Her face is smooth now, long gray hair drifts across the many pillows that surround her tiny body. She is taking her last many breaths, pulling air in, pushing it out, as her children surround her, telling stories of their youth, laughing, crying. When nothing is left of her, only her husband's name lingers on her breath: "Sam." She calls to him as though he might be just around the corner, just beyond her reach. "Sam."
"Sam's in heaven, honey. He's waiting for you." I tell her this and it calms her for a moment. Heaven is such a nice idea. "Go on home, now."