...I took her hand and said, "I've been told some people need to be given permission to leave. I don't know if you are waiting, but I can say you may have done all you came here to do.
"You've been a hard
worker – white, black, Asian and Latino women ship out of the San
Francisco port because of you. You have been a shipfitter, a nurse, a
real-estate broker and a barber. Many men and – if my memory serves me
right – a few women risked their lives to love you. You were a terrible
mother of small children, but there has never been anyone greater than
you as a mother of a young adult."
She squeezed my hand twice. I kissed her fingers. Then I went home.
awakened at dawn and raced downstairs in my pyjamas. I drove to the
hospital and double-parked my car. I didn't wait for the elevators. I
ran up the stairs to her floor.
The nurse said, "She just left."
looked at my mother's lifeless form and thought about her passion and
wit. I knew she deserved a daughter who loved her and had a good memory,
and she got one...
-- extract from Mom & Me & Mom, by Maya Angelou,
Read an extended (edited) extract here and here's the book. I can't wait to read it!