On a humid summer night she sat on the porch rocking.
Creaking slowly forward and back.
Dabbing her brow and lips with a handkerchief that smelled of the dried flowers that she kept in her night stand.
These past nights had been her favorites.
Watching her children laugh and play and run with children of their own.
Generations reaching out to one another.
They had come to be with her in the end.
But the bad news – the news of her illness – had no power here on this night.
It didn’t keep children from laughing.
It didn’t keep brothers from chasing sisters.
The spirit of joy was as strong as it had ever been.
As she watched from the porch, a smile lifted her soft wrinkled face.
Tea lights hung from nearby trees added a magical quality to her view.
The sun lowered, casting red-orange light over the yard.
Shadows stretched and bowed – the dancing shadows of happy children.
And her own shadow rocked with her.
The wooden chair’s quiet groan lulled her into a peaceful sleep.