"Mom, Mom, wake up, wake up! Something happened to Mommo. She fell over on her bed, and I can't wake her up!"
My mother quickly ran into our room to see my grandmother, then told me to run to my aunt's house to bring her back here.
My aunt's house was a block away. It was in the middle of the night. We lived in the country where it always seemed to be the darkest at night with no street lamps and eerie sounding animal noises that were terrifying to a young child. I ran as fast as I could while looking all around me to make sure I wasn't being followed by something terrifying. It seemed like an eternity before I reached my aunt's house and began pounding on the door, still looking over my shoulder for any hidden danger. I was so relieved when my aunt finally opened the door.
"Hurry! Something happened to Mommo!"
The evening had started out as usual. My grandmother and I had shared the same bedroom since my grandfather had died. We had twin beds with floral spreads that matched the drapes and a mahogany nightstand in between the beds. We always said our prayers together before we went to sleep.
We were asleep for a couple of hours when my grandmother woke me up. She sat on the side of her bed and told me that John was standing at the foot of her bed and had come to take her. John was my grandfather, her husband. Then she collapsed on her bed and looked very peaceful.
My grandmother's casket was set up on the far wall of our living room for three days while we welcomed family and friends to say their last goodbyes. That was the local custom at the time.
It was a mixed feeling of fear and comfort at the same time while I slept in that same bedroom. I always felt her presence with me. She was not just my grandmother, but also my best friend.