“May I put you on hold for just a second?”
always meant several minutes
resting my ear against the phone
indignant that “call waiting” hardly
ever seemed any great benefit to me.
that all changed
however, last night;
as I listened in the silence, hearing
now your breathing, then your weeping, then your singing;
knowing this moment of waiting was
sacred beyond measure.
for this call, on which I now waited, was not
of this world, but the next,
raising Mom through death to Life.
carried well by soft melodies
of “Amazing Grace,” I am sure
in your voice at this end the
now rising chorus of those
glad to greet her at that End.
here, though, is but the merest
of miracles, for I was not alone in being
made to wait while matters more
earnest received their due.
think of God who had called to Mom
out of the early morning dark.
see how all day long she resolutely
even stubbornly refused to “click back over”;
eager to go, but not quite yet.
“may I put you on hold for just a second?”—
even God must wait for a daughter on her way.
only then, you three wise weary women having
fashioned in this night a trinity quite holy in itself,
finally Mom turned heavenward, knowing you were home.
Margaret got the call from her sister around 9am Saturday morning telling her to come quickly, Mom had suffered a serious stroke. She rearranged her day, gathered herself and raced off to be at her mother’s side. Some sixteen hours later—and not much more than an hour after Margaret’s arrival, Nellie died, both daughters beside her. I listened to this holy moment of passing, waiting in silence on the telephone. Nellie’s voice appears in the acrostic.