The night before my mother died, the nurse in the room next to hers was singing. It was November 13, a bit early for Christmas songs, but the sang them anyway.
I can’t stop thinking about this today. I was pregnant, vainly pursuing sleep in the chair in the corner of her room. Occasionally I’d look up and my mother would be awake, despite the high doses of sedatives and painkillers she had been given to help her sleep through what was coming the next morning. And then out of the blue, a woman was singing “Silent Night”. My mother loved Christmas songs and woke when she heard it. She stayed awake the whole time the woman sang. I sat in the corner, watching her. There was a battle in my head. I wanted to go hold her hand, to talk to her for one of the last times. I also knew how badly we all wanted her to sleep and stay asleep through… the inevitable, and I didn’t want to keep her awake. So instead I sat in the corner of the room, in my chair, tired and crying. My mother and I shared our last significant moments alone together in that room that night, listening to this womans’ beautiful voice as she sang to her patient.
I want to thank that nurse. I don’t know who she was and I wish I had gone to her to thank her personally, but I didn’t want to leave my mother. The best I can do now is to hope she sees this. Thank you for singing. Thank you for singing, in the darkest of dark nights in my life. Thank you for bringing a smile to my mothers’ face one last time. You will never know how grateful I am to you for that.