Christmas Eve 1997

Two weeks. She had been in the hospital for two weeks. Not unusual at 95. Every trip to the hospital was a long one.

I was two hours away, so I waited for the school holidays to visit. Then, I waited until Christmas afternoon, when I had to take Austin to his father’s family in Atlanta anyway.


Christmas Eve Day. Her only family visitor in two weeks.

“I’m scared.”

He patted her hand and stroked her hair. “There’s nothing to be scared of.”

The affirmation she needed.

The call came within the hour. He hadn’t even made it home.

I wasn’t there.

I enjoyed Christmas Eve and Christmas morning. He didn’t want to ruin Austin’s visit from Santa.