure they ate and got ready for bed that night.
So my mother and I rushed down to mom’s and as fate would have it, mom was hanging on. It seemed she was waiting to see my mother before she passed. Mother had been sitting , talking with mom to keep her company. She noticed that mom was was having a hard time keeping her eyes open. Then as mom lay there in the bed, she suddenly sat up and with her eyes glazing over, she mumbled something that mother at first did not understand. But as she leaned in and listened closely to what mom saying, she was surprised at what she heard.
Mom was talking to relatives who were not in the room but who were now dead. These relatives had been dead for quite some time. She spoke to them as if they were in the room with her. Mother told us later that the hair on her arms was tingling. Then mom said she saw a white light which dazzled her as she fell back on the pillows in a swoon. “It was very peaceful”, mother told us later, “as she passed into another realm”.
My mother told that story so many times after that and I had it ingrained in my mind since that time. So it was passed around the family. Many years later after I married and had children, I recounted it to them.
But getting back to Uncle Tom……………………
To be continued.
I have edited this excerpt from the story, “My Uncle Tom”, and am publishing it here again to see if it is better now or not! Your input is appreciated. Thanks.