What a wonderful piece. Thank you. It evokes many memories for me, as I was living and working in London (a much shorter ride, to be sure…) when my father died and then my mother slid fairly quickly into Alzheimer’s-related dementia. At the time, I questioned my choices and wondered if it would help to be in closer physical proximity. It took me many years to realize that I could be living next door and the distance would be insurmountable.

One week before my mother died, she developed an usual sense of clarity. For the first time in years, she was able to relate to my sisters and to me with knowledge of our lives. Actual, detailed knowledge. It seemed to me that she wanted (and needed) to make it clear that she was not afraid and that she was ready.

That final weekend, I moved an old “boom box” into her room and we set up a schedule to ensure that her favorite music played quietly through the days and nights. Her last words were an acknowledgment of the music she loved the most. “Frank Sinatra,” she said, her voice full of wonder. She drifted off and never regained consciousness. I, too, felt the fullness of the circle.

Thank you for bringing this back with your beautiful writing.